Amazing cathedrals, beautiful canals, and fantastic food are three of Venice’s biggest attractions for tourists. However, there’s far more to this vibrant, romantic city than meets the eye, especially for those visiting Venice for several days.
Whether you’re dropping by overnight during your coach holidays or visiting for an entire week, make sure these ten exciting things to see and do from Shearing Holidays (who have kindly sponsored this post) are on your itinerary for Venice.
1. Visit Saint Mark’s Basilica
Venice’s best-known cathedral is also one of its most interesting historical sites. St Mark’s Basilica, located in the Piazza San Marco, is one of Venice’s best examples of Byzantine architecture.
The stunning Roman Catholic cathedral is open to the public, but its huge popularity can lead to lengthy queues. Arrive early in the morning to enjoy the cathedral’s great artwork without spending hours waiting in line.
2. Appreciate Italian fine art
As one of Europe’s most important cultural cities, Venice is home to numerous art galleries. One of the best places in the city to view fine art is the Scuola di San Rocco – a historical building established by wealthy Venetian citizens.
The building is home to some of Tintoretto’s most renowned paintings, including a famous painting of the Circumcision of Jesus. The collection is one of the largest in Europe of Old Testament and New Testament artwork.
3. Taste wonderful local food
While Venice isn’t quite as well known for its culinary scene as Milan or Naples, it’s an excellent place to sample Italian food. Enjoy classics such as pizza or well-known local dishes such as seppia – food prepared using cuttlefish and its ink.
Venice’s excellent cafés are a great place to enjoy Italian baking and wonderful local coffee. Stop by in the morning for an espresso or dine standing up at lunchtime for a truly local experience.
4. Shop in fashionable boutiques
Although Milan is widely regarded as Italy’s fashion hotspot, Venice is home to some of the country’s best fashionable boutiques. Shop for high-end brand names or local apparel alike in one of Venice’s many shopping districts.
Venice’s best high-end shopping district is Piazza San Marco, where you’ll find labels such as Gucci, Versace, and Louis Vuitton. There are also many local designer stores in the area, often selling clothing of equal quality at far lower prices.
5. Travel by gondola
Venice is famous for its canals, and no trip to the city is complete without a ride on a gondola. While high prices make this activity a luxury, the views of local life offered by a gondola trip make the hefty fees a worthwhile expense.
Gondola trips start at around 80 euro, which will allow you to enjoy a brief trip on a central canal. Tour guides recommend sticking to the standard price for gondolas – negotiating, while it could save you money, often results in a shortened journey.
6. Visit the local islands
Venice is surrounded by wonderful local islands, and no trip to the city is complete without spending time on one of them. The small island towns of Burano, Torcello, and Murano are popular with tourists and locals alike, and easy to access by boat.
7. Drink Venice’s wonderful local wine
Venice is located close to one of Italy’s top winemaking regions, and the city itself is a hotspot for fantastic local wines. Whether you’re a wine guru or not, it’s vital that you try one of the famous local Veneto or Friuli wines.
8. Basque In The City’s Musical History
Venice was the birthplace and home of Vivaldi, and the city’s many performers are well aware of his international significance. Enjoy some of Vivaldi’s most famous compositions performed by local music groups and famous orchestras alike.
While virtuoso performances by the Venice Baroque Orchestra are only available to those with deep pockets and a passion for the arts, local opera and ballet groups put on Vivaldi performances almost every weekend.
9. Cool down with tasty gelato
Venice is a warm city, especially during then summer. Cool down with a tasty local treat – a delicious gelato. While mass-produced gelato is available at almost every local café, you’ll find the best gelato in local specialty shops and gelato cafés.
10. Visit the Glass Museum
The small island of Murano is home to one of Venice’s best museums. The Museo del Vetro – the Glass Museum – offers a first-hand look into the ancient art of glass that flourished in Venice.
Discover how glassmakers produced exquisite glass sculptures using simple tools and ancient technology. The museum covers the entire history of glassmaking in Venice, dating back to the earliest days of ancient Rome.