Preparing for a trip to Italy is not for the faint of heart. Of course, you surmise: pack light, check passport, research your destination so you know what you are looking at when you get there, and confirm all reservations up one side and down the other. Are you fit? Travel requires that you handle stress and strenuous activity like walking and negotiating your routes on upturned cobblestones and around voluminous tourist crowds, especially children who are particularly noisy and never look where they are going. Taking age into account, I had physical therapy because of knee inflammation and then went to the gym for months before the trip. But I never, ever, took into account The Stairs.
There are truly magnificent staircases in the museums (elevators are few, hidden or non existent due to the age of buildings). Such as the age of my hotels’ buildings: 6 flights in the one I moved out of and two long and narrow flights in the one behind Santo Spirito church. The exit signs in the Ducale Palace were turned around and getting lost means many times crossing the Bridge of Sighs and climbing up and down the monumental staircases.
There are 448 bridges in Venice, all with stairs going up and going down the other side.
There are no wheeled transports in Venice, so you are on your feet all day. Going back to your room might mean climbing more stairs. Maybe that’s why the outdoor and indoor cafes are so crowded!