The days before Christmas are an excellent time to visit Venice. The city is almost empty, the cold and the mist give the canals a surreal atmosphere and the Christmas decorations are subtle and elegant. Venice is also a great shopping destination and there are lots of lovely boutiques where you can buy the most charming Christmas presents for your loved ones. Here you have our tips for an unforgettable Christmas getaway in Venice:
1. Savour a nice piece of tiramisù or a meringata at Melita (Castello 1000, Fondamenta Sant’Anna) and then walk the calories away in the lonely Giardini Publici. Go back to the city center through the Riva dei Sette Mártiri to enjoy the best views of the Venetian Lagoon. In the distance you will spot the Campanile and San Giorgo island playing hide and seek with the fog.
2. You will need a hat because the wind will freeze your ears! You can find the most beautiful (and fancy) hats in Longo (San Marco 4813, Calle del Lovo) or Daniele (San Polo 2235, Calle Scaleter).
3. Visit one of the fabric show rooms that still work according to Fortuny’s designs and methods: Tessuti artistici Fortuny (Giudeca 805, Fondamenta San Biagio) or Venetia Studium (San Marco 2403, Calle Larga XXII Marzo).
4. Look for antiques in the different hidden street markets. Campo San Maurizio, Campo Santa María Nova and Via Garibaldi host lovely antiques markets. This is how we got our beautiful Venetian mirrors!
5. Admire the Christmas lights in Piazza San Marco and along Rialto bridge. Don’t expect a Christmas extravaganza, just subtle twinkling light. Venice doesn’t need much to look festive.
6.Buy a pair of leather gloves. There are lots of nice shops where you can buy them but we would suggest Sermoneta (San Marco, Calle Larga XXII Marzo, 2400/a). Once your hands are warm and all dress up, go for an aperitivo and some tasty cicheti. Our favourite place is Al Marcà (San Polo 213, Campo Bella Vienna). You have to stay al fresco (but really fresco!) because the place is tiny. That’s why the gloves will come in handy!
7. Try to book tickets for La Fenice. It really doesn’t matter what you choose: opera, ballet o a concert. It will be mesmerazing. If you are planning a trip from 22.11 to 06.12 you can enjoy Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra or La Traviata. Verdi at La Fenice… cliché? Maybe, but it will be unforgettable. I would love to attend the show that Roberto Bolle and some soloists from the American Ballet Theater will be performing next 28th November!
8. Explore some of Venice’s secret gardens. Difficult to find but so mysterious and special. We will give you just one name: Giardino di Palazzo Soranzo Capello. The others… well, the experience is always better if you discovered them by chance!
9. Book a fancy dinner at Da Fiore (San Polo 2202a, Calle del Scaleter) or a more traditional lunch at Alla Madonna (San Polo 594, Calle della Madonna).
10. Admire Cartier’s windows. That’s a little tradition of our own.