Italian Festivals


Italian festivals, carnivals and competitions are spectacular occasions! All Italians love to come together and celebrate their culture. Steeped in tradition, centuries-old festivities come alive all over Italy. You can attend amazing carnivals, grueling sporting competitions and see beautiful art. Surely, you will never forget the thrill of it all in Italia!

Carnival of Viareggio 2022

Viareggio Carnival
Carnevale di Viareggio 2022 VIAREGGIO, TUSCANY – Feb 12th, 20th, 24th, 27th, March 1st & 5th.
Thousands of spectators and spectacular floats make this the most amazing carnival for the Lenten season. This is an extravaganza that you will remember forever!

Venice Carnival 2022

Venice Carnival
Carnevale di Venezia 2022 VENICE – Feb 1st through March 1st.
Attending an extravagant masked ball set in one of the most magical cities in the world definitely makes a memory of a lifetime. During this 10 day event, the streets are filled with masked people dressed in Venetian 18th century clothing. If you are in Venice during this exciting time you will enjoy the parades and many activities throughout Venice.  

Battle of the Oranges 2022

Battle of the Oranges Turin
Storico Carnevale di Ivrea 2022 TURIN, PIEDMONT – Feb 22nd – Mar 1st
Imagine a battle waged with almost 900,000 pounds of oranges!!! Well you can relive the experience in Ivrea’s most historic struggle between ruling tyrant and all the residents. Teams, rules, and horse-drawn carts, make for a mighty battle – not with weapons but with oranges!

Venice Art Biennale 2022

Venice Art Biennale
Biennale Arte 2022 VENICE – April 23rd – Nov 27th
Artists from all over the world gather and display their works in the Beinnale Arte. This is an international art exhibition that will thrill art enthusiasts the world over! Venice is magical, and the Arte Biennale is a bonus to see.

Italy Flower Festivals 2022

Italy Infiorata Festival

Infiorata di Noto 2022 NOTO, SICILY May 13th – 15th

Infiorata di Spello 2022 SPELLO, UMBRIA May 13th & 14th

Infiorata di Genzano di Roma 2022 ROME TBA (May/June)

This is a festival for the eyes not to be missed! Works of art, made with thousands of flowers, carpet the streets of many Italian cities. The best of these can be found in Noto, Genzano and Spello. Enjoy this explosion of color and art as a centuries-old tradition carries on. In 1625 the head florist of the Vatican, Bendetto Drei, created a mosaic of flowers for the basilica on the day of St. Peter and Paul. As a result of his creativity, this historic tradition flourishes and carries on.

99th Opera Festival 2022, Verona Arena Italy

Verona Arena
Arena di Verona 2022 VERONA, VENETO – June to September
We were lucky enough to enjoy the opera, Aida, in this amazing arena! Built in 30AD, this venue seats 30,000 people! Since staging and backdrops are enormous during Opera season, it only seats a mere 15,000! If you are in the beautiful city of Verona, please go see one of the many spectacular Operas at the Arena. Tickets start as low as 22 euros up to 300 euros for ultimate seats. There are also student discounts. Anywhere you sit, the seats are great!
NOTE: Men cannot wear shorts in the platinum, gold or silver areas – but don’t worry – they sell black pants there!!

Joust of the Saracen 2022

Joust of the Saracen Italy
Giostra del Saracino 2022 AREZZO, TUSCANY – June 18th & Sept 4th
Citizens of Arezzo march from their own sectors to engage in this Medieval ritual twice a year. It has become this city’s obsession! In other words, the Joust is a passionate Italian competition with thousands of spectators! Although the pageantry and costumes are a spectacle, in reality this is a skilled and serious competition. The Golden Lance is a trophy to be revered. This is one event that I really must attend! After all, this is a sight to see!

Battle of the Bridge Competition 2022

Battle of the Bridge Pisa
Gioco del Ponte 2022 PISA, TUSCANY – June 25th
Dating back to the 11th century, teams put their strength and endurance to the test in order to maintain control of the Ponte di Mezzo by pushing opponents and carts to the opposite end. There is also a parade along the riverbank before the historical reenactment of the battle begins.

Siena Horse Race 2022

Siena Horse Race
Palio di Siena 2022 SIENA, TUSCANY – July 2nd & Aug 16th
Piazza del Campo, the heart of Siena, is the pulse of this centuries-old challenge between the different Sienese areas. This is not just a horse race. This is an extravaganza of pageantry and courage by the riders and a complete explosion of passion by thousands of spectators. This is a once in a lifetime Italian competition to attend!

