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.
To rent a costume for the February Carnevale, come here; The shop carries more than 10,000 period pieces.
The extraordinary Gothic structure houses Tintoretto's Paradiso—one of the largest paintings in the world—which hangs in the Sala del Maggiore Consiglio.
To teach travelers about the ecological challenges facing the city, the sustainable-tourism organization organizes guided walking tours, where you’ll learn about Venice’s preservation efforts.
Dried fruits, truffles, 80 kinds of spices, and 100 varieties of chocolate fill the shelves at the best grocery store in town.
This historic workshop is frequented both by Vatican priests and fashion designers. Take a guided tour to see how weavers create velvets on 18th- century looms.
Book tickets for the recently restored 1836 opera house, where you can listen to Verdi and Puccini's masterpieces in their home country. (If you can't make a performance, take a daytime tour.)
This double-masted 1926 sailing vessel, is available for small groups.
Pop into this tiny shop for dark chocolates spiced with lavender, cayenne pepper, star anise, or cinnamon.
Instead of the basilica on San Marco, head for a far newer landmark: the showroom architect Scarpa created for the Olivetti company in 1957. Diagonally across from the celebrated cathedral, it’s a jewel-like temple for secular objects.
Artists pontificate over the latest exhibits while lounging on cream linen sofas at this contemporary gallery-cafe. During "spritz hour" (6 to 9 p.m.), Campari cocktails are $6 a glass.
The boutique deals in delciate glassware.
The popular spot features a bottle-stacked bar, illuminated by Ingo Maurer lights, and outdoor chairs that overlook the Grand Canal.
Bibliophiles will bask in the variety of reading materials: everything from rare and used books about Venice to contemporary mysteries autographed by local writer Donna Leon.
Legendary designer Mariano Fortuny assigned the colors for his fabrics’ poetic names: “Rembrandt rust straw and silvery gold,” “Bayou lime green and old ivory,” “seafoam green.” You’ll find these and more at this factory and shop, where 16,000 yards of Egyptian cotton are handcrafted every year.