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You’re planning your first, or 10th trip to Venice, and you’re looking forward to it. You also wonder what to do in Venice, what to experience?
Well, this is an article for you! Indeed, we will cover just that: the best authentic experiences you can try in Venice to discover the local culture and feel like a local!
Below, we made a selection of different tours and activities that are fun, suited for all type of people and an excellent introduction to various aspects of Venetian life. On top of this, all the activities listed below directly contribute to supporting quality local businesses, associations, and entrepreneurs.
So, let’s start! Here are our recommended experiences to try when in Venice. All of these Venetian activities are private and lead by duly authorized and licensed professionals locals.
They are the perfect opportunity for you to have an authentic experience of the city while supporting the people who make Venice, Venice.
90 minutes walk in Venice
How do you feel about spending your time wrestling your way through crowds carrying selfie sticks only to reach a famous landmark and immediately move on? It doesn’t sound too exciting, does it?
We have a better idea. How about a private walking tour through a lesser known area of the city in a company of a Venetian?
You will experience Venice differently, discovering a beautiful residential district of Venice, where fewer tourists venture and local life still exists and can be observed.
Depending on the season, you might see people having a glass of wine next to a canal, others hanging their clothes on the lines outside their windows, children playing on the squares, or friends walking their dogs along sunny fondamente.
This 90 minutes walk is a great way to admire hidden corners of Venice, experience how vital some areas still are, and how the city shapes the behaviors and the way of life of its residents. For all these excellent reasons, we believe this experience is a great way to discover the city as a local and deserves to be part of our top 5 authentic experiences in Venice!
One of the top things to do in Venice, the city built on water, is to learn to play with fire!
In your private bead making experience, a talented Murano glass artist will teach you how to transform glass sticks into stunning multi-colored Murano glass beads that can be combined to form one-of-a-kind pendants, necklaces, or bracelets.
Using the fire of a hot torch, you will learn to soften and molt hard Murano glass rods, combine them with more glass and powders, and transform them in breath-taking glass beads.
This private lesson is an exciting activity, which is much appreciated also by teens, and which will entertain you and make you discover the technique behind the making of renown Murano glass beads! But you still have a question, right?
Why is Murano Glass so important in Venice and renown in the entire world?
Ever since its foundation in the middle of the Lagoon, Venice has had to find ways to overcome the scarcity of local resources and its isolation from the rest of the world. The solution came through maritime commerce, and in particular through the production and trade of salt (for food preservation) and its spectacular production of glass crafts. In regards to glass, while works such as the stunning Murano glass chandeliers were a must for the wealthiest European families, Murano glass beads were more affordable and easier to transport. Because of this and their beauty, Murano glass beads were worn and desired by people and cultures all over the world, from Africa to South America. They were so valuable that, in several cases, they became the preferred currency in trades with African countries!
That is the reason why we believe this is a great experience to do in Venice for all of you who are looking for an authentic Venetian experience that is hands-on, mixes art and history and is fun, of course!
Walk and Row:
What are the first three things that come to your mind when we say the word “Venice”? Did you say “water”? Well then, this is the right experience for you!
Are you an active person who loves to enjoy a day of good weather?
By trying this activity in Venice, you will be given the opportunity to spend 3 hours outside in the company of locals and have an authentic time, experiencing the best of both Venetian worlds. Indeed, the Walk and Row experience is just that: a 1,5h walk on land, and a 1,5h gentle lesson of Venetian rowing!
To discover Venice from the ground, you will first walk through one of the most beautiful and most residential areas of Venice and see how Venetian life unfolds. You will then have a chance to board an authentic Venetian handmade boat and try your hands at rowing the Venetian way, standing up and facing forward.
Is there much difference from just walking around?
Walking around is a great way indeed to discover Venice! However, people are often surprised when they first realize that Venice isn’t only a pedestrian city. In fact, while there are indeed no cars in town and it is allowed to move on the streets only by foot, there are several canals everywhere in Venice; these canals and the boats that drive along them represent the Venetian roads and vehicles. These two Venetian worlds, the land, and the sea are tightly interwoven, but show different sides and aspects of Venice, that are worth seeing!
This is why these two activities, walking and rowing, are a great way to discover Venice and to make you live the city like a local. This experience makes it into our list of top 5 experiences in Venice, and is recommended in particular for people who enjoy spending time outside!
Night Photography: quiet and romantic
If you’re more a night owl than a morning person, and you would like to capture the beauty of the night in Venice, we’ve got an experience for you!
Combining two fabulous activities to do in Venice, walking around the city and learning how to take beautiful photographs at night, this private experience is a unique way to discover a more intimate, silent, and romantic Venice.
This is a great way to admire both the most famous Venetian landmarks and the quietest areas and be given all the help, time, and space you need to capture the beauty of Venice at night when even the most touristic areas are suddenly quiet and shine in all their beauty.
This experience is enjoyable, relaxing, and is a great way to feel like a local while exploring Venice when the crowds are gone, discovering the authentic atmosphere of night time in Venice.
Bookbinding: for artists and craft people
This is your opportunity to visit Venice, one of the most important cities of arts and craftsmanship, and learn to craft the best support for your art.
A skilled artisan will teach you the bookbinding technique to craft your high-quality personal sketchbook, on which to write your memories and your stories, or on which to sketch your idea and even paint your best works!
In fact, bookbinding is one of the lesser known yet more important Venetian traditions! Gutenberg’s movable type invention was a real revolution that sped up the process of copying and printing old and new books. Venice, as often, understood the importance and potential of this market and became the world leader in the printing industry. Since that day, bookbinders grew in number and influence in Venice, and their art became one of the most important in the city!
Nowadays, however, there are much fewer bookbinders, and it is crucial to help them, continue living from their craft. This is why few activities you can do in Venice are as meaningful, authentic and part of our local culture and tradition as artisanal bookbinding.
This experience is fun for everybody, but it us a real must for artists and writers who want the best support for their art and thoughts.
Since this experience is fun, authentic, and leaves you with a great notebook that you will carry around everywhere, we recommend it as one of the top 5 experiences to do in Venice!
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