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Best things to do in Venice

A Guide to Venice: the best things to do

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What are the best things to do in Venice? Top attractions, activities & museums

What are the best things to do in Venice? That’s a tough one! Just like Paris, London or Rome, Venice is one of those cities where you could stay a lifetime and still haven’t seen it all!

Planning your stay in Venice can therefore be somewhat daunting when faced with the endless list of activities, museums and monuments in the ‘City of Water’.

To help you out, Captain Ulysses has made a bucket list of the best things to do in Venice. Feel free to draw ideals from the Captain’s list and make up your own schedule in Venice!

What to do in Venice? Follow the guide!

💡 The Captain’s tip 💡

🧐 Want to know more about the history of Venice? Captain Ulysses highly recommends this free guided tour of the city. It’s up to you to choose how much you wish to tip the tour guide!

 💤 Looking for a hotel in Venice? Be sure to check out the Captain’s article: Where to stay in Venice? Advice & recommendations

👶 Planning a family adventure to Venice? Discover all of the Captain’s top tips in the article: Exploring Venice with the Kids: Family-Friendly Activities.

Contents — Guide to Venice:
👉 How to get around Venice?
👉 St. Mark’s Square and its surroundings
👉 Venetian bridges and canals
👉 The top museums in Venice
👉 The Islands of the Venetian Lagoon
👉 Venice’s iconic churches
👉 The Venetian Arsenal and the district of Castello
👉 The Venetian Ghetto and the district of Cannaregio
👉 The Carnival of Venice
👉 Music in Venice
👉 Venetian gastronomy

👉 Skip the lines: book your tickets and visits in advance!

First of all, how to get around Venice?

Before setting out to discover the stunning monuments and and top activities in Venice, let’s pause a second and discuss strategy!

The centre of Venice is entirely pedestrianised. The city is relatively small and easy to explore on foot. If you don’t feel like walking, the most handy way to get around Venice is the vaporetti: boats (part of the public transport system) travelling on the the city’s canals and in the Venetian Lagoon.

If you are staying in Mestre, if you plan to explore the islands of the Venetian Lagoon or if you simply want to save time, Captain Ulysses recommends opting for a public transport pass (bus + vaporetto).

Grand Canal from the Rialto Bridge

St. Mark’s Square and its surroundings

St. Mark’s Square

In the heart of the sestiere (district) of San Marco, St. Mark’s Square is without a doubt one of the most emblematic sights in Venice. It is the only square in the city to wear the name of “piazza”, the other squares in Venice are simply called “campo” or “campiello” in Italian.

For centuries, St. Mark’s Square has been the heart of the political, administrative and religious powers in the Republic of Venice. Napoleon even called St. Mark’s Square “the most beautiful parlour in Europe.”

It is also where public executions were carried out. Today, it is best known for its iconic monuments… and its pigeons! (which visitors aren’t allowed to feed, by the way!)

St. Mark’s Square is actually divided into two interconnected esplanades:

  • Piazza San Marco, the largest of the two
  • Piazetta San Marco, right by the Venetian Lagoon

St. Mark’s Square is located at the lowest point of Venice, which explains why it is always hit hardest during periods of acqua alta, floods.

Map of St. Mark's Square

St. Mark’s Basilica

With its impressive domes, its intricate columns and its opulent gilding, St. Mark’s Basilica is undoubtedly the most iconic religious building in Venice… if not in the world.

The basilica dates back to the 11th century, although it isn’t the first building dedicated to St. Mark built on this site (a first church was built in 832, then a second in 978 after the first one was destroyed in a fire).

St. Mark’s Basilica is a symbol of Venetian power and mixes gothic and byzantine influences. Over the centuries, the basilica grew richer thanks to the spoils of war brought back from the Venetian conquests in the East.

A must-see for any visitor to the City of the Doges,

💡 Practical information 💡

the basilica is free to enter, but access to the Pala d’Oro, the museum and the treasury requires a fee (2€, 5€ and 3€ respectively).

