A Brief Guide to Holiday Dining, Activities and Shopping for Your Christmas in Venice!
Snow-capped gondolas. Photo credit: EPA
Ah, Christmas in Venice
! Lucky you. The city really earns its nickname, La Serenissima
-- the Very Serene One -- during the holiday season as tourist numbers drop considerably. You'll find Venice in fine form, decorated with care and perhaps even dusted with a sprinkling of snow (or at least a dense fog).
It's better to call ahead and make a reservation
for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner
, as many restaurants close and those open do tend to fill up with locals and the small amount of visitors who spend the holidays in Venice. Most hotel restaurants as well as the famous Harry's Bar
(known for their bellini cocktails) remain open. You can try the famous cafès in Piazza San Marco
as well, such as Florian and Quadri. Live it up with Venetian fish dishes
and clink glasses of the local prosecco
(very festive!). To end a meal, keep a look out for bussolà forte
, a rich, dense cake from Murano
made specially for Christmas.
Holiday decorations. Photo credit: beyondthebridge.wordpress.com
An unforgettable experience to be sure is to go to the Christmas Eve midnight mass
at the golden mosaic-lined Basilica of San Marco
(which actually starts at 10:30 PM). Other options: holiday concerts
of classical music in many of Venice's churches, wandering the decorated calle
of Venice (don't be afraid to get lost) , ice-skating
in Campo San Polo, or why not make a dent in your wallet with a little...
Holiday Shopping. Venice
offers some very elegant last-minute holiday shopping. Among gifts to buy friends and family (or even yourself) are Venetian marbled paper
(stationery sets, prints, journals), Murano glass
(glasses, bowls, cufflinks), Burano lace
(table pieces, shirts), Fortuny textiles
(velvet purses, lamp shades, pillows), and furlane
, which are traditional gondolier shoes. If high fashion is more your style, you will find no shortage of shops along Calle XXII Marzo in San Marco. For those more predisposed for edible gifts or antiques, try Campo San Stefano, Campo San Polo and Campo San Maurizio that often will have special Christmas markets
set up for holiday shopping.
Can't you just imagine Santa Claus giving his reindeer a break and instead opting for a gondola to maneuver Venice's narrow canals? Well, now you can!
Christmas in Venice. Photo credit: Mdesisto
Christams in Venice
: Isn't it a good idea for a special present?
What would you like to find under the Christmas tree? Let you know also on Twitter and Facebook!
Stay tuned with the next post about Christmas in Italy.