Local Host Picks
ST. MARK'S BELL TOWER
Travel to the top for an unrivalled view of Venice and its surroundings. The tower is 323 ft. (98.6m) tall, and stands alone in a corner of St Mark’s Square.
SQUERO DI SAN TROVASO
A characteristic boatyard (squero) dating back from the 17th century on the rio (small canal), of San Trovaso. It's one of the last traditional squeri still constructing gondolas.
BURANO ISLAND, LIDO ISLAND, SAINT ELENA ISLAND
Burano Island, Lido Island, Saint Elena Island: Burano Island, in the Venetian lagoon, is made of picturesque canals lined with brightly colored houses. The island is famous for its artisan lace makers and there's a Lace Museum, as well as shops selling lace. The Lido Island offers small canals, a variety of dining and impressive views of the city from across the Lagoon. Lido is the beach of Venice and is famous for its Movie Festival. Sant'Elena Island lies at the eastern tip of the main island group and was centered on the Church of Sant'Elena and its monastery.
Palazzo Mocenigo houses a history of Venetian fashion and perfume. Accademia Gallery contains works by Tintoretto, Bellini and Carpaccio. The Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on the Grand Canal, houses one of the most important collections of American and European Modern Art. Ca'Rezzonico is home to a collection of 18th century Venetian furnishings and paintings. Jewish Museum: visit the Jewish Ghetto dating back to the early 16th century, its Museum exhibits traditions of goldsmith's and textile arts. The Arsenal and Naval History Museum founded in 1104, houses a fascinating collection of model ships, including the amazingly lavish ceremonial Doges' barge, the Bucintoro.
Venice has a wealth of churches showcasing fine religious art and historic testimony. Here is a selection of the most famous which are well worth a visit. Basilica of San Giovanni e Paolo: after the 15th century funeral services of all Venetian Doges were held here, and 25 Doges are buried in the basilica. Church of San Rocco: holds paintings by Venetian artist Tintoretto (1519-1594), and was one of The Plague sanctuaries. Santa Maria Formosa: built in 1492 on the site of a church dating from the 7th century where the Virgin Mary was believed to have appeared. Santa Maria dei Miracoli: known as the marble church, was built in 1481 and is one of the finest examples of early Venetian Renaissance architecture. Basilica of San Pietro di Castello was the city's cathedral, serving as its spiritual and religious administration center. San Giorgio Maggiore: located on St. George Island, houses paintings by famous artists, including Tintoretto.
LA FENICE THEATER
Visit one of Italy's most famous theaters, the reconstructed La Fenice is famed for its acoustics. The world was stunned when it was destroyed by fire; millions of dollars were raised and stars such as Luciano Pavarotti and Woody Allen offered their support for the reconstruction.
MURANO ISLAND AND TRADITIONAL GIFTS
Murano, the center of the Venetian glass blowing industry for more than 1,000 years, is also known for its Glass Museum and the Byzantine church, Santi Maria e Donato with its beautiful mosaic floor. Venetian shopping specialties include Murano glass crafts and glass pearls, lace, carnival masks, and unique Christmas gift calendars.
Fortuny’s showroom on Giudecca collects and displays the company’s mementos, textiles and other works, plus carries a range of products, including pillows, accessories, and fabric. Fabrics made by the prestigious firm, Bevilacqua, have been used to decorate the Vatican, the Royal Palace of Stockholm, and the White House. Master artisans still weave the fabrics in Venice on 18th-century wooden looms, and the front-room display is just a sample of their artistry.
Atelier Nicolao is in the very heart of the city, and here deft and expert fingers create unique and wonderful costumes that are appreciated all over the world. The Nicolao Atelier has become a point of reference for theatre, opera, films and historical parades and processions.
Sample “cicchetti” which are various small snacks or side dishes, typically served in traditional "bàcari" (cicchetti bars or osterie). Some classic Venetian dishes are Sarde in Saor, (sweet & sour sardines), Bigoli in Salsa (pasta in a salted sardine & onion sauce, one of the oldest recipes of Venice), famous Risi e bisi (rice & peas), Baccalà Mantecato (a creamy soft mousse-like cod), Pasta e Fagioli (pasta & beans), Fegato alla Veneziana (liver cooked with onions) and to satisfy your sweet tooth, the traditional Carnival Frittelle (little sweet fried dumplings) and Tiramisù.
HARRY'S BAR, CAFFÈ FLORIAN
Harry's Bar was one of Hemingway's favorite haunts, see where the novelist created his signature cocktail … made of 15 parts gin to 1 part vermouth! Or try its world famous "Bellini". Stop for a drink at Caffè Florian, situated in the shadows of San Marco and listen to its orchestra.
VERONA, PADUA AND THE DOLOMITES
If you have already visited Venice, take advantage of its excellent location to visit nearby mainland areas such as Verona, Padua and the Dolomite mountains.