The Doge's Palace, locally known as the Palazzo Ducale, used to be the residence of the Doge of Venice, and also a space where the government could lodge. Both the court and the prison were located within the palace walls, but since 1923 the building is better known as a museum.
The Italian full name is Basilica Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco, but you'll be understood if you refer to it as Saint Mark’s Basilica. This cathedral church is the most famous in Venice, presenting five round-arched impressive portals as well as a striking marmoreal interior.
This fish and vegetable market has been around since the year 1097, and there is frantic activity here, especially early in the mornings. The fishmongers, the bustling scenes, the old facades and the fascinating canal combine to create a great experience for all senses. The city’s best butcher shops are nearby.
Canal Grande is the largest canal in town, almost 4 km long and 90-metre-wide in some parts, with an average depth of 5 metres. Public transport is available in the form of vaporetti - water buses-, gondolas and water taxis. There is plenty of famous buildings located along the river which is crossed by three stunning bridges.
Peggy Guggenheim was the artist Max Ernst's wife; the museum is housed in Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, which is her former home. Her art collection was opened to the public in 1951, and nowadays people can enjoy art from Europe and America dating back to the first half of the 20th century.
St. Mark’s Square is the biggest and the most well-known square in Venice. If you truly want to comprehend the power of the former Venetian Empire, this is the right place to visit. The square is full of striking and inspiring sights, such as the Campanile - bell tower - from where you can grasp a splendid view of Venice.
Ca’ Pesaro is the city’s modern art museum, located in an old baroque palace facing the Grand Canal. The first floor houses 19th and 20th century paintings and sculptures, while the upper floor is dedicated to the Oriental Art Museum, exhibiting 30,000 objects from Japan, China and Indonesia.
Located in Palazzo Barbarigo Minotto, Palace Music (Musica a Palazzo being the original name) is a cultural association started in 2005, created to transform the palace into an intimate environment where to meet and learn more about the Opera culture. Have a look at its website to know what is in program while you are there; it will surely be a unique experience.
Whether or not you are a fan of classical music, the Interpreti Veneziani is a welcome break from the city's pulsating core. After its inauguration in 1987, its concerts have been performed all over the world, in countries such as the US, Japan, Canada and across Latin America. Take one evening to enjoy the harmony brought to you by the orchestra.
St. Mary Basilica, usually called the Friari, was built in the 13th century and today represents an important landmark. Holding many masterpieces of Venetian art from the Renaissance period, it is simply a delight for the eye. Titian, the most renowned member of the Venetian school of painting of the 16th century, is buried there.
Occupied in the Roman period, San Giorgio Maggiore is one of the several islands around Venice. At the beginning of the 19th century, after the Republic fall, the island became a free port housing Venice's artillery. This is another perfect opportunity to capture a gorgeous panoramic view of Venice.
The National Library of St Mark's (Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana) is located in a beautiful Renaissance building and takes its name after St. Mark, Venice's patron. Being one of the most ancient manuscript depositories of the city, it is an exquisite place to become more familiar with the history of Venice.
Let yourself be swept away by the beautiful renaissance paintings of this gallery. The Venetian painter Tintoretto was paid to provide art for the halls of the Scuola and his masterpieces are still there to be admired. Take the audio tour to get a deeper knowledge of the artist and his works.
Santa Maria dei Miracoli is the most requested church for weddings in Venice, and if you step inside you will easily see why. It is said to be built from the leftovers of St. Mark's Basilica, even if the latter is evidently bigger. Being one of the best examples of early Venetian Renaissance architecture, its nickname is "the jewel box", due to its striking beauty.
There are several tour operators offering different types of Gondola tours. You can choose between a more romantic style with serenades sung to you and your beloved partner, or a more classical sightseeing tour with a guide telling you the history of all the beautiful buildings around. There are even tours where you can learn how to row the Gondola yourself.
The Rialto Bridge is one of the several bridges crossing Canal Grande. Be prepared to meet many other tourists here since this is one of the most well-known landmarks of Venice. The architecture is amazing, especially considering that it was built on approximately 12,000 wooden pilings, over 400 years ago.
The Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri) has inherited its sad name from the condemned prisoners crossing it on their way to the execution. The covered bridge connects the prison to the interrogation room in the Doge's Palace and crosses the Rio di Palazzo. If you happen to pass under it at sunset, at the time the bells of St Mark's Campanile ring, remember to kiss your loved one: as the legend goes, your love will be eternal.
