|Venice is a sexy city. Just think about the curves of the Grand Canal, black & white striped gondoliers, and the stately Renaissance palaces. Most tourists see only a small part of this fascinating place, but if you're up to getting lost in Venice, take time to wander down the many narrow & mysterious passageways, and cross over minuscule bridges.||The Grand Canal is Venice's main street and it's lined with the city's most impressive palaces. The city's three major canals — Grand, Giudecca and Cannaregio — 400 bridges, dozens of small waterways called rio (rivers, what we like to think of as "water streets"), and 100 islands make Venice one of the most enchanting places to visit in Italy and, indeed, the world.|
What to Do in Venice
|Ride in a Gondola||Take a Great Walking Tour|
|Go to Venice for Carnival||See the Best Museums||Sample the Best Foods of Venice|
In a city with as much fascinating history as Venice — and with a long tradition of food, wine & fun — you can be that there are always interesting things to do, whenever you're there.
Venice is a blend of the old and the new, of history and of food. We want you to experience as much as possible, so in our guides of the tops things to do and see in Venice we keep you updated on current events and celebrations in the City of Islands
| • October 2016 Events in Venice… |
• November 2016 in Venice…
• December & Natale 2016…
• Carnival in Venice 2017…
• Honeymoon in Venice…
The Best Time
Hands down, the best time to visit Venice is spring and fall. The busy tourist season hasn't started or has just ended and the weather is moderate.
Summer is the peak season, with higher hotel rates, higher temperatures and… plenty of visitors. But if that's the only time you can go, do it! Summers in Venice are more temperate than other parts of Italy.
January is the coldest month, February the driest, August the hottest, and November the wettest. Winters are chilly with temperatures in the 30s and 40s. And of course, if you can you must get to Venice for Carnevale in February.
Venice City Guide Top Attractions
Since its earliest times and particularly during the rule by the Byzantine Empire, Venice has had its eye to the east. The blend of east and west influences can be seen today in the palazzos on the Grand Canal and in the Doge's Palace. Gothic, Islamic & Byzantine design elements converge to create a unique Venetian style.
You know Basilica San Marco, but Venice is also a city filled with churches dedicated to the Madonna. For centuries, Venetians believed that the Blessed Virgin brought them good luck, including ending the plague of 1630. One of the most famous of these churches is Santa Maria della Salute.
Although it's a small city, Venice is filled with top-notch art museums — from the classic Galleria dell'Accademia to the modern art gallery Ca' Pesaro. One of the most intriguing museums in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Come for the gondolas, and stay for the art, museums, and the party atmosphere.
Venice is a very old city. The islands may have been settled as early as the fifth century BC by Celtic people called the Venetii. Roman refuges, fleeing the Huns, probably arrived towards the end of the Roman Empire. For centuries, Venice was controlled by the Byzantine Empire, until it gained independence in 726. The city flourished as a major trading centre throughout the Middle Ages.
Hardships came with the Black Death (1348) and other plagues in the 16th and 17th centuries; these devastated the population. With the discovery of America, trading diminished and Venetian importance dwindled. During the 18th century, as their political and financial powers diminished, Venice became a centre of arts & entertainment, a playground for the rich and famous of Europe.
Today Venice is the capital city of the Veneto region in the northern tip of Italy. It's built on more than 100 islands in a marshy lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. There are no cars, just canals and boats (and few of the boats are allowed motors). The Grand Canal curves through the city, and intersects with hundreds of narrow, maze-like alleys and smaller waterways called rios.
Famous Venetian Foods
Venetian cuisine is elegant & light, and with exotic spices from when they were a trading centre with the Middle East. Seafood and fish from the lagoon will be on the menu along with lots of the fresh garden vegetables that are grown on the islands.
If you're in Venice in spring or fall, there are two specialties to look out for: soft-shell crab called moeche and mantis shrimp called canocchie, a sort of cross between lobster and crayfish.
Composers Antonio Vivaldi & Tomaso Albinoni, explorer Marco Polo, writer Giovanni Casanova, actor Terence Hill, actress Elissa Landi.
Tipping in Venice
Like everywhere else in Italy, tipping is not necessary since it's already included in your bill total. If you're feeling generous, you can leave a Euro or two on the table.
Don't become a paranoid traveler, but don't forget that there are always skilled purse-snatchers in touristed areas, wherever you go.
The best advice is to learn from our Venetian friends. Carry your purse or bag crossover style with it tucked under your arm, always closed. When sitting at sidewalk cafes, still keep your bag and camera attached to you.
• Venice has the narrowest streets in the world and it's almost impossible to find an address since houses are numbered according to the district, not the street. If you're lost, the easiest way is to look for a monument, church or famous building.
• Gondoliering had been a man's job since 1094. It wasn't until 2010 that Venice hired its first female gondolier, Giorgia Boscolo.
• There are 177 canals, 416 bridges and 127 palazzos in Venice. The Big Four bridges that cross the Grand Canal are Ponte della Costituzione, Ponte dell'Accademia, Ponte degli Scalzi & Ponte di Rialto.
• The most loved bridge is Ponte dei Sospiri — the Bridge of Sighs.
• The Venice lagoon is 49 feet (15 meters) deep at the deepest point. It's clean enough to swim in!
• It's illegal to feed the pigeons in Venice
, for good reason.