Search for gems off the beaten path
Few cities rival Venice for romance. With its rich tapestry of canals, bridges, Renaissance palaces and charming backstreets, it has entranced visitors for centuries. Built on a lagoon, the tightly packed historic centre contains 118 small islands linked by over 400 bridges, while tourists outnumber locals two-to-one and with good reason. You’re never far from a secluded spot where quiet squares await, churches conceal luminous Madonnas and handsome Gothic palazzos beckon you.
Head to Rialto Market for local specialties like pistachio pesto and white asparagus or lunch by the Grand Canal at Osteria Al Pesador. From Piazza San Marco head to gondola-lined, much-photographed Riva degli Schiavoni. Nearby, the 400-year-old Bridge of Sighs gets so busy that you may have to wait for a good photo opportunity. In the quieter, bohemian Dorsoduro area see Pollock, Picasso and Dali at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.
Take a boat to Murano island, long famous for its glass making heritage, to watch a glass blowing demonstration and shop for souvenirs in charming backstreets. Photograph brightly painted houses, stroll the alleyways and browse lace-making shops over in artists’ haven Burano. Wander the oft-overlooked, down-to-earth Cannaregio, home to the former Jewish Ghetto, and enjoy a spritz and cicchetti at Al Timon. Book your flights to Venice today and start exploring.