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Find the best hotels in Venice along with the best restaurants and exciting things to do. Venice is what the Italians call the serenissima of all Italian cities, meaning the most serene. With no noisy mopeds or cars in the streets, navigating the city by foot or gondola makes for an incredibly new experience for some and decidedly romantic for all. Everything about Venice is enchanting. Though many people flock here in the summer, hoping to take in some warm Venetian sunshine and sights, the winter is when the Venetians take their city back and when you will have a chance to see the heart and soul of this destination without the requisite mob of vacationers. Sip a cappuccino at the Cafe Florian, opened in 1720, while enjoying the architecture, people watching and the air of relaxation around you. Enjoy a boat ride as more than a mode of transportation. Spend hours perusing world-renowned museums and sights. Whether you choose to go in the summer or winter, one thing is for certain—you will never want to leave this city.
Galleria Internazionale D'Arte Moderna
Santa Croce 2076
Tel. +39 0 41 721 127
The Ca'Pasaro display treasures of modern art, including Klimt's famous Salome. The gound floor is devoted to sculpture, while the upper floors host paintings and temporary exhibitions.
Collezione Peggy Guggenheim
Palazzo Venier dei Leoni
Tel. +39 0 41 520 62 88
Heiress to a colossal fortune, Peggy Guggenheim shipped her celebrated collection of modern art and avant garde art from New York to Venice in 1948. the following year she purchased Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, an 18th century building that had never been completed. Peggy lived here with her third husband, the painter Jean Helion until she died in 1979. Her art collection is most impressive and a visit to Venice is not complete with at least one stop at hte Guggenheim. Some of artists represented are Jackson Pollock, Kazimir Malevich, Piet Mondrian, Giorgio De Chirico and Fernand Leger.
Dorsoduro 1050, Campo della Carita
Tel. +39 0 41 522 22 47
This building started out as a church, then served as a monastery and school before becoming the austere setting, in a decor designed by Carlo Scarpa, for the largest and richest Venetian paintings in the world.
S. Croce, 2214
The Venice Biennale has for over a century been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world. Ever since its foundation in 1895, it has been in the avant-garde, promoting new artistic trends and organising international events in the contemporary arts in accordance with a multi-disciplinary model which characterises its unique nature.
Museo del '700 Veneziano
San Barnaba boat stop
Tel. +9 (0) 41.520.40.36 or +9 (0) 41.241.01.00
This is one of the most important museums in Venice. After a very long and expensive restoration, the results are superlative: the frescoes, rooms and grand staircases were reinstated to full 18th-century splendor, making the place even more beautiful to look at. The palace, taking its name from the Rezzonico family, was built in 1649 by Baldassarre Longhena and completed in 1750 by Giorgio Massari. Its character as a splendid aristocratic 18th-century home was later revived by the Venice Municipality with valuable collections of furniture, hangings, sculpture and paintings from the Correr Museum. Ca' Rezzonico hosts many period tapestries, lacquer work and armchairs as well as many works by Canaletto, Rosalba Carriera, Giambattista Tiepolo and Francesco Guardi.
Campo San Samuele
Tel. +9 (0) 41.523.1680
French billionaire Francois Pinault restored this 18th century palace to display his vast and impressive modern and contemporary art collection. As Pinault was a bit boisterous, this nearly priceless collection was, to some degree, just speculation and hearsay amongst the people, until it was confirmed. Now the collection is one of the art world’s most spectacular. Works include Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter and Damian Hirst, as well as a major Picasso exhibit through March 11th.
San Stae, 1992
Tel. +9 (0) 41.72.1798
This stunning edifice was once the 18th century residence of the Mocenigo family, the famed family of the Serenissima, who gave seven doges to the Republic. In 1954, Count Alvise Nicolo Mocenigo bequeathed the house and all its treasures and artworks to the city. It is a perfectly preserved example of a gracious and eloquent way of life. The house also features a gorgeous textile and costume museum.
Scuola Grande di San Rocco
Campo S. Rocco
Tel. +9 (0) 41.523.4864
The Scuola Grande houses more than 50 paintings by Tintoretto, who spent nearly 24 years of his life decorating the school. Its patron Saint Roch was born in 1295 and at the age of 20 began helping plague victims in Italy and southern France. His body was brought to Venice in 1485 and the Scuola di San Rocco acquired the title of Scuola Grande in 1489. A new building was begun in 1515 and was completed in 1549. In 1564, the Scuola held a competition to decide who should paint the inaugural picture for the recently completed structure. The winner was Tintoretto and the interior of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco impressed Ruskin so much that he included it with the Cappella Sistina in Rome and the Campo Santo in Pisa as “one of the three most precious buildings in Italy.” If you are a lover of beautiful things, don’t miss Scuola Grande di San Rocco.
