Things to do in Venice
Beautiful, romantic Venice has tempted travelers to its shores for centuries, and with good reason. There are so many things to do in Venice—so many great places, piazze, and hidden canals and alleyways to explore—that one could return to the water-bound city every year and still not run out of ideas. To find out what to do in Venice, browse Travel + Leisure’s insider’s guide, featuring notable architecture, designer boutiques, glassblowing ateliers, great museums, chic cocktail lounges, as well as information on how to get around by boat, where to rent costumes for Carnevale, and who gives architecture tours of Italy’s most scenic city.
Whether you want to attend an opera at La Fenice, shop for a pair of stylish rain boots (perfect to wade through flooded Piazza San Marco), or visit the impressive Scarpa showroom (originally created for the Olivetti company in 1957), T+L’s Venice travel guide has the listings you want. Created by our network of experts, it features the best things to do in Venice—from the Dorsoduro, city center, and the Giudecca and Castello, to Murano, Burano, and islands beyond.
Piece together glass mosaics in Venice under the tutelage of artist Antonella Gallenda in an 1888 glass foundry. Walk away with your very own masterpiece.
The Madonna and Child Enthroned is housed here; t’s reportedly the only work by 15th-century Greek artist Antonio Falier da Negroponte.
Indulge your olfactory senses with a bottle of Alcova, the so-called perfume of desire, or some handmade rose-, bergamot-, or lavender-scented soap.
An oarlock might not be at the top of your shopping list, but step inside this woodworking shop and you’re likely to change your mind. Designer Saviero Pastor hand-carves sinuous, one-of-a-kind pieces in walnut, cherry, or pear wood.
Where: Rio di Palazzo, Venice, steps from Piazza San Marco.
Stats: Built in the early 1600s in the Baroque style, the bridge connects the Doge’s Palace to what was once a prison.
The museum runs tours of the Jewish Ghetto. You can visit three of the five area synagogues, each with its own character and design.
Jack Nicholson and Elton John are fans of the made-to-measure silk pajamas embroidered with Venetian lions.
Senegal-born Moulaye Niang is the city’s first African glassmaker. His store sells contemporary jewelry that uses bright colors from his homeland. Best finds: bulbous glass rings in orange and lilac.
The streets leading to the Rialto Bridge are lined with vendors selling wooden toys, shoes, bags, and hats. Best buys include the multihued furlane (traditional velvet slippers with soles made from bicycle tires).
The shop features modern glassware along with rare vintage finds, such as 1940’s glass vases by Carlo Scarpa.
You’ll find boho-chic styles such as flared knee-length silk skirts in rouge and rust, and kimono jackets in red and fuchsia.
You'll feel like a Guggenheim as you take in the heiress's vast inventory of paintings and sculptures while wandering through her former palazzo on the Grand Canal. A recent expansion has given the works by Kandinsky, Pollock and Giacometti (among many others) room to breathe.
Serious collectors come for paintings and sculptures by top contemporary inter- national artists such as Toots Zynsky and Silvia Levenson.