Venice Italy is a maze like city that bustles with must see attractions and off the beaten locales that inspire a return to a simpler life. The reality for many travelers, from those taking Eastern Mediterranean cruises to families and couples, is that trips to Venice are quick sometimes stopping in this romantic city of water and canals for only a few days.
The question is, of all the things in Venice to see and do, what are the best choices for someone with only one or two days? Here are five suggestions that are sure to give you an insider’s feel of Venice.
Five unforgettable things to do in Venice
1. Secret Itineraries Tour of the Doge’s Palace
Although there are many museums in Venice, one of the most iconic historical attractions is the Doge’s Palace, or the Palazzo Ducale. The Secret Itineraries tour is a guided tour (that books well in advance) through areas that are not open for the general public. The tour explores beyond the traditional palace rooms, bringing guests through the archives, offices, torture chambers, and the palace attic which was home to the top-security prison cells, including that of the infamous Casanova.
2. Have an aperitif at the Skyline Rooftop bar of the Hilton Molino Stucky Venice
Instead of braving the lines to climb to the top (or ride the elevator to the top) of the “campanile” or bell tower in Piazza San Marco, take a vaporetto from the Zattere to the island of Giudecca and get a bird’s eye view on Venice from the roof of this historic hotel that was once home to a mill. The Skyline Rooftop Bar at the Hilton Molino Stucky Venice provides a sublime view that is unlike most views of Venice.
3. Take a walk through the Rialto Market and cicchetti with Walks of Italy
A walk through Venice’s Rialto Market is the perfect way to immerse yourself in day to day life as a Venetian. From fruit and vegetables to fresh seafood of all types, the sights and smells of the market are sure to awaken your senses. Tour operator, Walks of Italy takes visitors one step further, and expands the scope of the market area to the traditional Venetian cicchetti bars where you can sample small snacks like a local.
4. Have pizza for lunch at Ai Sportivi
Situated in the popular Campo Santa Margherita, Ai Sportivi (Campo Santa Margherita, 3052, Venice, Italy, +39 041 521 1598) is a perfect spot for a delicious pizza and people watching as children play in the campo (small square), parents chat and Venetians pass by. Ai Sportivi has a terrace in the back where you will find the Venetian diners whereas the outdoor seating in front of the restaurant is usually taken by tourists.
5. Take the vaporetto to Lido
Although Lido is part of Venice, you would not know it as you walk along the island that spans 12 kilometers. A visit to Lido offers a taste of real life with its beaches and laid back atmosphere. From the vaporetto stop you can walk along the “Gran Viale” towards the beach and then make your way to the legendary Hotel Des Bains or Hotel Excelsior.