Originally Published: September 8, 2014

This post was written by our marketing intern, Mark Partz.

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Trying to see Venice in 48 hours might seem overwhelming and stressful. However, if you set yourself priorities and let yourself just enjoy the visit, you will be in for a treat.

Be sure to visit Piazza San Marco, or St. Mark’s Square. The main square of the city is a popular place for visitors due to several different features. In addition to the excitement and bustle of this popular tourist area, Venice’s only piazza is where you will find Basilica di San Marco or St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace and Torre dell’Orologio. All three of these sights are among the main attractions of Venice and conveniently located in the same square.

While at Piazza San Marco, be sure to also check out the campanile. A city built on water means there are no hills to climb and look down from. However, if you want to get a fantastic view of Venice from above, climb the tall bell tower called Campanile di San Marco, or St. Mark’s Campanile.

Just one of the ways to get around Venice!
Just one of the ways to get around Venice!

Of course, I cannot write about what to do in Venice without mentioning the gondola rides through the canals. It really is a different feeling to see the city from the water than it is to walk around along the sides of the canals. You do not need to reserve a gondola ahead of time—just go to the designated harbors around Venice and say you want a ride (the fees are also set by the city)—and you can even choose the route you would like to take.

Trying to see everything in a city like Venice within 48 hours will likely make you feel rushed, but I believe it is difficult to really enjoy or experience a city without taking some time to just relax—even if you’re pressed for time. Find a nice place to sit to look at the water and watch the boats go by. Or even just take your time dining at a restaurant on the water.

Cichetti in Venice (photo credit: Kate Zagorski)
Cichetti in Venice (photo credit: Kate Zagorski)

While you are dining, be sure to try the seafood. Like many cities or regions of Italy, Venice is famous for certain dishes. The most famous dish of Venice is a cod dish called Baccala’ Mantecata. If you are interested in authentic seafood, you won’t want to leave without trying it. Don’t forget to get a glass of authentic Venetian wine with your meal too!

Perhaps not the most famous feature of Venice, but one of my favorite things in the city is Harry’s Bar. Another place to consider getting a meal or an evening drink; Harry’s Bar is a small bar and restaurant that Ernest Hemingway visited regularly. If you are a Hemingway fan, this is a must-see in Venice.

Likely the most important suggestion to help you see Venice in a weekend is to buy a map and don’t be afraid to get a little lost. The small streets and canals can be very confusing, especially on a first visit, but it is worth it to just walk around off the tourist trail and see the local area. Shops and restaurants can be seen in any other city, but Venice is a unique place to just walk around in, and you never know what cool site you will stumble upon!

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