How to Find the Quiet Side of Venice during Peak Summer Tourist Season
Venice is visited by over 20 million tourists every year. Most of them visit for just a day or two. With such a short trip, they are only able to see the compulsory first-time attractions; San Marco, Doges Palace, Rialto, and shops and restaurant cafes nearby fall in line with the must-sees. However, these places experience extreme crowding throughout the year, and especially during summer. If you are one wanting to avoid such crowds, and still want to experience Venice in all its splendor, read on.
Navigating The Beaten Path
It is not entirely a bad idea to visit the most tourist-heavy places provided that you make a pre-dawn start. The rising sun drapes the entire city in a magical shade of orange-La Serenissimagets infused with pastel shades. You can have Rialto Bridge and St Mark’s Square all to yourself. The alleyways and the courtyards carry only the street sweepers during this time.
As tourists begin to crowd the place, hop on a gondola ride and watch the city come to life. Planning a route with your boatman will get you access to a local Venetian perspective unknown to ‘landmen’.
The Unbeaten Path: the Local side of Venice
The most picturesque part of the town is where the locals live. Beautiful houses, shops, and the least expensive places to eat can be found here. Every turn you take will reveal churches, palaces, and camp. Go directions avoided by the crowds to breathe in the true Venetian air.
Take a boat tour on the Canal Grande which is the biggest of Venice’s canals. The canal is seated in between houses modeled in Venetian Baroque architecture. The cheapest way to take a tour is on a waterbus. However, you could always travel on a gondola.
Santa Maria Della Salute Basilica is one of the beautiful churches that can be found here and is the symbol of Canal Grande. Other churches in Venice are free to enter if they have not yet been turned into museums. Enter any church randomly and you can soak in mosaics, paintings, stained glass, and architecture famous medieval artists.
The city gets calm and quiet after dusk, especially after the cruise boats depart. The buildings get draped in light from sky’s changing hues. Tourists have retreated to mainstay restaurants and are usually not wandering about at this time.
Three Islands of the Lagoon: Murano, Burano, Torcello
Murano, famous for its glass-blowing tradition, is closest to the city and can be reached by boat. The glass shops offer a tour of their glass furnace where you can see how glass ornaments are made by skilled artisans.
Burano is just 10 km from Venice and a perfect place to enjoy the atmosphere of the old fishers’ town. It is famous for lace making. The island has a lace museum where you can see lace designs, old and new, and lace makers at work. But the real attraction is its brightly colored houses. Fun fact: the colors were a way for the island’s fishermen to locate their homes when fog and mist descended on the lagoon. Burano is not crowded with tourists making it a delightful place to visit.
Torcello was once home to a city larger than Venice. The island houses Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta with Byzantine features including mosaics from the 11th century. Other attractions include the museum which houses artifacts from around the lagoon and the stone courtyard referred to as Attila’s Throne.
Portogruaro is the true local side of Venice- one can truly immerse oneself in the local culture here. It is so local that Google search results show up in Italian and not English. Stop by a local café, grab yourself a gelato, and walk down the city and immerse yourself in its rich culture.
Palazzo dei Cento, Municipal Palace, Villa Comunale, and Molini di Sant’Andrea watermill are fine pieces of architecture that can be found here.
Following along the Veneto wine route will give you access to some finest North Italian wines. Book yourself a wine tour and learn about the geography and the soil of the land that produces the finest prosecco wines.
The neighborhood, shops, and family atmosphere compliment the peace and calm of Lido. There is absolutely no vehicular traffic and people travel by bike or foot.
The shops and restaurants are just three blocks away from the hotel neighborhood and have a hometown feeling. Beaches are just five blocks away from the hotel neighborhood which looks over at the Adriatic.
The Church of San Nicolo Al Lido houses the remains of St Nicholas who is the patron saint of sailors. The walnut choir stalls present 27 scenes from the life of St Nicholas.
Most of the tourists confine themselves in beaches under the sun, so the entire neighborhood is crowd-free for exploring.
Food in Bacari and Osterie
The food of Venice is quite exquisite, with a wonderful selection of places to eat. Just avoid ‘touristic places’. The regular restaurants and pizzerias are available in plenty, but try a bacaro which is a typical Venetian eatery.
Bacari is a bar where they serve local food in a small portion. Bacari also serves a good selection of wines and beer. Interestingly, sitting down and eating is expensive while eating at the bar is not. You could also go for a ‘bacaro tour’, eating and drinking a little at every place you stop.
Osterie are usually family-run restaurants. Try food in an osterie for an authentic Venetian experience.
About The Author: Lysha works at Lalco Residency- Apartments In Mumbai For Short Stay and she loves her job. Helping clients and monitoring the progress of business strategies along with her leadership skills makes her perfect suit for Hospitality services. You can catch-up with Lysha at Lalco Residency in Mumbai.