Venice is historic, romantic and gorgeous, small and compact, perfect to be explored in just a few days. The canals, the gondolas, the architecture, along with all the main attractions, make this city one of a kind.
Our lovely Giulia from our Italian office went on a trip to Venice a few weeks ago and she delighted us with her stories and shots around the city. Venice is a must-visit region in Italy and one of the most travelled destinations in Europe. There are so many highlights to this beautiful city… Continue reading below to discover some of them through Giulia’s eyes!
Have you ever heard about DFS Fondaco dei Tedeschi – Group? It is the world’s leading luxury travel retailer, that offers its customers a carefully curated selection of exceptional products from over 700 of the most desired brands through 885 boutiques from four continents. A unique duty free shopping experience you cannot miss!
T Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Venice has hosted a rich program of cultural events since its opening, such as exhibitions, concerts, literary and artist talks. However, its artistic and historic role is not the only thing that makes it special.
A visit to T Fondaco dei Tedeschi would not be complete without a visit to the Rooftop Terrace which features an overwhelming view of Venice. This magnificent place gives T Fondaco a picture-perfect finish to its astounding transformation as Venice's new cultural and commercial epicentre.
Right next to T Fondaco, just a couple of minutes walking, you can cross the majestic Rialto Bridge and reach the most unique market in the world, called Rialto Market. Displays of artistic piles of peaches and cherries, artichokes and red chicory from Treviso, fruit, vegetables, and fish are the main characters there.
The Rialto Market, located at the north-west of the Rialto Bridge in the district of San Polo, alongside the Grand Canal, is a lively place where Venetians still buy their groceries, most of them zero food miles! However, in the last few years a lot of Venetians have moved outside the city centre so the market supplies are mainly restaurants now.
While walking into the maze of streets and canals, Giulia found out that what is known to the locals as ‘Ospedale Civile’ – the main hospital in Venice at present – is considered nowadays a proper attraction in the city! In the fifteenth-century, it was a monastery, and by looking at the elaborate facade you’d never know that inside its walls is a hospital. It rather seems like a luxury Palace or a hotel. Worth a quick visit from the outside!
BOOK LOVERS ALERT! If you love reading and you are passionate about books, ‘Libreria dell’Acqua Alta’ is an unmissable spot. Situated in an uncrowded alley near Piazza San Marco and overlooking one of the many canals in the city, this unusual bookshop stands proudly since 2004 when Luigi, the owner, a native of Vicenza but a Venetian by adoption, decided to create a microcosm from his experiences travelling around the world.
Enclosed in this microcosm there are very unique books, unusual furnishings and friendly cats that wander around the store. To protect the many volumes from the water that gradually enters the shop, there are no shelves but only gondolas, canoes, boats and tubs to store the wonderful selection of books. There is not even a digital catalogue to find the desired book!
Don’t miss this place if you would like to get lost and experience an unusual side of books!
Now let’s immerse ourselves into the traditional beauty of Venice, we find the ‘Palazzi Signorili’, mostly located along the Canal Grande with the main facade facing the canal. Back in the past, it was very important for wealthy families to own the best decorated facade to showcase how rich they were.
However, there is a Palace which is not on the Grand Canal, but is hidden among some small streets, and the previous owners decided to show the importance of their family by building a spectacular outdoor staircase, the ‘Scala Contarini del Bovolo’, a real gem in the heart of Venice.
When telling us her experience in Venice, Giulia also mentioned about her wonder in finding one of Banksy’s works. Banksy, the anonymous British street artist, left his mark on the facade of a Venetian Palace, the ‘San Pantalon Church’ in the night between 8th and 9th of May 2019, then he posted a photo on his Instagram account a few days later thus recognising the paternity of the artwork, which depicts a child with a life jacket that signals his position by holding a fuchsia-coloured signal above his head with his right hand.
As usual, Banksy's graffiti connects the architectural elements and the context in which they are inserted: Banksy chose a wall overlooking the canal and then created the work above the waterline, thus separating with a body of water the figure of the migrant child from the viewer. Awesome!
Another landmark in Venice is the ‘Doge’s Palace’. It’s only by visiting the Palace that you truly understand the richness of the Venice Republic in the past and the unique system they were based on.
WHEN IN VENICE EAT AND DRINK LIKE A VENETIAN! It might be tiring to walk around the city all day, but… we have the best way to spend your afternoon!
Drinking a refreshing Spritz might save your day! Alvise, our head guide in Venice, who met with Giulia during her trip, recommended her a great place in St Mark’s Square, the best spot to taste the refreshing Spritz along with ‘cicchetti’, the Venetian version of tapas! Have you ever tried? If not, Giulia highly recommends the meatballs or fish-balls, we quote her “just delicious!” keep that in mind for your next visit!
Another spot Giulia recommends is the Fondamenta area in Cannaregio, known for its wine bars and small restaurants with tables outside along the canal, ideal for happy hours, local cuisine and a great spot to enjoy the sunset.
Oh! And don’t worry if you don’t find a free table, it’s very common among Venetian people to simply sit on the street next to the canal. Why miss the opportunity to do a picnic style in the city centre of Venice along the canal?
Whether you are a frequent visitor or a first-timer, we would like to suggest some of the best experiences we offer in Venice.
If there is anything you are interested in, please do not hesitate to give us a call or quick email, we will contact our top private guide Alvise - as Giulia did – to arrange private, tailored tours you’ll never forget!
See you in the next blog post!
Get the best of Venice from the ground or the air! Choose between ‘The Best of Venice’
, a full day tour which will allow you to discover the Venetian food, craft and history, or ‘Flying Over Venice’
, a 30 minutes tour by helicopter admiring natural mosaic formed by the diverse landscapes, from Lido to the South Laguna, Bacino di San Marco, the north Laguna and Jesolo.
Curious to know more about the hidden gems of the city? Our half-day tours ‘The Hidden Jewels of Venice’
and ‘The Doge’s Palace’
are designed for the ones who would like to discover more about ‘Scala Contarini del Bovolo’, one of the wonderful Venetian Palaces hidden in the heart of Venice, and the Doge’s Palace, a great example of the Venetian Gothic architecture and a building that represents the seat of Venetian political power.
Oh! And don’t forget about another landmark, St Mark’s Basilica. Explore the stunning Basilica after hours in this amazing tour – ‘St. Mark’s Basilica’
– with your private guide. After that, you might want to stroll through the beautiful city of Venice when it is at its quietest in this fascinating 2.5 Hours experience ‘Private Evening Stroll and Gondola Ride’