Venice, Italy, is a unique and enchanting city that attracts millions of tourists every year. Known for its beautiful canals, historic architecture, and romantic atmosphere, Venice offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages.
Interesting facts about Venice:
- Venice is built on a group of 118 small islands that are connected by over 400 bridges.
- The city of Venice is sinking at a rate of about 1-2 millimeters per year, and efforts are being made to prevent further subsidence.
- The traditional boat used in Venice is called a gondola, and there are only around 400 of them left in the city.
- Venice has no roads or cars, and the primary mode of transportation is by boat or on foot.
- The Grand Canal is the main waterway in Venice and is lined with stunning palaces and historic buildings.
- The Venetian mask is a traditional symbol of the city’s Carnival celebrations and dates back to the 13th century.
- Venice was an important center of trade and commerce during the Middle Ages, and its merchants played a key role in shaping the city’s history and culture.
- The Venetian language, also known as Venetian dialect, is still spoken by some residents of the city and is considered a distinct Romance language.
- The Rialto Bridge, one of the most famous landmarks in Venice, was built in the late 16th century and is made of white Istrian stone.
- Venice is known for its unique cuisine, which includes dishes like risotto, seafood, and traditional Venetian pastries and desserts.
- The city is home to a number of famous landmarks and museums, including the Doge’s Palace, the Basilica di San Marco, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.
- Venice is a popular location for film and television productions, and has been featured in movies like “The Tourist” and “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.”
- Venice has a long history of glassmaking, and the island of Murano is famous for its glassblowing traditions.
- Venice has been called the “City of Water,” the “City of Bridges,” and the “Queen of the Adriatic” due to its unique location and beauty.
- The Carnival of Venice is one of the city’s most famous celebrations, featuring elaborate costumes, masks, and parades.
In this article, we’ll explore the 20 best things to do in Venice, including popular tourist destinations and hidden gems.
Explore Piazza San Marco
Piazza San Marco, or St. Mark’s Square, is the bustling heart of Venice and one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations. The square is surrounded by beautiful architecture and historic landmarks, including the stunning Basilica di San Marco and the Doge’s Palace. Visitors can stroll around the square and take in the sights, or sit at one of the outdoor cafes and enjoy a coffee or a drink. Piazza San Marco is particularly beautiful at night, when the lights come on and the square takes on a magical, romantic atmosphere.
Visit the Doge’s Palace
The Doge’s Palace, or Palazzo Ducale, is a stunning Gothic palace that was once the center of power in Venice. Visitors can explore the grand halls and ornate chambers, including the famous Bridge of Sighs, which connects the palace to the prison. The palace is filled with works of art and historical artifacts, and visitors can learn about the history and culture of Venice as they explore the various rooms and exhibitions. The palace is particularly beautiful at sunset, when the light hits the ornate facade and the surrounding canals take on a golden glow.
Stroll along the Rialto Bridge
The Rialto Bridge is one of the most famous landmarks in Venice and a must-see for any visitor. The bridge spans the Grand Canal and is lined with shops and vendors selling souvenirs, jewelry, and other goods. Visitors can stroll across the bridge and take in the views of the canal and the surrounding architecture, or explore the shops and market stalls that line the bridge. The Rialto Bridge is particularly beautiful at night, when it’s lit up and the surrounding area takes on a romantic, enchanting atmosphere.
Take a Gondola ride
No trip to Venice is complete without a gondola ride. Visitors can hire a gondola and take a romantic tour of the city’s canals, passing under bridges and through narrow waterways. Gondolas are operated by professional gondoliers who provide commentary and information about the various sights and landmarks along the route. Gondola rides are particularly beautiful at sunset, when the light hits the water and the surrounding buildings take on a warm, golden glow.
Visit the Bridge of Sighs
The Bridge of Sighs is a beautiful white limestone bridge that connects the Doge’s Palace to the prison. Legend has it that prisoners would sigh as they crossed the bridge, knowing that they would never see Venice again. Visitors can see the bridge from the outside or take a tour of the Doge’s Palace to cross the bridge and see the view of the surrounding canal.
Tour the Basilica di San Marco
The Basilica di San Marco is one of the most beautiful churches in Venice and a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Visitors can tour the church and see the stunning mosaics, gold leaf decorations, and intricate carvings. The church is particularly beautiful in the morning, when the sunlight hits the mosaics and the interior takes on a warm, golden glow.
Visit the Peggy Guggenheim Collection
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is a modern art museum located on the Grand Canal. It’s home to an impressive collection of works by some of the 20th century’s most famous artists, including Picasso, Pollock, and Kandinsky. Visitors can explore the galleries and exhibitions and see the stunning collection of modern art. The museum is particularly beautiful in the afternoon, when the light hits the water outside and the surrounding area takes on a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
Take a tour of the Venetian Islands
Venice is surrounded by a group of small islands that offer a unique perspective on the city and its surroundings. Visitors can take a tour of the islands, which include Murano, Burano, and Torcello, and see the different sights and attractions on each one. Murano is famous for its glassblowing traditions, while Burano is known for its colorful houses and lace-making traditions. Torcello is a quiet island with a stunning cathedral and ancient ruins.
