Visit Venice beyond mass tourism
The city has launched the #EnjoyRespectVenezia campaign to raise awareness among its visitors.
MORE IN THIS SECTION
The tourist city par excellence in Europe has always been Venice, Italy. Not only because of its unique canals and the San Marcos Cathedral, but also because the city has dedicated almost 100% of itself to visitors. Fifty-two thousand people still live in a historic center that can reach 60,000 tourists a day in Summer. However, there are still sustainable ways to visit its eternal beauty.
Venice City Council has launched a campaign, #EnjoyRespectVenezia, and wants to make visitors aware of being responsible and respectful of the landscape. It has produced a guide with 12 good practices, including the relocation of tourist flows and local products.
Even those who have never visited Venice know world-renowned places in the city such as the Rialto Bridge and Saint Mark's Square. But there is Venice beyond the crowds. One of the options is to visit the neighborhood of Dorsoduro, in the southwest of the city, full of museums, churches, traditional boats, and mask and pottery workshops. It is essential to have an aperitif with the Venetians in one of its bars between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. For many, it will be better than dinner, and different typical dishes can be tasted in small doses.
In the Cannaregio area, in the north of the city, the Venetian ghetto stands out. There, you can visit its five synagogues or the Hebrew Museum. The Venice ghetto was the first in Europe and for three centuries, from 1516 to 1797, it was a closed area of the city and Jews could not live outside it. Every afternoon, its inhabitants had to return to the neighborhood, which had two entrances, and stayed locked up there until the next morning.
Surprisingly, Venice is not only a blue city, it is also green. The historic center has several public parks, such as the Biennale Gardens and the Papadopoli Gardens, which are well worth a visit. Not to mention, the close to 40 islands that surround the city and form part of an impressive natural park to the north, such as Burano, Torcello and Sant'Erasmo.
In the east, the islands of Lido and Pellestrina, beyond the beaches, also have natural reserves of ecological interest. Ca'Roman is an oasis full of dunes that transports you to a distant paradise. Returning to Venice, on the other side of the Ponte della Libertà, which connects the city with the mainland, you can spend the day in San Giuliano Park: 700 hectares of fields, canals and excellent views of the Venetian lagoon.
The city is also full of shops selling local crafts. Just look for the label that certifies 'Made in Italy' for the experience to be authentic.
When to travel?
A visit is recommended during the carnival in February, when Venice becomes even more, if possible, a setting worthy of the best cinema. But for those who prefer to avoid the crowds, the best time is Spring, safe from flooding and the massive influx of tourists.