It is not effortless to limit the wonders, pleasures and treasures of Venice to a confined list but should you want to ensure you cover the best of what this romantic and ancient city offers, this to-do list warrants our top selection.
1) Gondola Ride
This is probably the most iconic symbol of Venice. A romantic and luxury boat-ride taking young and old lovers through its many canals. Although they are usually black in colour, you can find many ornately decorated with comfortable seats and snug blankets.
There are many places to board a gondola. You can either choose to take a gondola ride through the peaceful back canals or a ride on the Grand Canal, with the less costly vaporetto, which is a larger water bus. We suggest riding on canals in more quiet and quainter parts of Venice, outside the main tourist area, provides a different view of the city with less traffic and chaos.
2) Gallerie dell’Accademia
The overwhelming estate of the Accademia Galleries is in one of the most ancient lay fraternal orders of the city. Here sits, an impressive precious collection of Venetian paintings from Veneto as well, from the Byzantine and Gothic fourteenth century to the artists of the Renaissance, Bellini, Carpaccio, Giorgione, Veronese, Tintoretto and Tiziano until Gianbattista Tiepolo and the Vedutisti of the eighteenth century, Canaletto, Guardi, Bellotto, Longhi. These artists were all influential throughout the history of European painting.
3) Wine Tour and Tasting
Go on a private island wine tour with a cruise across the Venetian Lagoon to the islands of Sant’Erasmo and Mazzorbo, where ancient vineyards and the fresh, salty climate produce characteristic wines. Sample these special varietals among historic fruit orchards while learning about the Venetian wine-making process.
4) Ponte de Rialto
Designed by Antonio da Ponte, this bridge features a single central arch over the water that allows ships to pass. The Rialto is one of the most famous landmark bridges in Europe, and a popular and crowded Venice attraction connecting the San Marco district to the San Polo district, where Venice’s famous fish market has stood for 700 years. For an exclusive view of the bridge far from the crowds, consider booking a Venice gondola ride or Venice grand canal evening boat tour to see the bridge from the water.
5) Photo Tour Walk
This tour offers innovative and unforgettable photographic tours to welcome you in the romantic city of Venice. Professional editorial and news photographers will guide you in an exclusive tour through the most interesting landmarks and monuments where you will learn to take your very own impressive captures of this amazing city.
6) St. Mark’s Basilica, Terraces and Doge’s Palace
Enormous, the Basilica has 43 000 square feet of mosaic alone! Its history, which dates to the 9th century, is just as hard to get your head around. But there’s no understanding Venice without understanding St. Mark’s Basilica. Explore the church’s countless treasures such as the bronze horses, which with Officine Italia, you will see up close during your special access visit to the balcony. With this access, your guide will also have an opportunity to speak with you inside the Basilica (not usually afforded to groups), using their time on the balcony to help you really appreciate the ceiling mosaics up close.
The cherry on top comes as you walk outside onto the terraces themselves. From here you’ll witness the most beautiful views in all of Venice, over St Mark’s Square and past the Doge’s Palace down into the lagoon.
7) Venice Lido
Venice Lido (Lido di Venezia) is the tapered strip of land which splits the central part of the Venetian lagoon from the Adriatic Sea. Once just a natural barrier, the Lido is now Venice’s seaside. The atmosphere on the Lido is very different from Venice, a more residential and less ancient part of the region. There are lovely views over the lagoon to Venice and in summer streams of beach-goers cross from the lagoon-shore ferry stop, and there are ice-cream shops on every corner. Enjoy a relaxing day on the beach or taking a stroll to admire the ‘Liberty-style’ architecture.
8) Bridge of Sighs
Built in the early years of 17th century, this fully enclosed bridge made of white limestone has caught the attention of many. A personal visit of the Bridge of Sighs can be arranged as part of a tour that is organised by the Doge Palace and includes visiting of the several famous parts of the prison, such as its antique cells, torture chambers, other rooms and the Bridge of Sighs itself. Travelling under the bridge involves much less hassle, enabling anyone interested in baroque bridges of Venice or those interested in numerous urban legends and bridge myths to easily pass under it on their way over Rio di Palazzo.
9) San Giorgio Maggiore
San Giorgio Maggiore is an architecturally significant church in Venice. This picturesque church stands on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, opposite the classic San Marco Basilica, and is one of the first sights of Venice visible to the traveller approaching by sea. The building is famous for its spacious light-filled interior, in which a panel of columns separates the high altar from the monastic choir behind it.
10) Murano Island
Murano is a collection of 7 quaint individual islands linked together by bridges and a place of interest famous for Murano glass. Here you can observe glass-making and purchase beautiful Venetian glass souvenirs.
11) Burano Island
Burano is an island in the Venice Lagoon famous for its canals and colourful fishermen’s cottages and never fails to charm its visitors. Not only is it a photogenic island but it is famous for its lacework. Down the island’s complex, narrow streets, you will find various making refined Burano lace and charming shops selling beautiful lace garments.