6 Things to do in Venice
Venice is like walking in a storybook where every word on a page is another marvelous detail you’ve never seen before, and every page is another turn where you don’t know where the path will lead you. It’s like walking through a map of someone’s romantic soul and you just keep getting lost in it–I guess you can say this city speaks to me.
I left my heart in Venice. Which means I’ll have to go back someday. In the meantime, here are some of my favorite things to do in Venice. If you visit before I do again, tell my heart I said hello.
I’m serious. You can take the map from your hotel or tour guide but fold that thing up and put it in your pocket. You might end up in St. Mark’s square like twelve times, and end up going in a circle, but every turn will look different. Venice is like a maze. You have to walk through it blindly in order to discover it.
Pro tip: the street names are on the sides of buildings. There are no cars. There are boats in the canals. It’ll be eerily quiet at times, but you will always feel safe. I know common sense and your mother told you not to go down a sketchy looking alley, but this is the city to abandon that paranoia for a minute and just walk around. Most turns look like alleys, but they’re just streets. Still, use common sense though. I don’t want you to think you can’t get mugged. You can get mugged anywhere.
EAT GELATO. A LOT OF GELATO.
I want you to eat so much gelato you forget how many you’ve had. There are so many flavors to try. One of my favorite flavors was watermelon (left). I also love me some chocolate so I alternated from fruit flavor to chocolate flavor throughout the day. My brother taught me how to order my own cone in Italian. I completely forgot how immediately after. I blame it on the gelato-coma.
You can find gelato pretty much anywhere in Venice. We ventured out into the non-touristy areas and found the best ones. We also did some research ahead of time and found the best of the best. One of my favorites gelato shops was called Gelato di Natura – Campo Santi Apostoli. They don’t have a website. They don’t need one. Just look that up on Google and add it to your list. A fancier one that we loved was called GROM, this is where I got that chocolate cloud on the right.
SEE THE SITES.
If you’re not seeing the bucket list sites in Italy, why are you even in Italy? Oh. Right. See above. Gelato. Well, the sites are always a highlight. My recommendation is to always see the sites with a guided group. That way, you can potentially skip lines and you learn about what you’re looking at.
Saint Mark’s Basilica and St. Mark’s Square were both on the top of our list. Make sure you do these super early to avoid the crowds. The birthplace of Vivaldi was also on that list. Queue the Four Seasons.
PRACTICE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY SKILLS.
One of my favorite things to do is bring out my inner photographer when I travel. For all these photos, I used my phone. Yup. There are so many backdrops in Venice. There are so many subjects. You’re in a walking storybook for Pete’s sake. Take a few photos and pretend you’re on an assignment for National Geographic.
Don’t be shy, just look around you. It’s a free activity to help see the sights. My brother and I played who can get the best photo. Obviously I won 😉
LOOK FOR LOVE.
It’s everywhere. Noticing the lovely couples around me made me feel present. Instead of gagging or making fun of it, I just noticed it. Being surrounded by love can be a good thing. Let your guard down and believe that it is real and all around you.
I’m not saying that your Romeo is waiting for you around the corner, I’m saying take the time to just embrace the love you see around you. It will quickly lead you to believe in love again. Even if it’s not for you in this season you’re in.
FIND A MUSEUM, OR TWO.
We love museums. All the ones we found in Venice were by surprise. Tucked away in the middle of Venice we found the Chiesa San Maurizio – Il Museo della Musica. A music museum in Venice? Yeah. I know. GO. I also surprised my brother and found a dinosaur museum: The Natural History Museum was like walking through a movie set.
Walking around we stumbled into a few other museums and pop-up galleries throughout the city. The best plans are always loosely followed. Walk around and see what you can find and do some planning when you’re actually there.