Medieval Festival Monteriggioni Italy 2022

Medieval Festival Italy
Monteriggioni Festa Medievale 2022 MONTERIGGIONI, TUSCANY – July 8th -17th
Relive the magic of medieval times at this colorful festival. Castles, knights, dancing, fireworks and more make this a memorable event for all!

Venice Film Festival 2022

Venice Film Festival
Festival del cinema di Venezia LIDO, VENICE – Aug. 1st through Sept. 10th
Celebrities, awards and glitz in one of the most magical cities in Italy! Venice What more can you say?

So much to see and do! If you have the opportunity, try to visit some of the festivals and carnivals in Italy. You will make wonderful memories for years to come!

Verona Opera
Here we are (in the foreground) outside the Arena on the night we attended Aida – such a sight to behold!

Garda Town

Garda Town, Italy

Not only is Garda Town picturesque and charming, but it also give us a double whammy of beauty! Because it is located in a perfect position on Lake Garda, we have beautiful mountains and stunning views across the water. Certainly, there is a photo opportunity everywhere.

Garda Town

Snuggled into a small bay on the lake, Garda is just a short ferry ride from Lazise, Bardolino and Sirmione. We visited for a day, but realized that it would make an excellent home base. From Garda Town you can easily explore the southern or northern lakeside villages. Moreover, please make sure you explore amazing Verona in you are in the lake area! It is only a short 40 minute drive away and absolutely worth the visit.

Garda Town

It is a delight to walk around the narrow cobbled alleys with all the cafe’s, shops and restaurants. You can buy numerous local products and unique clothing at the many shops in Garda Town.

Lake Garda
What a view!

In Garda, you can wander along the long curved promenade and find a beautiful relaxing spot to enjoy some gelato! Honestly, it really is beautiful and you’ll want to have photo shots everywhere!

Garda Town

Although, during the summer season, restaurants and bars along the promenade are a hive of activity, whether it is day or night. Not to mention, this is the place to people watch while enjoying a gorgeous setting.

Equally important, just about every sport can be had in Garda town, both on and near the Lake. Such as sailing, rafting, swimming and other water sports. On the land there is biking, hiking, climbing and horseback riding. In parts of Lake Garda, you can even find hang-gliding. 

Garda Town Pictures

Here are some pictures of our day in Garda Town! All in all, I would say that it is definitely worth a visit. And remember, it is very close to Gardaland, which has rides, shows an aquarium and much more. It is great place for family fun!

Lake Garda
Enjoy the beauty and have fun!


Bardolino, Italy

One of Lake Garda’s most popular towns is Bardolino. Located on the Verona side of Lake Garda’s southern point, it has easy access to other surrounding towns. Also, it can make a nice home-base for your lake vacation. Not only is it a delightful, lively village, but it is also the center of wine country since it is surrounded by hills covered with vineyards and olive groves.

Bardolino Lake Garda

We had a beautiful day visiting Bardolino. We started by taking the ferry from beautiful, bustling Sirmione, with a stop in enchanting Lazise and then arriving at the picturesque town of Bardolino.

Lake Garda

One of the first things we noticed, was the tranquil marina filled with colorful motor boats. It definitely made me want to take a picture of the vivid part of daily life here. In addition, long lakeshore promenades add to the charm of village. There are many photo opportunities on the promenade, so definitely take a walk with your camera.

Bardolino’s historic center has a beautiful blend of narrow stone alleys and pretty pastel buildings. The town is fairly compact, therefore it is an easy walk from one end to the other. It is certainly lively with numerous shops, cafes and restaurants. The evening comes alive with several bars and clubs.

Restaurants in Bardolino use the local fish and fresh produce from their crops. In addition Bardolino is famous for it’s namesake red wine, Bardolino and for their Rosé, Chiaretto,

Lake Garda

San Severo is a Romanesque church that has beautiful frescos and is worth a visit. Also visit the church “Santa Maria” in Cisano and the Olive Oil Museum which is on Gardesana state road. 

Things to Do in Bardolino

You can find many things to do and keep busy in this town. First of all land sports include golf and tennis and of course hiking trails. You can even horseback ride, and mountain bike. Secondly there are many water sports available along the lake. Let’s not forget to visit some wineries. You will be able taste the area’s unique vintage, Bardolino DOC.

