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Hidden Gems, Art and Quirky Shopping on a Summer Break in Venice

From quirky shops and ateliers to flooded crypts: here are some insider tips on unusual things to do on your summer break in Venice.

People often tell you to avoid Venice during peak tourist season, but with the Biennale in town and lots of quirky shops to discover, now is truly the best time to book a summer break in Venice to explore the art and hidden gems hiding around every corner.


Forget Gallerie dell’Accademia this month and lose yourself in Palazzo Fortuny, the former textile atelier of Mariano Fortuny which promises an exciting exhibition as part of the Biennale.

A second Fondazione Prada has opened up outside of Milan and is currently hosting a transmedia exhibition as part of the Venice Biennale. Art not your thing? Even marvelling at the 18th century palazzo architecture of this impressive gallery is worth the visit!

For the real art addicts, Venice’s Guggenheim Museum has one of the best art collections in the world. Compact but filled with incredible pieces from Pollock to Dali, Peggy Guggenheim’s former home now showcases the famous icon’s personal collection.

Insider Tip: free entry and no need to book at the Palazzo Ca’Zenobio degli Armeni during the Venice Biennale!

Local Produce

After you’ve strolled across the Rialto Bridge and taken in the beautiful views of the Grand Canal, go down into Mercato di Rialto. From Tuesdays to Wednesdays this Venetian market is teeming with fresh fish and vegetables brought in from local fishmongers. You can even watch Venetian chefs turn this fresh food into delicious Italian dishes - not something you see in your local Italian!


Italy is home to high fashion houses and couture labels but Venice’s quirky shops and ateliers offer a fun and much more unusual Italian shopping experience.

Libreria Acqua Alta is more of an emporium than a bookstore. This quirky bazaar is as much of a spectacle as a shopping experience, with the walls and furniture adorned with old books and gondolas hanging from the ceiling. Come and marvel at the decor and the impressive collection of novels in this Venetian hidden gem. 

Unusual Things to do

If this isn’t your first summer break in Venice and you want to go to somewhere that little bit different, why not visit the Flooded Crypt of San Zaccaria? This 15th century church defines ‘the sinking city’. It isn’t just the Gothic and Renaissance architecture which is the head-turner, but the underground crypt filled with water from the canals as well.

If you feel like escaping the island for a few hours, take the boat to HyperPavilion in the north side of the Arsenale. Set in a large former warehouse, this free exhibition explores the impact that digital technology has on art, from sculptures to film.

How to Get There

To reach Venice, you can fly direct from most London airports with prices starting at as little as £81 with FlyBE.

Getting to Venice from Marco Polo Airport can be quite a hassle, so whether you’re staying on the island or in a nearby resortPsychology Articles, a Shuttle Direct transfer can save you time and money. Reservation takes less than a minute and your driver will personally meet you on time and ensure that you start your summer break in Venice in style.

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Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re planning a summer break in Venice Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your board get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.

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