When it comes to design, nature did the hard work for Venice– there surely isn’t a more spectacular city in Italy. With 417 bridges over 150 separate canals, you can’t turn a corner in Venice without being wowed by its design and beauty. But as always, it pays to know where to go and what to see in Venice – more of an insider’s point of view. In this respect, our design and insider guide to Venice has you covered.
Although the islands of Murano, with their famous glass production, is the obvious choice for a design lover – and makes a great day trip – the less tourist-filled Burano gets our vote. A small island filled with hundreds of brightly colored fishermen cottages that pop in the sunshine. Burano is also famous for lace production, which can be bought in boutique shops across the island.
Well known, yes, but with good reason – the Doge’s Palace is a masterpiece of gothic architecture. Inside there are spectacular frescos and painted ceilings, ornately paneled rooms, a true insight into the wealth and riches that came as being head of one of the wealthiest trading cities in the world. A great way to see inside this stunning building is with a Venice walking tour, which marries a gondola ride with a visit to the Doge’s Palace and St Mark’s Cathedral, thus hitting all of Venice’s classic design stops in one day.
Local is the brainchild of Chef Matteo Tagliapietra, formerly of Noma in Copenhagen. This restaurant is aiming for Michelin-based stars. thoughtfully presented dishes that showcase the biodiversity of Venice and the surrounding area. The dining room is nothing short of beautiful, a large upstairs space with a minimalist design and lots of light.
Well off the beaten track is Anice Stellato, nestled on a small side street in the Cannaregio district. This is home-style Venetian cooking at its finest. A traditional style dining room, filled with natural stone and wood, right on the water. The small, seasonal menu holds everything from fish and seafood – of course – to hearty meat dishes, all executed with precision. A great wine list from small local and further afield wineries finishes off the experience nicely.
A natural wine bar in the Cannaregio district, Vino Vero has a small interior but the main attraction is its terrace that clings to the side of the canal. Watch boats pass by whilst eating the best chicchetti – the Venetian version of tapas – in town.
Il Palazzo Experimental
Set in the Dorsoduro area of Venice, The Il Palazzo Experimental hotel boasts a stunning location, right on the water. The hotel also has a beautiful garden overlooking one of Venice’s canals.
Sina Centurion Palace
A spectacularly designed space on the Grand Canal, the Sina Centurion Palace is a five-star hotel of supreme luxury. Dine at the hotel’s cutting-edge restaurant – request a table on the terrace overlooking the Grand Canal if you can. Or relax in the traditional Venetian garden and courtyard at the rear of the hotel. Individually designed rooms, many with stunning views.
Hotel Heureka’s star attraction is a beautiful walled garden, perfect for a drink or dinner. The 10 rooms have a quirky edge to them, each very different from the other. But all have a Venetian twist, be it mosaic tiles or traditional style fabrics.
We’ve compiled a list of the best hotels Venice has to offer, to suit all budgets and tastes.
T Fondaco Dei Tedschi
This boutique department store is the best place for upmarket shopping in the whole of Venice. The T Fondaco dei Tedschi showcases designer brands with local up and coming designers and even includes a wine cellar. Shop, then take a breather on the stores’ 360-degree terrace, with unparalleled views of Venice and its islands.
Design In Venice Is Like Nothing Else
The bridges, the canal-side buildings, the sheer majesty of the architecture, a Design Guide of Venice is easy to write because the city has it all. If you’re planning to be in Venice for more than just a day or two, it also makes a great base for exploring some other areas of Northern Italy. The sparkling wine Prosecco is well worth discovering, as is the beauty of Verona and Lake Garda. However you choose to spend your time, Venice will no doubt capture you like it has done for millions of people before you. It really is a rather special place.