Does visiting Venice always mean going bankrupt? Of course not! In such a popular tourist place, you just have to act a bit more… carefully and strategically! And before arriving, it’s worth doing a decent research so as not to get caught up in tourist traps, so many set for visitors 😉 However, since you found this article, it means that you are on the right track!
The most beautiful (free!) viewpoint in Venice
I love all rooftops! As soon as I bought tickets to Venice, I immediately started looking for a place where I could see this magical city from a bird’s eye view. I would be willing to pay even a little more for such a unique experience, but… it turned out that the best entertainment of this type in Venice is completely… free! You just have to think about it (sometimes) well in advance 😉
We are talking about Fondaco dei Tedeschi, a luxury department store, located within a stone’s throw from the Rialto Bridge. One of the most beautiful views of Venice stretches from its roof, and admission is for free. You just need to remember one thing – make a reservation in advance, preferably a few days before your arrival. Otherwise, there is a good chance that they will not let you in due to the lack of vacancies.
You can make a reservation on this page. The visit to the terrace lasts 15 minutes. The terrace is open from 10:15 to 19:00.
Libreria Acqua Alta
A very atmospheric place, with some taste of Harry Potter 😉 It is one of the most famous and unusual bookstores in the world. I’m sure you’ve never been to a place like this before!
When the water level in Venice rises and the floor of a bookstore becomes – speaking diplomatically – “damp”, works of literature could easily be destroyed. To avoid this, books are placed on the gondola, in bowls and in small tubs. Clever solution! And a very interesting sight. The trademark of Libreria Acqua Alta are numerous cats lazily lounging in its various corners.
An unusual attraction of the bookstore are also “stairs made of unusable books”, on which you can climb and admire the typical Venetian landscapes 😉
In addition, if (like me) you are fans of unusual, original Italian postcards, you will get them here 🙂
When it comes to some practical information, the bookstore is open daily from 9:00 to 19:30.
Getting lost in the narrow streets of the city away from the hustle and bustle
Seemingly so obvious, but not 😉 Venice can gain a lot in our eyes when we move away from the most popular and crowded places in the city, i.e. St. Mark Square and the Rialto Bridge. I recommend going for a deeper exploration of the Jewish quarter of Cannaregio and the university district of Dorsoduro. I guarantee that you will discover a completely different, much more authentic Venice there 🙂
And what is one of the best souvenirs you can bring back from Venice? Pictures of bridges with romantic views of the canal and gondolas in the background. The beautiful view is from the Ponte dell’Accademia, which connects the districts of Dorsoduro and San Marco. A very “nstagram-friendly” content 😉
Andar per bacari
It’s not a free attraction, but it’s a way to get to know authentic Venice without spending a fortune 🙂 Andar per bacari means a walk through Venetian “bacari” – small taverns serving the famous Aperol Spritz cocktail or a glass of wine accompanied by cicchetti – small sandwiches with high-quality regional ingredients, mainly fish-based, for just 1-3 euros.
Cicchetti with Aperol or a glass of wine is such a typical aperitivo for the inhabitants of Venice. It is also their meeting place after work or university with friends, after which they usually go further for a larger meal or dinner.
Fun fact: In Venetian bacari, a glass of wine is said to be “ombra” (Italian for “shadow”). Apparently, this name came from wine sellers who used to be stationed in St. Mark’s Square and constantly had to move into the shade to protect their goods from the sun 🙂
So, if you want to get to know Venice from a different perspective, I recommend going on a “bacaro tour”, which is just a tour of Venetian bars accompanied by inexpensive Aperoli (3-4 euros) and delicious cicchetti.
Note: Be careful with the word “cicchetto” outside the Venice area. If someone offers you a “cicchetto” outside Venice, it will not mean a snack, but… a shot of alcohol!
Do you know of any other noteworthy free attractions in Venice? Let me know in the comments!
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