For those who choose to experience Venice in the summer, opportunities to experience a stay outside the ordinary truly abound.
Events run nonstop from June through September: some of international scope, others known only to Venetians. Endless opportunities to access museums and temporary exhibitions dot the summer calendar, not to mention the often-forgotten opportunity to spend pleasant hours on the city's sandy beaches.
Venice is also a seaside city, and the means used to get around the city, from vaporettos to ferries, give cool and pleasant crossings in the lagoon.
So let's explore together what are the best opportunities to experience the Venetian summer at its best. Not forgetting that, just from August 2022, entry to the city will be by reservation only. One more opportunity to come to a Serenissima renewed and more aware of its treasures.
Shall we start?
5. Events shine in the Venetian summer: from Redentore to Biennale
Our list of reasons why you should come to Venice in the summer couldn't start but mentioning all the events that make Venice a magical city every year. Here the past continues to live on in the most triumphant way, attracting visitors from all over but also the Venetians themselves, each year amazed a little more by the beauty of their city.
The Redentore (Holy Redeemer) is probably the most famous event. On the third Sunday in July, Venice dresses up to celebrate and commemorate the victory over the plague in the 16th century. A floating bridge, made by boats, is set up over the water and connects the small Redentore Church to Punta della Dogana. Fireworks light up St. Mark's Basin, so spectacular that they can be seen even on land. As of this year, the rules change, and if you want to learn more about it, we invite you to read our guide to visiting the Redentore in 2022.
Perhaps this festival is the best known, but what if we mention the International Film Festival? In the splendid Palazzo del Cinema, an event with Hollywood traits is staged every year between late August and early September in the beautiful setting of the Lido. The event is part of the Venice Biennale and involves international filmmakers and stars. A red carpet that makes dozens of fans and onlookers dream every year.
And then the Regata Storica (Historical Regatta), on the first Sunday in September: an event that has the flavor of history (it is more than 800 years old!) but also the taste of sport. Every year Venetians flock to the shores of the Grand Canal watching dressed up people and athletes. Who will prevail this year?
Venice, however, is also the site of popular and lesser-known events, such as the Feast of San Pietro di Casteo, also called the "Sagra of Venice" (translatable as Venetian country festival) in late June and the Burano Regatta in September. So popular is the latter that it even occurs in comitance with the Sagra del Pesce (Fish Festival).
For fans of the genre, an evening at the outdoor cinema at the Summer Arena in Campo San Polo is just the perfect opportunity for an unusual Venetian evening. Here in the city, every occasion is perfect for celebrating!
4. Venice in the summer, but exploring the islands: Murano, Burano, Torcello and Lido
What is Venice without its "minor" islands? Minor only in size, but certainly not in richness of attractions.
So, what better thing than a tour to discover the islands that, like a crown, surround the main part of the city? Getting around the islands of Venice will require only a vaporetto, or a ferry boat.
By checking the departure and return times (because not all islands are connected in the same way), you can organize an unforgettable day. Discover Murano from whose furnaces the greatest masterpieces of glass art come out every day, or the colorful Burano with its women embroidering their beautiful lace. Summer is the right time to discover Torcello and Lido, places that reveal a Venice quite different from what one expects.
Torcello, small, green and wild, hides traces of the oldest settlements on Venetian soil, while Lido is a strange but excellently successful concentrate of wild nature and refined luxury.
The muggy summer days here are cooler and breezier, and the opportunity to visit another face of the Serenissima is truly mouthwatering.
3. Inside museums, churches and ancient Venetian palaces, sheltered from the summer heat
Hidden in the shadow of Venetian palaces are masterpieces that tell of other eras and other worlds. The richness of Venice's cultural offerings has few equals in the world, and here everyone can truly find what most reflects his or her interests.
First of all, the Biennale, one of the most prestigious art institutes in the world that hosts exhibitions and events related to a different theme every year. Not to mention that the pavilions are well hidden among the cool vegetation of the Napoleonic Gardens, also known as the Biennale Gardens.
Or the Guggenheim at the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni. Every year, exhibitions and events make the contemporary art on display in the halls of the palace interesting and stimulating for every age range.
And how can we not mention the Correr Museum, the Natural History Museum, or the Naval History Museum. Or the Glass Museum in Burano, or the Museum of Oriental Art. Choosing the right museum is surpassed only by the possibility of visiting the ancient palaces. Why not take a few hours out of the heat to explore the Doge's Palace, Cà Rezzonico or Cà d'Oro, only to mention the most high-sounding names.
And let's not forget that Venice has a very rich concentration of religious buildings. What better time to finally explore St. Mark's Basilica or the Basilica of Saints John and Paul? Away from the large crowds and, most importantly, away from the summer heat.
With Venice Pass, some of the entrances we mentioned are included!
2. Venice is green: explore parks, gardens and natural area during the summer
We come this far to tell you that, despite appearances, Venice is a green city.
As soon as you arrive at the station, for example, a few meters beyond the Calatrava Bridge are the Papadopoli Gardens, on a site where a Clarisse Monastery once stood. There are other parks, however, right next to the best-known places. We have already mentioned the Napoleonic Gardens next to the Biennale, but a few minutes from the Doge's Palace you may not know that the Giardini Reali di San Marco (Royal Gardens of St. Mark's) are located. Among the most famous Venetian green areas, let's not forget the Giardini di San Francesco della Vigna, where the city's most luxuriant vineyards once grew.
We then mentioned the very green Island of Torcello, but the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore also deserves special mention. This island could be the perfect summer escape from Venice. Not only does the Church of San Giorgio and its bell tower provide priceless views of St. Mark's, but especially Borges' Labyrinth behind it is a truly unforgettable visit.
If you're looking for natural oases, don't forget the WWF Dune degli Alberoni Oasis at the southern end of Venice Lido and the Cà Roman Natural Area, connected to Pellestrina by the Murazzi Dam.
1. Beyond the lagoon, the sea: Venice among beaches and bike rides
Those who do not often frequent Venice may not be accustomed to thinking of the city as a seaside place. Yet that thin tongue of land that divides the lagoon from the Adriatic, Lido di Venezia, is the perfect opportunity for summer vacations by the sea.
Not only is summer the opportunity for long days under the Lido's umbrellas, between free and private beaches, but also for engaging in a wide variety of activities. In fact, if you take your bicycle with you (arriving by ferry boat), or if you rent it locally, you can explore this area of Venice in perfect serenity.
One of the most beautiful itineraries is precisely the one that leads from Lido to Pellestrina. Starting from the Church of San Nicolò, the absolute protagonist on the day of the Feast of the Sensa, you leave for the Marconi Promenade, where every year the most glamorous events in Venice are staged during the Film Festival. From there you can continue to the Murazzi, paying some attention to the route, and decide to go to the small fishing village of Malamocco. If curiosity is on your side, the highlight of the day will be the ferry boat to Pellestrina. Of course, take your bike with you!
Our final advise: let yourself be enchanted by Venice by night
Summer is the season that perhaps, more than any other, brings out the most festive spirit of Venice. The seaside city shows itself in all its refined elegance but also in its popular soul.
Explore the city when the sun begins to set, when the osterias and bacari fill with cheerful patrons. An aperitif and a cicchetto (often translated with "tapas") against the backdrop of the reddish lagoon is certainly the perfect combination to get into the swing of the warm Venetian summers.