Three secret tips: Things to do in Venice

It may be a popular tourist destination, but Venice still has a few secrets to conceal. Take our advice, and get a Venice experience to make your friends jealous.

 

As one of Italy's most loved destinations, Venice is a holiday hot spot for romantics and culture lovers alike. While it is tempting to stick to the beaten track, venturing into Venice's secret treasures gives you a more rounded experience, and allows you to leave the waterlogged city with majestic memories. From the lagoon Giudecca island offering a litany of fresh Italian produce to the sun soaked alleys of Zattere, Venice is teeming with hidden places for you and your fellow travellers to indulge in Venetian culture.

 

Giudecca Island

If you're the kind of traveller who loves to indulge in the fresh produce adored by the likes of Jamie Oliver, Giudecca Island is well worth a visit. As an area that was once a Jewish dwelling filled with opulent palaces, Giudecca has since become the nesting ground for working class and well-off Italians alike. Those who wish to stay in the area while experiencing its historic culture can stay in Villa F, which is a 16th-century mansion that has been converted into holiday accommodations.

One of Giudecca's crowning glories is the local fresh produce market, which includes a large vegetable garden. Spanning over 6,000 square meters, the fresh produce area opens up to a vegetable market every Thursday morning. It is advisable to get there fast, as the produce soon sells out. If you'd prefer to indulge in a little local culture, try heading to the Chiesa del Santissimo Redentore, which pays homage to those who were killed in the plague during the late 16th century.

 

Zattere

While many of those who visit Venice prefer to catch their rays at the lidos, local Venetians prefer to soak themselves in the sun in nearby canal banks in Zattere. After taking some time to blend in with the locals, head to Magazzini del Sale. As a building that was once a salt factory, it has since been turned into a destination for local artists who wish to display their creations. Those who cannot make it into the Magazzini del Sale can be found at the Canalbank of the incurables (Fondamenta degli Incurabili), including art students from the local academy of fine art. You never know, you may be able to grab a piece of artwork from someone who is destined to become famous.

 

The Remains of St Valentine's

Many are aware that St Valentine and Venice are both associated with love, yet few know that his remains are kept in the church of St Samuel. Once you enter the church, walk towards the first altar on the left and you will see an urn emblazoned with "Corpus Sancti Valentini". Within the urn are the remains of St Valentine, who was placed under house arrest by Judge Asterius and later executed. Legend has it that he was passionate about roses and scented flowers, giving rise to the tradition of rose giving on the 14th of February.

While exploring Venice, don't be afraid to wander into the city's hidden coves, quaint churches and off-street cafes. While there, you may be able to witness the Venetian culture you travelled to experience.