Of course, it’s the kind of place where you can walk hand in hand, float on a gondola and eat great food in the company of your better half, but Venice is even more than all this. It is the perfect city to explore on a weekend with your friends or even alone. Follow this guide on what to see in Venice to get prepared and enjoy the wonders of “La Serenissima” to the fullest.
What to eat – Cicheti, which are small dishes that are very reminiscent of tapas, and are part of the Venetian gastronomic tradition. The term cliche derives from the Latin and means, precisely, “small portion. You will find them in the bacari, another traditional institution, which is nothing more than small wine bars scattered around the city where they can meet to chat and drink: order a glass of wine and taste the bite-sized specialities that you won’t forget!
A gondola ride – It may seem a cliché, but you can’t really visit Venice without enjoying a traditional gondola ride. It will cost you € 80 for 40 minutes, which is the price set by the city – but it’s really worth it.
Visit Piazza San Marco and the Rialto Bridge – Piazza San Marco is a truly splendid square, rich in history and always very visited by tourists. It is considered the living room of Venice because it represents its nerve centre and the place where the city welcomes the most important events. It has a trapezoidal shape, is 175 meters long and 72 wide and extends in front of the beautiful Basilica di San Marco. From the centre of the square, it is possible to admire the most important buildings in Venice. A curious and certainly fascinating aspect is Piazza San Marco during the days of high water. Venice is built on water, is rich in channels and is susceptible to tidal movements. For this reason, when the tide exceeds 90 centimetres above sea level, the Piazza begins to flood, giving visitors a unique and evocative sight.
The Rialto Bridge is not only one of the oldest and most beautiful bridges in the world, it is also a lively market where you can buy souvenirs, jewelry and works of art to take home with you. With its wide arch of 28 meters it overlooks the Grand Canal and is the largest bridge in the city. A place rich in history and beauty, one of the things to see in Venice, absolutely.
If you really want to see Venice off the beaten track , trust a valuable local guide to see the most hidden places. The city is a veritable maze of canals and alleys, so letting yourself be guided by experience is the best way to truly understand the city through its lesser known places. Whether it’s art, food or even a theater that you want to explore, it’s also good to discover the less conventional side of “La Serenissima”. Venice is a very crowded city, so once you have seen the main sights it is great to go off the beaten track and see a different side of the city that only an inhabitant could know. This is especially functional if you’re short on time, one of the best ideas for your weekend in Venice.
An example of a place little known to tourists, but a must see is the Acqua Alta Library . If you like books, it’s the ideal place. It’s a bookshop, but it’s also a real show, with old boats full of literature, cats wandering through the corridors and a huge external staircase made – coincidentally – of books! It is located in Calle Lunga Santa Maria Formosa.
Don’t want to pay € 80 for a gondola ride ? If I told you that it is possible to have an alternative for only € 2?
The ferry offers you a quick boat trip that will take you across the Grand Canal where there is no bridge in sight. It is only a two-minute journey, it is certainly not comparable to the suggestions of a gondola trip, but if you are really short of money or if you want to spend it on something else, it could be a valid solution.
In many areas it is possible to move only on foot, along the narrow alleys and through small stone bridges, with the water flowing happily under your feet. Where it is not possible to walk because the canals widen, you can always jump on a vaporetto, the most folkloristic and totally Venetian version of the underground.
These boats travel along the main canals of Venice and for € 20 you can buy a 24-hour pass and see most of the city.