Things To Do In Venice, Italy

Venice
Photo By: 12019 on Pixabay

Ahh, Venice!

 

The gorgeous canaled city connecting over 100 islands has inspired art lovers, history buffs, and romantics for centuries.

 

The wealthy capital of the former Republic of Venice rose to prominence as a major financial sector of the world.  Unsurprisingly, the “City of Bridges” has historically been one of the most formidable players in global trade.

 

Unbelievable architectural gems, fascinating artwork, beautiful bridges, and serene waterways have shaped the character of Venice. From the lively Saint Mark’s Square to the picturesque Rialto Bridge, the Renaissance era shines brightly to this day.

 

The floating city of the Venetian Lagoon is one of the best cities in Europe and beloved worldwide. It holds a special place in the hearts of many travellers and it was once named the world’s most beautiful city.

 

Whether you are a first time visitor or true Venetian, the city will take your breath away!

 

1. 

Spend the Afternoon At Saint Mark’s Square

Saint Mark's Square
Photo By: Jay Galvin on Flickr

 

Saint Mark’s Square, also known as Piazza San Marco, is the focal gathering point for local Venetians and visitors. Surrounded by iconic landmarks at every turn, the square sits front and centre of public affairs.

 

The massive rectangular square sits adjacent to the Grand Canal and is the only square deemed “piazza.” The historic piazza was first constructed in the 9th century and greatly expanded throughout the Middle Ages.

 

The neighbouring Saint Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace made the open space a popular meeting place for locals. For instance, the square became a lively area for merchants to set up shop and sell goods to locals. 

 

Other significant buildings viewable from the bustling square include the Correr Museum and the National Archaeological Museum of Venice.

 

Today, the square remains the ideal launching pad for visitors to take in all the captivating sights of Venice.

 

The perfect place to begin any Venetian adventure!

 

2. 

Visit The Astonishing Saint Mark’s Basilica

Saint Mark's Basilica
Photo By: WikimediaImages on Pixabay

 

A must-see Italy tourist attraction towering over Saint Mark’s Square is the captivating cathedral taking the same name. An exquisite blend of contrasting cultures, the structure has been revered in Venice for ages.

 

Dating back to the 11th century, the magical cathedral was created as the doge’s private chapel. Nicknamed the “Church of Gold,” the church has fascinated visitors with its towering domes and lavish mosaics.

 

The soaring columns and elaborate portals showcase the Gothic and Byzantine styles that create its undistinguishable appearance. Additionally, many of the statues and other valued treasures decorating the Basilica were the result of Crusades.

 

The interior is highlighted by incredible golden mosaics and the tomb of Saint Mark behind the altar. Also, the treasury contains further valuables that were taken from Constantinople during the Crusades.

 

3. 

Admire The Glorious Doge’s Palace

Doge's Palace
Photo By: lain Cameron on Flickr

 

The heart and soul of Venice! This illustrious palace dominated the city’s landscape as the home of the Doge of Venice for centuries.

 

A cultural gem of Venice, the palace has historically been the seat of government for the city. The masterpiece of Venetian Gothic architecture now stands as a museum and one of the finest tourist attractions in Italy.

 

The palace took over 100 years to complete and served as a symbol of the vast wealth of Venice. Completed in 1450, the unique structure is characterized by open loggias on the ground floor. Also, intricate carvings decorate the lower colonnade and depict numerous Biblical tales.

 

Likewise, the interior of the palace is equally as enthralling showcasing elaborate sculptures and paintings. Take the chance to peruse around the Grand Chamber Council to stand in the shadows of the former elite of Venice.

 

4. 

Ascend Saint Mark’s Campanile

Saint Mark's Campanile
Photo By: Chiara Marra on Flickr

 

The 323-foot tower rises high above Saint Mark’s Square and is one of the most cherished landmarks of Venice. The construction of the original tower commenced in the late 9th century and was nearly a 300-year process.

 

Unfortunately, a series of tragedies would send the watchtower crumbling to the ground. After being severely damaged by fires and an earthquake, the tower was constructed to its beloved form in the 16th century.

