Last Updated on 2022/10/28
Venice is one of the world’s biggest tourist destinations. Though the population is dipping right now into some of the lowest recorded numbers, tourists continue to flock to the floating lagoon city in increasing amounts. Millions visit the city each year, though most publications give a wide estimate ranging from 1.3 to 20 million.
Regardless of how many tourists are actually stopping over in Venezia, most head to the same attractions. Many go to sample the city’s largest cultural and historical landmarks, including Renaissance and Gothic palaces, St. Mark’s Basilica, and the Campanile Bell Tower. With over 100 small islands to wander between, it’s a fairytale for hundreds of thousands of guests.
Still, for a memorable view of their favorite landmarks, visitors will need to arrive before the daily crowd gathers—or put their elbows up and navigate the crowd without fear. While those who travel from far and wide don’t mind the hustle, not everyone feels comfortable in a tight-knit crowd.
Want to get away from the madness in Venice and catch a few of the city’s hidden gems? Try out one of the locations below; each delivers a unique perspective on the city’s history and culture.
Casino di Venezia
If you’re looking for history and entertainment, then look no further. The original Casino di Venezia opened its doors all the way back in 1638—long before the digitization of casino gaming. As any casino fan knows, the industry has largely moved online where the favorite title is slots. By sticking to online platforms, players can shop around for the slots that interest them and find deals that suit their needs. Online sites also allow them to learn about RTP meaning and other slot features while playing from home or on the go.
The emphasis is on convenience—but that doesn’t mean a trip to a brick-and-mortar casino won’t be a pleasure for gamers in Venice. The Casino di Venezia represents the old guard of gaming when people headed to the casino to play games and socialize with others—which remains a focus for the establishment today. It’s located right off the Grand Canal, which also makes it easy to find. And did we mention that it’s the oldest casino gaming location not just in Italy, but the entire world?
Located nearby the Casino di Venezia on the Grand Canal sits Ca’ Rezzonico. One of the city’s greatest attractions is its Renaissance-era palaces. Most include heavy crowds throughout the year, but Ca’ Rezzonico is one of the lesser-frequented locations. The palace was originally built in the 1600s, but after a few highly tumultuous centuries, it fell into the hands of Robert Browning in the late 1800s. Since then, original frescos from Gianbattista Tiépolo and Pietro Longhi have been painstakingly restored within its walls.
First populated 421 AD
Want to get far off the beaten path, to a place where even locals dare not venture? Consider booking a short tour around the island of Poveglia, located in the Venetian Lagoon. The island has been occupied for thousands of years but became a quarantine location for sufferers of the Black Plague in the 1700s, and then served as a mental hospital until 1968.
Unsurprisingly, Poveglia is considered one of the most haunted places in the world. Locals don’t travel there because the abandoned island is off-limits for visitors… and because some still murmur about ghost sightings.
Ponte dei Pugni
Built in 1300s
Venice is famous for its bridges—many of which served a specific purpose. The Ponte dei Pugni literally translates to ‘bridge of fists’ thanks to its history as a fighting ground. Each year dating back to the 1300s, rival clans of the Nicolotti and the Castellani would meet on the bridge, which was stripped of its railings, with the intention of knocking others into the canal.
Up until the ‘bloodbath’ of 1705, the tradition continued. Today, you can still see four footprints that represent where the fighters would square off.
Scala Contarini del Bovolo
Built in 1400s
Many visitors head to Venice with architecture in mind. Italy, and particularly Venice, was one of the major transitioning points between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. As such, much of its architecture reflects the shift from Gothic architecture to Renaissance designs. The Scala Contarini del Bovolo is a modest staircase in the San Marco neighborhood, built by the Contarini family in the 1400s. Today, it’s regarded as one of the first tangible shifts away from Gothic influence in architectural style.
Featured image source: unsplash