boats canal venice


5 awesome things to know about Venice

Published August 14th, 2015

With so many iconic cities throughout Italy, it's somewhat easy for Venice to get lost in the crowd. However, 'The Floating City' has a memorable personality of its own, built on a group of 118 small islands separated by the romantic canals.

Although few travellers leave Venice without taking a gondola ride, there's a lot more to see and do in the city. Discover more about one of Europe's most incredible cities with this list of five awesome things about Venice.

1. You’ll do a lot of boating

You’ve probably seen pictures of Venice’s famous waterways and canals, but did you know this is virtually the only mode of transport in the city? The picturesque city literally rises out of the water.

Getting around from A to B you’ll channel La Dolce Vita as you cruise past famous sights that have been a part of Venice for hundreds of years such as the Rialto Bridge and Doge’s Palace.

A Grand Canal cruise is another must-do in Venice. You jump aboard a vaporetto passenger cruiser and pass through the main lifeline of the city past the exquisite and historic Palazzi.

Cruising down Venice's canals is a popular way to relax and take in the city. All images: Getty

2. Get down with the masters ... and the newbies

For centuries Venice has inspired the creative thinkers of the world, so it’s no shock the city has a burgeoning art scene. What might surprise you is the amount of contemporary art to be found in this historic city.

If modern art is your passion, make a beeline for the celebrated Peggy Guggenheim Collection located on the Grand Canal. You’ll find mesmerising masterpieces in Cubism, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. For historic artwork the Gallerie dell’Accademia can’t fail to delight, with stunning pieces from Titian and Tintoretto.

3. You can see it all from above

Venice is a tangled web of waterways, beautiful palazzo and celebrated churches. With so many amazing sights to see it can be hard to get your bearings, so it’s worth making the long trek up to the top of St Mark's Campanile for a bird’s-eye view.

The Campanile is the bell tower of St Mark's Basillica, one of the premier sights of Venice. The superb 360-degree views of the city from the Bell Tower will likely inspire lasting memories.

Uninterrupted views of the city from St Mark's Campanile

4. Musical Venice

If there's one name most Venice locals will recognise it's Vivaldi. He’s a bit of legend in Venice, born amongst the city's canals.

If you do find yourself in town, get your Baroque on and see a bona fide Vivaldi performance by one of Venice’s finest: the Venice Baroque Orchestra or the La Fenice orchestra.

If classical music isn’t part of your favourite night out, Venice Jazz Club by the Ponte dei Pugni offers a different kind of wonderful with the sultry tones of Miles Davis and John Coltrane ringing out into the night sky. Entry includes a free first drink, and complimentary cold platters are served up to a welcoming crowd each night.

5. Holy Venetian architecture

When it comes to architecture, everyone knows Italy doesn't disappoint. Venice has its own particular brand of drop-dead-gorgeous buildings. Think decorative and intricate Gothic-style blended with Byzantine and Moorish influences for enhanced exoticism.

The whole city exudes fairy-tale prettiness, with perhaps the most iconic building being the spectacular Doge’s Palace. There's also amazing religious architecture, with St Mary of the Friars, St Mark's Basillica, and San Rocco topping the charts.

You'll see plenty of people craning their necks to admire the city's architecture

Amy Dalgleish

Wanderlust pommie, currently living the dream in sunny Byron Bay.