Once a neighbourhood tavern fit for "un' ombra" (literally "shadow", Venetian slang for a glass of wine), today Da Fiore could possibly be the city’s best restaurant, with sober décor, elegant rooms and delicious dishes like misto crudo (marinated raw fish) and pennette with crayfish and broccoli.
Born to be a rural "maison d'hôte" (a hotel), the restaurant Locanda Cipriani is part of the world-famous luxury hotel by the same name, welcoming guests in a very simple environment where the atmosphere is cozy and relaxing. The menu includes traditional dishes such as pappardelle with veal liver.
Da Pinto Restaurant offers a wide selection of fresh fish straight from Rialto Fish Market. Tourists can enjoy the open-air seats or benefit from the indoor air-conditioned dining rooms. Simple but filling food features on the piatto unico, set-price menus with everything in one meal except for drinks, such as spaghetti Bolognese with a grilled steak or lasagna with a breaded veal cutlet.
Italy, as a country, is world-famous for making great pizza. Da Mamo offers classic Italian pizza as well as traditional local dishes such as creamy salted codfish with polenta. The exemplary restaurant's service together with the welcoming atmosphere and reasonable prices will leave the tourist satisfied.
La Zucca is not a vegetarian restaurant, but if you're tired of eating pizza and pasta this is the right place as it can surely satisfy anyone with a penchant for fresh vegetable dishes. Located near San Giacomo square, the restaurant is small but welcoming. The open kitchen allows guests to see in the chef at work in real time.
Cantinone Gia Schiavi is the perfect place to go if you are looking for Italian-style tapas accompanied by a glass of wine. This 19th century bacaro offers the most inventive cicchetti in Venice. Don't miss the crostini-style layers of bread, smoked swordfish, and slivers of raw zucchini, or pungent slices of Parmigiano, fig, pistachio, and toast.
Facing the Giudecca Canal, Riviera encompasses magic views of Venetian domes. The spectacular sight combines with soft music to create the perfect atmosphere for a sensational dinner. High-quality seafood is lovely and the sommelier will help you find a wine that best matches your dishes.
This restaurant's watchword is "detail". The romantic atmosphere and the elegant and refined design go hand in hand with the enchanting terrace offering great views of Venice. The sophisticated menu leaves prices on the higher side, but once you have tried the food and enjoyed the environment you will find it to be worth your visit.
Ristorante Marco Polo is a historical restaurant located between the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square. It is an authentic Italian-style restaurant whose kitchen combines traditional cuisine with modern flavors. The main specialty is ravioli stuffed with shrimp and zucchini enriched with Parmesan shavings.
In the bright and modern atmosphere of Ristorante a Beccafico Arte, genuine Italian dishes are served by friendly and efficient waiters. Traditional Venetian and Sicilian savours are revised and modernized. The combination of tradition and modernity makes guests feel excited about coming back again.
Inaugurated in 2009, La Mela Verde is an artisanal ice cream shop as well as a charming creperie. Ice creams are produced with first-class products such as the Sicilian pistachio, the Piedmontese PGI hazelnut and a great selection of seasonal fresh fruit. You can't miss the divine stuffed crepes either.
Being one of the city’s best patisseries, especially recommended for breakfasts or coffees, Rosasalva offers several local specialties like zaleti, made with corn flour, crunchy baicoli or the famous tiramisu. When the weather is nice most people choose to consume outdoors, at the tables facing St. Mark Square, taking advantage of the stunning views of Venice.
Majer is a combined bakery, café and wine shop located in a quaint alleyway facing the Rio Novo Canal. You can try fresh pastries, cookies, typical Venetian cakes or buy fresh bread and baked products, but what you can't miss is a breakfast with a cappuccino, croissant and tasty orange juice.
Grancaffè Quadri offers breakfasts, dinners, and everything in between. It is an excellent venue to either sit down during the day and have a sandwich and a cup of coffee, or enjoy cocktails or luxurious glasses of wine in the evening. Having live music play as you dine is not uncommon.
