It seems like everyone wants to go to Venice. Ask your closest friends about their travel bucket lists and it’s a good bet that they’ll all come up with Italy, if not Venice specifically. Go into things a little deeper and they might not have much to say beyond the fact that Venice looks really cool. This is perfectly fair! It’s one of the most unique and beautiful cities in the world. It’s bursting with gorgeous old architecture and crisscrossed with famous canals. It would be hard to find someone who wouldn’t want to take a trip down some of those canals on the gondolas that have helped to make the city one of the world’s most renowned travel destinations.
But what about Venice beyond the canals? The layout may be the city’s main attraction, and with good reason, but there’s plenty to get excited about there besides interesting waterways. Here are some of the things to see and do in the Floating City.
St. Mark’s Basilica
It doesn’t get much more stunning than St. Mark’s. Situated just steps from the sea and ranked as the top attraction in all of Venice, it’s about as artistic a building as you’ll find in Europe. The style is primarily Byzantine, but inside you’ll find a treasure trove of art, mosaics, and sculptures. The altar dates from the 12th century, and some of the artifacts inside have remained in Venice since the looting of Constantinople. It’s a pretty packed tourist destination, but you can still get lost in the age and tranquility of the building itself.
Casino di Venezia
You don’t have to be a poker enthusiast to appreciate Casino di Venezia, particularly given what’s happened in the casino industry over the past 15 years or so. Online and mobile gaming companies have taken inspiration from the live casino sector to produce limitless entertainment that has thoroughly modernized the industry. Once upon a time casinos meant dressing up, sipping cocktails, socializing, and gaming in person. Now they’re synonymous with computer screens and online tournaments. That’s not a bad thing, but it does make it easier to appreciate this particular venue, which happens to be the oldest casino in the world. It was first opened in 1638 and still welcomes players to its ornate gaming rooms today.
Food & Wine Tours
You’re not making the most of a trip to Italy if you aren’t enjoying the food and wine, and Venice also has plenty to offer here. Though the city, is best known for its one-of-a-kind layout and architecture, it still lives up to the reputation of Italian destinations for offering mouthwatering cuisine. There are actually plenty of different food and wine tours you can enjoy. Some take you to “Cicchetti Bars” where you’ll enjoy small desserts and snack plates, and some take you to so-called secret cellars with the locals’ favorite wines. You’ll wind up experiencing some flavors unlike anything you’ve ever had before, whether sweet, savory, or liquid.
There are plenty of other outdoor sights you’ll want to check out in Venice, including the Doge’s Palace, the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge, and others. When you’re looking for a specific activity or attraction it’s important to remember that the city is just as filled with artistic brilliance in its museums as it is with fascinating architecture. In addition to St. Mark’s and the Doge’s Palace (both of which function as galleries nowadays), there are lots of wonderful museums to put on your list. These include the Academy Gallery Museum of Art, the House of Gold, and the Peggy Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art, to name a few. They’re all great, and it’s worth trying to visit a few of them.