The home of the masked ball, exquisite Murano glass, and one of the most charming, most romantic places in the world, Venice can and will impress and delight you. Even just a weekend in Venice can prove an unforgettable experience.
The City of Water was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987, and here are just a few things you can do during your trip to the city of gondolas, canals, and carnivals.
Weekend in Venice: 6 Things to Do and See
Treat Yourself with Flavorful Gelato
A fantastic start to your 2 days in Venice would be a taste of some of the most delicious gelatos in the country. Such a sweet delight, known to Italians for centuries, is a perfect way to start your journey in the most interesting, most charming city if not in the world, then surely in Italy.
You’ll find a gelateria almost on every corner in Venice, each with its specific atmosphere and very unique tastes. However, the highly regarded one is often left out from the tourist route. Gelateria Alaska creates its delights by hand, using natural favoring. The menu changes frequently, and the tastes range from the traditional to the house standard ginger, and even experimental flavorings, like artichoke.
An Aperitivo at Harry’s Bar
Many of us enjoy a pre-dinner drink, but this ritual is almost standard in Italian culture. Called aperitivo, it’s an experience you shouldn’t miss out on, especially if you’re wondering what to do in Venice.
To make it even more special, visit Harry’s Bar. A veritable cultural institution (the Italian Ministry for Cultural Affairs declared it a national landmark), it’s home of both the Bellini and Carpaccio. Since its grand opening in 1931, it’s been a host to a number of famous people, chief among them being Ernest Hemingway. Others include Alfred Hitchcock, Truman Capote, Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles, Arturo Toscanini, and even George Clooney and Woody Allen.
Enjoy the Magnificence of St. Mark’s Square
Among the best free things to do in Venice is simply, well, being there. Each nook and cranny, every winding street and serpentine canal is not only beautiful, but also a testament to the city’s history.
The square of Saint Mark is still the main public square in Venice. Constructed way back in the 800s, it is still very much a part of Venetians’ daily life. Each site lining its edges reaches far back into history and is still worthy of your attention – both from the outside and from the inside.
The Doge’s Palace first came to be in 1340, and was, for a while, a residence of the Doge, the utmost authority of the city. Once the heart of public and political life, the palace remains a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and is now a museum.
St. Mark’s Basilica, unlike the palace, is a feat of Byzantine architecture and still the official seat of the Catholic church in Venice. Decorated with extraordinary mosaics, it’s open for prayer and architecture admirers.
The basilica’s bell tower, called St. Mark’s Campanile stands at 323 feet and was completed in today’s form in 1514. If you climb on top, you’ll be greeted with an indescribable view of Venice. Even Galileo used the tower for an observatory!
Visit a museum or two
Your Venice itinerary cannot be complete without a visit to at least one gallery or a museum. Fortunately, there’s no lack of choice in Venice. Right by the Doge’s palace (a museum in its own right), is the Correr museum.
The Correr Museum will tell you all about how it was like to live in the Venetian Republic, from the time when the Doge’s rule was at its zenith all the way to the nadir of Venetian power. Here you will find rare manuscripts, portraits of Venetian aristocracy, proof of Venetian military might, and other historically and culturally significant artifacts.
The art collection of this museum follows the development of Venetian art up to the 16th century. There you can find works by Giovanni Bellini, Vittore Carpaccio, and many other important Italian artists.
If your tastes lean more to the contemporary, you should definitely visit the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. An 18th-century palace purchased by Guggenheim herself, nowadays houses an impressive collection of modern art. Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism, American abstract are just some of the art styles you can enjoy in this museum.
Venice Jazz Club
The charm of Venice at night is not something that can be told, only experienced. A small and intimate place, just like a jazz club should be, this club is everything you imagine and more. Combine it with a visit to Harry’s bar and you just might end up feeling like Hemingway, Chaplin, or Wells out on the town.
Venice jazz club provides you with live music almost every night in the week. Here, you’ll be able to enjoy classic, modern, Latin jazz, and bossa nova. Each of the musicians on stage is a talented expert in their craft, and if you take a look at the man playing the piano, sometimes you’ll find the club owner playing the keys.
Musica a Palazzo
In case you’re in Venice this weekend and wish for an extraordinary evening, you should visit Musica a Palazzo. This is not really a place, but an association that performs opera in such a way that enchants the senses and brings it closer to the viewer.
Each performance, sometimes each act of an opera, is set in a different part of a Venetian palace built in the 15th century. The splendor of Baroque furnishings only enhances the experience, allowing you to appreciate each note and to fully immerse yourself in the story.
Since Venice is not a large city, it’s quite possible to explore it during the weekend. Whether it’s your first time here or a hundredth, you can be sure you’ll come across a new thing of beauty. To experience it in the way only the Italians know, contact us! We provide you with luxury transportation services and can help you design bespoke day tours around your specific interests and schedules.