Caffé Florian opened its doors in 1720 and it is at once the oldest and the most modern café/bar in Europe. It is located in the famous St. Mark’s Square and is well known all over the world, especially for the "café-concert", a permanent orchestra which daily livens the elegant cafe with sounds of classical music.
Gelato Fantasy opened in the space of a blacksmith's former workshop. Since 1998 it is an artisanal ice cream shop where workers share a deep love for tradition. Here you can try the cream of the Doges, a Venetian specialty, as well as dark chocolate ice cream or tasty fresh fruit sorbets.
With a long list of cocktails, wines and beers, Cafè Noir is a lively and popular bar, especially so among students. You can accompany your beverage with sandwiches or piadina while sitting inside or outside, and get caught up in some lounge music. The simple wooden furniture and ceiling create a familiar and nostalgic atmosphere.
Venice Jazz Club is a brilliant club that has succeeded in creating a cozy and authentic atmosphere. Every day except for Thursday you can go there and enjoy a live concert. You can easily book online and then pay once you arrive to the club. Moreover, you can book the VJC for private parties and dinners.
This pub is a friendly Irish bar with a Venetian twist, rendering it a very special atmosphere conducive to enjoying its several types of beer. Its long bench recalls the typical Irish pub where people can drink and socialise with ease. And if you get hungry you can take the opportunity to order some pizza or tempting snacks.
This small bar provides delicious cocktails and drinks for a young and happy crowd every night of the week. The cocktail list constantly changes in order to enrich the old drinking tradition with new tastes. If you come here during the day, you can eat sandwiches and snacks prepared with seasonal products accompanied by great coffee.
Right between the two main tourist attractions of Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Square you can find this well-established bar. It has been around since 1997, and attracts a mix of locals and tourists who want to soothe their nerves by listening to some jazz or watching Italian live football matches while drinking beer or wine.
Osteria Ai Pugni lies close to the university and it is frequented by many students. For this reason, prices are not too high and the atmosphere is happy and cheerful. Wine, spritz and other drinks flow from the bar and the appetizers are yummy. It's a great spot for people-watching.
At the award-winning Bar Dandolo, in the 14th-century luxury Hotel Danieli, guests can relax in a beautiful setting embellished with the famous Murano chandeliers, and sip perfectly-made classical cocktails. Live music performances take place several nights of the week, and WiFi is complimentary.
Even if the party doesn't go on until very sunrise, this place does come to life after midnight. The drink menu includes a wide array of beers, wines and cocktails, and the food list comprises snacks like burgers, club-sandwiches, piadina and antipasti. If you are a football fan, you can watches live matches on the big screens.
AquAlta has a modern and fresh interior, and young and trendy people meet here over a glass of chilled Prosecco and delicious appetizers. It is located in Mestre and is known locally as good pre-party bar. There is also a basement space, and a menu of snacks such as cheese and salami.
Once you step inside this bar, you will understand where the name comes from - the interior is dominated completely by the color orange. House music, art and a wide selection of wines, cocktails and other drinks make this place popular among the young and trendy people of Venice. Don't miss the Orange spritz, a wine-based cocktail accompanied with appetizers and snacks.
Drogheria Mascari is the oldest traditional food and spices store in the centre of Venice. The shop was opened near the Rialto Bridge in Calle degli Spezieri, the spices merchants' street. It offers a wide range of the best distinctive products of the traditional Italian cuisine, including truffles, teas, dried mushrooms, balsamic vinegar, as well as cookies, typical sweets, candies and more than fifty types of honey.
By the will of the Municipality of Venice, Banco Lotto 10 was opened in 2003 in an attempt to exhibit the fruit of a retraining program at the women’s prison on Giudecca. The stylish clothes and accessories you find here are all designed and hand-made by inmates who work in the boutique assisted by many volunteers.
Located on the island of Murano, Marina e Susanna Sent is a jewellery workshop specialising in production of glass pieces such as sculpture, plates or lampshades. The combination of innovation and traditional methods renders the Sent sisters' creations unique even though their work embraces simplicity. Don't miss two other shops in Dorsoduro and in St. Mark.
This tiny shop is officially recognised as a historical location of the Veneto Region. In this small boutique you can find all kinds of hats of the highest quality. If you need a gondolier's hat in your wardrobe, you will find it here together with wool hats, hats for the carnival, wedding hats and original Panama hats directly imported from Ecuador.
