It’s everything you think it is and more.
Venice is without a doubt one of the most iconic cities in Italy, if not the world. However, this might make a traveler worry that it’s too touristy or overrated. Yes, Venice is full of tourists, and the city’s shops and restaurants certainly cater to the tourists. But one visit to Venice will prove that there’s a reason so many people from around the world flock to this unique Italian city—it is not overrated. Venice is everything you think it is and more. Endless winding cobblestone streets, gorgeous canals filled with boats and gondolas, mind-blowing architecture, beautiful historic churches, and places to eat and drink around ever corner. Although there is so much to see and do in Venice, its walkability and compact nature makes it possible to have the full Venetian experience in just one day if that’s all the time you have! To make sure you don’t miss anything, here is your checklist of all the must-see sights in this special city.
1. The views from a gondola!
You absolutely cannot miss the chance to take a ride on an authentic Venetian gondola while you’re here. Seeing the city from the perspective of the canals, going under bridges and floating past the incredible architecture, is an unforgettable experience. You’ll also love getting to know your gondolier, a Venetian local who can answer all your questions about this amazing city—and even snap a picture for you!
2. Rialto Bridge
One of the bridges over the Grand Canal, this 16th century bridge is always packed with tourists due to its lovely stone design and its awe-inspiring views. You’ll definitely want to brave the crowds and walk across this bridge, and then reward yourself with an Aperol spritz at one of the many nearby cafés!
3. Bridge of Sighs
Although this high, enclosed bridge could be easily missed, you should be sure to check it out because of its interesting historical significance. The windows in this bridge offered convicts their last view of Venice before entering prison, and thus the bridge is named after the prisoners’ “sighs” at their last glimpse of the city’s beauty.
4. Murano Glass Museum
Focusing on the famous glass from the nearby island of Murano, this museum showcases the history and beauty of glass. You’ll be amazed at the incredible pieces of art that are entirely made of glass, while gaining an appreciation for this important part of Venetian culture.
5. Piazza San Marco
If you think “pigeons” when you think of Venice, you’re probably imagining the scene in Piazza San Marco. This gorgeous open square is a great place to relax and grab a cappuccino. You can even feed the pigeons if you’re brave!
6. Saint Mark’s Basilica
This breathtaking church is so ornate, you could stare at it for a long time without running out of things admire. Its primarily gothic architecture glistens on a sunny day, and is hauntingly beautiful on a rainy or foggy day. This will likely be one of the most unique church facades you encounter while in Italy.
7. The views from the top of the San Marco Campanile
Located in Piazza San Marco, this campanile offers a 360-degree, bird’s eye view of Venice. After purchasing your ticket, you’ll probably have to wait in a bit of a line before your quick elevator ride to the top, but the unreal view will definitely be worth the wait. Seeing the intricate layout of the canals from above will give you an even greater appreciation for the uniqueness of this city.
Photos: Jordyn Asakowicz