Bardolino Marina

Lipari Aeolian Islands Sicily

Lipari Italy

The picturesque island of Lipari is the largest and most popular of the Aeolian Islands. Summer brings crowds of Italians to visit. The charming old town is certainly worth a visit. Moreover, the crystalline turquoise sea attracts vacationers to the pretty beaches. Since this island is located off the northern coast of Sicily, the climate is definitely warm and mild. It certainly makes a great base for visiting the other Aeolian Islands. Most of all, Lipari boasts an exciting Old Town and bustling Marina area.

Lipari town is lively, charming and a perfect area for exploring.  The pretty streets have an array of flowers flowing from balconies. The main walkway is Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Outdoor restaurants, cafes, stores and markets line the corso and surrounding streets. It certainly comes alive at night!  In fact, the old town becomes packed with people strolling the streets. The atmosphere is delightful with live musicians performing everywhere.

Fun Fact:  The father of Buddy Valastro, The Cake Boss, was born in Lipari!

Marina Corta

Make sure to go to Marina Corta, which is a short walk from Corso Vittorio Emanuele.  It is a charming harbor filled with colorful fishing boats and the main church. In the morning, fishermen are cleaning their freshly caught fish. Without delay, they will quickly be delivered to markets and restaurants. In the evening, the marina is bustling with numerous restaurants and people everywhere. We fell in love with the locals, who are so friendly and welcoming.

The Best of Lipari Italy

Here are some of my favorites…

Lipari Italy HOTELS  

Grand Hotel Archiduca

Aeolian Islands Hotel Arciduca

I like this charming hotel because of it’s perfect location, within a 5 minute walk of the main pedestrian street and the Marina Corta. Grand Hotel Archiduca boasts a jacuzzi pool, nice rooms and a very good complimentary breakfast. Dining is on the terrace overlooking the pool. In addition, it offers a complimentary shuttle to Coral Beach.
Address: G., Via Giuseppe Franza, Lipari Italy


Ristorante Filippino

Lipari Ristorante Filippino

Fresh seafood served from local fishermen’s catch of the day to your table.  Enjoy Aeolian specialties of fresh regional seafood daily – many of which are served with delicious pasta. Very limited English is spoken, but the service was exceptional. Da Filippino also boasts an excellent wine menu.  We enjoyed a delicious Corvo, Glicine 2016. Enjoy your evening dining indoors or outside on a lovely terrace. Ristorante da Filippino is located in the panoramic Piazza del Municipio.
Address:  Piazza Guiseppi Mazzini

La Piazzetta 

Very nice location set in a quaint square right off the main pedestrian street. La Piazzetta has delicious Italian food. In addition there is very nice ambiance with vine draped outdoor seating. Due to the popularity of this restaurant, you should book early. It becomes extremely crowded after 9:30.  Moderately priced. 
Piazza d’Austria Salvatore Luigi, Lipari, Italy


Café La Precchia/Cocktail Bar 

Cafe la Precchia Aeolian Islands

Located in the middle of Corso Vittorio Emanuel. This is definitely the place to be for late night music, cocktails or vino. Furthermore, it’s a prime place to people watch.  In fact, the area is literally filled with hundreds of people! Most of all, make new friends here, as the Italians are so welcoming!
Address:  Vittorio Emanuele 180 Lipari, Italy

Il Giardino di Lipari

Lipari Il Giardino

Tucked away on a narrow side street is this hidden gem.  Il Giardino di Lipari has live music, great cocktails, and good local food & wine. Furthermore there is a pretty outdoor garden with great ambiance. 
Address:   Via Nuova, Lipari


Beaches on the island of Lipari cater to every taste; crowded or deserted, white or dark sand. It is one of the most enchanting natural Unesco heritage areas in the world. Click here to read more.

White Beach


By all means, visit the other Aeolian Islands. Excursions leave daily from Marina Corta. Liberty Lines has easy and convenient ferry service.  Especially from Lipari Italy to all the other beautiful Aeolian Islands.

Museo Archeologico Regionale Eoliano


Lipari’s archaeological museum boasts one of Europe’s finest collections of ancient finds.
Via Castella 2, Lipari

Lipari Italy Cattedrale di San Bartolomeo

Lipari Cathedral St. Bartolomew

This beautiful church is the oldest and largest in Lipari.  It honors Lipari’s patron Saint Bartholomew.  It’s treasured relic are the thumbs of St. Bartholomew.


