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VENETIAN EXPERIENCES YOU CAN ENJOY FROM HOME
One of my all time favourite cities in the world is Venice, Italy. I’ve been lucky to visit several times and have family living nearby. Even though travelling there is not possible at the moment, I’ve been exploring virtual Venice travel online with the many resources that are available these days. We are so lucky to have Venice accessible to all of us from the comfort of home whenever we want. I will share some of my favourite places to visit and Venetian experiences to enjoy online, for all of you who love La Serenissima, as it was once known, ‘the most serene city’.
Being closed to tourists, Venice is very serene these days. Or perhaps not, depends how you want to look at it, as it relies primarily on tourists to survive. Either way, the beauty of Venice still exists in all its glory. While it recuperates from the effects of overtourism, we are able to admire it from afar, thanks to the worldwide web. We can enjoy the vibrant, romantic, historic places that it is renowned for, on a virtual Venice vacation online, and even get up close and personal with many of the iconic attractions. I will tell you how. It’s actually pretty awesome. Ok, granted, it’s not the same as being in Venice, but this will have to suffice until travel is on the cards again.
On the bright side, with virtual travel you don’t have to contend with any crowds, queues, bags to carry or bad weather. Venice is notorious for floods, and as much as I love Venice, the alta acqua can be a bit of a buzz-kill if you happen to be there when the floods occur in Winter. But alas, we don’t have to worry about any of that. Just relax, grab an aperitivo, or a prosecco, or a cappuccino and enjoy Venice today.
Ready to head off on your virtual Venice vacation? Hold on to your devices. Andiamo (Let’s go).
How to Enjoy A Virtual Venice Vacation Online
I’m going to give you various options for virtual Venice travel and you can choose whatever interests you by simply clicking where highlighted.
Google Earth & Google Maps
Firstly, Google Earth and Google Maps are fabulous resources we all have readily available with which to explore Venice, from our armchairs for free. These sites enable you to see different views of Venice – aerial views, street views and panoramic views, 2D & 3D, by navigating your way around online using your keyboard. Enjoy the Venice Google Maps Tour and explore Venice here now.
Another fabulous way to see Venice from above, other than Google is Venice Via Drone here. This footage was filmed in March 2020 when Venice shut down, showing an eerily empty city. It is a stunning visual spectacular and quite mesmerising to watch.
Google Arts & Culture
Google Arts & Culture is a brilliant initiative where Google has collaborated with many major museums around the world to bring art and history to our homes. It is one of the best resources available if you normally love visiting museums and galleries, and have an interest in cultural artefacts. These virtual tours of Venice allow you to feel like you’re right there experiencing art and culture first hand. Make sure to zoom wherever possible. Whilst you’re on the Google Arts and Culture website, you should take a look at a few of the different virtual Venice tours on offer. These are:
1. The most iconic landmark in Venice and a must-see attraction is the famous Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale). Explore this gothic style 14th century palace museum where the Doges (rulers) of Venice used to live and which was also the seat of government of the powerful maritime Republic of Venice. Explore the architecture of the building, the grand interior and some of the fabulous Renaissance art and Venetian art. You can start the tour of the Doge’s Palace from here now.
2. Palazzo Rezzonico is a must-see for Italian art classics of the 18th century. Many renowned Venetian artists, like Tiepolo (see below) and Canaletto, are displayed. You can tour Ca’ Rezzonico here now to peruse the art up close. Also take a moment to appreciate the decor and furnishings of the gorgeous palace. The Ballroom is absolutely stunning.
3. Ca’ Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art has a fabulous collection of artists’ works, such as Kandinsky, Chagall, and Klimt from the 19th and 20th centuries, located in another beautiful Venetian Palace. Enjoy this tour here now.
4. Palazzo Fortuny is an interesting and worthwhile museum to check out filled with eclectic art, including printed fabrics and clothing, drawings and sculptures, paintings and photography, all works of Mariano Fortuny in the early 1900’s. Take the tour here.
That’s all I recommend on Google sites. Read on for other fabulous virtual Venice tours.
