Venice is a bit of a contradiction - many parts of it, such as the buildings, gondolas, and pedestrian walkways, seem unchanged from what they would have been two hundred years ago. On the other hand walking down one of the main thoroughfares feels like walking through a modern mall - all of the modern shops and brands are represented, and you can get anything from Ferrari logo wear to cell phones to Prada.
We mostly walked around the city but also used the Vaparetto to get to and from out hotel and take a tour of the city. The vaparetto is the city bus/ferry system, which stops at points along the main canal and the outside of the city, as well as a couple outlying islands.
We also met a number of Italian-speaking Filipinos, who seem to have a lock on the Venice hotel industry.