St. Bartholomew, Patron Saint. August 21-24th 

The most important event on the Aeolian Islands takes place in Lipari Town.   During this four-day holiday, the piazza of Marina Corta holds wonderful concerts.  In addition, there  are open markets selling local foods and unique gift items. In conclusion, The St. Bartholomew celebration ends on August 24th with a procession and exciting fireworks.

Bread and Wine Festival, November 

Bread and Wine Festival

Due to covid19, this will event will resume in 2021.

This festival consists of three full days. It includes tastings of delicious local and home-made products. Wine, bread and roasted meat flavors invade the square. In addition, you can learn about the harvesting grapes. Meanwhile, watch or join in traditional race competitions! For example, donkey races and even a land-digging speed race. All in all, dances and other entertainment make this a fun festival.


Lipari is easily accessible by ferry or hydrofoil.  With this is mind, the Sicilian towns of Milazzo and Messina are the closest ferry stations.  The best departure point is Milazzo. Milazzo has almost hourly daily ferries.  On the other hand, Messina has a limited amount of daily ferries to Lipari.  The cost is approximately 20 EUR per person.  They do accept credit cards.

Lazise boats

Lazise, Italy

Lazise is a charming lakeside village on Lake Garda’s southeast shore with an old town dating back to the 12th century. Not only is it a picturesque, pristine village, but it also has an upscale, impressive vibe. In fact, the lakefront promenade was designed in an exceptionally elegant fashion. Furthermore, you will be happy to discover a wide range of shops and restaurants sprinkled in the charming alleys of town. To be sure, I found it to be one of my favorite southern villages on Lake Garda.

Lazise Harbor
The picturesque harbor promenade.

The first thing to stand out when visiting Lazise, is it’s alluring 9th century medieval castle, Castello Scaliger di Lazise. Moreover, at the center of the village lies Lazise’s attractive busy harbor. Here, the ferries and boats glide frequently alongside the shore. In addition, Vittorio Emanuele Square is a delightful grand piazza containing a beautiful Romanesque church.

Lazise Lake Garda
Lazise with a view of Castello Scaligero di Lazise on the left

The lakeside promenade is bustling with people enjoying the wonderful view or enjoying the many bars, restaurants, cafes and gelato shops.

All things considered, yes, it’s worth the visit! In fact, Lazise is only a 30 minute drive from Verona and a short ferry ride from Sirmione.

Lazise Photo Tour

Lovely little areas to discover

Photos always help me with getting to know a destination. Here is a photo tour of my time in Lazise…..

Vittorio Emanuele Square
Lazise Village
A delightful and attractive old town to browse, shop and find a quaint cafe
Such a enchanting harbor and promenade! Just beautiful!
Cute little buildings everywhere!

By and large, Lazise is one of the most important villages on Lake Garda. Especially because of its natural beauty, a white sandy beach, and several water and land sport options. In addition, it is in close proximity to Gardaland and Canevaworld parks – both great for families with children.

Taormina Travel

Taormina Italy

Perched upon a cliff above the shimmering sea, adorned with a backdrop of majestic mountains, Taormina Sicily is the sparkling jewel of Sicily. In the first place you will admire fantastic panoramic views of the sea. Secondly, you will also have a stunning view of famous Mount Etna idly smoking in the distance.
Taormina TravelThe natural scenery is a definitely a feast for your eyes as well as the magnificent town center.  Taormina’s main gathering place is Piazza IX April, which has amazing views of the sea.  It is in the center of town and a great place to eat, drink, listen to music and people watch.

Piazza Aprile

The ancient city of Taormina is completely walkable and attractive.  with flowers tumbling down balconies of pretty buildings along with narrow cobblestone streets.  The main pedestrian street, Corso Umberto, is simply charming.  In addition, there are two main gathering places, Piazza Aprile and Piazza Duomo.

Taormina Travel

Piazza Duomo

You will enjoy excellent restaurants and cafes to visit. Soak up the lively atmosphere of magnificent Taormina Italy. It is filled with people strolling along cobblestone streets listening to musicians singing all the Italian classics. You will enjoy browsing and shopping in the numerous luxury and local stores.

Read the Best of Taormina

Taormina Sicily

Views perfect for a picture!