Punta della Dogana
Tel. +39 041 523 1680
This once former customs house now holds a sizable art collection of the luxury goods magnate Francois Pinault. The location is marvelous and galleries are light and airy; all the better to view the serious contemporary works.
San Marco 468-30122 Venezia
Tel. + 9 (0) 41.523.2148
In addition to feeding names like Scorsese and Newman, Do Forni’s unusual decor will make you feel like you’re feasting in a dining car on a train from Venice to Istanbul. Giving the restaurant an air of importance and mystery, the interior decoration also features extravagant brick fireplaces and a quaint garden. Then, there is the food. The Chateaubriand is astonishing, as is the lengthy menu, offering over 8 soup choices and a continuous list of pastas, meat dishes and salads. An indispensable part of Venetian dining, you will fall head over heels for Do Forni.
Piazza S. Marco, 121
Tel. +39 (0) 41 522 2105
Downstairs is a cafe but upstairs is Restorante Quadri. Yes, it's very expensive but then how often do you get to dine in an absolutely beautiful room overlooking St. Mark's and the Campanile. The food is by Michelin starred chef Maddimiliano Ajajmo.
Osteria da Fiore
Calle del Scaleter, 2202
Tel. +9 (0) 41.72.1308
Tucked away on a little calle off the top of Campo San Polo, Da Fiore is a favorite among posh diners for its superbly prepared Venetian cuisine and polished, yet relaxed atmosphere. The superlative seafood menu here includes delicate hors d'oeuvres of moeche, scallops, and tiny octopus, a succulent risotto and a turbot or tuna steak seared to perfection. It is considered the best seafood restaurant in Venice for a reason.
Tel. +9 (0) 41.241.3889
This adorable open-air barge restaurant is moored permanently in the Giudecca Canal. The interior walls are lined with Murano sconces, tangled bouquets of glass and bare bulbs swaying from the ceiling. Servers glide between tables, bearing baskets of bread and bottles of wine. Feast on salads, homemade sauces, grilled radicchio and fish roasted in salt with complementary wines of all kinds.
Tel. +9 (0) 41.721.822
In the 1500’s, there was a tavern in this location, and the interiors echo this atmosphere of yore. Large fireplaces are regularly lit in winter, detailed frescoes decorate the walls and the rooms are romantic and tastefully furnished here. Serving only homemade pasta and fish fresh off the boat, Poste Vecie will have your senses all a flutter. Try the fritto de moecche (fried tiny crabs) or the real Venetian fegato alla Veneziana. House wines are Italian white Tokay and red Merlot, not to mention a remarkable wine list. In spring and summer, you can eat beneath the trees in the garden.
San Polo, 130
Tel. +39 (0) 41.724.1035
Naranzaria aims to make Venice the meeting ground for flavors and cultures. They succeed brilliantly with their daytime sushi menu and heartier dinner menu including dishes like polenta with minced duck.
San Polo, 1911
Tel. +39 (0) 41.524.0165
The waiters at this romantic eatery would rather read the menu to you than hand it over. If their melodic culinary suggestions leave you indecisive, order the antipasti della casa, a large portion of fresh seafood served cooked or crudo.
Osteria di Santa Marina
Campo Santa Marina 5911 (Castello)
Tel. +39 (0) 41.528.5239
Exceptional fish restaurant that has been around for years and not just for tourists. We suspect the reason being is that the prices are relatively reasonable and the food consistently good.
Ponte dell'Umilta, Dorsoduro, 19
Tel. +39 (0) 41.523.0034
Lineadombra's perfectly modern design will have you forgetting you are in one of the oldest cities in Italy. Though closed in the winter, if the weather is nice when you go, request to sit outside on the deck overlooking the canal and snack on the mille-feuille of scampi with onions and green apples.
Tel. +39 041 522 7220
This nine table restaurant that is owned by a group of young Venetians serves seasonal and local seafood like gnocchi wtih calamaretti and fresh grilled sea bass.
