Top 5 Venice Off The Beaten Track Sights

It’s not difficult to tick off Venice’s main attractions in a day; but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hang around to explore a bit more. Once you’ve taken a trip up the Grand Canal and visited St Mark’s Square, what else should you check out? Here are our picks for the top five Venice off the beaten track sights, that you should definitely check out while you are there.

Top 5 Venice Off The Beaten Track Sights

The islands

Venice off the beaten track. Colourful Burano
Colourful Burano

Murano, the closest of Venice’s islands, is well known for its handmade glass and its convenient location makes it a popular stop for most visitors. Further out, Burano, with its brightly coloured homes and long tradition of lace-making, is equally if not more rewarding. Travel to Torcello and you’ll have a better chance of losing the crowds and see Venice off the beaten track sights, especially in low season. Don’t miss the mosaics at Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta and the Ponte del Diavolo, one of only two bridges in Venice that doesn’t have parapets.


Venice off the beaten track. Cannaregio is packed with hidden alleyways
Cannaregio is packed with hidden alleyways

Filling the gap between the lagoon and the Grand Canal, the 16th century Jewish Ghetto of Cannaregio is surprisingly quiet given how close it is to the main drag. A visit to the Jewish Museum will help you make sense of the district’s past, and from there it’s easy to tour the area’s three synagogues. Duck down the back alleys to reach shops selling everything from vintage goods to meat or veg. Cannaregio’s also got some of the best bars in town, so plan to start your cicchetti crawl here.

Rialto’s market area

Venice off the beaten track. Inside Cantina do Mori
Inside Cantina do Mori

The Rialto Bridge is heaving with tourists snapping selfies day and night. When you step off the bridge and into the market, the proportion of locals increases dramatically. Move away from the water; duck down a couple of alleyways; and you could find you’ve got the place to yourself. Grab a glass of wine in Cantina do Mori, the oldest bacaro (bar) in Venice and contemplate the many copper pots that hang from the ceiling as you plan your next move.

Libreria Alta Acqua

An unusual use for a gondola. Venice off the beaten track
An unusual use for a gondola

You might think it odd to travel to Venice and then seek out a bookstore, particularly if your command of Italian isn’t up to the task of reading anything. But the Libreria Alta Acqua isn’t just any bookshop. Inside, you’ll find piles of reading material stacked in redundant bathtubs and even a gondola. Pop out the back and there, from the top of a staircase fashioned from – you guessed it – a pile of books, is a fabulous view of the canal.

Giudecca Island

Giudecca Island. Venice off the beaten track
Giudecca Island

Every Thursday, inmates from the women’s prison on Giudecca Island spread their vegetables and sell to passers-by. The prison is housed in a former Augustinian convent which dates from about 1545. It’s not the only such building on the island; numerous convents and monasteries have been repurposed as warehouses, mills and breweries.

About JuliaHammond


Julia Hammond is a Geography teacher turned travel writer with a passion for places. Winning Mail Travel's Deep South competition was the catalyst to write for a diverse range of publications including Bradt's Bus Pass Britain Rides Again. She’s written Kindle guides to Cape Town, Peru and London for Unanchor and advice on Savannah for Wanderlust. When not travelling, she can be found at home in Essex planning her next trip, her two golden retrievers curled up at her feet.

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