A city of sighs, morning mists, marble palaces rising from canals, winding streets to get lost in and Italian food to hunger for. What is on your Venice bucket list? Here are our suggestions start you off.

Get lost in Venice

Just wandering the streets brings surprises around every corner. Start in Piazza San Marco, and within minutes you’ll be away from the crowds and in the real Venice. Charming squares, tiled houses, gargoyles and little shops you almost need a boat to reach. If this has whetted your appetite, sign up for a quirky walking tour.

Gaze in awe at the Art

Venice is awash with art, the world’s greatest have left their mark all over the city. If you find you only have the time to go to the make the one stop, go to the Accademia Gallery, the Grand museum of Venetian Grandmasters from the 14th to 18th century, it houses works by Tintoretto Bellini and Titian.

Secret wine, film sets and more

Italy is, of course, a great wine producer. Wine and food walking tours take you to the secret heart of where the locals eat and drink. Many iconic films have been shot in Venice, “Don’t Look Now” immediately springs to mind. Walking tours take you to the city’s most beautiful film locations. Or, follow in the footsteps of Casanova as he starred in countless numbers of his own romantic adventures.

St Mark’s Basilica and coffee in Piazza San Marco

Return to your starting point via the magnificent Palace of the Doge which dominates the eastern edge of San Marco square, and cool off in the gilded and shady interior of St Mark’s Basilica before finding a free table to enjoy coffee and a spot of people watching in the bustling atmosphere of Piazza San Marco. Expensive, but treat yourself!

If coffee turns your thoughts to food

Everyone can list their favourite Italian foods and whilst you’re sure to indulge in a few or your favourite pizzas and pasta combinations, don’t forget to try a few traditional dishes from the Veneto and you’ll find a selection of classic Venetian antipasti, such as raw seafood at most good restaurants. Freshwater lagoon fish, done insaor is a Venetian delicacy and the meatballs come highly recommended too.

Sit down & cool down with a gelato

Italy is the true home of ice cream, so eats lots. Lots and lots. Keep your eyes peeled for the artisan places when you’re on the hunt for the very best gelaterias. The artisan places are the best as they make fresh gelato every day.

Take to the water

Splurge on a romantic gondola made for two or hop on a cheaper water taxi and experience the true Venice as you glide under its bridges.

Drift under the Bridge of Sighs or the photogenic Rialto Bridge

The Rialto Bridge is probably one of the most photographed sights in Venice, while the enclosed Bridge of Sighs whispers with the history of the prisoners that had to cross it.

Stay on the water and visit Burano and Murano

Step aboard another boat and head across the lagoon to these two islands. Burano is a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its brightly coloured houses and intricate lacework while Murano has been working its glass blowing skills for centuries. Both lace and glass make souvenirs with real lasting value.

The sparkle of Carnival

Another true Venetian skill is the handcrafting of papier-mache masks. You can see and buy these creations, ranging from the sumptuous to the weird and wonderful, all year round. However, they come into their own in late January and early February when Venetians crowd the streets and ballrooms for Carnival.

And, to finish

View the city’s terracotta skyline from the top of the San Marco Campanile or walk to the higher ground of the Dorsoduro to see where gondolas are made.



Now discover Venice and do it all yourself

Our selection of European River Cruises includes an enchanting escape to Venice, with all meals and drinks, all flights, transfers and air-conditioned, en suite cabins and ABTA & ATOL protection

Enchanting Waterways of Venice
5 days from £699pp VIEW RIVER CRUISE