For a bit of history, don’t miss the impressive and famous Greek Amphitheater. Meanwhile, don’t forget to visit the beautiful beaches. Ride the Funicular (cable car) down to the picturesque bay and beaches of Taormina Mare. All the beach clubs have delicious restaurants and also rent beds, towels and umbrellas.
Taormina TravelAll things considered, Taormina Sicily should be on the top of your list when you visit Italy

The Best of Taormina Sicily……..

Taormina Hotels

Taormina has fantastic world class hotels, luxury boutique hotels and wonderful B&B’s. Some have pools and most have stunning views.  Go to my TAORMINA HOTEL GUIDE for great hotel suggestions.

Taormina Restaurants

Italy is known for its delicious cuisine and the amazing food in Sicily is one of the reasons why!  There are so many regional specialties and delicious fresh ingredients, not to mention the wine. Go to my Taormina Restaurant Guide for some great suggestions.


Taormina Nightlife

The town is energized and alive at night.  You will find a vast choice of things to do and places to go.  Dancing, cocktails, music or just getting gelato.  Check out my guide to Taormina Nightlife.

Taormina Beaches


Get ready for an Italian adventure as there are countless things to do and see in Sicily.  Taormina is perfect for history, culture, delicious food and awe inspiring sights.

Greek Theatre

Greek Theatre Taormina

The Ancient Greek Theatre is amazing.  During the day take in a show at the Greek Theatre with Mount Etna as a backdrop. There are concerts and operas as varied as Sting and The Barber of Seville.  For upcoming events and tickets click here.

Mount Etna Taormina

A visit to Mount Etna give you the incredible experience of seeing lava flows up close.

Mt. Etna Wine Tour

Visit the vineyards and taste the wines of Mount Etna.  There are wonderful local wineries where you can sample the delicious varieties of wine


Castlemola is a charming little town up the mountain from Taormina.  If you have a few hours, it is worth a visit to this medieval town.

Taormina Godfather Tour

Visit some of the iconic film locations of the blockbuster hit The Godfather.

Lipari Aolian Islands

If you have an extra time, you may want to take a full day trip to the beautiful Aeolian Islands.

Greek Theatre Taormina

Greek Theatre Taormina

The Ancient Greek Theatre Taormina is the most significant and popular monument to visit. It is an incredibly beautiful place and a treasure of antiquity. Italians call it Teatro Greco and it is also known as the Greek-Roman Theatre. Not only does it have artistic and historical value, but the scenery itself is stunning.Greek Theatre Taormina

The Greek Theatre is the second largest classical theatre in Sicily. Building began on the Greek Theatre during the 1st century BC, during the Greek era. Afterwards, the Romans reconstructed and enlarged it in the 2nd century AD. The orchestra is in the center and then, set around the orchestra is the auditorium or cunei.  It holds at least 10,000 spectators!  Hunting shows, or venation’s, were very popular in the 3rd century AD.  At that time, Gladiators and wild beasts took center stage. The theatre itself is a testimony to the wealth and prosperity enjoyed by Taormina between the 1st and 3rd century AD.Greek Theatre Taormina Sicily

Getting to the The Greek

Teatro Greco is within walking distance from everywhere in upper Taormina. It is located directly off the main pedestrian walkway, Corso Umberto.  It is by the Porta Messina Arch of Corso Umberto. Walk past beautiful Hotel Timeo and you will find the entrance.
Address:  Via del Teatro Greco, Taormina Sicily

Greek Theatre Taormina EventsGreek Theatre Taormina Events

Furthermore, Teatro Greco is the most spectacular ancient venue in the world! Not only is it food for the historian’s soul, but it is also a concert venue for culture and music lovers!  Since the 1950’s it has become a modern entertainment venue.  Shows range from Sting and Brian Wilson to classic operas and the delicious sounds of Il Volo.  Various performances include concerts, operas, theatre productions, and symphonies. Make it an unforgettable night in Taormina -see a show at the Ancient Greek Theatre Taormina.  Click here for upcoming events and to purchase tickets.

Sirmione, Italy

Sirmione Italy

Sirmione Italy is a beautiful, small resort town on Lake Garda’s southern tip. We loved this beautiful, colorful little village and it is definitely worth a visit when you’re in Italy. During the tourist season, it is bustling with people walking the mostly pedestrian cobblestone streets. In fact, I found it to be a perfect home base for visiting other nearby towns of Lake Garda via ferry.

