The first time you arrive in Venice, you want to visit St. Mark and the Rialto Bridge. But if you have more time, today it is trendy to do activities that until a few years ago we would not have defined tourist purely.
Today, this type of activity allows Venice, but not only of course here, to get to know the city in a different, more authentic, and profound way (if you choose the right ones). When I travel, after visiting maybe the main monuments, I look for something more particular: from the cooking school to the tasting or spend some hours in the hammam that I am already looking forward to since I am leaving soon for Andalusia.
Here then, I wanted to make you a small list, with some explanations, of the experiences that can be done in Venice. If you need further information, do not hesitate to send me an email to email@example.com.
For many years the bacaro tour (street food tour) has been proposed in Venice, and I must say that it is one of my favorite tours. What’s it about? The experience will resume a typical Venetian way of doing that is to eat cicchetti (small samples of food that can be the most varied) and drink a glass of wine and then move to another place and do the same. The purpose of the bacaro tour is to get together, taste good food (everyone has their favorite bacari list), and drink a good glass of wine.
You can also choose to do a guided wine tasting, which is a solution if you don’t feel like walking a lot.
My advice: do it in small groups because otherwise, human contact is lost, which for me, is an integral part of this experience. Furthermore, a small group will be less intrusive in typically local reality.
Another activity that you can do is take a short cooking class in Venice. How do these tours take place? We often meet directly at the Rialto market and choose what to buy. You reach the kitchen (it can be in the apartment you rented or in a kitchen selected by those who offer the service), and you learn how to cook those ingredients. Then we eat together. Don’t be afraid that maybe the recipes are too complicated or that those ingredients are not found in your home. Who I know has been doing this job for years and really chooses methods that can be replicated without much complication.
My advice: do not rush and take the whole day. You will enjoy your lunch, and maybe you can get to know new people too.
An exciting way to get to know the city is to go rowing along the canals. There are several proposals on this: in a couple of hours, you can learn the rudiments of Venetian rowing (voga alla veneta). The instructors are very patient, and not only will they explain the technical part, but they will test you in the internal canals and in the lagoon. It is also possible to row along the Grand Canal (in the evening) or ends the experience with a collective toast. I have never tried this, but it is on my to-do list this year.
You can also visit the lagoon by kayak, and I advise you not to go on your own. It is better that you contact one of the companies that organize this type of tour: there are, in fact, traffic rules in the city’s canals and places in the lagoon where it is not recommended to venture because maybe too beaten by motorboats.
My advice: go with comfortable clothes and in summer remember a hat, sunscreen, and water.
Do you like running? Then you can be accompanied by those who know Venice well and can accompany you through different calli and sestieri also knowing where to stop to refuel in the various fountains of the city. As a rule, these tours take place early, around 7 in the morning; otherwise, it becomes difficult to move around when all the tourists arrive.
My advice: running in Venice is different than running in the city, maybe on the asphalt. If you decide to do it, I recommend using suitable shoes.
What about a bike tour? Ys! It can be done! Not in Venice, of course, where it is forbidden, but in Lido or Mestre. So this too is a way of exploring the territory enjoying the company of a local who knows it. Since there are no climbs, the routes are comfortable and suitable for anyone.
My advice: watch out for cars. Not everywhere there is the cycle path.
If you like creating, surely booking a workshop with a craftsman could be the experience for you. In Venice, many activities produce masks and open their doors to workshops: not only is the technique used explained, but a mask is also made to take home.
There is also the possibility of making a small glass object through lampworking. Depending on your skills and the time you have available, you can make glass beads or objects of this type. It is an excellent way, in my opinion, to understand how much technique this type of processing requires and why objects have a specific value on the market. Even these creations can obviously be brought home.
It is also possible to make prints and engravings: on the other hand, this technique was born in Venice. The matrix is made and printed, and this object can also be taken home.
My advice: these types of activities are also great to do with children because they will be busy with something creative. There are also some companies specializing in children’s entertainment involving the whole family in challenges and paths such as treasure hunting.
A pleasant experience to do with a group of friends is the escape rooms: in Venice are obviously linked to the history of the city and its places. It is a logic game in which participants must seek a solution to a murder or a mystery through codes, puzzles, and riddles. Often the answer is the “key” to get out of the place where the game takes place. In Venice, there is more than one experience of this type, and, having tried a few, I can tell you that even on a historical level, they are made with intelligence often with the help of distinguished scholars of the history of Venice.
My advice: this type of activity is also excellent as a team building to create a group within the company or its own workgroup.
In short, as you can see, there are many different ways of getting to know the city even more deeply in respect of the citizens who live there.
If you need any further advice, do not hesitate to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.