Cultural Guide for Real Venetian Lovers

by Romena Brugnerotto
Do Not Feed the Pidgeons

Venice is an ‘elegant grand dame’ and deserves to be treated with respect by obeying the protocols of good behaviour. Where® Venice has drawn up a small handbook of ‘do’s and ‘don'ts’ to ensure that visitors have a chance to fully enjoy the city while honouring its people, monuments and local traditions.

01. How to dress

Tourists wearing a bikini in Venice

It is forbidden to walk around Venice in a bathing costume or bare-chested. Swimming in Venice’s canals is prohibited. The Lido is the go-to place for bathing. Venice is an elegant ‘grand dame’ and a certain dress code is ‘de rigueur’.

02. Street Rules

Taking pictures in Venice

Many ‘calli’ (streets) in Venice are narrow. Keep to the right and avoid loitering. Make sure to take quick ‘clicks’ on Venice’s bridges especially when they’re crowded.

03. Obstructing Public Transport

Backpacks on public transport

When travelling on public transport, please respect the other passengers: avoid blocking the entrance or exit, store your bags where the boat staff tells you and remove your backpacks.

04. 'Acqua Alta' High Water Level

In the event of ‘acqua alta’ (flooding), use the raised walkways provided. Keep to the right and don’t hang around. Don’t step into the water, because it’s dirty.

05. Bikes and Other Means of Transport

Piazzale Roma, the public parking for bikes

In Venice, adults are prohibited from riding bikes or using or carrying kick scooters. Use the parking lots located at the entrance to the city.

06. Eating

Restaurant in Venice

Apart from restaurants, picknicking is forbidden in the area around St. Mark’s Basilica. Check our list of the best restaurants and ‘bacari’ where you can sample delectable Mediterranean cuisine. Please Note: it’s not done to eat ‘gelato’ before lunch and cappuccino is a ‘no no’ in the afternoon.

07. Pigeons

Feeding pigeons

Local authorities have forbidden feeding pigeons, since the birds’ feces are a threat to the squares’ monuments and statues. Tourists who choose to ignore the law could be fined a fee of 500 euros.

08. Venetian Souvenirs

An artisan making a Murano Glass souvenir

In the midst of its myriad offerings, always make sure to purchase authentic Venetian goods. These include Murano beads, local biscuits, artisanal prints and masks. By purchasing items from local artisans, you’re supporting the Venetian craft industry.

Discover the best Venetian souvenirs

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