Sirmione Castle Lake Garda Italy

Thing to do in Sirmione Italy

Sirmione is picturesque, vibrant and totally walkable. The historical center has no shortage of cafes, restaurants and bars. Of course there are many boutiques and stores for those who love to shop. In addition, you have a choice of two beaches to enjoy fun in the sun. Not to mention, you will find the ferry conveniently located right in the middle of town in Piazza Giosue Carducci. This a a very pretty piazza with many places to sit, eat, people watch, and enjoy the view!

Piazza Giosue Carducci, Sirmione
Piazza Giosue Carducci, Sirmione

Rocca Scaligera – Sirmione Castle

Sirmione Castle
Castello Scaligeri or Rocca Scaligera

Sirmione Lake Garda is well known for it’s medieval castle – the Rocca Scaligera. This beautiful Sirmione castle is an imposing structure at the entrance of the historical part of town. Built in the 1400’s, it is one of the most well-preserved and spectacular castles built by the Della Scala family who once ruled Verona during the late 13th and 14th centuries.

Lake Garda

Sirmione Lake Garda

Of course, Lake Garda is one of the beautiful attractions of Sirmione Italy. The water is crystal clear and alive with swans and ducks. The ferry was just a few steps from our hotel which made it so easy to visit other towns. Bardolino, Lazise and Garda were wonderful towns and a short ferry ride from Sirmione.

Sirmione Beaches

Lido delle Bionde

Lido delle Bionde, Sirmione

Only a short 20 minute walk from town on a scenic lakeside path, you will find Lido delle Bionde. This has a real sand beach with rentals available for lounges and umbrellas. In addition, there are also water toys to rent such as paddle boats and kayaks. We loved the outdoor restaurant here with a large terrace overlooking the beach. The menu included a large assortment of pasta, pizza, panini, snacks and drinks. All things considered, Lido delle Bionde was my favorite Sirmione beach!

Jamaica Beach

Sirmione Jamaica Beach
Enjoying the Sirmione Sun!

Jamaica Beach is a pretty 25-30 minute walk from the historical part of town. It has a casual small bar/restaurant area, therefore you can relax with a drink or something to eat. The no-sand beach is mainly limestone formations with a beautiful view of the lake and mountains. Since there are no lounge rentals, bring a towel and enjoy the Sirmione sunshine.

Grotte di Catullo Sirmione Italy

Grotte di Catullo
Grotte di Catullo

Visit the remains of a Roman villa with panoramic views of the lake. Make sure to take your camera for the beautiful views. This villa was built between the 1st century BC and 1st century AD. In addition, the museum has artifacts from this villa and others finds on Lake Garda.

Waiting for the Ferry
Waiting for the ferry
Sirmione Hotel
Hotel by the Ferry

Venice Italy

Things to do in Venice Italy

Venice is one of the most romantic and unique cities in the world.  It is filled with art, culture and history, not to mention that the city is built entirely on water. Furthermore, there are so many things to do in Venice Italy!  With this in mind, my suggestion is to spend at least 3 full days to see all the attractions and landmarks. Likewise, allow an extra day or two if you want to see the outer islands of Murano or Burano. In addition to all the sights, here are some other suggestions to add memorable moments to your visit. By all means, there are countless things to do in Venice Italy.

Top Attractions in Venice

Venice has incredible architecture, amazing history, priceless art and a wonderful culture. Top attractions to see are: St. Marks Basilica. the Rialto Bridge, St. Marks Square, Doges Palace as well as St. Marks Tower.  In fact, for comprehensive information including tickets and hours, visit my Venice Attraction Guide.

Gondola Ride – Top of the bucket list
Venice Gondola

Your trip won’t be complete without a Gondola ride! It is romantic, unique and a wonderful way to see side canals of Venice. The gondoliers wear striped shirts and sing. Indeed, they are the classic image of Venice. In general, make sure you know the official gondola fares so that you don’t get overcharged. Additionally, my suggestion is to take your ride on the side canals, not the Grand Canal. My favorite canal is the Rio de la Palazzo o Canonica, since it is a scenic canal that runs under the Bridge of Sighs behind the Doges Palace.

Venice Kayaking

Experience the enchanting atmosphere of Venice while kayaking through the canals.  Indeed, it’s a great way to admire the architecture and beauty of the city, not to mention being a hands-on experience. Although gondolas are a beautiful sight in the lagoons of Venice, I can only imagine how nice kayaking in Venice would be. On my next visit, I will definitely enjoy the opportunity of paddling the Venetian lagoons! Check out the tours available at Real Venetian Kayak.

