Venice city pass: all you need to know

City Pass of Venice

There’s a way to visit Venice with no stress: buying the Venice city pass.

Once you’re on holiday, the last thing you want to do is wasting time purchasing boat tickets, and queueing for all the attractions in the city, mainly because is the only period of the year when you have actually time for yourselves and you want to enjoy it doing the things you love to do.

Venezia Unica is the Venice city pass, ideal to all those tourists like you, who want to make their life easier while on vacation. The pass is promoted by the city municipality and you can use it for public transport, cultural events, and attractions.

How does Venice City Pass work? 

The first thing you need to know is that you can buy the Venezia Unica card with a click from home, planning your trip to Venice in advance.
Once you enter the official website, you can physically create your unique Venice City pass, choosing among several options or selecting one of these three packages:

  • Silver city pass: for museums and churches
  • Gold city pass: for museums, churches, and public transport
  • Platinum city pass: to have access to all deals in Venice, including cultural events

In terms of public transport, there are many alternatives to choose from according to your needs. For example, you can choose to buy a ticket valid for 1 day, 2 days or 3 days to travel around Venice and have a tour of its islands, or you can also choose the option which includes the ticket to get to Venice from the airport and back.
Depending on how you plan to spend your time in Venice, you’ll be able to create your personal Venice city pass.
Once you’ve bought it, you’ll receive an email with a booking code that you need to print out, since you need to present it at every attraction you decide to visit. You’ll also need it to collect vaporetto tickets at one of the Sale and Collection points around the city.
There’s no need to have a physical card if you only purchase a pass for churches and attractions.

Where to buy Venice City Pass? 

As we said, you can buy the Venice city Pass online, through its official website, which is the easiest and comfortable way to do it. If you arrive in Venice without the pass, you can purchase it at one of the many points around the city, branded Venezia Unica.
Of course, buying it online is the best way to avoid queues.

Is the Venice city pass worth it? 

Quick answer –  it depends.
We usually recommend purchasing the pass including public transport at least, since Venice is complicated to visit and if you have just a couple of days you might want to make it easy to travel between points of interest.
The price of the three packages we mentioned before (Silver, Gold or Platinum), starts from 21,90 euro per person, but be aware that foundations like the Peggy Guggenheim Museum are not included in these options. However, if you buy the pass online you’ll have a discount on the final price (from 15 euro to 9 euros).
If it’s your first time in Venice, we recommend creating a Venice City Pass that includes both attractions and transport, but if you’ve already been to Venice and its islands, and you know how to find your way among its streets, probably the cheapest version is enough for you.
If during the day you may need to take a vaporetto, let the evening be the time for you to walk around, finding places to watch the sunset in Venice and getting lost in a city where time seems to have stopped.

Venice Carnival: how to live it as its best

Mask of Venice Carnival

The history of the Venice Carnival dates back to the 17th century, right after the victory of the Republic of Venice against the Patriarch of Aquileia. In the 18th century, the Carnival of Venice became a symbol of Venetian culture, and a way to show the Republic’s prestige and power.

In the life of Venetians, Carnival was a moment when they could be anyone they wanted to be, with no differences between social classes. The Venice Carnival represented a period of total freedom; this was the main reason why people from all over Europe came to Venice, to taste and experience the freedom they had heard about.

Venice carnival costumes

Venice Carnival was indeed a time where everyone could be whoever they wanted to be. However, back in the 18th century, there were only two masks people could wear, the so-called “Bauta” and the “Moretta”.
The Bauta is a white mask that covers the entire face, with a prominent nose, two holes for the eyes, and no mouth. It is usually worn with a black “tabarro”, a long cloak that was initially worn to stay warm, since Carnival takes place in winter, and then became part of the whole costume.
Another typical mask was the so-called “Moretta”, which means “dark mask”, but if you want to know more about it, we recommend reading our blog post about Venice Carnival history.
Nowadays, there isn’t a typical Venetian mask anymore. You can wear anything you like, and spend a day around the streets of Venice being whoever you want to be. You can also participate in the annual best costume contest, and try to win the first prize!

Venice Carnival: how to live one of the most amazing events in the world

Besides the contest for best costume, there are a lot of things to do and events to attend during Carnival.
To live the Carnival of Venice as Venetians used to in the past, you could think about attending a dinner & ball event, wearing an 18th-century costume and dancing beneath a frescoed ceiling inside an ancient Venetian palace.
Alternatively, you can just wear your costume and walk through the streets of Venice, admiring the multitude of fancy outfits you’ll see around the city
You can also do a bacaro tour wearing your costume, pretending to live in a different historical period for a day.
Moreover, don’t forget to taste “frittella”, a traditional kind of fried doughnut, that you can only find during Carnival.

When is Carnival in Venice?

Short answer: it depends.
The Venice Carnival dates change every year, depending on when Easter will be. In 2019, Carnival will take place from February 16th to March 5th and, of course, there will be many parties and exciting initiatives like masked balls.
There are also some not-to-be-missed events during Carnival, such as the traditional “Festa delle Marie”, a parade of twelve girls called “Marie”, which evokes an important annual event Venetians used to celebrate in the past. Another event that shouldn’t be missed is the ‘Flight of the Angel’, on Shrove Thursday, which has its roots in a fact that happened many centuries ago in Venice. A Turkish acrobat, to pay homage to the Doge and astonish the Venetian people, decided to walk on a rope from a boat moored along Riva degli Schiavoni to the top of the St. Mark’s bell tower, and then from there to the roof of the Doge’s palace. Unfortunately, he fell and died, and because of that, the event was called “Flight of the Turk” for a while – until its name was changed to ‘Flight of the Angel’.

Follow the Venice Carnival official website to find out all there is to know about parties and events!

Is Venice worth visiting? Here’s 5 reasons why

View of Venice

As far as cities go, Venice is definitely one of a kind, and this should be enough to answer questions like “Is Venice worth visiting?”! However, we perfectly know that things have changed in the last few years, and many people are starting to wonder whether or not Venice is worth a stop.