Visit the Ca’ d’Oro
The Ca’ d’Oro, or Golden House, is a stunning Gothic palace that’s now home to the Galleria Franchetti art museum. Visitors can explore the palace’s ornate rooms and admire the impressive art collection, which includes works by famous artists like Titian and Tintoretto. The palace is particularly beautiful in the afternoon, when the light hits the ornate facade and the surrounding area takes on a warm, golden glow.
Go shopping on the Mercerie
The Mercerie is a popular shopping street in Venice that’s lined with boutiques, jewelry stores, and souvenir shops. Visitors can find everything from high-end designer brands to handmade crafts and souvenirs. The street is particularly beautiful in the morning, when the shops are just opening and the area is still relatively quiet.
See a performance at La Fenice
La Fenice is one of Italy’s most famous opera houses and a must-visit for music lovers. Visitors can see a performance of opera, ballet, or classical music in the stunning 18th-century theater. The theater is particularly beautiful at night, when the lights come on and the surrounding area takes on a magical, romantic atmosphere.
Visit the Jewish Ghetto
Venice’s Jewish Ghetto is one of the oldest Jewish ghettos in Europe and a fascinating area to explore. Visitors can see the historic synagogues, sample traditional Jewish cuisine, and learn about the history of the Jewish community in Venice. The area is particularly beautiful in the afternoon, when the light hits the colorful buildings and the surrounding area takes on a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
Take a tour of the Grand Canal
The Grand Canal is Venice’s main waterway and a beautiful place to take a boat tour. Visitors can see the stunning palaces, churches, and historic buildings that line the canal and get a unique perspective on the city. The canal is particularly beautiful in the late afternoon, when the sun hits the water and the surrounding buildings take on a warm, golden glow.
Explore the Scuola Grande di San Rocco
The Scuola Grande di San Rocco is a beautiful 16th-century building that’s now home to an impressive collection of art. Visitors can see works by famous Venetian painters like Tintoretto and Veronese and admire the ornate decorations. The building is particularly beautiful in the morning, when the light hits the ornate facade and the surrounding area takes on a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
Visit the Santa Maria dei Miracoli
The Santa Maria dei Miracoli is a beautiful Renaissance church that’s often overlooked by tourists. Visitors can admire the stunning architecture and the intricate marble decorations, including the beautiful star-patterned floor. The church is particularly beautiful in the morning, when the sunlight hits the marble and the interior takes on a warm, golden glow.
Take a cooking class
Venice is known for its delicious cuisine, and taking a cooking class is a great way to learn about the local food culture. Visitors can learn to make traditional dishes like risotto, pasta, and seafood, and get hands-on experience in the kitchen. Cooking classes are particularly fun in the late afternoon, when the heat of the day starts to fade and the kitchen takes on a warm, inviting atmosphere.
Visit the Campo Santa Margherita
The Campo Santa Margherita is a popular square in Venice that’s lined with cafes, restaurants, and bars. Visitors can enjoy a coffee or a drink, sample local cuisine, and soak up the atmosphere. The square is particularly lively in the evening, when the bars and restaurants start to fill up and the surrounding area takes on a vibrant, energetic atmosphere.
Go wine tasting in the Veneto region
The Veneto region is famous for its wine, and visitors can take a wine tasting tour to learn about the local varieties. Visitors can taste the delicious Prosecco, Valpolicella, and Amarone wines and visit the vineyards and wineries where they’re produced. Wine tasting tours are particularly fun in the afternoon, when the sun starts to lower and the vineyards take on a warm, inviting atmosphere.
Take a trip to Murano
Murano is a small island near Venice that’s famous for its glassmaking traditions. Visitors can see the glassblowers at work, visit the glass museums, and shop for handmade glassware and souvenirs. The island is particularly beautiful in the morning, when the sunlight hits the water and the surrounding area takes on a warm, golden glow.
Explore the Venetian Lagoon
The Venetian Lagoon is a stunning natural area that surrounds Venice and is home to a variety of wildlife and plant life. Visitors can take a boat tour of the lagoon, go birdwatching, or explore the nature reserves and parks that protect the area. The lagoon is particularly beautiful in the early morning, when the water is calm and the sun is just starting to rise.
Venice is a unique and enchanting city that offers a wide range of activities for visitors. From exploring historic landmarks and museums to taking a gondola ride and sampling delicious cuisine, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful city.
What is the best time of year to visit Venice?
The best time to visit Venice is during the spring (April-May) and fall (September-October) when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller.
Do I need to book tickets in advance for popular tourist attractions in Venice?
It’s recommended to book tickets in advance for popular tourist attractions in Venice, such as the Doge’s Palace and the Basilica di San Marco, to avoid long lines and ensure entry.
Is it safe to drink the tap water in Venice?
Yes, the tap water in Venice is safe to drink.
How much does a gondola ride cost in Venice?
The cost of a gondola ride in Venice can vary, but it’s typically around 80-100 euros for a 30-40 minute ride.
What is the traditional Venetian cuisine?
Traditional Venetian cuisine includes dishes like risotto, pasta with seafood, and squid ink pasta, as well as a variety of seafood dishes and desserts like tiramisu and gelato.