Venice is a beautiful and romantic city. Though it is very small in size, it seems very big because it is packed with beautiful things to see, food to enjoy, and people to meet. It is a quintessentially Italian city, and you can see many of the country’s rich culture on display, from its art to its architecture, and can taste many of its signature dishes while drinking its signature wine and cocktails.
There are literally hundreds of things you can do and see in Venice, and you will almost surely not have time for them all on your trip. If you want to experience the best that Venice has to offer in even a short time, consider these top 5 things to see and do in Venice:
Take a Gondola Ride
The one thing that everyone thinks of immediately when they think of Venice is a gondola ride along the Grand Canal. You can see the Palazzo Grassi and the Ca’ d’Oro along the way, among other sites, while getting a guided tour from a gondolier – and, if you’re lucky, some banter and singing. A 40-minute ride costs 80 euro, and you need to be prepared to pay in cash. You can take a ride on one of the water taxis for a lot less, but it just wouldn’t be the same.
Visit the Rialto Bridge
Of all Venice’s bridges, the Rialto Bridge is the most famous and the most photographed. Get a picture in front of the famous bridge, then enjoy shopping up and down both sides of it. When you’re done, you can relax at an outdoor café table and enjoy some Panini and espresso.
Go to the Piazza San Marco
The major attractions in Venice are all in the Piazza San Marco, which includes St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, and the Torre dell’Orologio, a 15th-century clock tower. It is a huge, open plaza flanked by stunning architecture, including the ornate gilded domes of the basilica. Even sitting at a café and enjoying an espresso while you take in the architecture and watch all the people walking by would be enough for the day. However, you can also go inside the attractions and explore the history to learn more.
Day Trip to San Michele Island
A short boat ride away from Venice is San Michele Island, known as “cemetery island.” The island is the setting of the Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery thrillers, and its cemeteries feature notables such as Ezra Pound and Stravinsky. Pick up a boat in the Piazza San Marco and plan to spend the day.
Carnevale is the “Carnival of Venice” that happens every February just before Lent. Festival goers dress up in elaborate masks, capes, and tri-corn hats and enjoy music-making, dancing, and frivolity. It is a huge party, and one that shows off the rich history of Venice. Even though it’s packed with tourists, it’s an event that you won’t want to miss.
Venice embodies much of Italian history and culture. Though there are literally hundreds of things to do in Venice, you can experience the best of what the city has to offer with these top attractions.
Have you been to Venice? Tell us what you thought were the best things to do and see in the comments!
About the Author:
Bridget Sandorford is a freelance food and culinary writer, where recently she’s been researching the best culinary arts schools. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.