Type ‘Things to see in Venice’ into your favourite search engine and your screen is quickly inundated with popular attractions such as St. Mark’s Square, Burano and of course, Rialto Bridge. No trip to Venice is complete without the delight of pushing your way through the crowds to see the infamous market bridge. Venice is a museum, and revelling in it for two or three days is exactly what you’ll want to do. However, if you’re there for slightly longer, getting off the beaten-track to find those lesser frequented neighbourhoods will be a welcome respite from the bustling regions that shoulder the Grand Canal. Here are three neighbourhoods in Venice that you really shouldn’t miss!
Doze off in Dorsoduro
You will undoubtedly weave your way in and out of Dorsoduro as you make your way towards the must-see Ponte dell’Academia, a wooden bridge giving a breathtaking view of the mouth of the canal. Venture deeper into the charming, no-frills neighbourhood to find locals perched over the sides of narrow canals, enjoying aperitivi after work and catching up whilst watching the sunset. Grab an Aperol Spritz, the popular, bittersweet orange cocktail that has become a Venetian staple, in one of the low-key bars in Campo Santa Margherita. Lounge in the sun with a spritz hand, close your eyes and listen to the Venetian soundscape.
Do as the Venetians do in Giudecca
With every building, bridge, square and gondola on the Grand Canal being an ornament for your eyes, it’s easy to get carried away and forget that there is another, even wider canal to explore! Take the waterbus (Linea 2), sailing past the enchanting Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore, to Zitelle. Disembark here at sunset for quiet waterside dining with spectacular views of St. Mark’s Campanile and the colourful rear side of Dorsoduro. Put your selfie sticks and maps away - you’ll stick out like a sore thumb. If you find yourself wanting to make an itinerary of things to do in Giudecca, simply embrace the local feel and go with the flow.
Eat all you can in Cannaregio!
Cannaregio is the neighbourhood you’re greeted with as you travel into Venice by train across the lagoon. Visitors often dart straight to their hotel from Santa Lucia station, and only find themselves walking through the lively district to catch the waterbus to the colourful island of Burano, or shopping on the main thoroughfare of Strada Nova. Cannaregio offers the most delicious cichetti (small eats) along Salizada del Spezier, and pasta-to-go. Grab a bite and stroll down to Ponte delle Guglie, where you can perch whilst you people watch.