It can often feel like there's not a lot else to do in Venice other than what's readily available on the timeworn tourist trail. But those who take the time to uncover what else the city has to offer can discover more unseen parts of the floating city through various unique tours and authentic experiences.
Ignoring the droves of travelers that descend upon Piazza San Marco every season will open up a wealth of untold adventure, promising sights, scenes, and sounds that only the most intrepid visitors ever scope out and get to savor. Out of the extraordinary pastimes allowing Venice-bound visitors to see its other sides, the following experiences and activities are a handful of those recommended by discerning jet-setters themselves.
From eco-friendly canal kayaking and wine tasting to cooking classes, artisan demonstrations, and friendly, local-led city tours, readers can consider these fascinating escapades the next time they find themselves in the midst of the Venetian vibe.
9 Walk In Historical Footsteps On A Venice Cassanova Tour
Travelers can take two hours out of their day to enjoy something utterly original: a Casanova Venice trail that sends tourers in his very steps, along with visits to his historic sites of significance. On this well-planned out route, intrepid tourists retrace the life and adventures of the Venetian Republic's most famed icons, attending the very places where his historic happenings took place. Furthermore, participants of this walking tour can discover the fascinating traditions and customs of eighteenth-century Venice, all while being led by an expert private guide.
8 Participate In A Rialto Market Tour With A Cooking Class And Wine Tasting
On this particular half-day experience, foodies can get intimately involved in the Venetian way by enjoying some homestyle Italian cooking. An insightful and entertaining culinary adventure, the trip begins at Rialto Market, where guests learn to shop like a local for fresh, seasonal ingredients made even more authentic with the help of a professional chef.
Once the ingredients are bought, one then learns how to prepare genuine regional dishes during a cooking lesson inside a historic Venetian palazzo. One can also get insider tips on food and Italian wine pairing from a local sommelier - the perfect accompaniment for the delicious three-course meal that guests prepare alongside the chef.
7 Discover Burano With "The Secret Corners Of Burano" Tour
Out of all the Burano tours, this one is the only tour dedicated exclusively to the vibrant island of the Venice Lagoon. An official UNESCO World Heritage site, guests can enjoy a guided tour of Burano that allows them to experience its local traditions and cultures.
Most other tours gloss over Burano, only stopping for a short time at its touristic spots in favor of more popular parts. However, this experience lets travelers enjoy a real insight into the island alongside an experienced, passionate guide who was born and raised on Burano, and therefore qualified to provide an authentic, well-informed tour of this beautiful gem in Venice.
6 Explore The Treasures Of Torcello Island
Attached to the strings of a local guide, guests of this tour get to discover the beginning of Venice’s civilization. They learn all about the history of the ancient island of Torcello whilst visiting its stunning monuments and historical remains. Those who want to spend a few hours away from the busy center of Venice will truly appreciate the chance to discover this place - a hub that was once known as the capital of the North Lagoon.
Made even more insightful by an experienced guide, this tour is the most authentic way to study the tremendous transformation that occurred on the island over the many centuries - one that began in the seventh century when Torcello's people fled barbarians. In this place of intense archaeological heritage, visitors can see gardens, a few noble palaces, churches, and monasteries that are still preserved today.
5 Visit The Venice Murano Island Glass Factory With Glass Blowing Demonstrations
Enjoy an artistic experience entailing the centuries-old art of glassblowing on a fascinating factory tour on Murano Island - the home of some of the world's finest artisan glass artists. Tourers can visit the Colleoni Glass Factory and watch master craftspeople shape molten glass through traditional heat, blowing, and sculptural techniques. Guests can also visit the factory showroom to see their intricately finished artworks and will receive a special Murano glass souvenir as a parting gift.
4 Discover The Real Venetian Kayak Tour
What better way to explore Venice than in the most eco-friendly way? Greenly kayaking through the historic canals with an expert kayak guide allows a level of intimacy and flexibility that gondola rides can't quite promise - despite gondolas being the preferred method of exploration for most tourists.
As explorers paddle along the arteries of Venice on a kayak, they'll learn about the city's history and culture through the guide's seasoned commentary. Plus, no kayaking experience is necessary; all skill levels and ages are welcome, and equipment and instruction are included.
3 Partake In A Venice Carnival Mask-Making Class
For a dose of culture and artistic flair that's fun for all the family, visitors to Venice can partake in the ancient tradition of Venetian mask-making in classes taught by master artisans. One can choose a production class or a decoration class, or alternatively, why not both?
During the production class, one learns how to make authentic paper-mâché masks, whilst the decoration class teaches the use of materials and paints to make one's mask truly come to life. The next best part? The masks are taken home to keep as a memorable souvenir.
2 Experience A Private Tour Of Venice Away From The Crowds
Escape the crowds and the hustle and bustle of Venice's beaten path by opting for a unique tour of discovery with a local private guide. Local experts of the floating city, the many experienced guides working on a private basis in Venice know the whereabouts of all its best-hidden alleyways and paths - many of which lead to secret gems that most tourists never get to see.
From sauntering through local neighborhoods and lavish gardens to hopping to crowd-free islands, this particular tour is for travelers in search of Venice's unseen side on a day out that's completely different from what most visitors experience.
1 Savor A Private Gondola Ride Off The Beaten Path
Everyone rides a gondola through Venice's most prolific tourist hotspots. However, the city also has other unconventional sections that many tourists decide to skip in favor of crowded must-sees. Many visitors simply don't realize that they can explore a quieter side of Venice on a private gondola ride that takes them through the city's less-traveled canals.
This short but sweet trip sees explorers onboard a traditional Venetian boat with a professional gondolier, who navigates past many of Venice's historic landmarks, palaces, and churches that most tourists miss.