When I first saw Venice, I couldn’t believe the layout of the city. This beautiful city in northern Italy’s Veneto region has no roads, just canals. So as someone expecting to see a city full of cars, I was utterly shocked to find boats instead. I must have been about 14 at the time, when I first saw Venice. At such a young age, I was already culturally shocked by what I had seen in London, but now I was even more in shock by the mere fact that a city’s main mobility was not a car.
After a few years, I went back a few more times and each time there was something new going on. The second time, I went to Venice, there was the Carnevale di Venezia (Carnival of Venice) going on, which occurs on an annual basis. So after having such wonderful experiences in Venice, I though I’d share a list of things to do in this wonderful city.
Things to do in Venice
Go to Carnevale di Venezia (Carnival of Venice)
If you ever plan your trip around this event, you will be happy you did. The Carnival of Venice happens once every year 40 days before Easter (This year it was from Jan 27, 2018 – Feb 13, 2018). This amazing celebration lights up the whole city with music, parades, masquerades and a plethora of street performers wearing masks. Although, many of the masquerades and events require an invitation, there’s still plenty to enjoy that is free to the public. Such events are the parades, street performances and concerts. The other wonderful thing about going to Venice during Carnival are the masks. Although, you can buy the masks at anytime, its so much fun to buy them during Carnival. Especially since you won’t look like the only fool wearing a mask.
I bought a few during my time in Venice and I absolutely love them all. They are so unique and just beautiful to have around the house.
Take a ride on a Gondola
There’s plenty of water buses (Vaporetto) that will take you to your destination, but why not go on a Gondola instead? There’s plenty of tours that will take you to see The Rialto Bridge and the Grand Canal. Gondolas are also a great way to just relax or have a romantic ride with your partner. Your visit to Venice is not complete until you ride a Gondola (even if it is a major tourist trap).
Go on a tour of the St. Mark’s Basilica & Square
The best way to experience Venice is by doing walking tours of the streets and canals, but one of the top tours to take is that of St. Mark’s Basilica. This beautiful cathedral is both beautiful on the inside and outside. The inside has a glittering ceiling with touches of 24- carat gold mosaic. Of course, there is a line to get in unless you go with a tour group, which will allow you to skip the line.
Walk around and eat Gelato
There is so much to see in Venice and if you are a souvenir shopper, then you will definitely find all sorts of stores with souvenirs. If it’s not too cold, then I also recommend getting the gelato (you can get this anywhere in Italy). I’m the type that loves to experience a city by walking around – taking in the scenes, the culture and eating something delicious while I do this. Venice is perfect for this since there is so much to see! You can also check out the Bridge of Sighs while walking around.
Libreria Acqua Alta
If you are not into walking around and would much rather explore unique places in Venice, then check out this unusual bookstore. I, unfortunately never got the chance to go to Acqua Alta, but from the photos I’ve seen and comments, it’s an interesting place to visit. There are boats full of books and they also have a neat step of books that makes for a nice photo.
If you’re looking for a more colorful place for your photos, look no further because Burano has you covered. This island is made up of colorful homes and eateries, and is the most picturesque island. The fare to get there is quite cheap, whether you go there by boat or on a tour. This is yet another thing I never got to do, but it is highly recommended by those who have gone. Hopefully, on my next trip to Venice, I will make a day trip to Burano.
These are just a few things you can do in Venice. Of course, this beautiful city is full of museums, operas and so much more!
Some more photos of my trip to Venice:
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