Best Things to Do in Venice, Italy

Home to a rich history, a wealth of art, and a wonderland of canals, Venice is one of the most popular destinations in Italy. It’s no surprise, then, that there are innumerable things to do and see in this city. Here, we’ve selected unmissable destinations that readers should explore, from the Bridge of Sighs to the Campanile.

How to Get Venice

Venice can be reached by train, at the Santa Lucia Train Station located on the northwestern edge of the city. At Piazzale Roma, there is also a bus terminal and parking garages. Venice is also home to Marco Polo Venice Airport. Here you can get some tips to find Venice Italy flights from where you can take a bus or a boat into the city. If you are a newbie here is this guide in Venice Italy that can help you.

Traditional Venice Foods

You’ve probably heard a million times that Venice Italy food is highly regional. You shouldn’t order the same thing in Rome and Milan. What is considered a must-try in Naples might not be the best choice in Venice. Traditional Venice Foods are: Cicchetti, Baccalà Mantecato, Polenta E Schie, Sarde In Saor, Risi E Bisi, Buranelli.

 

Best Things to Do in Venice

Visit the Bridge of Sighs

One of Venice’s most famous architectural jewels, the Bridge of Sighs is in the heart of the city near Piazza San Marco. Its name derives from the fact that it was part of the Doge’s Palace prison complex, and convicts had to cross it to go from the Doge’s interrogation rooms to the New Prison once they received their sentence. It was the last thing they saw before their incarceration, so many sighs could be heard as they walked over the bridge, resigning themselves to their imminent fate. Today, the bridge has much happier connotations, with millions flocking each year to witness its beautiful design.

Go to the Venetian Ghetto

Visiting the Jewish District in Venice is one of the top things to do in the city. It was the world’s first ghetto (in fact, the word ghetto itself comes from the Venetian word for foundry), established in 1516 when the Venetian Republic restricted Jews to this area of the city. Today, there remains a distinct Jewish population in the area, with numerous synagogues, Jewish restaurants, delicious bakeries, and a museum, making the area a fascinating source of culture and history.

Explore Piazza San Marco

Four of Venice’s major sites are located in this square: the Basilica di San Marco (a Byzantine marvel), the Torre dell Orologio, the Campanile, and the Doge’s Palace – a Gothic palace that was also the seat of the government under the Venetian Republic. The piazza itself is majestic, and if you travel to Venice in the autumn or winter months you might even see it flooded, with wooden platforms set up to enable people to move around, and with the locals wading through the high water (known as acqua alta) in thigh-high rain boots. There are numerous cafés and restaurants dotted around the edge, making it the perfect place to relax and take in the local culture.

Climb the Campanile

For a bird’s-eye view of Venice, you can ride the elevator to the top of the Campanile (bell tower). Completed in 912, it is the tallest building in all of Venice, and one of the oldest, too. In 1902, disaster struck, and it collapsed completely, but it was reconstructed while trying to stay as true as possible to the original, so today you can see pretty much the same tower that Venetians saw over 1,000 years ago. The Dolomites mountain range can even be seen in the distance on clear days.

Take a ferry to Murano, Burano, and Torcello

Murano, Burano, and Torcello are the three most famous islands near Venice. Murano is famous for its beautiful glass, Burano for its lace, and Torcello for its cathedral. You can take a guided tour of one of the glass-blowing factories and shop for pretty glass products at Murano. Burano’s lace, meanwhile, was taken to be the most exquisite on the entire continent, and the island is a cute mini-replica of Venice. In Torcello, the cathedral was built in the 7th century, and the ruins of its baptistery are a striking example of Byzantine art. You can tour all three in one day or choose to explore one of the islands in depth.

Relish the cuisine

Venetian cuisine is known around Italy, especially. Because of the high quality of seafood that is served in the area. The lagoon is a local source of fish that is freshly caught each day and served in many restaurants. Baccalà mantecato is one of the most typical fish dishes, consisting of dried, salted cod that is blended with garlic, parsley, potatoes, and cream to make a delicious mousse. Goose, meatballs, and lobster are just a few of the other delicacies you can taste in Venice. The Veneto region is also known for its white wine, with some of the best vineyards in all of Italy.

Cruise down the Grand Canal

Once the main route in Venice, teeming with merchant ships, the Grand Canal is still a heavily transited waterway that runs through the center of Venice, from the railway station to San Marco. On the sides stand the beautiful palazzi – even the infamous Casanova lived in one of these – which were initially built as business hubs by the city’s merchants. The Vaporetto, or water bus, is a great way – and the least expensive – to explore this canal, but water taxis are also available, as well as the iconic Venetian gondolas, although tourists should be careful to avoid scams.

Enjoy the art museums

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection houses the art of the most influential European and American artists of the 20th century and is a popular spot for art lovers. It is located in the Dorsoduro district, not far from the Gallerie dell’Accademia, which displays Venice’s most important historical paintings. The museum is made up of three buildings, which all used to have religious ties. Napoleon was responsible for the location of this beautiful museum. Because he closed churches all over Venice, took their artwork, moved the works to the new locale, and established that it should be a gallery as well as a school.

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