7 Unique Things to Do in Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy - unique things to do in Venice

Venice, the floating city of love and fantasy, is a quintessential destination for couples seeking romantic getaways. But did you know that Venice also offers a plethora of unique experiences for everyday travelers, ranging from secret gardens to world-famous glassblowing? Here are seven unique things to do in Venice that will make your trip unforgettable.

Explore the Secret Gardens of Venice

Venice is home to numerous hidden gardens, tucked away behind the facades of palazzos and mansions. These secret gardens offer a serene escape from the bustling city streets and provide a glimpse into the lives of Venetian nobility. To explore these verdant havens, join a guided tour or venture out on your own with a map and a keen sense of curiosity. Some notable gardens include the Palazzo Soranzo Cappello and Palazzo Malipiero. Each garden has its own character and is filled with lush greenery, fragrant flowers, and tranquil water features.

Learn the Art of Glassblowing

Murano, a small island in the Venetian Lagoon, is world-renowned for its exquisite glass creations. Take a boat ride to Murano and witness the mesmerizing art of glassblowing at one of the many workshops that dot the island. Watch as skilled artisans transform molten glass into delicate sculptures, intricate chandeliers, and vibrant jewelry. You can even participate in a hands-on workshop to create your own unique glass souvenir. Don’t forget to visit the Museo del Vetro, which showcases the history and evolution of glassmaking in Venice.

Murano glass - unique things to do in Venice

Discover Venice’s Ghostly Past

For those seeking a thrilling experience, embark on a ghost tour through the eerie alleyways and dimly lit canals of Venice. Hear spine-chilling tales of ancient curses, haunted palaces, and restless spirits as you wander through the city’s most mysterious corners. Visit sites such as the Ca’ Dario, an alleged cursed palace with a tragic history, and the Ponte dei Sospiri, where the ghosts of prisoners are said to linger. These ghost tours not only provide a unique perspective on Venice’s history but also allow you to see the city in a whole new light.

Visit the Colorful Island of Burano

A short boat ride from Venice lies the vibrant island of Burano, famous for its brightly colored houses and intricate lace-making. Stroll through the island’s kaleidoscopic streets, snapping photos of the vivid facades and picturesque canals. Visit the Museo del Merletto to learn about Burano’s centuries-old lace-making tradition and shop for exquisite handmade lace souvenirs. Don’t forget to sample the island’s signature treat, bussol? buranello, a delicious ring-shaped cookie that pairs perfectly with a cup of coffee or tea.

Burano - unique things to do in venice

Indulge in a Cicchetti Crawl

Cicchetti, small plates of appetizers or snacks, are a Venetian culinary tradition. Embark on a cicchetti crawl through the city’s many bacari, or wine bars, sampling local specialties such as polpette (meatballs), baccal? mantecato (creamed cod), and marinated seafood. Pair your cicchetti with a glass of ombra, a local wine, as you mingle with locals and immerse yourself in Venice’s vibrant food culture. Popular bacari include Cantina Do Mori, All’Arco, and Osteria al Squero, each offering a unique atmosphere and an array of delicious cicchetti to try.

Row Your Own Gondola

While gondola rides are one of the most unique things to do in Venice, why not take it a step further and learn to row your own gondola? Sign up for a lesson with a professional gondolier and master the art of navigating Venice’s narrow canals and lagoon. As you glide through the water, enjoy a unique vantage point of the city’s stunning architecture and gain insight into the life of a gondolier. This once-in-a-lifetime experience will not only provide you with a new skill but also a deeper appreciation for Venice’s rich maritime heritage.

Related: How to Use the Venice Public Transportation System

Attend a Venetian Mask-Making Workshop

Venice is synonymous with elaborate masks, an integral part of the city’s history and culture. Unleash your creativity by attending a mask-making class, where you’ll learn the traditional techniques used to create these stunning works of art. Choose from a variety of styles, such as the elegant Colombina or the mysterious Bauta, and adorn your mask with feathers, jewels, and gold leaf. Not only will you leave with a beautiful, one-of-a-kind souvenir, but you’ll also gain a deeper understanding of the significance of masks in Venetian society.

Mask Making - unique things to do in Venice

Have you visited Venice? Which of these unique things to do have you tried?

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About author

Taryn White

With 75+ countries and all 50 U.S. states crossed off her list, Taryn's wanderlust continues to grow! She loves historic places, family travel, and beautiful beaches. Follow her pursuits on Instagram (@taryntraveler).

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