Venice is one of the most touristy places in the world - for a reason. And a very valid reason at that. It's simply a place like no other. The attractions aren't that much of the churches, campos, art galleries and docks - it's the city itself. And the fun (and challenging) thing about it for a street photographer is this: just how do you photograph a place that's as touristy as this? Is it even possible to "de-touristify" Venice and have an authentic time there? If you're willing to wander around - if you're willing to go "left" when the sign points "right" to Rialto or San Marco - and if you're willing to go beyond, like Dorsoduro, Giudecca or even a bit further - then, I'm sure you will.
Mestre? It's one train station away from Sta. Lucia (Venice). EUR 1,25 per trip. Price of hotels and hostels are significantly lower.
Disclaimer: I've only been to Venice twice. I'm not that discerning when it comes to Italian food (except Pizza!). I don't like gelato. The list below is more of a "Where I Ate", instead of a "Where to Eat".
Where to Eat
Pizza: Antico Forno, Pizza 2000, Da Michele (Mestre) - you can trust me here.
Coffee: Torrefazione Cannaregio - and in this one too.
Tiramisu: I Tre Mercanti
Pasta: Dal Moro's Fresh Pasta To Go
Bacareto Da Lele, Bar Ai Artisti
Collezione Peggy Guggenheim (modern art!)
DFS (T Fondaco dei Tedeschi) - great view from the roof deck
Leica M Typ 240 + VSCO Film
Voigtländer Nokton 35mm f/1.2
Voigtländer Ultron 21mm f/1.8