To avoid the long queues, Captain Ulysses suggests arriving early or booking :

Before visiting the basilica, make sure that you’re legs and shoulders are properly covered. Don’t forget to check your backpacks in the free cloakroom before your visit.

The Doge’s Palace

The Doge’s Palace (PalazzoDucale in Italian) is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful monuments in Venice.

Located on St. Mark’s Square, a stone’s throw from the basilica, the Doge’s Palace was the residence of the Doge (the high-ranking magistrate in charge of administering the city), but also the centre of the political power of the Republic of Venice.

Built in the 14th century to replace the previous palace which had been destroyed in a fire (fires were quite common in Venice!), the palace was transformed, enlarged and embellished multiple times over the centuries. The greatest Italian artists and architects (Veronese, the Tintoretto…) contributed to making the Doge’s Palace a true symbol of Venetian wealth and refinement.

Take your time to appreciate the palace exterior before you go in – it’s a sight to behold! Inside, make sure to check out the Giants’ Staircase (in the inner courtyard), the Golden Staircase (which lives up to its name!) and the Great Council Hall. You can also explore the Bridge of Sighs, which leads to the palace prisons (Captain Ulysses will tell you more about it a bit further down in the article).

💡 Practical information 💡

The full price ticket to the Doge’s Palace is 25 €, with a reduced price of 13 €. However, Captain Ulysse highly recommends getting the skip-the-line ticket (at a slightly higher cost) to save time and skip the long queue at the entrance.

The Venise Museum Pass also includes entry to the Doge’s Palace – a great choice if you plan to visit at least 3 or 4 of the museums and monuments included in the pass (such as the Pala Ca’ Pesaro and the Pala Ca’ Rezzonico).

And if you don’t want to miss any of the Doge’s Palace’s marvels, you can book a guided tour.

The Bridge of Sighs

While it is now considered one of the symbols of love and romance in Venice, the Bridge of Sighs is actually named after the sighs breathed by the Venetian convicts who walked across the bridge to reach the city’s prisons, located right by the Doge’s Palace, where they were tried.

Since then, English poet Lord Byron has left his mark: his poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage has helped make the Bridge of Sighs a romantic symbol.

💡 Practical information 💡

If you want to explore it, you have three options:
Exploring the interior of the bridge during a visit of the Doge’s Palace
– admiring the bridge from the Ponte della Paglia, on the Riva degli Schiavoni (the promenade along St. Mark’s Basin)
• passing under the bridge during a romantic gondola ride

Bridge of Sighs - Venice

St. Mark’s Campanile

St. Mark’s Campanile has been watching over Venice since the 12th century… well, sort of.

The current bell tower is in fact a reproduction of the 12th tower which collapsed in 1902. On the very evening of the accident, the Council of the City of Venice decided that the tower would be rebuilt identically. In 1912, the new campanile was inaugurated almost 10 years after it was destroyed.

Today, the bell tower provides a breathtaking panorama of the City of the Doges. But be warned: if you are afraid of heights, you might want to pass!

💡 Practical information 💡

Tickets to access the tower are €8 for adults, €4 for children and students.

St Mark's Campanile in Venice

Other sites and monuments on St. Mark’s Square

You’ll find a few other places of interest on St. Mark’s Square. While they’re not as iconic as the Doge’s Palace or St. Mark’s Basilica, they are still worth a visit if you stay in Venice long enough:

  • The Procuraties (or Procuracies): they were the home and workplace of the Procurators of St. Mark, who were Magistrates of the Republic of Venice
  • The Clock Tower: built in the 15th century century, it is mostly worth a look for its impressive mechanism which indicates the time of day, the zodiac sign, the position of the sun, the seasons and phases of the moon
  • Caffè Florian: open since 1720k it is the oldest café on St. Mark’s Square

Venetian bridges and canals

Could a visit in Venice be complete without a boat tour on the city’s picture-postcard canals? Charming and romantic, the canals are also the most convenient way to get around the Palace. 🚣

The Grand Canal

The Grand Canal (Il Canalezzo in Italian) is the largest and most famous of Venice’s canals. It is 3.8 kilometres long (2.36 miles) and 50 to 70 metres wide (165 to 230 ft). It flows along some of the most emblematic monuments in ‘La Serenissima’ (the Doge’s Palace, Santa Maria della Salute, Ca’ d’Oro Palace…).

