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  • The Curious Traveler

What to do in Venice

Joining our Dolomites Hiking tour? We end in Venice, but don’t spend much time there as a group. Venice is a maze of canalside promenades, narrow alleys, and ornate bridges. In the summer, when crowds are at their peak, it’s fun to escape by ducking down empty alleys. It’s an island, so you can’t get too lost. Public transportation consists of efficient canal ferries called vaporettos. Private gondolas are also an option, although come with a hefty pricetag. We always recommend checking with your hotel concierge for the best way to get to your destination.

THINGS TO DO

Grand Canal

So named for its width and scenic splendor, the Grand Canal bisects the city. Hop aboard Vaporetto Line 1 for a cheap tour to see the beautiful palazzos that line the waterway. Understandably, this is quite a popular route and the boat will likely be crowded, but it’s a great way to get a quick orientation of the city.

Saint Mark’s Square, Basilica, and Campanile

The iconic Saint Mark’s Square is home to the Byzantine basilica, archaeology museum, Renaissance clock tower, the columns of Saint Mark and Saint Theodore, and hundreds of pigeons. Climb the bell tower (Campanile) for outstanding views.

Palazzo Ducale

An ornate palace where Venice’s leaders lived. Guided tours provide fascinating information about the architecture and history. Join the Secret Itineraries tour for a look at the prison and cell where Casanova was once held, among other hidden areas of the palace.

National Library Marciana

This public library is noteworthy for its architecture and significant original manuscript collection.

Naval History Museum

Tucked off the beaten path, this lovely museum showcases Venice’s maritime history and features a large collection of antique boats, weapon displays, and model ships.

Jewish Museum of Venice

Another offbeat museum set in Europe’s first Jewish ghetto (est. in 1516), features a small collection of cultural and religious items. Guided tours of the five ghetto synagogues are available in English.

Peggy Guggenheim Collection

One of the most important museums in Italy for European and American art of the first half of the 20th century, located in Peggy Guggenheim’s former home.

Accademia Gallery

This museum is dedicated to Venetian artwork from the 13th to 18th centuries.

Murano & Burano Islands

Two of the most popular islands to visit in the Venetian Lagoon. Murano, the closer of the two, is famed for its history and artistry of glassblowing. See a demonstration, visit the Museum of Glass, and pick up a stunning souvenir. Burano, a bit farther out, is renowned for its tradition of lacemaking dating to the 1500s. Visit the Lace Museum, wander the brightly painted houses, and learn how lace is made. Both islands are easily reached by Vaporetto Line 12.

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