We know that it might be crowded, especially if you visit it during Carnival or in summer, but we can assure you that Venice is absolutely worth visiting and we’re going to explain here 5 reasons why you definitely should see it at least once in your life.

1. Venice is worth visiting simply because it’s unique

There’s no doubt about it, of course. Venice is a city you won’t find anywhere else on earth. It’s a city built on water, with incredible architecture all around, and a lot of stories to tell.
Every corner reveals tales and details to photograph, and you won’t get bored walking through its labyrinthic streets, discovering new buildings and curiosities.
Venice represents a different concept of living, where there are no cars, but only boats and people walking across its bridges.
You might not like spending your day walking around and visiting museums, but what about cuisine? Here’s an article about Venetian traditional food, that will convince you to come to Venice just to try it!

2. Where else can you experience a gondola ride?

Ok, Las Vegas has gondolas, but would you really say that going on a gondola there, is the same as being in Venice? We don’t think so.  
And if you think that a gondola ride in Venice will be too expensive, there are at least three or four reasons why it is worth it, which we have listed in this article of our blog. 

3. It’s the only city in the world that takes you back in centuries

Venice hasn’t changed. Ever since its birth, Venice was a city built on water, where the only way to reach a place was by boat, or on foot.
Today, it’s exactly the same.
If you visit Milan, Rome or any other city in Italy (or even in the world), you’ll notice that the past exists side by side with modernity. In Venice, this only happens during the Biennale – elsewhere in Venice, you’ll be surrounded by its glorious past.

4. Are you dreaming of something? In Venice, you can find it

Even though we said that Venice is stuck in the past, it doesn’t mean that you won’t find what you’re looking for.
If you feel like spending a day shopping, you are spoiled for choice, if you want to dedicate your holiday to art and history there’s no better city than this. Do you like gambling? In Venice, there’s the first casino in Europe.

5. Venice is for art and history lovers

If you’re still not convinced that Venice is worth visiting, we suggest you spend a bit of time discovering how many things you can see related to culture and art, even though the articles of our blog. Venice is the cradle of art, it’s the city where movies like The Tourist were filmed, it’s the city of the Biennale and where the International Film Festival takes place every year.

What else you need? Maybe just some tips to get around Venice easily, without getting lost!

Getting around Venice easily: tips and tricks

Calle de la passion

Everyone knows that getting around Venice is not easy.

With all its “calli”, “campi”, “rii” and “fondamente” is hard to understand where to go without a map or a tool that help you find your way.
But having a map or an app helping you find your way out of the Venetian labyrinth is not enough if you don’t know the meaning of the Venice toponomy.
Here’s why we start our article explaining the meaning of all the words we mentioned before.

Getting around Venice: the real name of Venetian streets

When in Venice, you won’t hear a single person call a road “street”, just because that is not their right name.
“Calle” is the term we use to indicate a street between two walls. Instead, a “fondamenta” is a street that has a canal on one of its sides.
If you find yourself walking in a “rio”, you’re actually crossing a street which was a canal in the past.
Last but not least, when you see or hear the word “campo” it means that you are in a square, but it’s not called so because the only square in Venice is St. Mark’s Square.
So, now that you know how to call all the different streets in Venice, we can suggest you a couple of apps that can help you get around the city easily.

Getting around Venice: the apps you need to download in your smartphone

You basically will need two apps to visit Venice easily.
The first one is Google Maps, which you probably already have on your phone, and the other one is AVM Venezia Official App.
Even if Venice is a unique city in the world, with lost of canals and hidden streets, Google Maps is almost perfect, and it can really help you out if you get lost.
Of course, when you insert your point of departure and the place you have to reach, sometimes it doesn’t work correctly, but thanks to the maps (that you can also consult when you’re offline) you can find your way out of the labyrinth.

The AVM Venezia Official App, instead, is the public transportation app. Here you can find out which vaporetto line you have to take by typing the name of the place you’re departing from and the destination you want to reach, such as an island or a specific area or palace in Venice.
You can also buy tickets through the app if you forgot to do it online before your arrival.
Both apps are available for iOs and Android.

In the beginning, getting around Venice will probably be difficult, but after a couple of days, using these apps and your memory, you’ll find it easier and challenging too.
Don’t you believe us? You just have to try!
And if this won’t be enough, you can also read our article about the survival kit you need to live Venice stressfree.

The most beautiful palaces facing the Grand Canal in Venice, italy

Canal Grande Venice

The Grand Canal in Venice is the main waterway of the city, where the noble families of the Serenissima Republic used to build their magnificent palaces.
It’s not a case that the most beautiful palaces around the city are here, facing the Grand Canal, which cuts Venice in two parts.
The Grand Canal of Venice is like a museum above water. Taking the vaporetto line 1 is like having a tour of an exhibition, where the ancient Venetian palaces are the works of art you come to see.
We won’t make a list of all the palaces on the Grand Canal, but we want to point out the most impressive ones.
From our hotel, we start a virtual itinerary, as if we were on the vaporetto, to discover the most beautiful palaces on the Grand Canal we find on the way to St. Mark’s Square.

Ca’ Vendramin Calergi

You probably already know this palace, since it’s the famous Venice Casino, the first casino in Europe.
Once you go out from our hotel, the first vaporetto stop you find is the one called San Marcuola, which is located next to the Venice Casino.
From here, you can easily notice the incision of a phrase on the external wall. But to find out what it says, we invite you to read our dedicated article, where we tell the story of this palace and its curiosities.

Fondaco dei Turchi

Right in front of the Venice Casino, there’s another massive palace: Fondaco dei Turchi. This building is quite different from the others we’ll see on our tour since it was built to host Turkish merchants, coming to Venice to sell their products.
The main reason why this palace has a huge entrance on the water, it’s because the goods were transferred here from the Grand Canal, while the merchants were in town.
Today is not a residency for merchants as in the past, but it hosts the Venice Natural History Museum.