What could explain the stunning array of luxurious palaces along the Grand Canal? For Venetian elites, having their residence on the largest of the Venetian canals was the epitome of sophistication! This is why there are now around 170 historic buildings (built mainly between the 13th and 18th centuries).

💡 Practical information 💡

To explore the Grand Canal, you have three choices:

  • the vaporetto: this is by far the most economical option, but it is also the least enjoyable. Vaporettos are usually quite packed and it’s not certain that you’ll find a cozy spot to admire the view.
  • Guided motorboat cruises: this is a great middle ground if you want to experience the Grand Canal without spending a fortune.
  • a gondola ride: this is the priciest option… but also the most romantic and enchanting.

The Rialto Bridge

Spanning the Grand Canal a stone’s throw from St. Mark’s Square, the Rialto Bridge is a must-see monument for any visitor staying in Venice!

The Rialto Bridge is undoubtedly the most famous of the city’s 438 bridges. Built in the second half of the 16th century, the Rialto Bridge was designed to replace the many wooden bridges built before (which needed constant repairing because of humidity and fires). This imposing stone bridge was for a long time the only way across the Grand Canal on foot.

The bridge is also famous for its striking architectural features: in the shape of a circumflex accent (^), it consists of three pedestrian walkways, including a central aisle lined with shops.

From the bridge, the view of the Grand Canal and its historical monuments is breathtaking, especially at sunset!

💡 Practical information 💡

The Rialto Bridge is open at all times. Captain Ulysses recommends that you stop by the bridge on several occasions to admire the view on the Grand Canal in the daylight, at sunset and at night.

Rialto Bridge

The Venetian canals

Venice counts 177 canals in total. There’s an incredible variety of them: some are large, some are small, some are sumptuous, some are decrepit… A word of advice: take the time to get lost in the city to discover the many canals of ‘La Serenissima’.

If you want, you can also embark on a boat ride on the Venetian canals. The options are the same as those that Captain Ulysses gave earlier in the article.

The must-see museums in Venice

Venice’s incredible cultural wealth is quite extraordinary and the city is full of fascinating museums exhibiting the artwork of the greatest Italian artists. Attention all art lovers: you will find in Venice countless masterpieces to admire!

The Gallerie dell’Accademia

A stone’s throw from the Grand Canal and the Ponte dell’Accademia, the Gallerie dell’Accademia houses the largest collection of Venetian art in the world.

Located in a large complex spread over three former religious buildings (the Scuola Grande di Santa Maria della Carità, the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Carità and the Monastero Canonici Lateranensi’), the galleries invite visitors on a chronological journey to discover Venetian art from the Middle Ages to 18th century.

Among the many renowned Italian masters featured in the museum, some of the most noteworthy ones are Titian, Tintoretto, Tiepolo, Canaletto, Veronese, Bellini, Giorgione, and Vittore Carpaccio. In short, the Gallerie dell’Accademia is definitely a must-see for anyone travelling to Venice!

💡 Practical information 💡

A full-price ticket to the Gallerie dell’Accademia will cost you 12 €, while a reduced-price ticket is 2 € (free for visitors with disabilities, students, and young people under 18).

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection

After discovering the great Italian masters, why not indulge in some modern art? Nestled in gorgeous Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, on the banks of the Grand Canal, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is one of Captain Ulysses’ favourites in Venice.

Opened in 1980, it is considered one of the finest modern art museums in Italy. The museum exhibits pieces of countless iconic artists including René Magritte, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Vassily Kandinsky, Alexander Calder, Piet Mondrian, Marc Chagall, Marcel Duchamp, Jackson Pollock, Giorgio de Chirico, Mark Rothko and Fernand Léger… The least we can say is that Peggy Guggenheim had intuition when it comes to detecting talent!

Don’t miss out on the Sculptures Garden outside, where you can discover the work of Brancusci, Giacometti, and Moore.

