Cruise ships are no longer allowed to dock within the Venetian Lagoon, meaning sea-faring travellers may find themselves driving through the surrounding landscapes of Veneto instead. But contrary to what the guidebooks might tell you, there’s much more to the city than winding waterways and colourful islands. In fact, we’ve found an adventure on land is just as exhilarating. Here’s just 5 of our favourite ways to enjoy Venice, all without stepping foot on water.
Explore the seat of the Venetian government
In the heart of Venice you’ll find a true masterpiece of Gothic architecture – Doge’s Palace. Several hours are easily lost admiring the sheer opulence of the chambers inside, many of which are decorated with gold facades, intricate paintings and gilded ceilings. It’s fair to say not an expense was spared when constructing the Doge’s residence, and even fairer to say that the palace has become a must-see sight on a trip to Venice. Not all that glitters is gold however. Just a stone’s throw away from the palace’s grandeurs lies the austere prison cells. Here, you’ll find yourself immersed in the political history and scandals of a Venice from long ago.
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Admire panoramic views of the Venetian Lagoon
Everywhere you turn, you’ll find breathtaking views at the top of St. Mark’s Campanile. High above the bustle of the crowds, this is the perfect place to admire the sun-dappled silhouette of the city, the rippling Venetian lagoon, and even the distant shadow of the Alps.
Wander the “drawing room of Europe”
A phrase supposedly coined by Napoleon, you only need a few seconds in the Piazza San Marco to understand why the political figure was so enamoured with the square. For years, the dramatic silhouettes from the Basilica and the bustling atmosphere has captivated the hearts of travellers from all around the world. For an extra dose of magic, make sure to explore the square at sunset, where you can enjoy sweeping sunset views across the Venetian lagoon with a refreshing glass of Spritz in hand.
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Lose yourself in an unforgettable operatic experience
Embrace Italian opera at its finest with a breathtaking performance at the Teatro La Fenice. After a long year of empty programmes, the ruby red curtains have opened once more to usher in a new season of talented musicians. We’re talking sweeping renditions of Mozart from experienced orchestras and the works of Brahms at the hands of fresh talent. All nestled within the opulent surroundings of one of the most celebrated monuments in Italian history.
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Enjoy a sliver of peace at Libreria Acqua Alta
Tucked away on the waterfront lies a hidden den of literary treasures – Libreria Acqua Alta. If you think creating a bookstore on the edge of the Venetian lagoon seems a little out of the ordinary, you’d be right. Run by the eccletic Luigi Frizzo, this somewhat chaotic labyrinth houses thousands of books in every type of container possible. Antique bathtubs, disused gondolas, wooden barrels, abandoned canoes… all filled to the brim with books. So if you’re looking for a moment of peace or the chance to unearth a vintage classic, you’ve come to the right place.
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