Highlights: 5 More Things to do in Venice
1) Quality Gelato
Instead of looking for a vendor around St. Mark’s Basilica, seek out an artisanal shop. Gelato should be hand-churned using fresh ingredients, so avoid anything that looks to have food color added, or that appears to be whipped—this is likely mass-made. Gelateria Alaska in Santa Croce is known for the real goods, or seek out a Grom Gelato. This chain is known for quality.
2) The Rialto Bridge
The bridge itself is beautiful, but cruising by the Rialto is a great way to take in the sights of Venice. There are hundreds of bridges and canals in the city, each with its own character, so don’t be afraid to wander.
3) Restaurants around Piazza San Marco
The restaurants and street hawkers around here are experts at feeding hurried travellers. For an authentic snack done the Venetian way, set out and find a bacari. These wine and snack bars serves chicchetti (small plates) and drinks, and are a very common way to take the evening meal, usually between 5 and 8pm. Inexpensive, and by virtue of their size intimate and social, bacari will introduce you to real Venetian dining culture.
4) Venetian architecture
Put away the check-list of must-see sights and just wander the Venetian streets to really take in the flavour of the place. Some of the lesser-known noteworthy structures in the city include the Women’s Prison on Giudecca Island, which among other things, operates a market.
The former shipyard Arsenale in Castello is a like a miniature city unto itself, and contains loads of nautical history (including the Naval History Museum).
The Jewish Ghetto, just over the Cannareggio canal, dates back to the 1500s; indeed, the word “ghetto” comes from this very place.
For those interested in churches, there is the Gothic Santa Maria Mater Domini in Santa Croce which houses a small collection of exquisite painting, or Vivaldi’s childhood church, San Giovanni in Bragora.
5) Day Trips to Venetian Islands
Venice is a cluster of islands and each island has its own character. Burano is a popular tourist attraction in Venice but there are more istlands to visit. Murano is a short vaporetto ride away, and it’s the origin of the beautiful blown glass arts. The monastery and church on San Giorgio Maggiore date back to the 1500s, whereas Sant Erasmo is a bucolic farming community offering a peek into a very different side of the region.
Adapted from the article by Dalene Heck first published on Expedia Canada.