💡 Practical information 💡

Admission to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is 15 euros per adults, 13 euros for visitors over 65 and 9 euros for students under 26. Access is free for children under 10.

Like all the must-see monuments in Venice, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is swamped with tourists, particularly during school holidays, and queues can be long.

If you are visiting Venice during high season, you might want to book a skip-the-line ticket to avoid wasting time in endless lines.

Ca’ Rezzonico & the Museo del Settecento Veneziano

Of all the palaces lined up along the banks of the Grand Canal, Palazzo Ca’ Rezzonico is one of the most famous. Built between the 17th and 18th centuries, this imposing baroque marble palazzo now houses a vast collection of 18th century decorative arts as well as artworks from famous Italian artist Canaletto and frescoes attributed to Giambattista Tiepolo.

Inside, the palace has not aged a bit and the exceptional ballroom is particularly worth seeing.

💡 Practical information 💡

Regular tickets are €10, reduced-rate tickets are €7.50. Admission to the Palazzo Ca’ Rezzonico is also included in the Venice Museum Pass.

Ca’ Pesaro & the Modern Art Museum

Built between the 17th and 18th centuries by the Pesaro family and designed by architect Baldassare Longhena, the Palazzo Ca’ Pesaro now houses the Modern Art Museum of Venice (Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna),

where visitors can discover the city’s impressive modern art collection, including artworks from a number of iconic artists, among whom Chirico, Klimt, Kandinski, Chagall, Bonnard and Klee.

The Ca’ Pesaro Palace is home to a second museum, the Museum of Oriental Art (Museo d’Arte Orientale), which showcases approximately 30,000 artifacts from Japan, China, and Indonesia.

💡 Practical information 💡

Full-price ticket to Ca’ Pesaro (which include access to both museums) are €10, reduced-rate tickets are €7.50. Access is free for children under 5 and visitors with disabilities.

Access to the palazzo is also included in the Venice Museum Pass.

Best things to do in Venice Ca' Pesaro Palace

Ca’ d’Oro and the Galleria Giorgio Franchetti

Nestled on the banks of the Grand Canal, in the sestiere (district) of Cannaregio, the Palazzo Ca’ d’Oro is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful palaces in Venice. Its name (“the golden house” in English) derives from the gilded ornaments adorning its intricate façade mixing Gothic and Renaissance influences.

Built between 1421 and 1434, the palace was bequeathed to the Italian state in 1902 and converted into a museum. It now houses the Giorgio Franchetti Gallery, which displays works from the Venetian, Tuscan, and Flemish schools, including pieces by Carpaccio, Tintoretto, Titian, Van Dyck, and Van Eyck.

💡 Practical information 💡

Full price tickets are €8.50, while admission for students from the European Union is €2. Entry is free for those under 18 and visitors with disabilities.

⥤ If you’re running out of time and can’t explore Venice’s many museums, Captain Ulysses recommends focusing on the Gallerie dell’Accademia and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

The Islands of the Venetian Lagoon

If it is tempting to stay in Venice considering the long list of monuments and museums in the city, it would be a shame not to visit at least one of the islands in the Venetian Lagoon! Captain Ulysses recommends that you devote at least half a day to the exploration of the lagoon.

Murano, the ‘Glass Island’

A stone’s throw from Venice, Murano is one of the the most famous islands in the the Venetian Lagoon. It is here that the glassmakers who made Venice famous settled after being evicted from the city in 1201 as local authorities feared that their workshops put Venice at risk, mostly because of fire hazard.

But the island is not only known for Murano glass. Covered in vineyards, Murano once attracted the wealthy Venetians who came here to indulge in forbidden pleasures away from prying eyes. The casins of Murano (which were the ancestors of casinos) were indeed the scene of extravagance and debauchery… Casanova himself is said to have been a regular in Murano’s casins!

Today, Murano is a must-see for its glassblowing workshops and stores, as well as its lovely canals lined with beautiful ochre-colored houses.

