Bacaro Lounge

Owned by the Bennetton family, Bacaro sits above the Mondadori bookstore. To Americans this lounge upstairs from the city’s chicest shopping street almost looks like a café in a mall, but to Venetians who live with centuries old palazzos, its contemporary sterile look is considered high-style and hip. The crowd adds the glamour; and food and drinks are surprisingly good.

Room Veiw at Bottega del Tintoretto  , Venice, Italy

Bottega del Tintoretto

In a building right next to Tintoretto’s former house in the Cannaregio district, a collective of artists has opened its print shop to offer workspace and classes. The cavernous studio features antique presses and artists at work. Puppets hang from the ceiling, and shelves display artists’ prints for sale. In summer, classes include week-long seminars on drawing, intaglio printmaking and watercolors inspired by Venice.

Exterior Veiw - Ca’ Rezzonico , Venice, Italy ,  Courtesy of Didier Descouens

Ca’ Rezzonico

Don’t miss Venice’s museum (and the former house of Robert Browning) dedicated to the 18th century. This palazzo, which took twenty years to restore before it reopened, in 2001, contains a wonderful selection of art and furniture. It’s often compared to New York’s Frick for the way it showcases art and antiques in a grand house setting.

Church at Church of San Zaccaria  ,Venice, Italy

Church of San Zaccaria

Art and architecture buffs should not miss this often-overlooked church, which holds the oldest tombs of Doges. A stunning altarpiece by Bellini is the highlight here. Writes historian Theodore K. Rabb, in City Secrets Florence & Venice: “It was one of the treasures Napoleon took back to Paris; a memento of his theft remains, in the piece cut off the top so that the altarpiece would fit the location Napoleon chose for it. Stand in front of the painting when the sun is quite high in the afternoon and you will see the genius of the location as well as the painting. Only one ray of the sun can enter the church through the clerestory windows across the nave, but as the sun moves the ray picks out each of the stunning robes of the saints and the Madonna in turn. The colors glow in succession, creating a magical theater of motion, art, and devout spirituality, all fused into one by the power of both Bellini and San Zaccaria.”

Purchase a copy of City Secrets here.

Tower at Clock Tower (Campanile)  Venice, Italy

Clock Tower (Campanile)

The gorgeous zodiac clock, officially known as the Moors’ Clock Tower, crowns the arch leading from Piazza San Marco into the shopping streets that wend toward the Rialto bridge and the heart of the city’s commerce. Climbing up into the five levels of the 500-year-old tower and seeing its inner workings with an English-speaking guide is a fun visit, but children must be at least 6 years old. The tour lasts about forty-five minutes and you need to arrive fifteen minutes in advance. Reservations are essential. Contact our bookings to team to reserve.

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Exterior Veiw - Collezione Peggy Guggenheim , Venice, Italy ,Courtesy of Andrea Sarti

Collezione Peggy Guggenheim

Peggy Guggenheim’s incredible collection, which includes major works by Picasso, Pollock, Kandinsky and Ernst, is on view at her former home: the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni. The wealthy American eccentric, who reportedly loved to sunbathe nude on her terrace and was the last person in Venice to have a private gondola, is buried here alongside her fourteen dogs. Its small size makes it a museum that works well for families. Closed Tuesday.

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Exterior Veiw - Piazza San Marco  ,Venice, Italy , Courtesy of Andreas Tille

Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale)

This pastel-colored palace, at San Marco Square facing the Giudecca Canal, is one of Venice’s most iconic buildings. The home of the Doge of Venice, it exudes history and intrigue. If you book a "Secret Itineraries” tour, you can skip the (always long) lines. Contact our bookings team to book.

fondaco dei tedeschi venice

Fondaco dei Tedeschi

The rooftop of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi offers incredible views over the Grand Canal, near the Rialto bridge, and the restaurant is good for a pit-stop.

Interior Veiw - Fondazione Giorgio Cini ,  Venice, Italy

Fondazione Giorgio Cini

Located on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, across the Canal from San Marco and next to Giudecca Island, this foundation is housed in a former Benedictine convent. Part of the treasures are a remarkable replica of Veronese’s Nozze di Cana. The original, brought to France by Napoléon in 1797, hangs in the Louvre as one of the museum's largest canvases.

