Venice Travel Guide


As recently as just one generation ago Venice was a night city, where the residents of each parish set out tables on the street at the flimsiest excuse. Nowadays, with the pavements overrun by outsiders, the social life of the Venetians is more of an indoor business - a restaurant meal or a drink with friends might feature in most people's diary for the week, and a conversational stroll is certainly a favourite Venetian pastime, but Venice entertainment takes up most time and energy. That said, Venice's calendar of special events is pretty impressive, with the Carnevale, the Film Festival and the Biennale ranking among the continent's hottest dates. To find out what's on in the way of concerts and films, check Un Ospite di Venezia , a free bilingual magazine available from the tourist office and some of the more expensive hotels - it's produced weekly in peak season, monthly in winter. Information and listings for bars, events, festivals can also be found at.

Music and theatre
Music in Venice, to all intents and purposes, means classical music - rock bands rarely come nearer than Padua, and big names stop at Verona. The top-bracket music venues are La Fenice (temporarily rehoused on Tronchetto)

English-language films are the basic fare for Venice's moviegoers, and virtually every screening is dubbed rather than subtitled. From around mid-July to the end of August, however, an open-air cinema in Campo S. Polo shows dubbed or Italian-language films to a high-spirited local audience.

Discos and clubs
Venice is notorious for its lack of decent nightlife, relying mostly on the handful of late bars dotted around the city. The most buzzing area, particularly in winter, is along the Fondamenta della Misericordia, in Cannaregio, where Iguana, Le Notti

The Casinò
Only one aspect of Venice's nightlife attracts the kids from the mainland, and that's the Casinò , one of only half a dozen in the entire country. The Saturday night migration is a strange sight - the

Special exhibitions - and the Biennale
As if the profusion of galleries, museums and picture-stuffed churches weren't enough, Venice boasts a phalanx of venues for special exhibitions . Listed below are the places where you'll find the first-rank shows, with an indication of

Venice celebrates enthusiastically a number of special days either not observed elsewhere in Italy, or, like the Carnevale, celebrated to a lesser extent. Although they have gone through various degrees of decline and revival, the form they take now is still related very strongly

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