💡 Practical information 💡

To get to Murano, you can:

When you’re there, you should definitely make a stop at the Vetreria Artistica Colleoni, a glass artisan’s workshop where you can watch glassblowing demonstrations.

The Glass Museum is also a great stop to learn more about the history of glass-making and the techniques that glassmakers pass down from generation to generation. Admission is also included in the Museum Pass.

Burano, the island of lace-making

Located 8 kilometres north-east of Venice, the island of Burano specialises in lace-making. Considered by many to be

the most beautiful island in the Lagoon Burano is also known for its picturesque and colourful fishermen’s houses.

Your itinerary should include visiting the Lace Museum, taking a leisurely stroll along the canals, and trying freshly-caught fish at one of the countless restaurants on the island.

💡 Practical information 💡

To get to Burano, you can take the vaporetto or go on an organized tour.

Admission to the Lace Museum is also included in the Museum Pass.

The other islands of the Venetian Lagoon

  • Torcello : Once the most populated island in the Lagoon, Torcello now only counts 14 inhabitants in total. If you have some time to spare, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, with its sumptuous mosaics, is definitely worth a visit.
  • San Giorgio Maggiore: opposite the Doge’s Palace, the island of San Giorgio Maggiore is best known for the Basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore and its bell tower, from where the view on the Venetian Lagoon is stunning.
  • San Michele: located in between Venice and Murano, this tiny island has been the Doges’ cemetery since 1837. .
  • Lido: 10 minutes from Venice by vaporetto, the island of Lido is the seaside resort of La Serenissima. It is particularly appreciated by visitors and locals alike for its clear waters and its sand dunes.

Venice’s iconic churches

Venice certainly does not lack churches and basilicas, some of which keep marvelous wonders. It seems impossible to visit them all as there are so many of them. To help you out, Captain Ulysses has made a small selection of the most emblematic churches in Venice. ⛪

Santa Maria della Salute

Nestled on the banks of the Grand Canal, Santa Maria della Salute is high on the list of Venice’s most iconic churches.

Built to ask for the Virgin Mary’s mercy when the city was suffering from a deadly plague, the basilica was consecrated in 1687. It’s definitely worth seeing for its stunning architecture, which combines classical and baroque elements, as well as for its hidden masterpieces. The sacristy houses a collection of masterworks, including the renowned Tintoretto’s Wedding at Cana.

💡 Practical information 💡

Entry to the Basilica Santa Maria della Salute is free, but you’ll have to pay 4 € to access the sacristy.

The Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari and the churches of the Chorus Pass

In the sestiere of San Polo, the Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari(I Frati for insiders), is the 2nd largest church in Venice. If the exterior of the basilica may seem austere, you’ll find inside lavish ornaments and priceless works of art, including Titian’s famous Ascension. While in the church, don’t miss the impressive mausoleums of Antonio Canova and Titian.

The Chorus Pass gives access to 17 churches-museums in Venice, a list of which can be found here.

As Capitaine Ulysses recommends, it’s worth investing in if you’re spending at least 4 days in Venice: you can then visit the various churches-museums as you explore the city.

💡 Practical information 💡

If you don’t opt for the Chorus Pass, the price of the ticket to Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari is €3. The Chorus Pass amounts to €12 full price, €8 for the reduced rate. It is free for children under the age of 11. A family pass (2 adults + 2 children under the age of 18) is also available for €24.

It is possible to purchase the Chorus Pass at the tourist office, in each of the participating churches, or online here.

The Church of San Giorgio degli Schiavoni

In the Castello neighborhood, the church of San Giorgio degli Schiavoni (Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni in Italian) is worth a visit for its amazing paintings by Vittore Carpaccio, including the Triumph of Saint George.

💡 Practical information 💡

Visiting the church requires a fee, with regular admission priced at 3.50 € and a reduced rate of 1.50 € available.

The Basilica of San Giovanni e Paolo (Zanipolo)

Nestled in the heart of Castello, the Zanipolo Basilica (also known as the Basilica of San Giovanni e Paolo) doubles as Venice’s Pantheon. Constructed in the 15th century, it boasts the tombs of 25 doges and several prominent individuals. The basilica is also home to works by renowned Italian artists including Giovanni Bellini, Veronese, and Palma the Younger.

