VeniceCopyright: Andreas M/Unsplash
VeniceFrom its unmatched romantic allure to its historical heritage to its indisputable beauty, there is no other city like Venice. The "Queen of the Adriatic" is composed of a maze of islands, canals, and bridges, hiding magnificent buildings, historical landmarks of great artistic and cultural importance, as well as charming restaurants and squares. There are no cars in Venice, but you won't need them anyway since "The City of Bridges" is best explored on foot.
The CityHistorical pieces of evidence suggest that refugees founded Venice. When Germanic tribes ravaged northern Italy in the 5th century, many mainlanders escaped to this difficult-to-access area on the Adriatic Sea. Over the centuries, the refugee community grew into the most powerful trading port in the Mediterranean. At its peak, Venice counted 3,000 trade ships and 300 navy vessels. After Napoleon's fall, it became part of the Austrian Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia, but after the uprising in 1848, the city reached its independence once again. Shortly after, in 1866, Venice was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy. 1932 saw the opening of the motor and rail bridge between Venice and the mainland, which led this city to come out on top as a tourist destination. It can be a bit hard to navigate around the city, but don't let that put you off, as this is part of Venice's charm. Leave the other tourists at St Mark's Square and the Rialto Bridge and explore the maze-like little neighbourhoods instead. The most interesting areas and islands are Cannaregio, San Polo/Santa Croce, Dorsoduro, San Marco, and Castello. Plan your trip to Venice and discover what this wonderful city has to offer with our in-depth and up-to-date Venice travel guide. Get tips and advice on top things to do & see, where to stay, how to get around, the best places to eat, drink, party, and much more.
Do & See
Venice is the only city of its type in the world, a UNESCO World Heritage site representing a cultural absolute, demanding preservation and transmission to future generations. The whole city is a unique sight in itself, and to enjoy its exceptional beauty, the best way to explore it is on foot. To help you make the most out of your visit to the city, our travel experts have created a list of the top-rated tourist attractions and fun activities you simply cannot miss in Venice, Italy.
Venice has a large variety of restaurants, and as usual with Italian cities, the best dining experience can be enjoyed at a simple neighbourhood trattoria off the tourist rabble. The city boasts many culinary specialities, like bigoli in anchovy sauce or castraure — tiny artichokes with Parmesan shavings and olive oil.
Coffee is as important as pasta for the Italians. And as the place where it all began — coffee was introduced to Europe through the port of Venice — it is no surprise the city is full of cafés. If you want to act like a local, there are some unwritten rules you should keep in mind when ordering your coffee. - Cappuccino or any other kind of coffee based on milk should only be drunk in the morning. - When ordering an espresso, do not use the word espresso, which is actually just a technical phrase. Ask the barista for simply "un caffè". - And last but not least, when ordering "un caffè", you do not usually sit down, you simply stand at the bar and enjoy your cup of coffee.
Bars & Nightlife
Bacaro (plural bacari) is the term Venetians use for bars. Traditional establishments featuring simple furniture and serving ombre (small glasses of wine) along with ciccheti (small appetizers). Venice has many good bars, primarily in the Dorsoduro district. However, it's not a party scene city. Youngsters and party-seekers often hop over to Venice's modern sister city, Mestre, on the mainland. In the summer, they prefer to travel to the seaside town of Jesolo, where they can enjoy tanning and swimming.
Walking through the labyrinth of streets in Venice, you'll come across many interesting shops that are certainly worth a visit. From traditional markets selling local specialities like prosciutto and a variety of Italian cheeses to shops selling Venetian treasures like a gondolier's hats and colourful glass items made on the island of Murano. If you're after high fashion shops, they're located at Via XXII Marzo and neighbouring streets. Via XXII Marzo stretches from St Mark's Square towards Academia, and it's one of the main streets for luxury shopping in Venice, where you'll find renowned brands like Prada, Valentino, Etro, Chanel, and Gucci. There's also a designer outlet located about 40km from Venice.