12 Apr 2019
Avatar photo by Ben Williams

Venice is one of the most famous cities in the world, renowned for romance, beauty and the uniqueness of its canal system. On the flipside, it often gets tarnished with stories of over-tourism and poor-quality food and drink, however having just returned from a few days exploring, I can safely say that I’m in love with the city. If you’d like to incorporate Venice into a cruise itinerary, here are a few of my tips for having a great time.

  • Choose an itinerary that starts or ends in Venice and spend a some time on the island before or after your cruise. There are many cities that you can enjoy in a day or two, but Venice isn’t one of them. It’s an extremely diverse place that takes time to truly appreciate and while the district of San Marco and its square are a must visit, this isn’t where the true magic of the city is.
  • Walk as much as you can. Of course Venice is magnificent from the water but you can spend hours taking in the beauty and the culture on foot. Of course you still always have the option of a boat trip if you need rest your legs. Avoid the crowded San Marco area during the day, particularly at the weekend, and go to some of the lesser known areas before heading to San Marco in the evening
  • Indulge in a Spritz whenever you get the chance! The Venetian Spritz has been made much more popular in the UK in recent years by Aperol, but it really is an institution in Venice. Equal parts Prosecco and ‘Aperitivo’ topped up with Soda Water, for the Aperitivo choose from Aperol, Campari, Cynar or my personal favourite ‘Select’ from Venice itself.
  • Eat Cicchetti whenever you drink a Spritz! Cicchetti is the local speciality in Venice, small plate dishes which are designed to eat informally with a Spritz or glass of wine. A particular local speciality is to top a small slice of Italian bread with a recipe made with local fish. To be honest there’s no need for lunch, I’d suggest a Spritz and Cicchetti stop every couple of hours to rest your legs, Wine Bar 5000 in San Severo is my top tip!
  • Visit Murano and Burano for beautiful tranquillity. Two separate islands from the main part of the city which are easily reachable by boat and show a completely different side to Venice. Murano is famous for its glassblowing and this is evident all over the island, while Burano is particularly peaceful and eye catching.
  • Venture to the Giardini della Biennale on the main island. Again away from the main tourist areas, this is an area of parkland which is completely different from the rest of the city. Another much more tranquil area which plays host to the Venice Biennale Arts Festival, dubbed by some as the Olympics of the art world.

Venice is a magnificent city which is at its best if you do some prior research and really get off the beaten track to explore. If you’d like any further recommendations or to discuss potential travel plans then please don’t hesitate to call on 01225 744992 or email me at ben@silvercompass.co.uk.