Row Venice
Venice Things to Do

Row Venice! Get off the beaten path and onto the Venetian waterways!  You have options of a daytime rowing lesson or an evening lesson on the Grand Canal.  If you’re a foodie or wine enthusiast you can do the Cichetto Row and sample the goodies when you glide into a traditional bàcari.

Walk and Row

A hands-on activity to discover the authentic Venetian lifestyle. First you will experience a walking tour around the favorite districts of the locals.   Secondly, you will see Venice from the canals themselves, rowing your own boat. You’ll be accompanied by a local guide and assisted during your rowing class by certified rowing teachers!

I Musici Veneziani Concert
Venice Opera

Go to a show of Baroque and Opera. This is an entertaining 1.5 hour show that will not take much time from your busy vacation schedule. Enjoy costumed performers and a festive atmosphere as these talented musicians play their instruments and sing beautifully. This is an excellent way to spend an evening. Tickets prices start at E 24.00.
Address: Scuola Grande di San Teodoro, San Marco, 4810

Food Tour – Cicchetti and Wine

This is a fun and tasty 2.5 hour walking tour through the backstreet bars of Venice. Taste delicious food and wine at five different ‘enotecas’ (wine bars). At each stop, sample regional wines and Prosecco served alongside plates of the popular Venetian appetizers called ‘cicchetti.’ Group size is limited to 14 to ensure a personalized experience.

Walking Tour
Venice Things to Do

Of course I suggest taking an informative walking tour of all the major sights. But, I also suggest a small group walking tour of the hidden corners of Venice in only 2.5 hours.  As a result, you will really get to see the local sights and way of  life.

Teatro la Fenice
Venice Teatro La Fenice

You may want to immerse yourself in an opera, ballet, concert or contemporary production at this famous Venetian Opera House. Teatro la Fenice has excellent acoustics and seats over 1000 people. It is the most recognized opera house in Italian Theatre. Go to Teatro La Fenice to peruse the many upcoming events and buy your tickets online.
Address: Campo San Fantin 1965, 30124 Venezia


Venice Carnival

Visit during one of Venice’s world-class events such as Venice Carnival.  Go to my Venice Events Guide to explore all there is to do and see.



Venice Burano

Visit the colorful island Burano. Burano is listed as one of the 10 most colorful places in the world. All houses are painted pretty pastel colors that reflect in the water of the canals. In addition, Burano is very famous for its needle lace and you will see ladies embroidering while they chat in the squares. They will invite you into their shops to admire their lace working. Enjoy the cafes, boutiques, pizzerias and ice cream shops.


Venice Murano

Visit the island of Murano, known for its exquisite hand blown glass. Artisans offer demonstrations of their colorful work. Moreover, this master craft was handed down from ancestors in a constant line of artisans which reaches back to the inception of the craft itself. Murano itself is a picturesque area with sidewalk cafes and stores. In the same fashion as Venice, it has its own little Grand Canal.

Verona, Italy

Not far from Venice and perfect for a day trip, is the charming and beautiful town of Verona. It is definitely one of my favorite Italian cities. I highly suggest a visit to this city of love and romance! It was made famous by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Not to mention that Verona is a beautiful city with large charming piazzas and many sites to see.  Join the crowds at popular Juilette’s house and visit the Roman Arena, Piazza Bra, Piazza Delle Erbe, and the Ponte Pietra. Read more about this amazing city in my Verona guide.

Train from Venice to Verona is 90 minutes or less. If you go by car, take the A4 La Serenissima motorway.






Venice Excelsior Hotel

Best Venice Italy Hotels

In the first place, there are so many Venice hotels to choose from, but which will be the perfect one for you?  Let me help you find the best Venice Italy hotel that will be perfect for you!
Here are some things to consider.  Do you want to be San Marco, which is in the heart of the action, or in a quiet neighborhood on the outskirts.  Are you looking for hotels with pools, they are limited but available. Do you need your hotel’s entrance directly on the canal, or can you walk with your luggage over a bridge and up a few blocks. Would you like to be in the lap of luxury or a stay at a value hotel. Answering these questions will help you find your perfect choice!

Venice Travel Guide


Note:  Even if the hotel is open for the season, the pools may not open until end of June even if the weather is hot.  Check with your hotel for pool opening date so you are not disappointed.