Ca’ Pesaro

Going on with the vaporetto, the Grand Canal makes a little curve and show us the beautiful Ca’ Pesaro.
This majestic palace is one of the biggest ones facing the Grand Canal, and it presents particular attention not only to the architecture itself – geometrically perfect – but also to the nice decors on the facade.
Ca’ Pesaro also hosts a museum, since when Duchess Felicita Bevilacqua La Mesa gave the palace as a present to Venice, with the promise that it would have been used to celebrate the Modern art and its artists.

Ca’ D’oro

If we wanted to translate “Ca’ d’Oro” into English, the right translation would be “the Golden House.”
If Ca’ Pesaro was on our right, the Ca’ d’Oro palace is on the other side of the Venice Grand Canal and you can quickly recognize it for its beautiful multicolor marble facade that once was covered with gold.
Next to it, there’s a “stazio”, which is a place where you can take a gondola ride.

Fondaco dei Tedeschi

We are finally passing the Rialto bridge and reaching the Fondaco dei Tedeschi. You’re sure you’ve heard about this place before.
Back in centuries, this building had the same function as the Fondaco dei Turchi: it was the residency of the German merchants who came to Venice to make some money. Today is a luxury mall that worths a visit, at least for the beautiful rooftop terrace, from where you have a 360 degrees view above Venice.

Ca’ Rezzonico

Going forward with our virtual tour on a vaporetto, be ready with your camera, because this is one of those palaces that strikes.
Ca’ Rezzonico is now the Museum of 18th century Venice, but initially, it was the home of the Rezzonico noble family, and during centuries it hots several important figures such as the English poet Robert Browing who bought it in 1888.

Peggy Guggenheim Collection

Famous all over the world, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is one of the most important museums of modern art in the whole Europe.  
From the vaporetto, this palace is easy to find, in fact, contrary to all the other buildings on the Grand Canal and around Venice has just one floor, which is quite uncommon.
The reason why this palace seams uncompleted is that it’s actually unfinished. We don’t know exactly why the building remained uncompleted, but it probably was related to a financial problem.
Another curious thing regarding this building is in the name, Palazzo Venier dei leoni, where “leoni” means lions and it refers to the lion that the Venier family used to keep in their garden (in a cage of course).

Palazzo Salviati

Our last stop on the Grand Canal of Venice is Palazzo Salviati, which is not as old as the previous one, but it’s so unique that we had to include it in our list. This building was built for the Salviati family, famous for their Murano Glass factory, and it has a singular mosaic on the facade. It’s amazing.

We hope you enjoyed our tour… now, it’s time to do it for real!

Historical Regatta in Venice: where to watch it

Regata of Venice Events

The first Sunday of September is an important day for Venetians. In fact, it’s the day where the real soul of Venice comes out of the water again through the Historical Regatta.

The Historical Regatta, Regata Storica in Italian, is a very heartfelt event and every year many people from all over the world come to see this incredible boat parade and the race.

What is a regatta? 

Literally, a regatta is a series of boat races. Venetians coined the term “regatta” back in centuries when a city on the water like this had to train its gondoliers and rowers. But this wasn’t the only reason.
Regattas were also an excuse to have a party in town, to celebrate special events or the visit of an important person. Usually they were financed by noble Venetian families or famous foreign people.
Even if the first mention about regattas was in the 13th century, it’s likely that they were born in Venice before that time.

Historical Regatta in Venice: how it works 

As we said, a parade of historical boats, carrying people wearing traditional Venetian costumes, precedes the races. The Bucintoro, the Doge’s ship followed by the boats of the Venetian rowing clubs, goes through the Grand Canal, remembering the day when Caterina Cornaro, Queen of Cipro, came back to Venice.
It’s 4 pm and this is just the beginning.
Right after the magnificent parade, at 4.30pm starts the first race: the Maciarele and Schie regatta, a two-oared regatta on mascarete dedicated to children.
Afterward, it will be the turn of the young rowers’ twin-oared pupparini regatta, starting in St. Mark’s basin and ending in front of Ca’ Foscari, where the so-called “machina” (a floating platform hosting people like the mayor) is located every year.
At 5.10 pm will be the time for the six-oared caorline regatta and at 5.40 pm the Women’s twin-oared mascarete regatta.
Last but not least, at 6.10 pm there’ll be the final race: the Twin-oared gondolini regatta, from St. Mark’s Bay to Grand Canal, Rialto (around the paleto in front of San Marcuola), and back down to the Grand Canal to finish at Ca’ Foscari.

Where to watch the Historical Regatta in Venice 

If you want to find a good place where to watch the historical Regatta in Venice, you have to know the exact route the rowers are going to do. All the races are starting from St. Mark’s Bay and the most important ones end in front of the beautiful Ca’ Foscari palace.
The first place we suggest you for watching the Historical Regatta is certainly Rialto, since it’s halfway and easy to reach from our hotel. But, it’ll be probably crowded on that day, more than usual, that’s why we want to tell you some secret places where to go alternately.
Of course, you can decide to buy a ticket to watch the Historical Regatta sitting on the “machina” which costs around 60 euros per person, but there’s a lot of places where you can watch it for free.

  1. Calle del Tragheto de la Madoneta

This place is not really easy to find without a GPS, but it’s worth it.
In Calle del Tragheto de la Madoneta, there’s a private jetty that you probably won’t be able to use, but you can still stand on the “fondamenta”, and enjoy the regatta from there.

  1. San Silvestro 

At San Silvestro, there’s an ample space where to stay and watch the regatta, right next to the vaporetto stop.
Be there in advance, since it’s a place people know well because of the vaporetto stop and it can be crowded.

  1. Riva del Carbon 

Right on the other side of the Grand Canal, there’s Riva del Carbon, a long “fondamenta” where you can see the boats speed to the arrival point at Ca’ Foscari.

  1. San Tomà 

San Tomà is the closest place to the arrival. Here at the vaporetto stop, you can try to win some space among people and see the last rows that separate the rowers from the cup!

