10 Unmissable Venice Hidden Gems

Updated on 8 August 2017
Venice is one of the world’s most iconic cities and its attractions are visited by 20 million people every year. Yet if you know where to look, there are some lesser known sights  that are well worth seeking out. We have rounded up 10 unmissable Venice hidden gems to inspire your wanderlust.

1 – Dorsoduro area – Venice Hidden Gems

This area of Venice is less crowded than most and with the recent opening of new luxury hotels it will no doubt rise in popularity. Crossing over the Ponte dell’Academia you come across some charming independent boutiques along Piscina Former. The nearby Guggenheim Museum is a fabulous place, or if you fancy a gelato, head to Nico at Fondamenta Zattere al Ponte Longo, on the waterfront for a chocolate hazelnut Gianduiotto.

Gelateria Nico in Dorsoduro - a lovely place to enjoy ice cream in Venice, Italy
2 – Ca’Macana

Also in Dorsoduro, you’ll find the mask shop famous for having created the masks for the Stanley Kubrick film Eyes Wide Shut. There are quite a few mask shops in the area but this one stands out for the quality of its hand made creations. They run mask-making courses for groups and for corporates – must be a lot of fun!

Ca Macana, a famous mask shop in Venice, Italy that features in Eyes Wide Shut
3 – Doge’s Palace Secret Itineraries Tour

Whilst the Doge’s Palace is world famous, its Secret Itineraries Tour certainly qualifies as one of the best hidden gems in Venice. We found it fascinating to visit rooms such as the Chamber of the Secret Chancellery, where the cabinets that used to contain top-secret documents are adorned with the coats-of-arms of the chancellors from 1268 onwards. The highlight of the tour for us was the visit to the two cells where Casanova was imprisoned. The tour must be booked in advance but it’s well worth it for the fascinating anecdotes.

The Doges Palace Secret Tour in Venice, Italy
4 – GLAM at Palazzo Venart

Venice has been somewhat lacking in world-class restaurants but that has changed with the arrival of GLAM at Palazzo Venart. Housed inside a stunning Venetian palace, now a 5 star luxury hotel, the food is as refined as the surroundings. It’s the first Venice restaurant of Italy’s youngest two Michelin starred chef Enrico Bartolini. Enjoy a classic risotto and typical Venetian dishes before strolling in the hotel’s garden overlooking the Grand Canal.

Risotto dish at GLAM Restaurant in the luxurious Palazzo Venart, Venice, Italy 5 – Enrica Rocca Cookery School

If you’re looking for something a bit different to do in Venice, consider a cooking class. Enrica Rocca knows Venice like the back of her hand and is a skilled cook. When not catering for the most luxurious corporate and private events, she runs cookery classes from her colourful home. You’ll visit Rialto Food Market with her before rustling up some delicious dishes with real Italian flair. Her 2 daughters also teach you Italian cooking skills in Notting Hill, London.

Love Enrica Rocca cookery school in Venice, Italy
6 – The Bridge with No Parapet

Feeling adventurous? If so then a walk over a bridge with no parapet could be right up your street. There used to be quite a few of these in Venice but these days there are only two left, Ponte de Chiodo in the quiet Cannaregio area and the other one is on the nearby island of Torcello. It’s actually very safe to walk over it and one of the best sights to see in Venice.

Hidden Venice - The Bridge with No Parapet in Venice, Italy
7 – All’Arco for typical cicchetti

We stopped for cicchetti with Enrica at one of her favourite Venice hidden gems – All’Arco. This unpretentious place is so named because it’s located under a historic arch on a quiet back street. Cicchetti are Venetian tapas and the ones here are among the best you will find. It’s a very small trattoria so you can either stand at the counter or sit at one of the tables outside. Wash them down with a refreshing Aperol spritz.

All'Arco, a typical ciccheti bar in Venice, Italy
8 – A Rooftop Panoramic View

Venice has a new luxury department store, housed in a 13th century building that was the headquarters of the city’s German merchants. T Fondaco dei Tedeschi only opened in October yet has already secured many exclusive collaborations with leading luxury brands. It’s part of the DFS luxury retail group and their first European store. The building has been sympathetically redesigned by award-winning architect Rem Koolhaas to respect the original features. On the top floor, there is a fabulous panoramic view over Venice, that can be accessed by pre-booking with the in-store concierge.

Panoramic view from the rooftop of Fondaco dei Tedeschi luxury department store in Venice, Italy
9 – VizioVirtù Cioccolatieri

We’re going to finish our 10 unmissable Venice hidden gems with two sweet treats for you because that’s how we roll ;-). Firstly, VizioVirtù Cioccolatieri for art creations such as mini masks and spoons, all made from the finest chocolate. Owner Mariangela Penzo uses only the best ingredients and it shows. Try their Goldoni hot chocolate drink, with no milk or sugar.

Vizio Virtu - possibly the best chocolate shop in Venice, Italy
10 – SuSo Gelatoteca

It would be rude to come to Venice and not eat a gelato, and arguably the best in the city are at SuSo on Calle della Bissa. Not only is the lady working there really friendly, but their artisanal gelato are out of this world. They make their own cones and have some amazing flavours such as chocolate mixed with mango sorbet.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this round up of the top 10 unmissable Venice hidden gems and you may also like our guides to the best hidden gems in Rome and Paris. Read our new guide to 10 Venice off the beaten path attractions and let us know which is your favourite!
Which of these Venice sights is your favourite?

SuSo gelateria in Venice, Italy - love the flavours here!

  • Ellie Adams

    Venice has been at the top of my list for such a long time and this has absolutely convinced me that I need to go. So stunning! Love cicchetti too.


    • You will love it if you go, Elle – there’s something so special about the place

  • Aw this is such an interesting post, I’ve never heard about some of these. Thanks for sharing, good to know!

  • The chocolate places look fab! Venice must be full of hidden gems, there are so many interesting nooks to explore!

    • The chocolate shop is fantastic and the gelateria is also really good – both were hidden away and well worth seeking out

  • Paola

    Wow, I love pics and these pics are wonderful!!!
    Kisses, Paola.


    My Facebook

    My Instagram

    • I’m glad you like them, Paola – the rain came down on the last few days so photos were a challenge!

  • SuSo Gelatoteca looks like the perfect place to go for a sweet treat! My plans to visit Venice have fallen through this month, though I think I’ll be there in Spring now – I’ll be sure to keep your suggestions in mind! 🙂

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

    • Spring is probably a better time to visit, it was starting to rain quite heavily when we left

  • Venice is a wonderful city with many hidden gems. I only got to spend a day and a half there so I couldn’t squeeze everything in. I hope to head back some day.

  • Agness

    Oh, girl! Venice is on my bucket list and I can’t wait to make it there, seriously!!!

  • Beauty Candy LovesThese photos look amazing

    • Thanks very much, Candice, I’ve only visited once but it’s one of my favourite places to photograph

  • This is such a great post, especially for someone like me who’s never been to Venice, let alone Italy before! I’ve bookmarked this page because I’ll definitely be referencing it whenever a trip is planned. Thanks so much for sharing and I hope you have the best week ahead, beauty!



    • That’s very kind, Jalisa – and I hope that you make it to Venice because it is amazing! Greetings from Ireland, we’re on a quick trip and loving it

  • Great list!! Taking time out and going somewhere a little quieter is definitely needed when in Venice. The bridge without a parapet is making me feel dizzy just looking at it!! xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy

    • Ha ha, I walked across that bridge a few times, luckily it wasn’t raining or it would have been very slippy!

  • Venice is the most picture-perfect city in the world in my opinon <3

    The Fashion Matters- Travel & Fashion blog | Instagram: TheFashionMatters

  • alice

    Oh wow, so cool!!

    Alice Cerea

  • Venice is just one of the most beautiful cities! SuSo is definitely the place to eat the best gelato in Venice 🙂

    • I’m glad that you like SuSo too, Miriam – we did discover a few other places that looked good but I’ll try them on my next visit

  • Hayley Rubery

    Head to the “waterfront for a chocolate hazelnut Gianduiotto” – lady, say no more! You’ve sold Venice and it’s definitely on my travel bucket list now, what a beautiful post with some incredible pictures!

    Hayley xo

    • Ha ha, I’m glad that I’ve sold it to you Hayley – it’s every bit as lovely in real life as it looks in photos

  • Lucy

    Venice is beautiful and you have made it even more so. The chocolate and ice cream gets my vote but not so keen on the Aperol Spritz. The bridge is the perfect place to take photos not obscured Lucy x

    • You could always wash the ice cream down with a prosecco. As for the bridge, it’s off the beaten track and when we went it was raining so there were no tourists at all

  • Venice is such a lovely city. Great ideas for things to do Suze. You had me at gelato and all the foodie suggestions!

  • There are so many places that I haven’t seen in Venice. I have to go back one day…

  • I have read countless posts on Venice but none have ever mentioned about these places so thank you for another brilliant list. Will be sharing!

    Reflection of Sanity | b·liv Skincare Set Giveaway

  • Venice is packed full of fascinating gems – some new ones here for me though and I’ll definitely be checking that rooftop view next time I visit. Have you been to the Acqua Alta bookshop? It must be one of the quirkiest bookshops on the planet!

  • Yaya Gilmore

    Wow I love venice!Again this risotto looks incredible! I love your pics!