A new inn in Venice is a spectacular home base for a weekend spent exploring three lesser-known Venetian islands with exceptional food.

Could there possibly be a single secret left in Venice, the world's most touristed city? The famous Prosecco-making Bisol family has found one. In restoring a 19th-century manor and vineyard on Mazzorbo island to create a new inn, Venissa, they stumbled upon a white-grape varietal, Dorona, once thought extinct. Guest rooms at Venissa are spare and chic; its restaurant uses local ingredients, including alpago, a rare native breed of lamb.

The Venissa is a great home base for travelers who want to make some discoveries of their own. A wooden footbridge from Mazzorbo connects to the island of Burano for Venice's best spider crab, at Riva Rosa.

A ferry from Burano goes to the agricultural island of Sant'Erasmo. Its one restaurant, Ca' Vignotto, serves a 35 euro prix fixe that might include lasagna with local asparagus.