Not easy to make a list of things to do/see in Venice as the city is packed with great places and historic sites. There are, of course  the most visited ones which symbolize the city and can’t be missed during a first stay (piazza San Marco, the Doge’s Palace, the Rialto Bridge …) but there are other places far from mass tourism and more authentic that particularly charm us.

We have listed some of our favourite addresses and spots for a weekend in Venice:

A labyrinth of medieval alleyways and canals

All travel blogs will tell you, the best way to visit Venice is to get lost. And if they say it again and again, it’s because it’s true! Venice is part of several islands and it has only 5 districts. So, the chance of getting lost is very low.

The Dorsoduro district

You don’t need to venture far from San Marco to find quiet streets and fantastic restaurants at reasonable prices. The Dorsoduro district is one of our favorites. It offers without doubt the most beautiful views of Venice. We love to walk along the Grand Canal and the Canal della Guidecca. For ice cream lovers, we recommend taking a break at the Gelateria da Nico to taste their famous Gianduiotto, a chocolate-hazelnut ice cream served with whipped cream.

Vaporetto Tour on Grand Canal

The best view of the palaces is from the canal, and much of it doesn’t have embankments to walk, so the water is the only way to see some of them. Board near the Doge’s palace and ride the entire circle to get a view of the whole city.

More info on e-venise.com.

By the way, gondolas cost 80 euros for half an hour as they are regulated by the city. If you’re not willing to spend that much on a short gondola ride take a local boat. It looks like a gondola, but costs you less.

Campo San Giacomo dell’Orio

San Giacomo dell’Orio square is situated in the Santa Croce district. This place is full of venetian charm and away from the tourist flow. When the school is over, the square gets crowded with Venetian kids and their parents who meet to spend the afternoon together.

Stroll through the Acqua Alta bookstore

In the Acqua Alta Bookstore the imagination takes off. This old and picturesque bookstore is a paradise for kids: it looks like an enchanting world in which the only rules to follow are those imposed by creativity and imagination.You will find books from the past and the latest releases, used and new, stored in the most disparate places like gondolas, an old boat or a bathtub. And when you climb on top of the staircase made of books you enjoy the nice view of the river.

Libreria Aqua AltaCalle Longa S.M. Formosa 5176/b |30122 Venice | Italy

Art is everywhere!

Venice has many incredible museums and exhibitions and some of them organize kids free workshops and recreational activities to bring children closer to contemporary and modern art.

Here are our top two:

Peggy Guggenheim Collection: Kids days is every Sunday from 15:00 to 16:30, the museum organizes free laboratories and fun activities that are designed to allow children to discover (between 4 and 10 years old) the contemporary and modern art.

Collection Peggy Guggenheim | Dorsoduro | 701-704, 30123 Venezia VE | Italie

Palazzo Grassi: ST_ART is the creative laboratory of Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana. They offer a series of appointments and activities dedicated to children and their parents. Participants experience contemporary art through laboratories that develop a sense of observation and stimulate practical skills.

Palazzo Grassi |Campo San Samuele, 3231 | 30124 Venezia VE | Italie

Take a drink near the canals

After a long day of sightseeing and strolling around the city, we take a well deserved glas of Prosecco! Direction Osteria Enoteca Ai Artisti or Osteria al Squero. The drinks (or sucoo d’arancia for your kids) are accompanied by Cicchetti (tapas Venetian). Enjoy the evening sun outside, on the banks of the canal, while the city reveals her true charms.

Osteria Enoteca Ai Artisti | ABC Fondamenta Toletta | 1169 ABC | 30123 Venezia VE | Italie

Osteria al Squero | Dorsoduro 943-944 | 30123 Venezia VE | Italie

Burano, Murano or Torcello?

The lagoon of Venice has more than a hundred islands. This makes it difficult to choose between the great classics (Burano, Murano or Torcello) or other less known, and more preserved islands.

The island Murano, Burano and Torcello can be reached easily by Vaporetto . Burano, with its colorful little houses, seems straight out of an illustrated storybook, Torcello is one of the most important archeological sites in Venice and Murano is known for its glass work.

Of course, all tourists do it, but it would be a shame not to see Murano’s talented artists. Your kids will be delighted to see the glassblowers at work. Thanks to the incredible skills of the craftsmen, the incandescent material will take shape in front of their eyes, turning into a precious glass creation.

Venise is without any doubt a unique city, but the problems with the overtourism is still not solved. The number of tourists has been increasing in double digits since 2010. The giant cruise ships, which unload thousands of passengers over Venice, are just adding to this problem.

As a conscientious traveler, you can not close your eyes to this problem, and before you book your week-end, you’ll probably give it some thought. Especially in the summer months, Venice is packed with tourists and a walk around Piazza San Marco can turn into a nightmare. The Municipality of Venice launched a campaign on sustainable tourism in Venise at #enjoyrespectvenezia and recommends to visit the city during low season. We can only agree as we visit Venise in March and it was just perfect. You avoid long queues, massive tourist crowds and annoying salesmen.

With the cooler weather and shorter days, a kind of passivity lays over Venice, where everything goes into slow motion. The atmosphere is relaxes, the bars are quiet and a visit is certainly more pleasant.

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