It’s going to be epic, as always, and watching the Historical Regatta in Venice will be an emotion that you can’t even imagine.
For Venetians, this is a significant event, a way to remember how big Venice was during the Serenissima Republic and never forget the story of the city we come from.
So, now that you’ve all the information to find the best place to watch the Historical Regatta in Venice are you ready for the show?

Day trip from Venice to the Dolomites: how to get there

Dolomiti Background

Have you ever thought about a day trip from Venice to the Dolomites?
Most people don’t know that in about 2 hours you can reach one of the most beautiful UNESCO spots in Veneto and live a day surrounded by its magnificent mountains.

If you like hiking or simply you would like to spend a day seeing one of the most enchanting natural places in our region and breath some fresh air, you definitely must consider the idea of a day trip from Venice to the Dolomites, especially if you’re planning to stay in Venice more than just a weekend.
You have many ways to get to the Dolomites and we are going to talk about all of them in this article.

How to get to Dolomite mountains from Venice 

As we said, you can decide to reach the Dolomites in different ways: by car, by train or by bus. Let’s see all the possibilities and evaluate what option suits you best.

By Train 

If you don’t feel comfortable driving in Italy, there’s no need to rent a car to get to the Dolomites, but you should be aware that getting there by train is not so immediate.

Venice train station is less than 10 minutes away from our hotel and there you can catch a couple of trains to Calalzo di Cadore, a town located at the feet of the massive Monte Antelao, and then take a bus, with Dolomiti bus company, to Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Cortina is famous for being VIP’s favorite location for holidays, but it’s not the only reason why visiting it is worth it. It’s really a gem, especially during the winter season.

Getting here from Calalzo it takes about 50 minutes. Instead, the journey from Venice to Calalzo by train will take about 4 hours.

By bus 

Taking a bus from Venice to Cortina is probably the fastest and the most convenient way to have a day trip to the Dolomites.

The Atvo bus company has a line going directly from Venice to Cortina, passing through Treviso, but there’s also another private company that you can take, called Flixbus, which takes you there even in only about 2 hours.

By car 

Obviously, this is the easiest way to have a nice and stress-free day trip to the Dolomites from Venice.  
If you decide to rent a car, you can think about going to the Tre Cime di Lavaredo and walk around these three huge and spectacular peaks.
This journey will take you about 2 hours and a half, quite a good deal if you really want to see this place that is visited by people from all over the world, every year.

So, making a day trip from Venice to the Dolomites without having to book another hotel and be able to come back to Venice for the night is something you can actually do.

If you’re interested in having a journey like this, don’t hesitate to ask us for more information and suggestions at the reception desk.

The best places to view Redentore fireworks

The Festa del Redentore is an important event that takes place in Venice and celebrates the end of the plague of 16th century. From that time on, the Festa del Redentore has been celebrating every year with amazing fireworks.
If you want to live Venice during this festival, you have to book your stay during the weekend of the third Saturday of July.

What is the Festa del Redentore
As we said, the Festa del Redentore is a feast that reminds about the end of a terrible plague that affected the whole city in 1576.
The Doge Alvise I Mocenigo, who was in charge at the time, promised to built a wonderful church to thank God if the plague ended. And this is actually what happened.
After having killed about 50.000 people, including the famous painter Tiziano Vecellio, the plague finally ended and the church started to be built.
The Redentore church is located on the Giudecca island and, the weekend of the fest, can be reached through a temporary bridge, built with boats.
Venetians care a lot about this feat and they make a pilgrimage to the church, every year.

How Venetians celebrate the Festa del Redentore
On the third Saturday of July, you will see all Venetians decorating their boats with colorful garlands and preparing food for the evening.
The appointment for the night show is in Bacino S. Marco, where all the decorated boats take place one next to the other and get ready for the fireworks.
You will see people sharing food and having fun from boat to boat. The Redentore feast is a special moment, where everyone forgets about problems and want to share his happiness with the world.

The best places to view the Redentore fireworks
If you have the chance to book a ticket for a party on a boat, the Bacino S. Marco is the best place ever to view the Redentore fireworks. But if you don’t have a boat or you cannot find a ticket for boat party, you can still find a place to view the fireworks from the island.

Riva degli Schiavoni is the first choice to watch fireworks on Redentore Day, since it’s just in front of the Bacino S. Marco. Get yourself ready to stand for a while.

Giudecca Island is where the Redentore church is located. Along the promenade, Venetians prepare their night positioning tables and chairs to have dinner with friends and view the fireworks. You can stand behind them and see the show from there.

Punta della Dogana is absolutely one of the best places to view the Redentore fireworks for free, because you are right in front of the place where the fireworks are actually launched.


Veenice San Valentines

“Acqua alta” is how Italians call the high tide. It occurs every now and then in Venice. Seeing the high tide can be a great experience when you are visiting Venice. Although it’s something that naturally occurs, it is not really a good thing.

Before discussing all you need to know about the high tide in Venice, we would like to underline that the presence of “acqua alta” does not mean that the city is sinking. This phenomenon is absolutely natural, and is due to astronomical, geographical and meteorological influences.

Why high tide floods Venice?
This is probably the first question you asked yourself.
First of all, the acqua alta is directly influenced by the moon. Every six hours it goes up and down. This can be an advantage, which can help you predict the waters top level and decide if you need to carry a pair of rainboots with you!  Acqua alta is also affected by the “scirocco”, a strong south-east wind.

When does acqua alta flood the city?
If you come to Venice between November and December the chance of finding the acqua alta is very high. However, you don’t have to worry about it disrupting your stay with us, Cannaregio, where our hotel is located, is not one of the low areas in Venice. This means you will not frequently find the high tide having an effect on this area.