Arts at Fondazione Vedova ,Venice, Italy ,Courtesy of V. Pavan

Fondazione Vedova

This cool museum is mostly devoted to the works of Italian painter Emilio Vedova (a native Venetian). Housed in a warehouse on the Zattere quay, where the abstract expressionist artist lived with his wife, Annabianca, for many years, the foundation opened in 2009. Architect Renzo Piano, who knew Vedova since the 1980s, devised an ingenious way to display the artist’s oversized works: suspended on a track running along the ceiling, the pieces seem to float toward the viewer, then disappear again. The foundation also hosts smaller, temporary exhibitions. This museum is a great one to combine with visiting the larger Punta della Dogana. It may not be as flashy or large-scale, but the works of this pioneering painter, as well as the vision behind their installation is very impressive. Closed Saturday and Sunday.

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Gallerie dell’Accademia

Yes, it’s almost always crowded, but you should still go to see the finest collection of Venetian paintings in the world, including works by Bellini, Titian, Tintoretto and Carpaccio.

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Aerial View-Gondola ,Venice, Italy


I have to admit that it took a good ten years for me to be convinced to hop into a gondola, which I always considered a tourist gimmick. Then one hot afternoon with two kids in tow, I became an instant convert. It was among the most relaxingly splendid hours I have ever spent: our gondolier took us on a roundabout trip past splendid palazzos, under carved bridges and through several tunnels. The gentle motion of the man-powered, sleek black boat soon had us all in a state of supreme bliss, and we were sorry to hit terra firma when our all-too-short hour was up. Avoid the Grand Canal; that route is definitely for tour groups. The best time to go is during high tide.

Exterior Veiw - l Redentore  ,Venice, Italy ,Courtesy of Didier Descouens

Il Redentore

Palladio designed this beautiful church in Guideca, thought to be his magnum opus, in 1577. It has wonderful gardens in back. It’s a short walk from the hotel Villa F.

Aerial View - Indagare Tours: Venetian Rowing Lesson,Venice, Italy - Courtesy Gary Houston

Indagare Tours: Venetian Rowing Lesson

Explore Venice with an entirely new perspective during an hour-and-a-half gondola rowing lesson through the city’s famous canals. During the tutorial, which can be extended to include an onboard food and wine sampling, you will learn the voga alla Veneta, the traditional standing rowing technique that is dying out. Indagare members can contact the Bookings Team to arrange a lesson.

Venice's San Michele island

Island: San Michele

Located to the north, a five-minute vaporetto ride from the Fondamente Nuove, the island of San Michele is where Venetians are laid to rest. But if you think wandering around a cemetery is morbid, think again. From the distance, the gleaming white church of San Michele in Isola is the first thing you’ll see across the water. This 15th-century jewel was designed by Renaissance architect Mauro Codussi and is considered one of his masterpieces. The main cemetery is reached through the shaded cloisters, and Franciscan monks will gladly give you a small map of the vast grounds. Wander the leafy allées as you will, or search out the tombs of such notables as Ezra Pound, Igor Stravinsky and Serge Diaghilev.

Exterior Veiw - Island: Torcello , Venice, Italy

Island: Torcello

Roughly an hour’s water taxi ride north of Venice, this rural island is well worth the trip. The vaporetto drops you on the south side of Torcello, where you find yourself on a path leading to Venice’s first cathedral, Santa Maria dell’Assunta, which dates from the ninth century; it’s a ten-minute walk past fields of wildflowers. Inside, the mystical brick church, its roof supported by pale green columns, is a tapestry of color. Look down and the 11th-century mosaic floor dances like a crazy quilt. Twelfth-century mosaics on a gold background glitter across the apse.

Aerial Veiw - Islands Overview: Murano, Burano, Torcello  , Venice, Italy , Courtesy of Venissa

Islands Overview: Murano, Burano, Torcello

Famous Murano and Burano and lesser-known Torcello can all be visited in one afternoon. Burano is famous for its colorful houses and a good lunch spot Il Gatto Nero (Via Giudecce 88). Torcello, a 45-minute vaporetto ride from central Venice, has the city’s first cathedral, Santa Maria dell’Assunta. Murano is more touristy than nearby Burano, but it has also retained the air of a village. Bypass the main streets (called fondamente), where most shops sell tacky trinkets, and search out the smaller workshops, many located along the Fondamenta dei Vetrai. Most will gladly open their doors to you and let you see glassblowing in action. Gianni Seguso (Fondamenta Serenella 3; 39 041 527-5341; works by custom order only. Stop for lunch at Acquastanca (Fondamenta Manin 48), which is family-run and serves simple, delicious local food.

