What to see in Venice and its surroundings, a Mini Guide
Which sights to see in Venice and its surroundings? Whether you have just a weekend or a few extra days, enjoy the most romantic city in Italy, enjoying the views from its bridges, canals, while on foot or on the vaporetto, the Venetian waterbus. Here is a Mini Guide so as to not miss the most extraordinary and must-see sights of Venice!
What to see in Venice and its surroundings for a romantic weekend
The great features of this beautiful city, unique of its kind, are the canals and bridges connecting one side of the mainland to another. It’s impossible to see all 354 of Venice’s bridges in just a weekend. Nevertheless, however brief your stay may be, you cannot miss the famous Rialto Bridge and the equally renowned Bridge of Sighs. Its name originates from the romantic idea that lovers would declare their eternal love below the bridge. The second, not so cheerful version, instead suggests that prisoners would sigh when looking down at the city for the last time while being conducted to the nearby prisons.
It’s impossible to miss the way to the busy Saint Mark’s Square and visit, albeit quickly, the Doge’s Palace. Don’t forget to stop for an aperitif or have lunch in a typical Venetian bacari!
Immerse yourself in the city with a ride on the vaporetto which crosses the Grand Canal, passing underneath some of the most beautiful bridges. Even if you only have one weekend available, do not miss a visit to the Peggy Guggenheim and the Jewish Ghetto. End your visit observing the Venetian glassmakers at work in the nearby Island of Murano – a truly unforgettable experience!
Island of Burano and Lido di Jesolo
If you decide, rightly so, to grant yourself a little more time, here’s what to see in Venice and its surroundings, starting from the lagoon to the sea, in just two days. Take the vaporetto from Venice to the Island of Burano so as not to miss the beauty of its characteristic coloured homes. Legend has it that the fishermen painted their homes to be able to distinguish one from the other, even from afar, when returning from sea. Only a few steps away from the vaporetto stop, you will reach the main square of the island, Piazza Galuppi. Here you can admire the century-old art of lace, in the streets, in shops and in the Lace Museum. Burano too has hidden treasures and cultural artwork that do not go unnoticed. In Piazza Galuppi you will find the Church of San Martino Vescovo which houses a painting by Gian Battista Tiepolo.
In the warmer season, you can spend the second day in Lido di Jesolo, formerly awarded the Blue Flag, for a long day at the beach where you can indulge in healthy relaxation in a fully equipped beach resort. In the peak season, when the prices of Venetian hotels soar, you can chose to stay in Jesolo and visit Venice with tranquillity, giving yourself a few more days, whilst spending much less.
Island of Torcello
If you have decided to indulge in a longer vacation, visit the nearby Island of Torcello, one of the oldest islands of Venice and its surroundings, inhabited since the 7th century. Here you will not find the crowds: today there only about ten inhabitants who live in the island permanently. The Churches of Santa Maria and Santa Fosca are still well preserved. The first and oldest dates back to 639 AD with its astonishing wall and floor mosaics. To learn more about Torcello, visit its museum, which will tell you more about the history of this quaint island.
Venice seen calmly
Often, for the fear of not having time to admire everything in such short time and wondering what to see in Venice and its surroundings, we end up not fully enjoying the city. If you have a few more hours or a few more days, then retrace the sights of magnificent Venice, more relaxed this time, starting from Saint Mark’s Square. Look up towards the Clock Tower or Torre dei Mori, visible from different viewpoints, each different from each other. Visit St. Mark’s Campanile (Bell Tower), which the locals call “the landlord”, acknowledging its age and history.
Venice and its culture
In addition to the must-see Guggenheim Museum, visit the Gallerie dell’Accademia, one of Italy’s most important museums. The gallery houses the majestic works of Bellini, Giorgione, Tiziano, Tiepolo, Hayez, Tintoretto and Veronese. It is here that the Vitruvian Man by Leonardo Da Vinci is kept in hiding, and is exhibited only on rare occasions. Besides the artwork it houses, the building of the Gallerie dell’Accademia is also remarkable. If you have the chance, get lost in the various Civic Museums but above all, get lost in the alleys of this wonderful and unique city!
An additional tip? Follow the route of the Corti Sconte to visit the hidden Venice of Corto Maltese! You will stroll through the less travelled and more quiet places in the city that will leave you with an treasured memory, very different from the usual (albeit splendid) postcard image of Venice!