Basilica of San Marco
The famous cathedral in Piazza San Marco is an iconic landmark of Venice. A combination of Gothic and Byzantine architecture, the building of this extravagant church began in the year 829. You can book a virtual tour with a local guide here, for a small fee.
The Peggy Guggenheim Art Museum is one of the most popular museums in Venice for modern European and American art, as well as being one of the finest museums for modern art in the world. It’s located in Peggy Guggenheim‘s former home where she lived and died, the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, on the Grand Canal. Much of the art displayed here is from her own collection, including works by Dalí and Picasso. I love this tour. There are some very interesting pieces here indeed. You can start your tour here now.
As part of your virtual Venice vacation you should not miss out on visiting other islands of Venice away from the historic centre. One of the most famous is the island of Murano, for its traditional glass blowing industry and vibrantly coloured houses.
For a fabulous all round virtual tour of Murano, including watching the master craftsmen in action, be sure to have a look at the YouTube video by Prowalk Tours here. You will love it.
Brightly painted houses line the canals of Murano
Murano Glass Art
Glass blower working his magic at Murano
Video Tours of Things To Do
One of my favourite YouTube videos of Venice is called 10 Things In Venice. This gives you a wonderful overview of Venice and takes you to 10 primary attractions you would most likely want to visit if you were to travel there in person. It includes a PDF document and extra information to help your future travel to Venice. You can start the tour here now.
Another YouTube video I love to watch is Top Things To Do In Venice, full of all the things that are quintessentially Venice. It takes you on a journey through Venice with a brief description of each of the main sites. You can start your tour here now.
One of my many trips to Venice visiting Piazza San Marco – ‘the drawing room of Europe’ (Napoleon)
Gondola rides through the canals of Venice which I have enjoyed on two occasions
Virtual Venice Tours With a Local
For a change of pace, how about doing an interactive Webinar of Venice with a live local tour guide online, to interact with and who can answer questions. These types of tours are held at specific times and you must book your place, just like a normal tour. There are several to choose from. This is a brilliant way to really connect with Venice and have a conversation with a Venetian who lives there. Check out the site here. There is a charge for this tour.
Virtual Aperol Tour With A Local of Venice
Here is another fun interactive tour you can do of Venice online with a Venetian. He will share his secret recipe for an Aperol Spritz cocktail which was invented in Venice. The Spritz was, and still is, a symbol of Venetian lifestyle and merriment, embraced worldwide. The bright red-orange coloured beverage became the drink of choice for its low alcohol content and bitter-sweet flavour, since Aperol first took off in the 1920’s. Book online here. There is a charge for this tour also.
Visit The Home Of A Local Venetian Virtually
Do you want to visit a real Venetian home, of a local? Well you can do that too, online of course. The Venetian Curiosities Room invites you to see a typical residence in Venice. Furthermore, you will be given a fascinating insight into mysteries, oddities and stories of the past. Jump on the site here and book an interactive home chat with a local. A fee will be charged.
Venice Carnival Online
The Carnevale di Venezia is an annual celebration held during the lead up to Lent before Easter, where people dress up in gorgeous elaborate costumes of a by-gone era and wear beautifully handcrafted masks. You have to watch this YouTube video and see how much fun it is to be a part of the festivities there.
Also, check out this Venetian Mask Maker who talks about his trade. You will appreciate more about the traditional craft that goes back centuries. I love these little shops tucked away in the passages of Venice.
Stunning Carnival Costumes
Venetian Carnival Masks
Venice Live Cam Feed
Anytime you want to see live vision of Venice, you can check-in with this Rolling Live Cam here. It is real time footage of the city shown from different locations.
Venice Short Film
Finally, I’ll leave you with this lovely short film from National Geographic, which I’m sure you’ll enjoy.
I hope you take advantage of some of these delightful online resources to explore Venice virtually. You don’t have to wait to be able to experience one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Until we travel there again, we have to content ourselves with a virtual Venice vacation.
Be sure to have a look at my other Venice articles:
Ciao, for now.