 

The tower withstood numerous lightning strikes until succumbing to collapse in 1902. However, the mighty Campanile would be restored once again a decade later to inspire similar buildings around the world.

 

The red-brick building with its series of bells continues to be a cherished symbol of the perseverance of Venice. To summarize, climbing to the top of the bell tower is truly one of the most alluring things to do in Venice.

 

5. 

Sail Through The Grand Canal

 

The Grand Canal
Photo By: skeeze on Pixabay

 

A tranquil ride through the city’s main waterway is one of the iconic things to do in Venice! Feel like a true Venetian when marvelling at the picturesque architecture on either side of the water. Majestic palaces, world-class hotels, and lively markets are just a few of the awe-inspiring sights to fancy.

 

Gaze at the bevvy of boats and gondolas passing through this ancient waterway that has served as the lifeline of Venice. The vibrant atmosphere of the floating city comes to life when floating along the two-mile route.

 

Connecting Saint Mark’s Basilica and Santa Chiara Church, the waterway has been the city’s primary transportation route since the Middle Ages. As an illustration, the aerial view of Venice shows how the aquatic highway curves through the city. 

 

Four bridges cross the Grand Canal that allow you to reach the opposite side of the city on foot. However, coasting along the entire path is the premier way to take in all its splendour.

 

6. 

Feel The Romance Of Rialto Bridge

Rialto Bridge
Photo By: Shaun Dunmall on Flickr

 

The most romantic getaway in Venice! The oldest bridge spanning the Grand Canal has become one of the most popular things to do in Venice for couples.

 

The bridge made its first appearance as a simple pontoon bridge in the late 12th century and dramatically grew in importance over the years. Notably, the bustling Rialto Market enabled a tremendous amount of foot traffic to reach the financial centre of Venice.

 

Unsurprisingly, the bridge would take the name of the historic market after surviving numerous collapses during the Middle Ages. Thereafter, the sturdier stone-arch bridge was completed in the late 16th century to support the large crowds.

 

Furthermore, the Rialto Bridge was a significant engineering feat that provided the lone footpath across the Grand Canal for over 200 years. The stunning landmark continues to earn the admiration of hopeless romantics enjoying a gondola ride through Venice.

 

In particular, the twinkling lights of the bridge underneath the stars create a fairytale night for two.

 

7. 

Behold The Bridge Of Sighs

Bridge of Sighs
Photo By: Patrik Andersson on Flickr

 

Connecting the slight passageway between Doge’s Palace and the prisons of Venice, this Istrian stone bridge became synonymous with sorrow. Notably, the rectangular windows were the final images of Venice for prisoners on the way to their cells.

 

In fact, the exquisite carvings by architect Antonio Contino have turned the bridge into one of the most famous sights in Venice. More than 400 years after the creation of the bridge, it remains connected to the New Prisons.

 

Walking across the infamous bridge is a difficult challenge due to the seasonal availability of tours. However, admiring the astonishing artwork from the Rio di Palazzo is an easier task via gondola.

 

Ironically, the bridge formerly associated with despair has transformed into a romantic hotspot in Venice.

 

8. 

Take In A Performance At Teatro La Fenice

Teatro La Fenice
Photo By: Miguel Mendez on Flickr

 

The Teatro La Fenice is an uplifting symbol of perseverance in one of the best cities in Europe. Rising from the ashes of three detrimental fires, the world-renowned opera house continues to dazzle audiences today.

 

Firstly, a blaze in 1774 rendered the theatre useless for nearly twenty years until a grand opening in 1792. Catastrophes in the 19th and 20th centuries were equally as horrific but the tremendous spirit of this magnificent Italy tourist attraction has yet to falter.

 

Conversely, the beautiful ceiling artwork and stunning royal box depict the elegance of the theatre’s illustrious atmosphere. In its heyday, the theatre hosted the premiers of several beloved operas. Particularly, Gioachino Rossini, Vincenzo Bellini, and Giuseppe Verdi are among the famous composers to debut works inside this Venice masterpiece.

 

After the brutal fire of 1996, the legendary auditorium spent nearly 20 years being restored to its former glory once again. As a result, the Venice New Year’s Concert celebrates the rich tradition of the theatre overcoming adversity. 