Hotel  at La Fenice , Venice, Italy Courtesy of Andreas Praefcke

La Fenice

Who has not wanted to pull up for a night at the theater in a gondola? La Fenice hosts opera and music performances throughout the year. Ask you concierge to book the tickets and read The City of Falling Angels to prepare; this non-fiction book by John Berendt tells of the intrigue and scandal surrounding the fire that destroyed the historic opera house in 1996. It has been meticulously restored and remains a true jewel of a theater.

Madonna dell'Orto, in Cannaregio

Madonna dell’Orto

When you’re in the charming Cannaregio neighborhood, visit the church that houses Tintoretto’s colossal paintings The Adoration of the Golden Calf, The Last Judgment and The Virtues (1562–64), which hang in the presbytery.

Exterior Veiw - Marciana Library  ,Venice, Italy

Marciana Library

While most tourists flock to see the façade of the famous basilica on St. Marks Square, few realize that you can visit the Sansovino-designed Marciana Library inside, which lies across the square. It has gorgeous interiors and a spectacular collection of rare books and maps, which can be seen if you’re touring with a docent.

Interior View -  Orsoni, Venice, Italy

Master Mosaics

The famous Orsoni foundry offers Living the Venice Workshop: History, Theory and Application of Mosaic Art. Classes range from three-day introductory workshops to two-week classes in mosaic portraiture and micro-mosaics. With a limit of five or six students, the programs require an application and some drawing experience is recommended. The course fees include guided tours to Torcello and the Basilica of St. Mark’s as well as materials; meals and accommodations are additional.

On the grounds of the esteemed mosaic house Orsoni is a small guest house, where students who come to learn the art of mosaics from masters of the craft stay. When classes are not in session, the five guestrooms may be rented by those who want simple, clean accommodations and a glimpse of the city’s quieter side. The Domus Orsoni sits in the ghetto area about a ten-minute walk from the train station.

Exterior Veiw  -Museo Correr , Venice, Italy

Museo Correr

The special exhibits at the Correr museum are always worth seeing. Past exhibitions have included shows such as “Sargent and Venice.” An American painter born in Florence in 1856, John Singer Sargent was drawn to Venice, whose people and landscapes he painted for forty-some years.

Iterior Veiw - Museo Fortuny ,  Venice, Italy Courtesy of Paolo Utimpergher

Museo Fortuny

Housed in one of the palaces of the Pesaro family (patrons of Bellini and Titian) and showcasing the rich textiles of Mariano Fortuny. Wrote the late historian Rona Goffen in City Secrets: Florence & Venice: “Mariano Fortuny was the textile maker and designer, to whom one is particularly grateful for ravishing pleated silks.” Closed Tuesdays.

Purchase a copy of City Secrets here.

Canalside in Cannaregio

Neighborhood Essentials: Cannaregio

The second-largest of Venice’s six sestieri, Canareggio holds many gems for visitors keen on a neighborhood walk that includes some important sights as well as lesser-known finds. It’s also the northernmost of the Venice neighborhoods leading up to Fondamente Nove from which the vaporettos to the islands (Murano, Burano, Torcello and St. Michele) depart. Here is how to make the most of a visit of this beautiful quarter where it is easy to get lost in narrow calles and experience slivers of the city away from the crowds.


The most atmospheric and historic place to visit is the Venetian Ghetto. In the 16th century, a government edict confined Venice’s Jews to this neighborhood, creating the world’s first ghetto on what used to be an outer-lying island where the foundries were located. (One of the numerous etymological theories posits that the word “ghetto” itself derives from the venetian word “geto” meaning foundry). The Jewish population grew rapidly and, without permission to expand beyond the boundaries of their allotted quarter, were forced to build up, creating what New York Times journalist David Laskin called “the tallest buildings with the lowest-ceilinged apartments” (Read his article here. To this day, the buildings in the Venetian Ghetto are among the highest in the city. With Renaissance and Baroque exteriors, they create a densely picturesque cityscape but it is sobering to consider the background of this beauty.

Today, the Venetian Ghetto remains the heart of Jewish life in the city, with a synagogue (run by Chabad of Venice), a yeshiva, several shops, a bakery, restaurant and two beautiful squares. To enter, look for the narrow, wood-framed entrance off the Fondamente de Canarregio, near the Guglie vaporetto stop. Note: if you opt to go with a guide, which is highly recommended to learn about the Old and the New Ghetto, you can only tour with a guide with special accreditation.

