Venice - The Hidden Gems
Venice is possibly Europe’s biggest cliché, but this is not a bad thing, everything you have ever imagined of the city is exactly what you get. The city’s people, architecture and dining screams passion and you can’t help but be dragged into the occasion by the frantic bustling of the city’s canal-lined streets.
Typically, Venice is seen as a venue for romantic couples looking for a short city break, but it is much more than this; here is a guide to the best-kept secrets in Venice including bars, restaurants and sightseeing spots that you probably haven’t heard of.
1. Cafe Filermo
If you are looking for a warm welcome, reasonably priced drinks and a great atmosphere then this is your place. Not necessarily a hidden gem as it sits on the Strada Nuova, one of Venice’s most popular streets but it feels as such due to its traditional décor and intimate feel. Great for solo’s looking for a quiet spot or groups who are after a chilled-out atmosphere and a great host. By night, this is a great venue for having a few drinks, by day a great location to meet up with friends for lunch. It serves a vast selection of soft drinks, beer, wines and spirits.
2. Church of San Polo
- Campo San Polo, 30125
This amazing spectacle encompasses Venice’s amazing interior and exterior architecture, located in the very centre of Venice, this Church is a must-see location. Built during the renaissance in the 15th century, it is built on an older church that dates back to the 9th century, little of which still survives but can still be seen inside. It’s difficult not to be awe-inspired by the incredible sculptures and be overwhelmed by the vastness of the Church of San Polo. Both men and women need to remember to take a shawl or something similar to cover up any skin on show (arms and legs) or you won’t be allowed in! Entry is €7.00 for adults or for a photo outside it is one of the best free things to see in Venice.
3. The Da Vinci Museum/ Genio di Leonardo da Vinci Museo
- Scuola Grande di San Rocce, 30125.
This museum backs onto the Church of San Polo and is an interactive experience that exhibits one of the World’s greatest ever minds- Leonardo Da Vinci. You will exit this building with a new-found respect for this man and his achievements. If you’re into history and technology then this a perfect way to spend your afternoon and at €4.00 it’s a bit of a steal! Well worth a visit.
4. Teatro la Fenice
- Campo San Fantin, 1965
This location is only a hidden gem as far as it is so difficult to find but it is well worth the navigation around Venice to see this magnificent spectacle that was once considered the most prestigious European theatre in which to perform. With relatively few tourists here, this location can provide a haven for those who want a change from the busy streets. Tickets start at €10.00 and a guided tour lasting one hour can also be purchased for €16.00.
The theatre also exhibits music-themed art which is another reason to visit if you enjoy new-age, off-the-wall style art (as pictured above).
5. Aurora Beach Club
- Lungomare Guglielmo Marconi, 30126
After a few days in Venice, the hustle and bustle of the streets can become a bit tiresome but the city has a number of clubs for those revellers looking for a good night out. The best amongst them is Aurora Beach Club. This bar/club sits on the beach of the less ‘touristy’ part of Venice, Lido, which requires a short 12 minute boat-ride from the main island. These boats can be caught from almost anywhere, you will pass numerous ferry points as you wander down the beautiful promenades of Venice.
Only open between May and September each year, this venue makes the most of Venice’s warm summers and perfect beach weather. Admission is €10.00 but this price includes a free drink!
6. Osteria alle-Testiere
- Calle del Mondo Novo, 5801.
A pint-sized restaurant located just outside of the popular tourist area of Venice on the Marco side of the city. This place serves up only the freshest sea-food, pizza and pasta as well as affordable drinks and desserts. You could describe most of Venice’s restaurants as being ‘fine-dining’, but few are as affordable as this venue.
Venice is best enjoyed spontaneously, simply go for a stroll around the city and you will be pleasantly surprised at how many of your own hidden gems you will find.
By Ken Brooksbank
Looking to book a trip to Venice? The following websites are recommended: