Exploring Venice: 4 Things to Do for First-Timers

The best thing about Venice is that there is nowhere else like it in the world. An entire city built on stilts and hovering above the water’s edge, Venice is an architectural marvel. It might be small and compact, but Venice also boasts its own culture and traditions that are every bit as flamboyant as the city itself.

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What’s more, it’s super romantic too. After all, who doesn’t fall in love all over again when taking a magical gondola tour, enjoying an ice cream in any of Venice’s pretty squares or gazing at the magnificent churches and cathedrals that line every street?

Whether you’re there with a friend or a lover, here are all the things you have to do whilst you’re in Venice on your Italy tour.

Visit Mark’s Square and Doge’s Palace

Venice’s main square and home to the city’s most celebrated cathedral and museums, Mark’s Square is abuzz every day of the year. It’s an unbeatable spot to do some people-watching. And whilst you’re there, take an elevator to the top of the Campanile and soak in one of the only views of the city from up above!

Take the opportunity to visit Doge’s Palace too. Today it’s a museum but a few centuries ago it was the residence of the Doge, the seat of the government and a palace of justice.

Take a gondola ride

It might be really cliché and something that only tourists do, but there’s a reason gondola rides are so popular. This is the only way to leisurely take in the historic city from the water, cruising past the waterside restaurants, slipping under Venice’s many bridges and floating by residents’ houses within touching distance.

A gondola ride, however, doesn’t come cheap. The going rate now is €80 per 40 minutes and the gondolier is likely to try and negotiate the price upwards. Be on your guard, stick to a firm price and threaten to go elsewhere if you have to.

man standing on gondola
Photo by chepté cormani on Pexels.com

Take a day trip out to the islands

About an hour away from Venice by boat are Murano, Burano and Lido. The first two are probably the most popular whilst Lido has the only beach in the whole area. Murano and Burano are both famous for their art.

Where you can enjoy a glass blowing demonstration just about every hour of the day, learn first-hand this most ancient of crafts and buy trinkets and accessories from the artists themselves. And for something more outdoorsy, Lido has plenty of cycle paths that make for a wonderful biking trip.

Take it all in from Rialto Bridge

The most ornate of all the bridges, Venice can be best viewed from the Rialto Bridge with an after-supper ice cream or Aperol.

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