If you have 4-5 days in Venice take the time for a break from the maddening crowds and visit some of the islands. Even the boat ride across the lagoon begins to relax you. Torcello is quiet and serene with very good restaurants and two beautiful Byzantine churches. I have seen a lot of mosaics all over the world, but the ones in the larger Basilica are breathtaking and worth the trip by itself. If you want to make a day of it you can easily see all three islands - Torcello, where Venice started, Burano, island of lace a colorful homes, and Murano, center of the most beautiful glass in the world.
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