I truly believe that Venice has more to offer than what a day trip can afford you. In large part this is because the beauty of this city happens when the day-trippers leave and the cruisers get back on their ship! If I could share with you one thing I think you need to do while visiting Venice, it would be this: The best thing you can do in Venice is get lost. Just put your map away and start turning down cobblestoned streets until you find yourself in the midst of true Venetians living a beautiful life. Herein lies the real beauty and magic of Venice. And there really is no need to worry, as Venice is just a small island and so sooner or later you’re bound to get un-lost! When it doubt, you can always find someone to point you back towards St. Mark’s Square and find your bearings that way.
As for other top things you will probably want to see and do while you’re in Venice, here is a short list of my favorites to choose from, in between your getting lost adventures:
St. Mark’s Basilica - One of the most beautiful churches in the world, filled with thousands of square feet of mosaics. This is certainly a must-see during your visit and if you go during high season, you are able to book a free reservation time beforehand to enter.
Campanile di St. Marco - A view from the top of the Bell Tower will afford you the most beautiful panoramic of the city.
Doge’s palace - One of Italy’s grandest town halls heavily decorated with canvases and frescoes by Venice’s greatest artists.
Rialto Bridge (and market) - The stone bridge is the most famous and loveliest span across the Grand Canal. The market extends at the foot into San Polo.
Gondola Ride - They are touristy and ridiculously overpriced, but who comes to Venice and doesn’t take a Gondola Ride?!
Piazza San Marco - This is where you will want to park yourself at a nice outdoor cafe table and enjoy the dueling string trios and piano players, and watch couple’s dance along the cobblestones.
Visit an outlying Venetian Island - Ride a vaporetto to one of the 3 major islands in the Venetian lagoon. Murano is famous for glass-making, Burano is famous for lace-making, and Torcello is where the city of Venice got it’s start.
Sure, there are plenty of other things to see and do in Venice, but that’s going to depend on your personal taste and what a romantic weekend looks like to you. If you’re thinking about adding this beautiful city to your Italian getaway, I’d love to help you customize your perfect trip.
Additional reading you might find useful: