Secret Venice: 11 hidden things to see in the city you can't miss!


Break away from the usual Venetian cliché! With the help of these 11 Instagram photos you can discover the splendid hidden corners of Venice

Venice is one of the most iconic city in the world and every year attracts millions of tourists with its masterpieces of art and architecture. If you have been lucky enough to see Piazza San Marco and the Rialto Bridge, you know what we are talking about. Not everyone knows, however, that the Serenissima has a lot of hidden corners off the beaten track that are full of charm. With the help of some incredible Instagram photos, we have collected 11 secret places that you must discover on your next trip to Venice!

1) Acqua Alta Bookshop - photo by @kcrubi

Acqua Alta Bookshop

Some say it is the most beautiful bookshop in the world... we can't be 100% sure about that, but no one could deny it wins the originality contest hands down! Why? Well, for starter one of the bookshelf is made out of a gondola! Yes, you'll find William Shakespeare's and some Pirandello's inside the iconic Venetian style boat; quite the fitted place indeed, seeing the shop usually gets flooded throughout the autumnal season! Worth mentioning is the staircase made entirely of books and the door that leads onto a canal and many cats nestled between the piles of books... the perfect spot for the queen of "nerdy" pictures!

2) Scuola Grande di Santa Maria della Misericordia - photo by @manuelmenegaldo

Scuola Grande di Santa Maria della Misericordia

Once it was one of the most important "schools" in Venice, then it became the most absurd basketball stadium in the world, where the "Reyer Venezia" team played legendary matches. Now it is a beautiful venue for exhibitions and cultural events with an incredible story to tell!

3) Combo Venezia - photo by @diegopassoni

We Crociferi in Campo dei Gesuiti

If you pass through Campo dei Gesuiti (the "Jesuit Square", just a stone's throw away from the Fondamenta Nove stop where the water buses leave to visit the islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello) you must enter the hidden courtyard of the hostel Combo Venezia. This fantastic building used to be a convent and now is one of the most popular place to just hang out and have a coffee while bathing in the sun! You will find a wonderful patio surrounded by columns and a bar with plenty of seating. In the evenings, the hostel hosts several cool events and intimate concerts where international travellers seamless mingle with locals. Click here if you want to know more about the Combo Venezia Hostel.

4) Fondaco dei Tedeschi - photo by @svetlanastojovic

T Fondaco dei Tedeschi by DFS

Within walking distance from the king of all bridges, the Rialto Bridge, you'll find the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, a splendid historical palace which used to be known as the headquarters for the commercial trade between the Serenissima and Germany. It then become a (very fancy) post office and was finally converted in a luxury shopping center with a rooftop terrace over the Canal Grand to kill for! It can be visited for free (you only need to book a time slot) and it's the cherry on the top of one of Venice's must see attractions!

5) Generator Venice - photo by @behindleslieslens

Generator Hostel in Venice

The Generator Venice is an artsy hostel on the Venetian island of Giudecca. It is located in a beautiful, 19th century building with a red brick facade and stunning interior colonnades. The beautiful interior decor of this hostel as well as its the youthful bar and top-notch facilities make it the ultimate winner to our eyes!

Click here if you want to learn more.

6) Scala Contarini del Bovolo - photo by @cupofcouple

Scala Contarini del Bovolo

A stunning bone-white spiral staircase set amongst the historic houses of Venice and hidden behind Campo Manin. Scala Contarini del Bovolo offers you a sigh not to be missed: climb to the top and, when the dizziness is gone, enjoy the panoramic view on the Venetian will feel as if you can almost touch the famous Basilica di San Marco's cupola!

7) Osteria Al Remer - photo by @alex231980

Osteria al Remer

A beautiful inn where you eat and drink well at fair prices: a must in our 11 things to do in Venice! The Osteria's highlight is definitely the backyard. The quiet courtyard is dominated by an elegant staircase and with an ancient well...the perfect setting to drink a delicious glass of prosecco! And that's not all: the picture doesn't really do justice to the inn, which boasts an incredible view on the Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge too!

8) Olivetti Store - photo by @sebastian_kite

Olivetti Shop by Carlo Scarpa

Entering Piazza San Marco can be quite the overwhelming experience, so the last thing you would think of checking out is this cute little shop, which actually could be considered a small corner of contemporary architecture. The store was designed by the genius of Carlo Scarpa and is a truly unmissable masterpiece of minimalism among fancy, huge monumental historical buildings.

9) Historical complex of Santa Fosca - photo by @samuzanini

Santa Fosca Hostel and student house

Today it is a hostel and a student residence but once this incredible building was the third most important church in Venice (Santa Maria dei Servi). If you want to learn more about this amazing place, you can visit the Santa Fosca hostel page where you can find prices, maps and reviews. You will discover that besides being a historic masterpiece, Santa Fosca provides super low cost accommodation in a perfect central location!.

10) Squero di San Trovaso - photo by @chicchitudine

The San Trovaso

Unfortunately there are some crafts that have become almost extinct in Venice, one above all the work of the master carpenters that create and maintain all the "gondole, sandali, caorline" that you see in the Venetian canals. It's no wonder then that visiting one of this "squero" where the magic happens is an essential part of your discovering of the true soul of the city. If you choose the one in San Trovaso, there's also an excellent ice cream shop just outside the squero that is definitely worth a try!

11) Carmelitani Scalzi Vegetable Garden - photo by @robisperonello

Carmelitani Scalzi Vegetable Garden behind the church

Would you ever expect to find a vegetable garden in the middle of the historic center of Venice? Find this secret garden behind the church of Carmelitani Scalzi just outside the Santa Lucia train station. The Carmelitani Scalzi is carefully maintained by the friars of the convent in order to produce the "Melissa Moldavica", the main ingredient of the Melissa water (a fragrant essence that helps fight insomnia, anxiety, stomachache and even hair loss)!

Did you enjoy our photo tour of the secret parts of Venice? All is left to do now is finding your way trough the city. Our best advice is to just wander around a little bit and let yourself enjoy the beauty of it all... there's nothing wrong in losing your way for a little while if you're surrounded by such lovely buildings!

However, if you're simply in a hurry to catch the next ferry to make it in time for that interesting exhibition or you just can't wait to rest a little bit, for a stress-free arrival or departure from the city and for any help you may need getting around, we recommend that you download the Prontopia app before your arrival. The app gives you access to in-person help from a Prontopia local whenever you need it... and you know what they say, locals always know best!

If you know any other spots hidden from Venice's mass tourism, please let us know in the comments! Or if this article has inspired you to travel to Venice, plan your next trip to the Serenissima using the booking form below:

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