Kempinski Blog Article
Venice has often been the subject of many literary, theatrical and artistic works throughout history, and it is no surprise as it one of the most captivating places that the world has to offer. Romance is embedded in every alleyway, canal and building that shapes the city. With a balance between rustic authenticity and grand elegance, there are numerous sights to see and activities to do during your time there.
Venice and its surrounding islands form the classic city break destination, a place that everyone should visit. Whether you love sightseeing, culture or cuisine, there is a wide range of things to see and experience in ‘la Serenissima’, ‘the most serene’.
From the bustling squares and avenues of San Marco to the calmer, more authentic Cannaregio district, there is always somewhere to suit your style. Spend your days exploring beautiful cathedrals and palaces, experiencing the city from a gondola, or wandering around tranquil neighbourhoods.
By planning ahead and getting up early, you can stroll through the usually busy parts of the city unaccompanied by the usual crowds of tourists, seeing the city’s true character, while at night, the hidden bars and restaurants come into their own as locals and couples relax with a glass or two of locally produced wine.
Travelling to Venice could not be easier. If you are arriving by plane, the closest is Marco Polo Airport on the mainland, an airport serviced by numerous airlines. There is also Treviso Airport, 25 km from the city and serviced by a number of budget airlines, and San Nicolo Airport, a private airfield on the Lido island that can handle charter traffic on its small grass airfield.
Bus and train services operate very regularly from Marco Polo and Treviso Airports to the bus terminal at Piazzale Roma and Venezia Santa Lucia railway station – tickets can be purchased within the respective concourses. A People Mover boat can also be caught from the Stazione Marittima, which can transfer you to Piazzale Roma within minutes. Water Taxis are also an option, and a must for those arriving at San Nicolo Airport.
Trains run between Venezia Santa Lucia station and cities including Rome, Milan, Munich, Paris, Vienna and Moscow, while if you are arriving by car, you will have to park on the mainland or at Tronchetto or Piazzale Roma car parks, the latter two of which can be rather expensive.
Cars, buses and bicycles are not an option when travelling in amongst the Rialtine islands (the main islands). When you are there, walking and watercraft are the only two transport options, and the city can be easily navigated this way.
While there are many hotels in Venice, for a special getaway nothing beats San Clemente Palace Kempinski. Located on San Clemente Island and a short boat ride from the city, here you can enjoy fine food, a luxury spa and beautiful gardens. It is a particularly great location for weddings and honeymooners – click here to find out more.
If you love food, and Italian food in particular, know that Venice is a culinary playground. There are countless restaurants serving up delicious and authentic Italian cuisine and even more that specialise in the traditional dishes you can only usually find in this special corner of Italy.
While there are too many outstanding restaurants to list here, bear in mind that it is worth seeking out places that are located away from the main areas. Establishments mainly catering to tourists, or those located close to very busy areas may not be as good compared to restaurants tucked away in less busy spots. It is also worth noting that many traditional restaurants close during July and August in the height of the tourist season as local Venetians go on holiday to escape the cruise ships.
Venetian cooking is a little different from the most popular dishes on the mainland. The sweet and sour sarde in saor – fried sardine fillets with vinegar, onions, raisins and pine nuts; baccala mantecato, which is creamed and dried cod; or the pitch-black seafood risotto al nero di sepia, which derives its colour from squid ink! As you would expect from a city located in a tidal lagoon, seafood is the most popular offering.
All across Venice’s neighbourhoods you can find sights and locations that tell a story. Here are some of the ones every first time visitor needs to see.
The beautiful Rialto Bridge is one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks, and if you are in the city you should see it up close – the design is truly lovely. What is more if you love shops, restaurants and fresh produce, nearby is the Rialto market, perfect for picking up a quick snack as you stroll around the city.
Another recognisable structure, the Doge’s Palace is a fantastic building, once home to the rulers of Venice. Completed in 1424, the interior of the Gothic structure is to be seen. Walking down the elegant halls, every floor, wall and ceiling looks like it belongs in an art gallery.
If you love opera and classical music, consider purchasing tickets to see a performance at La Fenice, the city’s oldest opera house. With amazing golden balconies, a sky-blue ceiling and a collection of ornate chandeliers, this velveted theatre is arguably one of the best in the world. Just make sure to book tickets well in advance.
Peggy Guggenheim Collection
While classic Italian art can be found throughout Venice at places like the Doge’s Palace, Venice Academy Museum of Art and the House of Gold, more modern displays can be enjoyed at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, an interesting sight that houses a vast collection of modernist and surrealist art.
For more information on the great range of things to do and see in Venice, click here to contact our staff – they will be happy to answer any questions you might have about the world’s most beautiful city.