This fairly short video (just under a minute) shows boat activity on the Grand Canal in front of Venice's Santa Lucia Railroad Station. It was taken from a vaporetto, and it gives an idea of what you'll see if you catch a water bus up the Grand Canal from the station or the Piazzale Roma.
The Gelateria Alaska is one of Venice's most highly-regarded ice-cream shops, for several reasons:
All of its gelato is made by hand, using unusually high percentages of natural flavorings;
The tiny shop offers a frequently changing menu of gelati, including house standards like ginger (zenzero) and more experimental flavors such as artichoke (carciofi) that you aren't likely to find anywhere else;
Carlo Pistacchi, the owner, is both a character and an artisan who's passionate about his craft.
Alaska is off the main tourist circuit, but it's within easy walking distance of the railroad station and the Piazzale Roma. Look for the Gelateria Alaska on the Calle Larga dei Bari in Santa Croce, a few streets to the west of the Campo San Giácomo del Orio. (It's just north of the Campo N. Sáuro, which you should be able to find on any decent map.)
At Venice for Visitors, we've just published an illustrated article about Muriel Balensi's Venezi'Arte laboratorio in Castello, where glass beads are made the old-fashioned way: by heating canes of Murano glass with a gas-fired lamp and shaping the softened perle with tongs and other hand tools.
You can watch Ms. Balensi making glass beads when you visit the shop, and you can buy anything from an abstract bead sculpture to a simple, inexpensive necklace made on the spot from beads that you've picked from the artisan's work tray.