Tel +39 (0) 41.522.3812
This romantic Venetian reataurant is a must. Be sure to vew website here for location and times.
Ristorante Fiaschetteria Toscana
San G. Grisostomo
Tel. +39 (0) 41 528 5281
Our very reliabe sources tell us this one of Venices most reliable restaurants and it is also moderately priced.
Calle Vallaresso, 1323
Tel. +39 (0) 41 528 5777
It may be a bit of a cliche at this point but everyone still makes an appearance at Harry's bar in Venice. This is where the famous drink "Bellini" was invented (secret is fresh peach juice) and you may want to stop by for one just to check out the crowd. If you have a few than maybe dinner. (Beware! The pasta ain't cheap!)
Barovier & Toso
Fondamenta Vetrai, 28
Tel. +9 (0) 41.73.9049
This famous store is 600 years old and still run by a member of the Barovier family. Among the beautiful creations are dazzling Venetian chandeliers, vases and glassware by Italian designers. You can find pieces from all time periods and to match countless decors. Barovier & Toso is a headquarters, showroom and museum rolled into one. Perfect.
Il Pavone di Pelosin Fabio
De Leoni 72
Tel. +9 (0) 41.523.4517
Located behind the Guggenheim museum, this shop carries traditional block-printed Venetian papers and fabrics in a variety of items including bags, books, ties and potholders.
La Mercerie In proximity to Calle dei baloni
A widely known shopping area in Venice, the Mercerie is a collection of small streets, lined with shops and linking St. Mark’s Square and Rialto. Browse for hand-made leather handbags, scour racks of designer duds or pick out delicate, one-of-a-kind Murano glass pieces to bring home. If you can dream it, you can find it here where everything is for sale.
Venice is famous for its Carnevale and is home to two old-fashioned mask-makers. Don’t settle for the regular tourist fare, take home at least one of Venice’s most famous souvenirs made by either of these pros:
Calle dei Nomboli
San Polo, 2800
Tel. +9 (0) 41.721.102
Gualtiero Dall’Osto is the master mask-maker at Tragicomica. Here you can watch all kinds of masks evolve from mere ideas to actual costumes. Each takes several hours to make and is then decorated with gold leaf, tempera, watercolor or oil. In the 18th century, people often wore masks year round.
Rio Terrá Canal
Tel. +9 (0) 41.287.344
Owner Guerrino Lovato was commissioned to make nearly 80 masks for the Stanley Kubrick film “Eyes Wide Shut.” In addition to choosing from a wonderful selection of masks, you can learn some interesting facts about the rituals and traditions of the mask. Here’s one: during the plague, people stuffed the beak-shaped nose of popular masks with medicinal herbs to avoid sickness.
San Marco 3537
Tel. +39 041 523 0578
Beautiful silk lingerie. If it were any thinner it would float away.
San Marco 5546
Salizada del Fontego dei Tedeschi
Tel. +39 (0) 41.528.5249
One of the few bars offering late night live jazz, Bacaro Jazz features a comfortable, friendly atmosphere with great food, drinks and people.
Al Paradiso Perduto
Fondamenta de la Misericordia, Cannaregio 2540
Tel. +39 (0) 41.720.581
This noisy and chic osteria near the Ca’d’Oro is a popular evening haunt for Venice’s students and young professionals. Open as late as 2 am, Paradiso is legendary for its raucous nights and eclectic music, but new owners Paolo Ellero and Elisabetta Zane have given it a bit of a kick. Diners can now watch live bands, while diving into large pasta dishes and surveying Venice’s young and beautiful.
San Marco 1980 (to the left of La Fenice Opera House)
Tel. +9 (0) 41.522.4121 or +9 (0) 41.523.7027
Open since 1927, this piano bar is housed in the oldest building in the Italian nightlife scene. Top musicians and singers perform jazz and easy listening selections into the wee hours and a full dinner menu is served until 2:00 am. St. Mark’s Square is a hop, skip and a jump away, ensuring your night on the town will be an all night adventure.
Chiesa di Vivaldi
Tel. +39 (0) 41.917.257
Chiesa di Vivaldi is not only a beautiful church—it also serves as a venue for classical music, most notably, Vivaldi. Here you will find the highest quality ensembles in classical music, including Le Quattro Staggioni (The Four Seasons) and many baroque-style masterpieces. For a night at the theater, there is no better venue.