Does one ever forget their first time they visit Venice? Hardly.
For many, like my first visit to Venice, it is arriving by train at the Stazione Santa Lucia. As you pull into the train station it is much like any train station in Europe.
But it is when you walk out through the doors of the train station that the Grand Canal and the visuals of Venice hit you with full force.
My first trip to Venice was back in 1980s. I was pretty young then! Since that time, we have visited it many times.
On one trip we stayed in Mestre, just outside of Venice and took one of the frequent trains into the city. It is an option, but not an option of first choice. You get to experience Venice by being there.
At 4:30 the crowds start to leave. For many, Venice is a day trip. With the crowds gone, the city has a more natural feel.
From the time of my first trip to our more recent trips, the most significant change is the number of tourists that visit the city each day.