Some useful tips about high tide in Venice
If you are visiting Venice during the high tide period, you should be aware of a few things.
First of all, consider buying a pair of rain boots in Venice or packing them in your suitecase. Then, be careful when you walk because when the acqua alta is really high, you barely can recognize the end of the street and the beginning of the canal.
To keep yourself informed about the situation and the level of the high tide you can download the free app called hi!tide or visit the Venice municipality website.
Do not worry about the possibility of getting wet, if you are wearing a pair of rainboots and you walk on the wooden walkways all around the city you won’t have any problem. You can have a safe and unforgettable experience in this amazing, and sometimes flooded, city.

Where to eat the best gelato in Venice: one per district

Ice Cream In Venice

Walking around Venice during a hot summer day can be hard, but a great gelato could restore your energies. You can look for the best gelato in Venice on your own, or you can take some note from our list below.  We’ve carefully selected six ice-cream parlors in Venice, one per district. In this way, it doesn’t matter if you are visiting St. Mark’s Square or the Jewish ghetto, you’ll always have the chance to be near a trusted ice-cream parlor.

Dorsoduro – Gelateria Nico
This is one of the most known ice-cream parlors in Venice, not only because of its strategic location but mainly for its so-called Gianduiotto. You won’t eat just a gelato here, but a yummy ice-cream with a big Gianduia chocolate bar on the top.

Cannaregio – Gelato di Natura
Not far from our hotel, a new ice-cream parlor has recently opened: Gelato di Natura. All the ingredients this gelateria use for its ice-creams are completely natural. We suggest you taste a cone with figs and ricotta or a classic pistachio.

San Marco – Suso Gelatoteca
This tasty ice-cream parlor is away from the most bitten paths in Venice, in fact, you have to cross Sotoportego de la Bissa from Campo San Bartolomeo and go straight. You’ll find it, for sure, and order a cone with salty pistachio and lemon with chocolate.

Castello – Gelateria Pasticceria Peter Pan
This is not only a place to eat the best gelato in Venice but a place you can call home. The gelato here is cheap and tasty. This ice-cream parlor is located in Castello district, where you’ll surely find some peace and a perfect moment to sit and enjoy a local Venice.

Santa Croce – Fontego delle Dolcezze
If you like yogurt, this is the place where to stop by. In fact, the Fontego delle Dolcezze make both homemade gelato and yogurt. If we might give you a suggestion, try the chocolate with cardamom flavor.

San Polo – Gelateria Millefoglie da Tarcisio
Few steps away from one of the most visited and beautiful churches in Venice, Basilica dei Frari, there’s a small ice-cream parlor, called Gelateria Millefoglie da Tarcisio. Don’t get fooled by the fact that there’s a sliced pizza place right next to it, the ice-cream here is amazing.

Feel free to print and bring this list of the places where to eat the best gelato in Venice with you, while you’re visiting our amazing city.

What to do in Venice in one day – including boat tour

Even if Venice seems a tiny city, there is such an amount of things to see and do that you won’t be able to visit everything in a day.
But if the capital of the Serenissima Republic is just a stopover during you long trip, don’t worry, there are a lot of things you can do in Venice in one day, also including a boat tour. 24 hours in Venice are enough to get the most out of this wonderful city, try its typical food and have a short boat tour to one of its islands.

Visit the main attractions
Visiting Venice in one day means that you have to plan your day carefully. You don’t want to miss a thing, do you?
The first thing you must see in Venice is its historical center, with St. Mark’s Square and the Basilica, but above all the Doge’s Palace. You have to consider that visiting the Doge’s Palace takes about 2 hours, that’s why we suggest you to go there as soon as it opens. In this way, you will probably find no queue. Entering the St. Mark’s Basilica is free. You can wait in line or book a skip-the-line ticket in advance, through one of the several website that offer this service.

Join a boat tour
In the afternoon you can join a boat tour to one the three most known islands of the Venetian lagoon: Burano, Murano and Torcello.
If you want to learn more about the fascinating art glass, you should go to Murano Island, that is also the closest one.
If you are more attracted to colorful places and you want to know more about the history of laces, you should go to Burano. Burano is unique, you will see!  Venice Islands Tours: day trips to Burano, Murano, Torcello.

Eat like a local
Last but not least, don’t miss to step by Rialto bridge and have a “cicchetto” and glass of wine in a typical Venetian bar.
If you have time, coming back from the boat tour, go to Fondamenta della Misericordia, in Cannaregio district and spend the night having fun and eating like a local. In this article you can find a detailed itinerary for a typical Venetian night.
If you are tired after a long day in Venice, you can choose from one of these places  – not far from our hotel -, where you can taste the typical Venetian aperitif.

Hidden gardens in Venice you should see

Design and Architteture Venice

Venice is known for its twists and turns, its bridges and palaces, but not for its beautiful and hidden gardens. Which is a pity, by the way. With all those high walls on both sides of each Venetian streets, imagining that behind them there could be a garden, it’s not so obvious.
A lot of Venetian palaces have their garden, but if you don’t step in, you won’t know it.
What are the hidden gardens in Venice you can’t miss? Here’s our personal list.

Querini Stampalia garden
Inside this ancient Venetian palace, known for being home to the Querini Stampalia Foundation, there’s a garden.
On the contrary of what you might think, this garden (as it is today) is quite recent. In fact, in 1949, the architect Carlo Scarpa was chosen to renovate and redesign the garden, that had become a storage during the 80s it.

Peggy Guggenheim Collection’s garden
Among the list of the museum you must see once in Venice, we mentioned the Peggy Guggenheim collection, not only for the gallery itself but also for the beautiful garden, the palace hides inside its walls.
During summer, this hidden garden in Venice becomes a place where to drink a good Spritz in company with Art.  

San Giorgio Maggiore island
Even the island that every day wakes up with a splendid view of St. Mark’s Square has a hidden garden. With a labyrinth too.
If you want to know more about the island, how to get there and how to visit it, here’s you find all the information you may need.

Palazzo Contarini Dal Zaffo
This palace is located in Cannaregio, not far from our hotel, near the church of Madonna dell’Orto. Unlike several palaces in Venice, Palazzo Contarini Dal Zaffo’s facade has no symmetry.
Inside this beautiful and fully frescoed palace, there’s a secret and huge garden. Unfortunately, you won’t see the garden as in the famous painting of Francesco Guardi, but it still astonishing.

