‘Venice once was dear,
The pleasant place of all festivity,
The revel of the Earth,
the masque of Italy.’
– Lord Byron.
20 Must-have experiences in Venice by boat.
Venice is the city where Lord Byron created Don Juan catching inspiration for his romantic spirit. It is a mysterious city that will sing you lullabies and make you lost. One of the must-have experiences in Venice by boat is getting lost and being charmed by the combination of temples, streets, people, and water boats. Framey team prepared 25 amazing experiences on the boat which will create an unforgettable experience for you!
1. Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute
This basilica is mostly known as the Salute, and its dome can be seen on most Venice postcards. Venice is full of magnificent temples, and the Framey team has also included the Salute in a list of “The most beautiful Venetian churches.” Its interior is painted by Titian and Tintoretto, and the most magnificent canvas is called “Marriage at Cana”. The church was constructed to celebrate the end of the plague in 1631.
2. The Gritti Palace
Every trip begins with finding a place to stay! The Gritti Palace is perfect if you want to live in a historical place. In fact, you would live in a former residence of Andrea Gritti, the Doge of the Venetian Republic. The friendly staff will make you feel you are at home, but the interior will stun you the way you would not even have to go out. And have at least one dinner here just to enjoy your meal with a Canal view.
3. San Michele Island
It is no surprise Venice is popular with tourists. If you want to go somewhere local, visit San Michele Island, the Venetian lagoon. The place was earlier the monastery until Napoleon turned it into a cemetery. Yet, most graves are temporary and moved elsewhere after 10 years. The legend says it is better not to visit San Michele at the beginning of November. The spirits of the dead are leaving the lagoon then and returning to their homes.
4. Canale della Giudecca
Every canal in Venice is beautiful. Yet, this one is a true historical artery. The water body is 4 kilometers long, and the depth can be up to 12 meters. The two banks of the river were in ancient times connected with the Vaporetto and the canal was, therefore, a place for shuttle trading. Now Vaporetto (a waterbus) is used to take tours and admire bright houses on the banks. Our advice is to take a tour during sunset.
5. Campo San Barnaba
After a few hours in Venice, you will be craving quietness and find it near Campo San Barnaba, a peaceful place with a comfy atmosphere. It is a square named after Sand Barnaba Church, the neoclassic masterpiece. The church now houses art exhibitions and was even featuring the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The square has a little channel with a boat where you can buy fruit and vegetables. And don’t forget to buy here a lemon ice cream – the best ice cream in the whole Venice.
6. Bridge of Sighs
A splendid Baroque-style bridge is connecting the Doge’s Palace with the prison. It is named after the sighs of the prisoners passing by there. A legend says that if you are a couple, kiss under there in a gondola (a boat in Venice), and you will have eternal love. The bridge became famous after Lord Byron mentioned it in “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage”. Yet, the landmark is popular with tourists and crowded almost every time.
7. Chiesa di San Nicolo dei Mendicoli
The church located in a Dorsoduro district looks plain outside, yet, truly special is the interior. The paintings there describe the life of Jesus Christ and the martyrs, particularly, the Serbian martyr St. Niceta. Although the church is not grand, it is authentically Venetian. Left to the organ, there is Palma il Giovane’s masterpiece Resurrection. There is also a picture of Madonna surrounded by angels with flutes. It is a typical Venetian response to the constant attempts of Rome to limit music in Venetian temples.
8. Colonna di San Marco e San Teodoro
Those are two colons in Piazza San Marco which depict two city patrons. Those two patrons are symbolized by the winged lion. The legend tells there were three colons to be brought to Venice with three ships. However, one ship sank in the lagoon. Next to S. Teodoro colon there is an Al Todaro ice cream shop, famous for its homemade ice cream.
9. Laguna di Venezia
Another Venetian experience by boat is the Venetian lagoon which is a bay in the Adriatic sea where Venice is situated. Take a tour to explore small islands in the lagoon nearby. It would be a perfect option to take a rest from a noisy city center. Buy lace works on the Burano or visit the oldest church in Torcello. Burano is an island for fishermen and a good opportunity to have dinner with fresh fish. Another island, Murano, is well-known for its glasswork.
10. Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti
Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti is a neo-Gothic residence near Campo Santo Stefano. The façade is following the canons of Venetian Neo-Gothic. The palace was earlier divided between three families and now belongs to the Venetian Institute of Science, Letters, and Arts, which often hosts art events. Throughout its history, three branches of families lived there, and the style has been slightly changed from time to time for the aesthetical pleasing of the monarchs.
11. Punta della Dogana
An option for art lovers! Punta della Dogana is an art museum that hosts temporary exhibitions. The point was used earlier for docking and customs. There are two statues on the building holding a golden globe, on which Fortune stands. Those were constructed to show the supremacy of the Republic of Venice. When restored, it saved some old imperfections. The restorer saw it as a symbol of the past, present, and future combined.
