Venice trip planner

St Mark's and Piazza San Marco, Venice

A travel guide to help you plan the perfect vacation to Venice, Italy

Why Venice?

Venice is a city of stone built on the water—or at least on the marshy mudflats of a lagoon—a feat of engineering and determination if ever there was one.

Imagine a city of 118 islands threaded by 180 canals, these watery roads lined by Gothic-filagreed palazzi, spanned by 409 lithe footbridges, and plied by fleets of crooked-nose, coffin-black gondolas.

Picture a tangle of ancient alleys, the houses often no more than shoulder-width apart, connecting countless pocket-sized campi (squares), each anchored by a church filled with Titians and Titorettos or a museum stuffed with Renaissance or modern art.

A gondola on the Grand Canal
A gondola on the Grand Canal.

Now picure yourself spending a day touring the lagoon by vaporetto (water bus), visiting the outlying islands to watch artisans create traditional Venetian glass on the Venice-in-miniature island of Murano, see old ladied hand-tatt lace on the fishermen's island of candy-colored houses called Burano, and visit a thousand-year-old church covered in glittering mosaics on Torcello before motoring back to downtown Venice as the sun sets over the waters of the lagoon, capping it all off with a a sumptuous seafood feast.

There simply is no place on Earth like La Serenissima.

Venice quick guide


Tips & links

How long does Venice take?

Planning your day: You could spend an afternoon in Venice, a day or two, or a week and never run out of things to do and new corners to discover.

I would try to give Venice at least a day and a half. Three days would be better, but most people don't have that kind of time, even for Venice.

I have suggestions for how to spend anywhere from half a day in Venice up to three full days on the Venice itineraries pages.

Venice is a city that, at first glance, seems excessively touristy and overrun. Some visitors can't wait to move on to someplace that feels a bit less like a canal-rodden Disneyland.

However, given time (and purposefully getting lost once or twice), Venice reveals its serenissima side and begins to seduce even the most jaded of travelers.

Venice itineraries

Venice links & resources

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