From the peaceful Campo del Ghetto Nuova, it’s a short walk to Madonna dell’Orto,, the soaring red-brick church where Jacobo Robusti lies entombed. The artist known as Tintoretto (“son of a silk dyer”) lived in the church’s parish and several of his works can be found here. The colossal paintings The Adoration of the Golden Calf, The Last Judgment and The Virtues adorn the choir; but it was *The Presentation of Mary in the Temple) (in the right knave) that moved Rainer Maria Rilke to write one of his most sublime poems in which he asks the viewer to imagine him/herself by the child’s side: To grasp how she was then, try if you can/to place yourself where pillars mount to ceilings. (Fans of the German poet should read Birgit Haustedt’s fascinating Rilke’s Venice – The City in Eleven Walks. Maybe even bring it to this church that hardly ever draws the crowds its more famous counterparts in San Polo or San Marco do.) Fans of Tintoretto might carry on to Fondamente di Mori 3399 where the artist was born, or to see the nearby present-day artisan workshop (classes are offered) La Bottega di Tintoretto.


Take a break with a delicious, homey lunch at Vini Da Gigio, a favorite with families as well as couples (it’s a sister restaurant to Venice star-classic Antiche Carampane). The postage-stamp-sized Osteria alla Frasca, meanwhile, is fabulous for foodies who are happy to order the dishes of the day and wines are local and mostly organic.


If you’re looking for a young and fun scene, linger until the early evening and join for a cichetti at any of the eateries along the Fondamenta de la Misericordia. Hot spots include Vin Vero or La Sete. For an afternoon tea, cakes and pastries, head to the charming Sullaluna, a children’s bookshop and café. For a sweet treat, there Bacaro del Gelato where the small batches of ice cream are made with only the top ingredients.


Strolling back in the direction of San Marco, seek out the workshop of master glassmaker Vittorio Costantini and don’t miss Gianni Basso, home of bookplates, business cards and stationery printed on antique printing presses.


For traveler who wish to be based in Cannaregio (the sestieri that is closest to the Santa Lucia train station), there is the grand and luxurious Ca Sagredo or, for a younger, more design-oriented visitor, the hip boutique hotel The Venice Venice. Even if you're not staying at the latter, a drink on the Grand Canal–facing terrace of its all-day M'Art restaurant is a must.

Contact Indagare’s team to arrange for a knowledgeable guide who can lead you through this fascinating neighborhood.

Exterior View-Palazzo Grassi,  Venice, Italy-Courtesy of Matteo de Fina

Palazzo Grassi

The last palazzo to be erected in Venice before the fall of the Republic, in the late 18th century, the Grassi now hosts exhibitions drawn mainly from the vast contemporary-art collection that French businessman François Pinault assembled over more than thirty years. Originally, the publicity-shy billionaire had planned on exhibiting his extraordinary art—including works by Jeff Koons, Cy Twombly, Brice Marden and Damien Hirst—in France, but after French red tape delayed the project several times, Pinault moved his treasures to Venice (he also brought along architect Tadeo Ando to renovate the building and former French minister of culture and communication Jean-Jacques Aillagon to serve as the director). Palazzo Grassi now shares the collection with the Punta della Dogana, which opened in 2009, but considering that Pinault is one of the world’s most ambitious collectors, there’s plenty of blue-chip art displayed in both places. The exhibitions change every two years in time for the Biennale.

Be sure to stay for lunch in the terrific café, which is run by Irina Freguia whose family own Venetian classic Vecio Fritolin. The menu specializes in Venetian and Italian dishes.

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coffered square dome with angels

Palazzo Grimani

Palazzo Grimani is a cherished rarity in Italian and European culture, and it is not to be missed on a visit to Venice.
Bird santuaries at Piazza San Marco  Venice, Italy

Piazza San Marco

Vibrant, buzzing Piazza San Marco is Venice's uncontested heart. First-timers have to start their exploring here, and many return visitors come to ride the elevator up San Marco Basilica's clock tower (campanile) for a great city perspective. Art aficionados stop by the Correr Museum whose first floor is dedicated to sculptor Antonio Canova, and whose other treasures include works by Bellini, Carpaccio and Lotto. The Doge's Palace and Biblioteca Marciana complete this square's incredible offerings. If you book a "Secret Itineraries” tour at the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale), you can skip the lines. The beautiful main hall in the Biblioteca Marciana is decorated by Tintoretto and Schiavone, and it hosts important temporary exhibitions.

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Indagare employees walking up stiars

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