Gondolas, narrow, winding streets, hidden secrets behind colourful masks, canals lined with ancient palaces… just some of Venice’s distinctive features. Located in northern Italy and built on more than a hundred islands connected by a myriad of bridges, Venice is one of the most astonishing cities in Europe. Discover it for yourself!
At Friendly Rentals we have extensive experience in holiday rentals in Venice and other international destinations. We offer the best apartments in the centre of Venice, as well as in other charming areas, including Cannaregio, Dorsoduro, Castello, San Polo and the island of Giudecca, so you can get a feel for the real Venice.
Renting an apartment in Venice is a great alternative to staying in a luxury hotel, with greater freedom and almost the same ease and comfort as at home. Our wide range of holiday apartments in Venice lets you choose the best accommodation to meet your style and needs.
What is there to see in Venice?
In Saint Mark’s Square you’ll find all the most famous buildings in Venice. The Doge’s Palace, a dazzling combination of Gothic and Byzantine architecture, was the seat of government and justice for centuries. A stone’s throw away is the Bridge of Sighs, over which inmates were led to the prison. Saint Mark’s Square is also home to Saint Mark’s Basilica, the bell tower and the clock tower.
Another very famous bridge in Venice is the elegant Rialto Bridge over the Grand Canal, but there are over 350 bridges in the city in total.
Art lovers should make a beeline for the Galleria dell’Accademia, where you’ll find masterpieces by great Venetian painters. Another must is the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the Correr Museum, Ca’ Rezzonico and the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, decorated with paintings by Tintoretto.
Other key sights to see in Venice are the Ghetto Ebraico (the old Jewish quarter) and the Fenice Theatre. We also recommend taking a vaporetto and exploring other islands in the Venetian lagoon. Murano is famous for its glass, Burano for its colourful houses, and Lido for its beach and casino. Finally, the islands of Torcello and San Michele, where you’ll find the historic cemetery, are other places to visit in Venice if you have enough time.
The world-famous Venice Carnival, with its masks and elegant period costumes, is a source of inspiration for all kinds of artists. Dating back to the 11th century, it is the oldest carnival in the world.
Visiting Venice at carnival time is a unique experience that will infuse you with the spirit of the city. Every year, Venice becomes a dazzling fortnight of colour, music and energy.
Eating out in Venice
Venetian cuisine is characterised by rice, fish and seafood. Typical dishes you can eat in Venice include sarde in saor (fried marinated sardines), polenta and risi e bisi (rice with peas and bacon). When it comes to desserts, this is the home of tiramisu.
There are lots of restaurants where you can eat pizza and other Italian and international food. If you head away from the more touristy areas in Venice, you’ll discover bars serving cicchetti, bite-sized appetisers usually washed down with a glass of white wine. It’s a local speciality, as is Spritz, a mixture of fizzy water, white wine and a liqueur like Campari or Aperol. But it’s not the only typical drink in Venice! Bellini, a cocktail made with prosecco wine and peach juice, was also invented here.
Shopping in Venice
The main shopping area in Venice is between the Rialto Bridge and Saint Mark’s Square, along streets such as Mercerie and Calle dei Fabri, although you will also find plenty of Italian fashion shops around the Accademia and Calle Larga XXII Marzo, where you can buy designer clothes by Versace, Armani, Bottega Veneta, Missoni and Gucci.
Venice has a long craft tradition and lots of shops sell handmade objects, including intricate Venetian masks, glass from Murano, wooden puppets, lace tablecloths from Burano, leatherwork, jewels and antiques.
If you want to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, the most famous of all the markets in Venice is in Rialto. There are also weekly street markets, selling food, clothes, footwear and vintage items.
Venice by night
Venice is not famed for its nightlife, but it is there if you look hard enough.
One of the best areas for going out at night in Venice is the Dorsoduro neighbourhood, the city’s student district, especially around Campo Santa Margherita, where you’ll find bars to have a drink and listen to live music. If you head over to Fondamenta della Misericordia, in the north of the Cannaregio neighbourhood or around the Rialto Bridge, you’ll find plenty of bars and pubs. If you want to hit the dancefloor, the main nightclubs, such as TAG Club and Molocinque, are in Mestre.
Visiting Venice with kids
Venice usually brings to mind couples on a romantic getaway, but it is also an ideal city for a family holiday. One of the best things to do with kids in Venice is something as simple as taking a vaporetto or a ride in a gondola.
Another fun activity if you travel with kids to Venice, is the secret visit to the Doge’s Palace, which take you along passageways, dungeons and other places not on the standard tour. You can also get children to count the pictures and sculptures of lions hidden on buildings all over the city, go up the bell tower in Saint Mark’s Square to get a bird’s-eye view of the city or learn how to blow glass from a master craftsman on the island of Murano. Not forgetting to sample some delicious artisanal ice cream.
The weather in Venice
Although Venice is fairly close to the Alps, it has a Mediterranean climate with high humidity. Summers in Venice are hot during the day, but fresh and cool at night. Average temperatures in June, July and August range between 23 ºC and 27 ºC, although they can hit 34 ºC. Winters in Venice, on the other hand, are fairly cold and the city is often shrouded in fog, giving it a mysterious air. Average temperatures in December, January and February range between 0 ºC and 6 ºC. It can often rain in Venice, especially in spring and autumn.
One particular feature to bear in mind when deciding when to visit Venice is the acqua alta, when the water level in the lagoon rises high enough to flood the city. It’s not that common, but it can occur in autumn and, above all, winter.
When is the best time of year to visit Venice?
The best time of year to visit Venice is spring or autumn. The other great time to come is for carnival, in February, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
If you visit Venice in spring, you can see the festivities in honour of the city’s patron, Saint Mark, and the Festa della Sensa, which includes a grand regatta. In August and September, the Mostra de Venezia international film festival adds an extra touch of glamour. In December, you can enjoy the Christmas lights and other Christmas traditions in Venice, as you discover a different side to the city.
What is there to see near Venice?
Venice is a magical city, but there are lots of other places nearby that are also worth a visit of their own. One of the most interesting cities near Venice is Padua, famous for its Prato della Valle Square, with a beautiful circular canal surrounded by statues. Nearby Ferrara is a Unesco World Heritage Site, thanks to its wonderfully conserved historic medieval centre. Finally, Verona, the stage for Romeo and Juliet’s adventures, is one of the most romantic cities in Italy. It is not far from Lake Garda and has one of the most impressive Roman amphitheatres. You can get to Verona from Venice by train.
If you feel like discovering a totally different city to Venice in northern Italy, try visiting Milan.
Why rent an apartment with Friendly Rentals?
Friendly Rentals offers holiday apartments in Venice with all the mod cons to make you feel right at home. All our day rentals have to pass a strict cleaning and quality control to ensure they meet our high standards.
During your stay in one of our apartments in Venice, you can contact us at any time, either within office hours or on our 24/7 emergency line.