 

9. 

Visit The Venetian Ghetto

Venetian Ghetto
Photo By: Paul VanDerWerf on Flickr

 

The city of Venice retains a flourishing Jewish district which provides tons of rich culture and tradition.

Unfortunately, Venice was also the site of the world’s first ghetto when its own Jewish ghetto was formed in 1516.

 

For centuries, Jews living within the city were isolated from the rest of the population under the Venetian Republic. Located in the northernmost section of Venice, the ghetto could only be reached by crossing two connecting bridges.

 

The Venetian Ghetto has historically been a multi-ethnic community containing synagogues for Jews of various backgrounds.

 

Although the ghetto contains few residents to this day, it remains a vibrant area of Jewish culture. Wander across the Ponte de Gheto Novo to view the ghetto’s historic synagogues, educational museum, or Judaica shops.

 

10. 

Have A Beach Day At Lido Di Jesolo

Craving some fun in the sun? Then head out to this beautiful strip of sand for a day of soaking up the Italian sun.

Italy is a well-known destination for gorgeous beaches and there are endless things to do at this Venice beach.

 

The 15-kilometre beach contains a plethora of family-friendly activities to entertain guests of all ages. The kids especially will enjoy the Tropicarium Park and carnival style games of New Jesolandia.

 

On the other hand, the adults can spend the day relaxing on the pristine shoreline with an umbrella and lounge chair.

 

For those wishing to carry their beach holiday into the night, the resort provides fantastic entertainment for all ages.

 

11. 

Explore The Island Of Burano

Burano
Photo By: millimaro on Pixabay

 

See a different side of Venice when sailing to this radiant island decorated by bright buildings and cozier canals. In fact, the charming fishing village is a relaxing day trip to escape the swathe of crowds within Venice.

 

Feel the welcoming environment of the locals when taking a stroll through the colorful houses and quaint shops. In particular, the village’s rich fishing tradition make it a haven to sample the freshest seafood in Venice.

 

Likewise, Burano is a fantastic getaway to learn the local tradition of crafting handmade lace. Visit the Museo del Merletto to learn the intricacies that have shaped the island’s culture.

 

Before returning to Venice, take a boat onto the lagoon for remarkable scenery of fishermen at work.

 

A day at this peaceful island should certainly top of the list for any authentic Venice experience!

 

12. 

See The Stunning Artwork At The Gallerie dell’Accademia

Gallerie dell’Accademia
Photo By: g.sighele on Flickr

 

For art enthusiasts, this breathtaking collection of paintings is one of the most inspiring things to do in Venice. Dozens of captivating pieces of Italian artistry are stored for visitors to admire.

 

Some of the most talented artists to ever grace humanity have spectacular pieces on display. Particularly, Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man is one of the highlights of the phenomenal collection of Venetian artwork.

 

Furthermore, other notable artists featured in the gallery include Giovanni Bellini, Tintoretto, Titian, and many other famous Italian artists.

 

13. 

Observe Modern Art At The Peggy Guggenheim Collection

Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Photo By: Alistair Young on Flickr

 

Ready to witness more fabulous artwork teeming the waterways of Venice? The Peggy Guggenheim Collection boasts a splendid display of modern European and American pieces.

 

The beautiful 18th century palace which houses the collection was the former home of New York socialite Peggy Guggenheim. She spent decades amassing her astonishing collection and proudly displayed it for visitors to behold.

 

Striking artistic styles visitors will notice include surrealism and abstract expressionism. Notable 20th century artists to have works in Guggenheim’s collection include Pablo Picasso and Jean Metzinger.

 

Currently, the modern art display is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Italy that inspires art lovers worldwide.

 

Cruise Through Venice Today!

A picturesque ride along the canals and underneath the bridges of Venice makes for an enchanting Italian vacation!

 

Although Venice must overcome tremendous challenges, such as rising sea levels, the city has always been the symbol of perseverance. The city has rebuilt many of its most cherished attractions time and time again to rise from the ashes.

 

Gain insight into the incredible history of Venice when you admire its wonderful works of art and storied architecture. It becomes easy to see why this remarkable city is beloved by local Venetians.

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