Venice, Italy’s name conjures romanticism and overflows with superb historic buildings, canals and its famous square. This magnificent destination looks more like a gigantic museum than a real city. Even after visiting all the points of interest, there are still more things to do in Venice that creates everlasting and personal memories.

Venice, Italy’s name conjures romanticism and overflows with superb historic buildings, canals and its famous square. This magnificent destination looks more like a gigantic museum than a real city. Even after visiting all the points of interest, there are still more things to do in Venice that creates everlasting and personal memories.

Cook like a Venetian

Italian Food
Photo: Sarah-Rose / Flickr

Experience another side of Venice by cooking a traditional meal in one of the numerous cooking schools located throughout the city. Each one bears their own recipes of local Venetian cuisine and offer one day cooking classes. Gain the pleasure of learning to cook up an entire Italian meal from the first course to the dessert, all made with ingredients fresh from the marketplace. Have fun making pastas such as raviolis and gnocchi by hand. Entrees created will be based on the season. At the end of the course, dine on all the delicious fare produced that day.

Hide behind a mask

Mask
Photo: Stefano Montagner / Flickr

The city of Venice has been known for their mask balls for eons. Forging on since the 11th Century, the annual celebration of ‘il Carnevale di Venezia’ (Carnival of Venice) is the festival everyone looks forward to.   The details of the baroque inspired city make the Venetian masks mandatory during the celebration.  Venice Carnival masks include elaborate fantasy masks filled with feathers and jewels and the Harlequin style black and white Commedia dell’Arte mask. Although the elaborate costume of the face is a highlight of the carnival, Venice naturally has many shops featuring the excellent craftsmen who execute these works of art. Obtain a Venetian mask to bring back home as an everlasting souvenir of Venice.

It’s always time for a gelato

Gelato
Photo: Aurimas / Flickr

The Italian ice cream treat known as ‘gelato’ is found in Venice any time of the day or season.  The number of gelaterias remains countless and is recognizable by the mounds of gelato peering from their display cases just shouting out to “try me.”

The colors and flavors will certainly catch the eye.  Ask for a cono (cone) or a coppa (cup) and pick out the flavor of preference.  Venetian locals tend to have favorites that include stracciatella, chocolate chip or hazelnut. If the Italian word, ‘artigianale’ (artisanal) is present on the shop window, take note that this simply assures that the gelato is being produced right on the premises with all natural and fresh ingredients.

Sightsee on the waterways

Gondola
Photo: Simone / Flickr

When one thinks of Venice, picturing the canals while riding in a gondola is what is first envisioned. However, the gondolas are known to be pricey. Instead use the form of water transportation that the locals use, the utilitarian ‘traghetti.’ Think of it as a gondola that is high speed and instead of being seated the passenger stands up.

Another alternative way to ride on the canals is to take the local waterbus, or “vaporetto”. It cruises past over 250 places of interest that make up over 500 years of history. Take the trip again after dark when the lights of Venice make the ride into an even more magical experience.

Sit in St. Marks Square

Caffé Florian
Photo: Son of Groucho / Flickr

Ever since its introduction to Venice from Turkey in the year 1585, the beverage of coffee quickly captured the fancy of the locals. The rise of the coffee shop that is a favorite pastime to hangout in Venice began in 1638. Perhaps the most famous and oldest café bar in Venice that contains the best views of St. Mark’s Square is the Caffé Florian. Originally known as the “Caffè alla Venezia trionfante” it was renamed due to its association of its owner, Floriano Francesconi. Originally opened in 1720 with just two small and simply decorated rooms, the Caffé Florian would later become the hotbed of entertainment, art, politics and scandal.

The Caffé Florian holds a large number of cultural events such as art exhibitions as well serving their fine coffee just as good as it did three centuries ago.

Vivaldi in Venice

La Fenice Opera House
Photo: Steve Collis / Flickr

Music truly comes to life when one is in Venice, and the pinnacle is performances playing the works of Venetian born Vivaldi. There are many options to encounter a classical concert of the Italian composer. The world famous Venice Baroque Orchestra presents Vivaldi during their concert seasons and finishes up with opera and ballet the remainder of the year.
The orchestra from the La Fenice Opera House is considered one of the best in the country.  La Fenice Opera House celebrates their love for the music of Vivaldi not only in their own venue but at Pietà Church and St Rocco Church as well as other places in Venice. The Teatro Malibran shares Vivaldi programs, as well as a chamber music season performed by the Società Veneziana dei Concerti.

Walk across a bridge

Rialto Bridge
Photo: gnuckx / Flickr

Take a stroll across two of the most famous bridges in Venice that have been featured in films and postcards.

Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs) connects the Palazzo delle Prigioni to the Palazzo Ducale. According to legend, the name derives the bridge was used to march prisoners off to their jail cells. After seeing Venice one final time, the prisoners would let out a ‘sigh’ at their pending fate.

Rialto Bridge was originally constructed in the year 1264 and was a relatively simple bridge made out of wood.  Its purpose was to connect Venice with Rialto Island and allegedly collapsed in 1444 after too many people looking at a wedding procession. It was finally replaced in 1588 by the now classic stone arched design by Antonio da Ponte. Artists such as Michelangelo and Palladio came up with designs as well.

Exploring Venice is an opportunity that feels as if one is going back in time. It’s the place that merges history buff with romantics. Besides all its tales and mysterious backstreets alongside narrow canals, it can be difficult to know how best to spend precious time here. These things to do in Venice promise an unforgettable stay.

Categories: Venice

2 Comments

Things to Do in Venice

  1. I\’m going to Venice this summer again so, thank you for the great tips! Btw you can bargain the price for a gondola down to 25 euros per person 🙂

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