Things to Do in Venice, Italy

There is no other place in the world like Venice. The city is a labyrinth of canals, elaborate bridges, cobblestone streets and lively squares. Explore the unique sites of this great city on foot or by vaporetto, a network of boat which is them main mode of transportation in the city.

When in Venice, the must see sights are:

Venice has over 409 bridges, over 150 canals. The Grand Canal is the main water-traffic thoroughfare full of gondoliers serenading tourist and locals moving swiftly on evaporators (water busses). Lined with more than 170 historical palazzos, the Grand Canal offers a view into the everyday life of this bustling city. When riding in a gondola, many cannot appreciate the work that goes into each one. They are made from 8 different types of wood, in 280 pieces. Take note also that one side of the gondola is longer than the other, to offer set the weight of the gondolier. You can walk over the Grand Canal along 4 bridges: the Ponte Degli Scalzi, the Ponte dell’Accademia, Ponte della Constrituzione and the Rialto Bridge.

One of the most famous buildings in Venice is the Doge Palace. The building has been used as the home to the ruling family, a courthouse and prison. Its unique gothic architecture features beautiful medieval sculptures, columns and arcades. Look for the red marble arch, once reserved for the Doge to announce death sentences and oversee public executions in the square below. It can easily take 3 or 4 hours to see the Palace. Many of the Italy tours include sightseeing already, but if you are traveling on your own, many of our clients rave about the “Secret tour,” Itinerari Segreti, you can purchase in Venice. The ticket not only includes a guided tour, but also admission into all areas of the palace, prisons and the Bridge of Sighs.

St. Mark’s Basilica is the best example of Byzantine architecture in the world. Filled with incredible artworks, the church has over 40,000 gold mosaics covering the walls and ceilings. Just outside is St. Mark’s Square, or Panetta, the gathering place where you can people watch while sitting at one of the sidewalk cares. Take a short elevator ride up the bell tower, St. Mark’s Campanile, for amazing views of the Piazza and Basilica. St. Mark’s is also full of pigeons. There are only certain areas where you can feed them, so make sure to look at the signs to avoid a fine. An interesting fact is that Venice only allows a certain number of vendors to sell bird see – these licenses are passed on from one generation to another. It would be highly unlikely for someone to be able to obtain a license to sell feed today unless it was already in the family.

Wander around the Rialto market and find sought-after local specialties sold by area farmers and fisherman, or enjoy a drink at one of the wine bars.

Venice’s glass making industry was moved to the Island of Murano 1291 when people believed it was a fire hazard to the city. You can visit by vaporetto, water boat or private water taxi. Visit the Museo Vetraio, the glass museum or see a glass blowing demonstration.

By Suzana