Top Five Things to Do in Venice With Kids
Canals, palaces, gondolas and carnival masks: Venice is so unique and fascinating that everyone is immediately enchanted, including children!
Here is our top five of what to see and what to do with them in Venice:
The secret visit to the Doge’s Palace: a nearly one hour special tour with an English speaking guide, in the “secret” places of the palace, where people cannot usually have access. It is very interesting with children above 7/8 years of age to get an insight into the history of the city and administration of justice.
Kids are fascinated while discovering the prisoners’ dungeons, the tortures room and the story of Casanova’s daring escape! You’ll cross the famous (and not so romantic) Bridge of Sighs, like prisoners used to do when they returned to jail once their trial was over. After (or before) the special “secret tour”, you can visit the remainder of the palace freely.
The visit must be pre-booked online.
Palazzo Ducale, San Marco 1
A boat ride: “vaporetto” or gondola, why don’t make both with kids? Taking the N°1 line “vaporetto” (water bus), you will cross the Grand Canal and get the best views to admire candy coloured palaces and gondola’s mooring post looking like candy canes. Try to get seated outside, in the front or at the back. The journey from Piazzale Roma to San Marco Square takes about 45 minutes… and you can do it again in the opposite direction without wearying yourself!
If a gondola tour is definitely pricey and (of course) touristy, it’s still magical! The 35 minutes “small tour” leads you along the small peaceful canals and to the entries of the palaces at water level… dazzling for children! An evening gondola ride, with this misty and mysterious atmosphere, is also unforgettable.
The glassblowers’ demonstration on Murano island: the technique is century-old, and Murano handmade glass is worldwide famous. Watching the skilled craftmen at work is very impressive, as it seems almost alchemy. It’s really magical when the delicate glass object appears where it was a blob a few minutes before. When you will see a Murano chandelier lighting a palace, remember it is all handmade and mouth blown!
There are many shops selling stained glass figurines and strings of beads, which children are crazy about. Free tours takes place during the morning in several glass factories.
The Scuola Grande de San Rocco (Confraternity of St. Roch): even with kids, it would be a pity to visit Venice without seeing at least one church or museum! So let’s go for a bit of Renaissance Art in Scuola Grande, where you can admire the largest collection of the Venetian 16th century artist, Tintoretto. During more than 20 years, Tintoretto filled the two floors from walls to ceilings: this is why it is called the “Sistine Chapel of Venice”… It is really impressive and the children will enjoy looking at the painted ceilings into the provided hand-held mirrors. Almost a game!
Zone San Polo, Campo San Rocco, vaporetto stop: San Tomà
A “gelato” at Fondamenta delle Zattere (in Dorsoduro): after all these visits, don’t you deserve to rest for a while? Fondamenta Zattere is a lovely, less crowdy spot. These broad quays in front of the Giudecca island are the perfect place where to have an ice-cream. Gelateria Nico is famous for the “Gianduiotto”, a chocolate-hazelnut blend ice-cream with plenty of whipped cream. And if ever the sunset comes once you’re seated at the water level terrace, enjoying the scenic view of the Giudecca island, it will be the right time for a “spritz”!
Gelateria Nico – Fondamenta Zattere, 922
Text & photos by: Virginie – Travel with my Kids