The terrace at The Splendid Venice hotel.
The terrace at The Splendid Venice hotel.


The gondoliera’s tips to Venice

“Living in Venice is just like living in any other city – you go to the movies, exhibitions, and restaurants”, says Venice's first female gondolier, Alex Hai. Here are her best tips to the city.

Osteria Al Mascaron

This place is my life-saver restaurant – it’s beautiful, open late and has attentive waiters and good portions. The food is excellent. It’s a meeting place for artists, actors, and painters, and there’s live music. This place is even better in winter.


Palazzetto Pisani

A hidden gem with a different atmosphere. It’s a bit hidden away, but it overlooks the Palazzo Barbarigo, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Accademia Bridge. The food and prices are ok, but you really come here for the atmosphere. Also great in winter. Be sure to book ahead.


Le Maschere at the Splendid Venice hotel

Le Maschere

Le Maschere at the Splendid Venice hotel is a small, authentic restaurant that serves traditional dishes in an authentic local atmosphere. It has a lovely terrace and a typically Venetian courtyard. Excellent food and service.


San Giorgio

Take waterbus 2 to San Giorgio, a small island just south of St. Mark’s Square, which is home to a yacht club and a charming little café. There is also a church tower that is better to go up than the one in St. Mark’s Square, as it’s cheaper and has shorter lines. It also has a fantastic view of the city.


The view of the city from San Giorgio.


Giudecca is an island and a district on the south side of Venice. It’s the perfect place for boat lovers, with boatyards and a fantastic view across the lagoon. If it’s very hot in Venice, you will always find it a little bit cooler here. The Al Storico da Crea restaurant is highly recommended. The views of the south lagoon are amazing, and the traditional food and service are good.

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