Things to do in Venice
February 9, 2019
As my boat or train approaches Venice, this curious city that sits off the coast of northern Italy. I can’t help but feel a wave of calm wash over me. Maybe it is the elimination of cars from the city, the floating rooftops pairing up in the distances, the first sighting of a gondolier, the boats bobbing along the canals. What a beautiful Italian city, I have never seen anywhere quite like it. It has a magic to it that no other city has. I have visited Venice in the depths of winter and in the peek of summer, both times where enchanting. The soft beat of the water against the stone walls, the old buildings that descend it to the canals, the statues and faces scattered among the small streets, these are all the things that make this Italian city special to me.
Three things to do in Venice
Venice is filled with things to do, but I have listed three things that I think will be worth checking out.
This bridge sits in the center of Venice, I normally cross it regally when I am there, there is always something going on that bridge. You will find lots of interesting shops, souvenirs, and knickknack. In the heat of summer you will find smoothies and fresh fruit waiting for you, and the view, what a view, it is a prime selfie aria so if you are after that photo with the grand canal in the background, you better get there early one morning or you will have a hundred other faces in your picture.
It is the duty of every tourist to visit San Marco square, it is always heaving, even in the depths of winter, you will find a crowd there. But they are there for a good reason the architecture and elegance of The Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark is all it is made up to be, you will also find St Mark’s Campanile if you look around to the side and this is also worthy of its fame. San Marco is an essential part of any visit to Venice, you can sit in one of the cafes in the square, at night in the summer you will find live musicians playing in the restaurants as the sun goes down with adds to the romantic grace of the city. But a word of warning the cafes and restaurants in San Marcos square are expensive. If you walk up along the waters edge you will find a selection of artist at work, with a large selection of prints for sale.
Not the most central of attractions, but the strong majestic gates and bridge are a sight to see. There are also some gorgeous white lion statues seated by the great wooden bridge which are worth some attention. You will also find a nice café to have a coffee and enjoy the quieter side of the city.
You must see the shops
The shops in Venice are a marvel on their own, I spent hours looking at the strange shops with their masks and curiosity’s, watching people making little glass animals and jewels on their shop front desk. The Venetian glassmaking is world famous, you can find lots of small workshops where there are people hard at work crafting beautiful objects out of glass, winding it into strange shapes, beads and chalices, it is a fascination to watch and a must see on your trip to Venice. The best things about the shops are that they are scattered everywhere, some are more touristy than others but when you find a shop hidden in a small little street filled with masks, faces, and glass you know you have found Venice. If you ever find yourself walking down san polo watch out for a shop called “Tragicomica” this is the shop to go to if you are looking for an authentic Venetian mask. Here is a small list of things to watch out for in the Venetian shops.
- An authentic Venetian mask.
- A small glass animal.
- Burano Lace, this comes in so many ways, fans, scarfs, and cute doilies.
Things I recommend
There are so many things to do in this beautiful city, here are just my personal recommendations.
- The number one thing I personally recommend you do in Venice is to get utterly lost. Try not to use your GPS or maps, just wander around and get lost in the winding streets. The best thing about this city is its size, you will have a hard time getting too lost because you will be coming back to familiar places regally. So, stroll around the small passageways and see what you can find. Once you get off the beaten track you will see a lot of hidden gems in the smaller streets.
- Be still and tack in the view, take a seat somewhere by the water in the sun, and watch life go by, I personally feel like this is one of the best things to do anywhere you travel. Find some steps leading down into a canal and you could paddle your feet in the cold water or maybe sit on the steps to one of the many churches and watch the square. There is no need to go around rushing your day, relax.
- Sit by the water at night, ok yes, I know I like sitting. But it is a completely different experience sitting by the canals at night compared to the day. on my last trip to Venice, I sat outside my hostel, with my feet hanging over the edge of the water for hours, the moon was full, there were laughing voices coming from the restaurants and café that surrounded me and it will stay one of my favorite memories of Venice.
- Take a ride in the world-famous gondoliers, yes, it is expensive, but boy it is a fun experience and has the possibility to be very romantic.
I do believe anyone visiting Venice will have an amazing time. If you do visit Venice in the summer, it will be crowded, partially in the San Marcos square and the Rialto Bridge. On any given day, if you are in the San Marco square for long enough you will see a cross ship passing through, so its full of tourists. But once you get out of the tourist hot spots you will find quite shaded streets, cute pizza shops, gardens to loos your self in, small museums, deserted squares, churches, and the cute, hidden bridges that will steal your heat.
No, the canals do not smell too much and the best pizza I have had to date was from a small local cafe in Venice.