The Vascellari family has been in the world of optics for several generations and the shop on Ruga Rialto has been around since 1964.They design their own eye-wear brand and pay close attention to finding the perfect pair of glasses for every customer, taking into account their individual face shape and personal style.
At Arnoldo Battois elegance is a lifestyle. These two Venetian designers specialise in producing accessories, especially handbags. The meticulous attention to precious details and the use of cutting-edge architecture give life to the most outstanding craftsmanship made in Italy, presented on the catwalks of Milan each season.
Even if you aren't in need of a new book, this unique store is well worth a visit. This self-proclaimed "most beautiful bookstore in the world" contains thousands of books, magazines and maps lying helter-skelter in glutted rooms or inside bathtubs, waterproof bins and gondolas. Do not be afraid if you see cats prowling, they are on a friendly footing with the owners.
Italy is known for its good food made from local high quality products. Prosciutto e Parmigiano is a tiny shop of Italian gastronomic specialities. Don't miss the dry cured Prosciutto di Parma and the Prosciutto di San Daniele, or the 30-month-aged Parmigiano Reggiano, among over 150 varieties of traditional Italian cheeses. And if you want to reserve some products, you can easily do shopping over the phone.
At the small but elegant glass shop ElleElle you can revel in colourful and uniquely designed glass pieces, innovative vases and other types of glass works of art. All of them are original pieces directly from the glass factory NasonMuretti, a Venezian company in business for over 12 years.
As a city on the water, Venice could not be spared from the passage of pirates. Master jeweller Sigfrido has been creating rings, necklaces and other jeweller's masterpieces combining experience, originality and craftsmanship techniques perfected since XVII century. Every piece of art is enriched with details like skulls and colourful stones.
The Venetian fleet is among the oldest in the world. If you have fallen in love with the typical Venetian boats or gondolas, head to Gilberto Penzo and buy an elaborate miniature to take home with you. And if you wish to build one by yourself, you can also buy a kit with full instructions included.
Located about 40km from Venice, this outlet offers the most luxurious brand names in fashion at reduced prices (by 35% to 70%) throughout the year. Brands like Costume National, Salvatore Ferragamo, Burberry, Fendi, Versace and many more can all be found here, and if you want an additional discount of 10%, book through the In-Venice service.
Italy can be visited visa-free for up to 90 days by citizens from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Israel, UAE and most countries in America. If you are not sure whether or not you need to apply for a visa, we recommend you to contact the embassy or consulate in your country. In order to enter the Schengen zone, international (non-Schengen) travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip. Citizens from Schengen countries can travel without a passport, but they must bring with them a valid ID during their stay.
Venice Marco Polo Airport is situated 7 km north of the city. There is a wide selection of transports from the airport to the city. Choose between buses, taxicabs and boats. If you choose boat be prepared for a short walk first. The water bus is operated by Alilaguna and the journey takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes. There are also motor boats and the price vary from company to company but calculate around €80. A land route to Venice is offered too. The two transport companies ACTV and ATVO have direct buses between the city and the airport. The journey takes approx. 20-25 minutes. Taxis are waiting outside the terminal and the prices start at €40.
Treviso Airport, sometimes referred to as Venice’s package tour airport, is located 30 km north of Venice. ATVO and Barzi buses depart from/to Venice and the journey takes about 40 minutes. There is a ticket office located at the arrivals hall. A taxi from the airport to Piazzale Roma in Venice starts at €65.
The best time to enjoy sightseeing in Venice is mid-spring, particularly the first half of May, when the cold winter gives way to sunny days and comfortably warm temperatures. With less boat traffic on the canals and calm waters, this season is best for relaxing on a Gondola ride. If you want to avoid the stress of high tourist season, December through February may do the trick with quiet and peaceful local areas. Low season also provides for discounted accommodation rates. Moreover, the famous Venetian Carnival takes place annually in February, which gives visitors the chance to join in on the festivities and try on a traditional ornate mask.
The ACTV operates the ordinary buses together with the bus boats, the so-called vaporettos. Tickets can be purchased at the stations, from newsstands or on board the boats. There are also several travel cards to choose from, but remember that you need to swipe them before boarding. If you need to cross the Grand Canal you can catch a traghetto, a large gondola leaving from different places between the bridges.