Some ideas on how to spend a gorgeous evening in Venezia: a secret itinerary downtown Venice by night
The evening starts at 6:30 at the top of Fondaco dei Tedeschi palace (housing a Luxury department store) that lets people admire Venice from a splendid free-access terrace overlooking the Rialto district and the Gran Canal. I choose to cross the Rialto bridge and visit one of my favorite Venice local restaurants: Bancogiro. Seafood bounty from the lagoon accompanied by delicious grilled local vegetables, hearts of artichoke, marinated sardine (small fish like pilchard), served as chicheti (fingerfood, venetian version of the spanish tapas). After dinner, shimmering from my sparkling Pinot Grigio white wine, I wander through the Rialto maze of ”calle” (the venitian small streets): the columned archways holding the Rialto fish market on daytime, still gift you with a mix of sea flavors but the crowded and brulicant of merchants atmosphere is totally different by night: these stones now let me take breaks on lonely bridges to watch gondolas sliding by, quietly.
Venice is magnificent during the day, but it is truly memorable during the night when most of the crowds are gone, the pale lanterns light up the dark with glowing lights, only helped by the moonlight and by the warm lights coming by some windows letting you better admire the internal architectures and decors which are almost invisible during the day.
Ready for a Baroque concert? Many churces in town are holding almost essentially concerts with the music of Vivaldi, who is omnipresent here, like Strauss in Wien! The Interpreti Veneziani group orchestra is probably the best one in town, performing at the sumptuous San Vidal Church (a stone throw from the Accademia Bridge). It’s great, especially if you add a free pre-concert visit to their ancient instruments museum (Museo della Musica at Chiesa di San Maurizio).
If you plan in advance, you could go for an Opera event at La Fenice (the world famous old opera house). If the Opera is too much old-style for you, take in consideration an Opera experience at Musica a Palazzo (Palazzo Barbarigo Minotto): the performers act in costume inside a Gran Canal Palace. The stage ‘moves’ through different Tiepolo frescoed lavish rooms.
Tonight I decided to just reach St. Mark’s Square and choose which of the dueling café orchestras will amaze me more. Every night wonderful and heartfelt professional musicians play open air so you can hear the blended sounds of many classical masterpieces while walking, romantically dancing with your partner or sitting in one of the most pictured Caffè bar in the world: the elegantly decadent Caffè Florian. Not cheap (€15 for a sitting coffee), but if you stay and linger for a while .. it’s worth it!
It’s still not too late to surprise my partner with a touristy activity which become exclusive and someway voluptuary at night: a gondola glide through the canals. Unseen buildings, reflections and an intriguing silence donate details and can be just the beginning of an unforgettable romantic night in the city of Casanova..