Hotel Excelsior

Venice Excelsior Hotels

Luxury with Pool – Located on Lido Island – The Excelsior is a truly exceptional experience. I like the fact that it is away from all the hustle and bustle in the heart of Venice. In fact, this luxury hotel is located on fashionable Lido beach, complete with a private beach club and beautiful pool. The hotel has elegant indoor as well as outdoor terrace dining with a view of the sparkling Adriatic Sea. Even more, they offer complimentary boat shuttles to transport you across the lagoon to St. Marks Square in 10 minutes.  The Excelsior Hotel is a celebrity hot spot, especially during the Venice Film Festival.

Belmond Hotel Cipriani
Venice Cipriani Hotel

Luxury with Pool – Located on Guidecca Island – The Belmond Hotel Cipriani is in the perfect location.  It is in a peaceful setting away from the crowds. A complimentary five-minute boat shuttle to St. Marks Square adds to the charm of being in Venice.  It boasts an olympic sized swimming pool, gorgeous grounds, impeccable service and old world charm. everything about the hotel is first class and outstanding, it is expensive but will be an incredible stay! It opens for the season on March 16, 2018


Hotel Ai Cavalieri di Venezia
Venice Hotel Ai Cavalieri di Venezia

Superior 4* Luxury – Fabulous Hotel Ai Cavlieri di Venezia is ideally located between the Rialto Bridge and St. Marks Square and easily walkable to all main attractions. The decor with 18th century frescos, the ambiance, and the views are wonderful here. Facing the picturesque canals of Venice on two sides of the building, the hotel features a bar with a large terrace overlooking Venice. The staff is wonderful and you will have a fantastic experience here.

Hotel Colombina

Venice Hotel Colombina

Superior – This hotel, positioned in the heart of Venice, is only a two-minute walk from St. Marks Square. It is located on the narrow, beautiful Rio di Palazzo Canal. A parade of gondolas pass by with singing gondoliers therefore try to book a room with canal view.  You can also sit on the dock in front and watch all the gondolas float by.  The canal is so beautiful and adorned with many little bridges. As a matter of fact, the Bridge of  Sighs is a few bridges down this canal. Such a lovely location!  A terrific staff and rooms furnished in elegant Venetian style. I had a unique top floor room with an outside rooftop terrace – perfect for seeing the view and all the gondolas below.

Venice Relais Venezia

Boutique Hotel – Relais Venezia stands in an old 15th Century palazzo and is perfectly located behind St Mark’s Square on one of the oldest streets in the city. It is in the heart of an authentic and  lively Venetian area with many restaurants and pubs. In addition, it is a short walk to all of Venice’s attractions. The decor is beautiful, and the staff is extremely helpful giving you personal attention.  This hotel is not on the canal, you will have walk a bit with your luggage. My advice is to pack lightly, especially for Venice. Most likely your airport transfer, or vaporetto will drop you off on the dock in front of St. Mark’s Square.
To Find Hotel: Exit St Marks square in the Basilica corner. Turn left immediately before the bridge into a narrow street. Continue until a small bridge, cross it and turn right. Then first left, first right. Continue to the end of the alley. The door is opposite you slightly to the right.


Hotel Filu
Venice Hotel Filu

Budget Hotel – If you are doing Venice on a budget, Hotel Filu is a good pick as you can get a room for under $150 per night in season.  The hotel is in an old building but is newly renovated and the rooms are immaculately clean and comfy. Rooms with canal views are available. It is located in the Cannaregio area of Venice which is about at 30 minute walk from St. Mark’s Square and most main attractions.  It is on a canal steps away from Ponte (Bridge) delle Guglie, in a Venetian neighborhood. Hotel Filù is easily accessible from the main arrival terminals – airport, train and vaporetto station.  From Venice airport, take the vaporetto orange line to Ponte delle Guglie, the hotel is a few buildings down on the right after the pharmacy.

Getting to Your Venice Italy Hotel

In my opinion, the best way to get from the airport to your Venice hotel would be a private transfer.  It’s easy and a fast way to get to your hotel– probably right to the front door! Of course, there is the vaporetto (water bus) which is definitely great if you’re on a budget. The vaporetto will leave you at  a vaporetto stop.  You will have to walk a bit with your luggage. Read here for information on airport transfers.

Note:  If you are visiting during the Venice Carnival or Venice International Film Festival, try to book 6 months in advance to get your choice of hotel.