Ca’ Zenobio
Could you imagine a place with a giant garden in Venice? And when we say “giant” we meant it. Ca’ Zenobio is the place where you can find the most incredible hidden garden in Venice. Ca’ Zenobio palace is located in Dorsoduro district and is owned by the Armenian Community of Venice. We have to say that is not always open for a visit, but you can stop by and see if there’s any Biennale collateral event hosted.

5 reasons why you should choose Cannaregio for your stay in Venice

Bar in Venice

If you are wondering which district you should stay in when in Venice, you might be curious to know the reasons why choosing Cannaregio would be a comfortable choice. Cannaregio is the first district you walk in once you step out the train. Cannaregio is the back of that fish called Venice. Despite the fact that Hotel Arcadia is located in this district, here are the reasons why Cannaregio is the perfect place to stay.

  • It’s a quiet neighbourhood
    Cannaregio is a off-the-beaten-path place, where you can walk and silently admire beautiful little glimpses. Getting lost here is a pleasure, it seems to be projected in a painting of Canaletto. This is the perfect place where to escape from the crowd and enjoy some peace.

  • It’s home to Venice’s Jewish Ghetto
    The first European ghetto is located here, in an area of Cannaregio. It takes only a 5-minute walk from our hotel. You can spend an entire day here, if you have time, and discover the fascinating Jewish culture and religion. Don’t miss the chance to have a biscuit or some sweet from one of the many Jewish bakeries around.

  • It’s full of typical bacari
    Even if we said that Cannaregio is a quiet district, there’s a fondamenta, in particular, where people love to have happy hour. This fondamenta, we have already mentioned when we wrote about a bacaro tour idea, is full of typical Venetians bars, where you can taste the traditional cicheti and order a ombra (small glass of wine, usually sold for 1 or 2 euros). When the sun is going down, the aim of this site changes and from a quiet place with almost nobody around, it turns into a funny and comfortable aggregation point. Here’s where locals meet after work, before going home.

  • Lots of Venetians stay here
    Since Cannaregio is away from the most touristic beaten paths, it’s also the place where lots of Venetians live. You won’t be surrounded by restaurants, masks stands and souvenir shops but you’ll be the neighbour of a Venetian. Among Venetian narrow streets the inhabitants’ real life comes out, revealing its true nature.

  • It’s close to several iconic places in Venice
    We have already talked about the presence of the oldest Jewish Ghetto in Europe, but in Cannaregio there are also the Ca’ d’Oro palace, the famous Venice Casino and the beautiful church Madonna dell’Orto. Next to the Ca’ d’Oro palace there a so-called stazio, from where you can reach Rialto’s Market with a 2-minute gondola ride.

As you can see Cannaregio is plenty of things to do and see.  Now that you know the reasons why you should choose Cannaregio for you stay, are you still doubting where to stay?

Minor islands you must see in Venice

Island Venice

Everyone knows the three main island of Venice, Murano, Burano [link] and Torcello [link], but a few people know that there are several other visitable minor islands in the Venetian lagoon. If you are not staying in Venice for just a day [link], you should give yourself the time to discover the amazing and hidden world behind these little islands. The minor islands you must see in Venice during your vacation are, at least, five: San Lazzaro degli Armeni, Lazzaretto Nuovo and Lazzaretto Vecchio, Sant’Erasmo and San Francesco del Deserto.

San Lazzaro degli Armeni
Did you know that Armenians used to live in Venice and trade with its inhabitants? This island, however, is not related to any trade exchanges, in fact, it has been home to the monastery of the Armenian Catholic Mekhitarist congregation since 1717.
Once you get off the vaporetto, that from St. Mark’s Square takes you to San Lazzaro degli Armeni, you’ll instantly understand the beauty and the quiet of this island. Inside the church of San Lazzaro degli Armeni, there’s a library with approximately 200,000 ancient books.
The island can be visited only with a guided tour at 3pm, every day.

Lazzaretto Nuovo and Lazzaretto Vecchio
These two islands, New and Old Lazzaretto, are known because of their role in the past. In fact, they were used as a place for quarantining people and goods and prevent the city from plague.
Here’s why they are named “Lazzaretto” that in Italian means leper hospital.
Both of them, exactly as Venice and the whole lagoon, are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Sant’Erasmo is located on the north of Venice, next to Lazzaretto Nuovo island. It’s famous for its artichokes, called “Castraure”.
You won’t find any museums here, but you can taste one of the most delicious products of the Venetian Lagoon and live a peaceful moment, far from the rest of the world.

San Francesco del Deserto
This island is inhabited by a small group of monks, belonging to the Franciscan Order. The island is a heaven on earth with its beautiful garden and monastery. You can visit it joining a boat tour and learn the history of the island, directly from one of the monks, who are living there.

These are just five of the several minor islands of the Venetian lagoon, probably the most fascinating. However, these are those we sincerely recommend, to make your Venice vacation complete.

What to eat in Venice: the traditional food you must try

Baccala Mantecatto tipic dishes

When you plan a trip to Venice, we are sure that one of the first questions you ask yourself is: what to eat in Venice?
There’s some many things to eat in Venice that you should stay here a month to taste them all, but here’s why we decided to help you out and list those traditional food dishes you definitely must try.
Let’s start with some appetizers and then with some main courses. After reading this article you’ll definitely know what to eat in Venice, especially if you’re coming for the first time.

Sarde in Saor
You probably have already heard about this typical Venetian dish, made by sardines and onions. Venetian sailors used to it them often, since the onions among sardines could actually conserve the whole dish for a long time.
You can eat it as a “chicheto”, accompanied with a glass of prosecco, or you can have it as main course.