12. Ponte de Chiodo
“Chiodo” means nail, and it was the surname of the noble family who owned the bridge in the past. In fact, it is one of the oldest bridges in Venice. The bridge is well-hidden for tourists which makes it a perfect place for pictures.
13. Regata Storica
Most people visit Venice in summer or during the carnival season. There is another event, worth visiting – Regata Storica. It is a race of spectacular boats that resembles the times when Venice was one of the main sea powers.
14. Ponte di Rialto
Ponte di Rialto is another old bridge that became a popular tourist destination. Various architects including Michelangelo had their own ideas about how the bridge should be designed. Yet, most of them were rejected as they would hinder river traffic.
15. Casino di Venezia
If you are a risky person, that is a special offer for you. That casino is one of the oldest gamer places in the world. Moreover, it is also a place where Richard Wagner died in 1833.
16. Ponte dell’Accademia
Ponte dell’Accademia is the south bridge that connects two banks of Canal Grande, and the art galleries with the district of San Marco. The bridge was earlier criticized as its construction made it too modern. Later, Mussolini ordered to demount it.
Hence, the Venice authorities still don’t give up plans to make a permanent stone bridge instead of a wooden one which is already there. On the left, there is Gallerie dell’ Accademia, where you can admire Venetian paintings of the 14-18th centuries.
17. Arsenale di Venezia
Venetian Arsenal is a complex of shipyards and armories situated near Venice. The whole naval power of the Venetian republic up to the early modern period is considered to be there. Before the industrial revolution, it was the largest industrial complex which consisted of 15% of the whole of Venice. The complex was so legendary that it was even mentioned in Dante’s “Inferno”. The Porta Magna, the Arsenal’s main gate, was one of the first examples of the Venetian Renaissance style. Yet, large parts of the complex were destroyed under Napoleonic rule.
18. Ca’ Rezzonico
We have already included this place in the list of “Gorgeous buildings in Venice.” It is a palace situated in Dorsoduro, a powerful example of Baroque and Rococo. Have you ever wanted to see the paintings of Francesco Guardi? If yes, the palace is for you as it now serves as a museum. The museum is rarely visited by tourists so you can quietly enjoy exhibitions. The entry price is also reasonable. Even if you are not an art lover, it would be interesting to get to know the former Venetian lifestyles.
Dorsoduro is the most southern and the highest part of the city. It was built in the 6th century, and in the 19th century, the Academy of Arts was set up here. That made the area one of the most expensive in Venice. The square is perfect for slow and long European walks as well as for sightseeing and a cup of coffee in a local café. The area can also be a good shelter when avoiding touristy places. Buy local homemade crafts and get to know true Venice.
20. Ca’ d’Oro Palace
Venice seems to have a tradition to make its palaces museums. The specialty of this palace is that it is gilded, and it is also an example of Venetian Gothic which survived most. It had several owners since the fall of the Republic of Venice, and eventually was a gift for Marie Taglioni, a ballet dancer. We would definitely call the palace the most elegant one due to the marble balconies which resemble the late Gothic period. And the view from these balconies is even more fascinating!
Gem no. 1 – Available exclusively on Framey App
Venice is full of gondolas and it would be great to see where they are created. Watching ship masters repairing their boats while drinking wine sounds idyllic. Here is a small bar where you can have a glass of wine, a cocktail, and some snacks. Earlier there were three such places, but now there is only one left. If Venice is the spectacle, you should also learn what is behind the curtains.
Gem no. 2 – Available exclusively on Framey App
This palace is the best representation of the late Gothic, and it has a beautiful terrace. The interior is, however, contemporary, with essential lines and neutral colors. The former Hotel Europe is now set for the Venice Biennale. The rooms are filled with works of art that are created to represent the relationship between Art and Space.
Gem no. 3 – Available exclusively on Framey App
This school belongs to the six biggest schools in Venice. The cultural events are also held here. The exterior is in the Baroque style, and inside you will find the sculpture of Saint Teodoro and four angels. The place might be the main attraction of classical music fans. The location is convenient, the costumes are dazzling, and the place is also kid-friendly. Your child won’t be bored!
Gem no. 4 – Available exclusively on Framey App
San-Marco-Museum has lots of artifacts associated with history and architecture. We liked at most the unusual bronze horses. The inner garden is also worth visiting! The price is also very reasonable. There you can also have a view of a square out of a balcony. If you are traveling with kids, they will also be interested in all those monuments.
Gem no. 5 – Available exclusively on Framey App
It is an old street full of cafes, bars, and restaurants, a quiet place with no tourists, and a peaceful and authentic atmosphere. A perfect option for a slow long walk, watching people, and admiring water. Yet, the street is in the south, so it can be very hot during the summer.
While in Venice, you can also check Top 25 Best Romantic Restaurants In Venice, Italy.
Our team wanted to show that Venice is not another touristy place with no rest. We wanted to show another side of the city, the idyllic and serene atmosphere with art, history, and pleasure. If you want to share even more interesting places with us, or discover other sets, you should download Framey. This app is a must if you want your trip to be well-planned and nutritious!