💡 Practical information 💡

To visit the basilica, you’ll need to pay an admission fee of 3.30 € (full price) or 1.50 € (reduced rate).

The Church of San Zaccaria

A stone’s throw from St. Mark’s Square, the San Zaccaria church, built between the 9th to 15th centuries, is renowned for its stunning art collection. From Palma the Younger and Elder to Tintoretto, Bellini, and Van Dyck, the church is a must-see for art lovers. The San Tarasio Chapel and crypt, home to some of Venice’s earliest doges, are also well worth the visit.

💡 Practical information 💡

While the church is free, you’ll need to pay 1.50 € to explore the San Tarasio Chapel and crypt.

If you’re not staying long in Venice and you’re not planning on visiting countless churches, Captain Ulysses recommends that you at least have a look at Santa Maria della Salute,which is definitely worth it!

The Venetian Arsenal and the district of Castello

The Venetian Arsenal

In the heart of the district of Castello, the Venetian Arsenal is one of the most emblematic monuments in Venice. It is here that the ships which made the Republic of Venice feared and respected throughout the world were built and maintained. It represents 15% of the city’s surface area, wich is to say 332,000 square meters (82 acres)!

Although the bulk of the Arsenal remains under the control of the Italian Navy, a portion has been transferred to the city of Venice and is open to the public during the Venice Biennale.

💡 Practical information 💡

For the rest of the time, unfortunately, visitors must make do with viewing the Arsenal from the outside. However, the land and sea gates are certainly worth a look.

The district of Castello

To the east of the city, Castello is the biggest of the six sestieri of Venice. It is also by far the most authentic. Less “sophisticated” than the rest of the city, Castello invites visitors to discover a less touristy side to ‘La Serenissima’.

Among the main sites and monuments in the area, don’t miss:

  • Via Garibaldi
  • the Church of San Zaccaria
  • the Basilica of San Zanipolo
  • the Church of San Francesco della Vigna
  • the Church of Santa Maria Formosa

Exploring Castello means getting lost in its labyrinthine streets. The key is to let go of your map/GPS and embrace leisurely wandering,

💡 Practical information 💡

taking in the sights and sounds of the neighborhood. However, if you’re a history buff and want to make sure you see all the highlights, taking a guided tour is also an option.

The Venetian Ghetto and the district of Cannaregio

If you want to properly visit Venice, then you should definitely get off the beaten track. To the north of the city, the sestiere of Cannaregio has remained (relatively) forgotten by the vast majority of tourists staying in Venice. Yet the Jewish Ghetto, located in the heart of Cannaregio, is definitely worth the visit! After being driven out of Spain in the late 15th century, numerous Jewish communities settled here.

Today, the Jewish Ghetto of Venice remains well-known for its cultural vitality. It is also one of the favourite places of foodies in Venice. You’ll find countless small restaurants and shops where to try specialties of all kinds.

Among the main monuments of the Jewish Ghetto, the must-sees are:

  • The Museum of Jewish Art
  • the Scuola Levantina, a synagogue dating back to 1538
  • the Scuola Spagnola, a synagogue built in 1555 and renovated in 1635 by famous Venetian architect Baldassare Longhena

💡 Practical information 💡

Just like in the district of Castello, Captain Ulysses simply recommends getting lost in the bustling streets of the Jewish Ghetto. But you can also opt for a guided tour of the Ghetto and the Cannaregio district to discover the best local gastronomic specialties.

The Carnival of Venice

Visiting Venice during the Carnival

The Carnival of Venice is undoubtedly one of the most famous cultural events in the world.

Every year in January or February, Venetians and visitors dust off their finest costumes for 10 days of picturesque and colorful celebrations. The program includes no parade, but street performances (jugglers, acrobats, dancers…) all around the city of Doges and especially on Saint Mark’s Square. Private (and paid) events are also organized in many hotels and palaces in the city, including dinners, balls, and concerts.