Baccalà mantecato
If you see a soft white mousse behind on bacaro’s counter, usually spread on a piece of bread, that’s what we call “baccalà mantecato”. It’s a delicious mousse of codfish, prepared with some milk, following an ancient and not-so-easy recipe.
Once you’ve tasted it, you’ll crave for more!

Fried moeche
Among the things you must eat in Venice there are the so-called moeche: soft-shell crabs. The tradition wants them to be fried alive and even if it sounds cruel, the few places which serves them, they actually follow the original recipe.
They are pretty rare and you’ll be very lucky if you can taste them.

Half boiled Egg with anchovies
Don’t get fooled by the simplicity of this dish, because this is a typical cicheto too. This half boilf egg is flavoured with salt, pepper and some olive oil, and served with a marinated anchovy.

Spaghetti alla Busara
You will love this. It’s a plate of spaghetti, served with a yummy and delicate scampi sauce. Its recipe is very ancient too, in fact, it seems that the word “busara” comes from the name of the pot where Venetian saliors used to cook the sauce.

Squid Ink spaghetti
Be ready to have a black smile right after finishing this plate of spaghetti, but except that you’ll be very satisfied. This is really typical and loved by Venetians: some spaghetti with a delicious squid ink sauce. Kids usually adore it.

Fegato alla Veneziana
Literally translated as “Venetian Liver & Onions” it’s actually a pork or a lamb liver, served with onions and some polenta.
The so-called polenta is another traditional Venetian food you must try. It is usually eaten instead of bread, since it’s made by flour and water. It can be yellow or white, but it’s delicious anyway.

5 day-trips from Venice by train

Padova Square

Did you know that you can reach several beautiful places near Venice taking a one-hour (or two) train ride? Venice is a beautiful city, with plenty of things to see, but if you have more than one day and you have already planned a boat tour around the three main Venetian island, you might think about taking a train and discover its surroundings.

Furthermore, our hotel is only 5 minutes from the train station.

Here are 5 day-trips from Venice by train that you can easily insert in your vacation plan.

Day-trip from Venice to Padua by train
With a 30-minute train ride, you can reach the city of Padua, which is famous for its centenarian university and for the unique Scrovegni Chapel. Lots of important Venetian people dealt with Padua for different reasons, Casanova, for example, graduated here, as well Elena Lucrezia Cornaroas the very first woman in the history of the whole world. Don’t forget to visit the Basilica of Saint Anthony and the marvelous Prato della Valle square.

Day-trip from Venice to Treviso by train
The city of Treviso is a little jewel, surrounded by Venetian walls and crossed by canals. The train from Venice to Treviso takes less than 40 minutes and it’s quite frequent. What to see in Treviso? Don’t miss Piazza dei Signori, the extremely suggestive Buranelli Canal, the peculiar Fountain of Tits and the majestic San Nicolò church.

Day-trip from Venice to Verona by train
Shakespeare loved this city so much that he set one of his play here: Romeo and Juliet. Getting to Verona from Venice by train takes about one and half hour, definitely a day trip you should consider. If you want to visit the places connected with the romantic story of Romeo and Juliet, you must go to Juliet’s house and Romeo’s house. Then you should visit the fascinating Arena and the beautiful church of Santa Anastasia.There is almost a train every hour from Venice to Verona.

Day-trip from Venice to Ferrara by train
Ferrara is well known as the city of bicycles since it’s full of cycle lanes. We suggest you take a bike as soon as you get off the train, in order to get the most of your day trip, since the train from Venice to Ferrara usually takes one and half hour or two. A must-see thing is the Este Castle, a well-preserved medieval castle in the center of Ferrara. One of its towers have recently been opened to the public after a long and meticulous restoration, you can now climb it up and enjoy a breathtaking view above Ferrara.

Day-trip from Venice to Trieste by train
If you don’t mind taking a train for 2 hours and a half, you can go visit Trieste, the windy city. Be ready to see impressive things here, such as Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia, where the famous Caffè degli Specchi, one of the most historical Cafes in Trieste, is located. Don’t forget to get a picture to the Fountain of the four continents.  Behind Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia there’s a Roman theater that we suggest you visit.

The Tourist movie locations in Venice

Mostra Del cinema di Venezia

Many movies were filmed in Venice, one of these is The Tourist with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. But, where exactly was The Tourist filmed? In this article, we will find out all the movie locations of The Tourist, in Venice. Then, you’ll be able to create your own itinerary throughout the city and discover personally all the places where the film was shooted.

Venezia Santa Lucia, the train station
Even if the first part of the movie is set in Paris, all the rest takes place in Venice. During the first scene, Frank arrives in Venice by train and feel lost, when Elise approaches him on a motorboat and offers him a ride.

Palazzo Pisani Moretta
Elise and Frank reach the Hotel Daniel, as we can read on the external curtains, in reality, that is the entrance of Palazzo Pisani Moretta. Even the view from the balcony isn’t from the Hotel Danieli since the Rialto Bridge is not visible from St. MArk’s Basin, where the hotel is actually located.

Peggy Guggenheim Collection
The romantic restaurant where Elise and Frank have their first dinner is located on the floating platform facing the Peggy Guggenheim Collection building.

Rialto Market
During the chase, Frank walks on the roofs of several houses, reaching the famous lodge of the Rialto Market.
Wearing a pajama, he jumps down the lodge, falling right on a stand. We recommend you to spend a morning here to discover a piece of Venetian history.

Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana
The office of the Italian police is inside the beautiful Marciana library, in St. Mark’s Square. You can recognize it from the view of the Doge’s palace behind Frank

Scuola Grande di Santa Maria della Misericordia
This ancient building is located off the beaten path, but it deserves a visit for the beautiful frescos it has inside, at least.
In The Tourist, this is the location where the ball feast takes places.

Arsenale di Venezia
The heart of the naval power of Venice, the Arsenal, represents the Interpol’s headquarters in The Tourist. Here, Venice used to built its unsinkable ships in secret. Inside the Arsenal area, there’s also the Naval Museum.

