Secret Venice

Wonderguide by

Lisa La Marra

Secret Venice

An up-to-date guide on the Serene City's best kept secrets

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My Top 10 Secret Spots

A carousel of hidden gems to see in a day

Image - Doge's Palace
Doge's Palace
Lisa:What does the most popular tourist sight of St Mark's Square have to do with this Secret guide? Two words: SECRET. ITINERARIES. That's right, in case you didn't know, the Doge's Palace is a unique example of a multifunctional building, which can only be explored in its deepest meandres by joining a special tour that is available for booking on the Palace's official website ( Genuinely a must-see for all visitors of the Serene city!
Image - Cà D'Oro alla Vedova
Cà D'Oro alla Vedova
Lisa:Had enough of those never ending museum tours and hikes up and down a bridge? Nip in at Alla Vedova and let a glass of good wine (also called "ombra") work its miracle. Friendly advice: order at least a couple of their homemade Polpette as a side - a marvellous cross between a meatball and a fritter that will make your tastebuds jump for joy.
Image - 3749 Ponte Chiodo
3749 Ponte Chiodo
Lisa:A bridge? Why a bridge? Head over to Ponte Chiodo in the Cannaregio area and find out for yourself! Built in times when health & safety wasn't even a thing, this cute little gem is one of the only two remaining bridges in Venice without any balustrades. Where is its 'twin brother', I'm sure you'll be wondering! Let me give you a hint: it sits right besides an ancient marble throne, ask a Venetian and they'll tell you how to get there!
Image - Torrefazione Cannaregio
Torrefazione Cannaregio
Lisa:If you have been to Italy at least once, you will certainly know that coffee is a sacred daily ritual. Want to -literally- blend in with the locals? Head over to the Torrefazione Marchi and order a cup of their special blend "Caffè della Sposa", 100% artisanal and ground on the premises. You know what, order a double and let's continue with our tour!
Image - Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta o dei Gesuiti
Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta o dei Gesuiti
Lisa:My personal favourite, the Chiesa dei Gesuiti is an underrated masterpiece: I am not going to describe it for you (Secrets, secrets...) as it will ruin the surprise, but trust me when I say that this place is unbelievable. And free of charge!
Image - Venetian Arsenal
Venetian Arsenal
Lisa:Fancy visiting the biggest and best kept secret in Venice? Jump on a water bus -vaporetto, for the locals- and alight at the Arsenale stop. If you are visiting anytime between May and November you will have the chance of seeing the inside of the real heart of the notorious Venetian Republic. Although the interior of most buildings inside the arsenal are used to host the works of numerous Biennale art exhibitors, stepping foot into the old storage rooms is almost like travelling in time. Take a moment to admire the hidden piers and loading decks and head back to the main gates. That's another secret spot ticked off the list!
Image - Rosticceria Gislon
Rosticceria Gislon
Lisa:Now, here's the thing. One can simply not go to Venice and miss a Mozzarella in Carrozza. So here we are at the Gislon Deli to make you taste another (not-so) secret bite of heaven! First of all, do NOT be fooled by the aesthetic appearance of the place -us Venetians have a thing for vintage decor and we like it like that. Secondly, and most importantly, repeat those 3 magic words after me: MOZZARELLA. IN. CARROZZA. Got it? Good! Now let me explain what you've just ordered. Imagine a thick slice of mozzarella cheese sandwiched in between two slices of the bread you use for toast. Now, picture dipping that in batter and deep frying it in bottomless oil. Should we call it the Venetian fish & chips? Not sure, but you surely won't go back to haddock after you've tasted this!
Image - Mercato di Rialto
Mercato di Rialto
Lisa:So, let's start with something that is not a secret: Venice is an island surrounded by the Venice lagoon. Fishing has always been a tradition and us Venetians do LOVE our seafood. Now, let's get to the secret part, which is in fact a priceless piece of advice: the best seafood dinner you can have in Venice is the one you make at home with Rialto's freshest fish. Yes, I'm talking to all of you Airbnb aficcionados: get up early, head over to the market, get your hands dirty and enjoy the real taste of Venice!
Image - Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo
Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo
Lisa:An extremely well-kept secret, the Scala Contarini del Bovolo can be difficult to find, and equally challenging to climb! Jokes aside, this perfectly preserved spiral staircase is a sight for sore eyes. Commissioned in perfect 15th century style by the noble family of the Contarini, the building is now open to the public and features an impressive arcade. So stop reading this and get up there! The most spectacular view of the city roof tops awaits!
Image - Punta della Dogana
Punta della Dogana
Lisa:Finish off your tour with a walk to Punta della Dogana, the very edge of the strip of land which forms the south shore of the Grand Canal and divides it from the Giudecca Canal. The Dogana, the main building that overlooks the lagoon, was used for centuries as a customs checkpoint. It is now a space used for art exhibitions and can be visited daily, but the true beauty of it is its panoramic view. On one side, the island of San Giorgio can be spotted by finding the tallest bell tower. Opposite of that, the Bacino di San Marco unveils the profiles of the Basilica and the Doge's Palace. Makes for an unforgettable sunset photoshoot!
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Wonderguide map

  1. Doge's Palace
  2. Cà D'Oro alla Vedova
  3. 3749 Ponte Chiodo
  4. Torrefazione Cannaregio
  5. Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta o dei Gesuiti
  6. Venetian Arsenal
  7. Rosticceria Gislon
  8. Mercato di Rialto
  9. Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo
  10. Punta della Dogana
  11. Osteria Al Squero
  12. Il Paradiso Perduto
  13. Al Timon
  14. Bacaro Jazz
  15. Bacareto da lele
  16. Orient Experience Venezia
  17. Ghimel Garden
  18. El Pecador
  19. Bacarando in Corte dell'Orso

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