💡 Practical information 💡

During Carnival, Venice becomes even more crowded than usual! Prices skyrocket and the lines to enter major monuments become painfully long… Captain Ulysses therefore recommends that you book your accommodation and activities well in advance, and opt as much as possible for skip-the-line tickets!

Don’t hesitate to find out in advance about the visits and activities that are only available during the Carnival period, such as a theatrical carnival tour, a treasure hunt on Saint Mark’s Square, or a party cruise.

Visiting Venice the rest of the year

You can’t go to Venice during the Carnival? Lucky for you, you can still have a taste of the carnival with a Carnival Mask-Making Class. This is the perfect opportunity to learn more about the history of the Carnival and discover the ancestral mask-making techniques of the Venetian craftsmen.

Music in Venice

Venice was the epicentre of arts and culture Europe for centuries. So it’s no surprise that music remains today at the heart of Venetian cultural life!

Teatro La Fenice

In the district of San Marco, Teatro La Fenice (“the phoenix”) is one of the most famous opera houses in the world.

Built in the 18th century to replace the Teatro San Benedetto, which was destroyed in a fire, La Fenice quickly became an emblem of the radiant cultural life of Venice.

But in 1832, the theatre burned down. It was rebuilt in 1837 and in the 1840s hosted the first representations of some of Verdi’s greatest masterpieces, including Hernani and La Traviata.

The opera-house was once again destroyed in a fire in 1996, but La Fenice, which means “phoenix” in English, was true to its name, and was once again fully restored. It reopened in 2003 and has since been successful as ever.

The Fenice is famous for the masterpieces that have graced its stage (including the first performances of operas by legendary composers such as Gioachino Rossini, Vincenzo Bellini, Giuseppe Verdi, and Igor Stravinsky), but it’s also renowned for its stunning neoclassical architecture that’s well worth a visit.

💡 Practical information 💡

The Fenice is open for tours every day starting at 9:30 AM (closing times vary depending on performances). The full rate is €10, with a reduced rate of €7.

To avoid waiting in line, you can book a skip-the-line ticket with audio guide. Alternatively, you can opt for a guided tour.

If you’re a music lover, the Captain Ulysses highly recommends attending a concert or opera at the Fenice. To find out more about the programming, visit the Fenice’s official website.

Teatro La Fenice - Venice

Classical concerts in Venice

If La Fenice is sold out or if the prices are too prohibitive, there are some alternatives to attend a classical music concert or an opera in Venice. You’ll find a wide selection of options here.

Discovering Venetian gastronomy

Italy is a land of gastronomy, and so is Venice! Visiting the City of Water also means discovering (and tasting) delicious local specialties. Follow the guide!

The Rialto Market

A stone’s throw from the Rialto Bridge, the Rialto Market is one of of Venice’s biggest markets. It is divided into three smaller markets:

  • the Pescheria, the fish market
  • the Erbaria, the market for fruits and vegetables
  • the Beccaria, the meat market.

It’s the perfect spot for finding delicious, fresh products from the Venetian Lagoon, including fish, seafood, vegetables, and mushrooms.

💡 Practical information 💡

Please note that the Rialto Market is not open every day. The Pescheria is open from Monday to Saturday from 5 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; the Erbaria is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Food tours & cooking classes

Attention, foodies! To discover local specialties, there’ nothing like a food tour. Captain Ulysses recommends one tour in particular: tastings at the Rialto Market

And because practise makes perfect, why not try a cooking class? It’s a great opportunity to discover Venice like a local:

👉 Skip the lines: book your tickets and visits in Venice!


👉 Looking for tips and recommendations? Here are all of Captain Ulysses’ suggestions!

🛏️ Accommodation: Booking

🎟️ Activities: GetYourGuide | Tiqets

⛵ Cruises: GetYourGuide

🎫 Citypass: Venice City Pass | Venice Museum Pass | Chorus Pass (churches)

🚐 Airport transfers: bus | vaporetto | water taxi

🚌 Local transport: Public Transport Pass

✈️ Getting to Venice: Skyscanner | Omio

 

Credits
La Fenice

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