Why taking a private gondola ride in Venice worths it

Gondola in Venice

You might consider it a tourist thing, but we all know that taking a private gondola ride in Venice is something that worths it.
If you think about Venice, probably the first image that comes up in your mind is about a gondola cutting through a quiet canal. Gondolas were the main transport used by Venetian during the Serenissima Republic and taking a private gondola ride is, somehow, a way to remember how Venice was like in its period of maximum splendour.
Being rocked on a gondola is an amazing experience. You can feel the water accompanying the gondola along an invisible path, you can fill your eyes with beauties, which are only visible from the venetian canals.

How much does a private gondola ride in Venice cost?
You might have heard a lot of stories about how expensive a private gondola ride could be, but let us say something: you might only be here once, do you really want to miss this experience?
The city of Venice sets official rates for a gondola ride: 80 euros for 40 minutes, before 7pm and 100 euros after 7pm.
A gondola can take up to six people, this means that, if you are a group of friends, you can divide the cost of a ride.

Reasons why taking a private gondola ride worths it
Venice can be really crowded in high season. Sometimes, finding a tranquil place where to spend a romantic moment with your partner can be really difficult, especially during summer.
Taking a gondola ride is a way to escape packed streets and experience a new side of Venice: the one on the water.
If you are traveling as a couple, it could be the perfect way to end your romantic holiday in Venice.
But, apart from that, taking a private gondola can give you the chance to know more about the city, discovering places you only saw in a movie such as Casino Royale or learning some curious stories about Casanova and other famous Venetian historical figures.
The gondolier will take you down some narrow and quiet canals, that people cannot reach on foot.
But, taking a private gondola ride isn’t only a thing for couples. If you are traveling with your family or with some friends, it can be an occasion to spend some times together, experiencing something you won’t find anywhere else.

Hermann Hesse, a famous German-born Swiss poet, after taking a gondola, said “it has the beauty of a dream, and is an integral part of the city of idleness, love and music”.

5 most romantic places to propose in Venice

Landscape Venice

Venice is probably the most romantic city in the world and you are not wrong if you are thinking about proposing here.
Venice can be crowded, but you can still find out some romantic places where to spend an unforgettable night with your better half.
Here’s a list of the 5 most romantic places to propose in Venice, we hope you’ll find the perfect one for you.

Punta della Dogana
There isn’t a better place to propose in Venice than Punta della Dogana. This place is located right in front of St. Mark’s Basic, close to one of the most fabulous churches in Venice: Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute.
Punta della Dogana used to be Venice’s custom point during the Serenissima Republic, but now, the custom building is an art museum.
Usually not many people come here, except on the Redentore day, since it’s the perfect spot to watch fireworks.
Here you’ll find the tranquility and the privacy you’re looking for that special moment.

On a gondola
We have abundantly talked about the reasons why you should take a private gondola ride and proposing is surely one of them.
Ask the gondolier to be brought to some hidden corners, better if at sunset, where nobody can disturb you. Venice is the perfect setting for proposing, especially if it’s seen by the water.
Don’t worry about the gondolier, he knows how to be discreet, like his forefathers used to be in the past, during a romantic gondola ride.

On a bridge
Another romantic place where to propose in Venice is on a bridge. Venice is full of bridges – more than 400 if we have to be precise – but we suggest you to avoid the most known ones.
In the Cannaregio district, where our hotel is, there are a lot of tiny and hidden bridges where you can stop by, without risking to be interrupted.

In a Campo
Campo is the world we use to identify those little squares you find all around Venice. Some of these “campi” are out of the common touristic paths, such as the one called Campiello del Remer.
This picturesque square faces the Grand Canal and when the restaurant Taverna al Remer is closed, on Wednesday, it’s completely isolated and silent. You’ll have the chance to propose while looking at the magnificent Rialto Bridge, from a unique point of view.

Burano Island
The last of the 5 most romantic places to propose in Venice is Burano island. Burano is one of the main three islands of the lagoon and it’s famous for its lace artworks and for its colors. Proposing on Burano island would be like doing it surrounded by a rainbow.

Best places to watch the sunset in Venice, Italy

Sunset in Canal Grande

If you want to see the sunrise, the perfect place to see it is in St. Mark’s Square. But if you want to watch the sunset in Venice, there are a lot of places where you should go. Even if this city is astonishing and fascinating at every corner, here’s a list of the best places to watch the sunset in Venice.

Accademia Bridge
Millions of tourists every year take – at least – a photo to the splendid Madonna della Salute church, from this wooden bridge. And not only because it’s a great spot itself, but mostly because the sunset here is something you won’t see anywhere else.
By the way, you should consider that it’s one of the most known attractions in Venice and it can be packed at sunset, taking away all the romanticism. Watching sunset here is unique, but if you are willing to propose to your partner, probably you would like some more privacy. That’s why we wrote an article about the most romantic places to propose, in Venice.

Fondamenta delle Zattere
Less frequented, Fondamenta delle Zattere is a long promenade, facing Giudecca island and the picturesque Mulino Stucky.
From here you have a 180-degree view: St. Mark’s Basin on a side and a slice of the Venetian lagoon, on the other.
Embrace your partner tenderly and watch the sunset coming up and coloring Venice.

Giudecca Island
Another point of view. Crossing the Giudecca Canal, with a vaporetto departing from Fondamenta delle Zattere, you get to Giudecca Island. Here you have the most incredible view of the Venetian Lagoon. On your right side, you have the magnificent St Mark’s Square and on the other the color of the sun reflecting on the water.

Rialto bridge
The symbol of Venice, Rialto Bridge. Here, thousands of tourists go up and down its stairs, taking photos on each side, every day. But, at sunset, you can have the most beautiful view of Venice’s Grand Canal. Check the clock and get there in time, to take your place and watch the show.

Murano island
Murano is one of the three main islands of Venice, famous for its centenary glass art. This island is perfectly located and its position makes Murano one of the best places to watch the sunset in Venice.
You can easily reach it taking a vaporetto and if you haven’t your ticket yet, you can buy it at the reception.