What It's Like to Live in Venice

What It's Like to Live in Venice

A famous Italian city, Venice is a well-loved destination for tourists on an Italian vacation. But a tourist trip to Venice will never quite capture what it’s like to actually live there. We’ve spent plenty of time in Venice, so we thought we’d paint a picture for you, detailing what it’s like to live in Venice for longer than a holiday.

A famous Italian city, Venice is a well-loved destination for tourists on an Italian vacation. From the gondolier rides along the Grand Canal, to historic buildings like the Doge Palace and the Bridge of Sighs, it’s easy to see why so many people fall head over heels for this wonderful place.

But a tourist trip to Venice will never quite capture what it’s like to actually live there. We’ve spent plenty of time in Venice, so we thought we’d paint a picture for you, detailing what it’s like to live in Venice for longer than a holiday. Experience Venice for yourself with our Venice in a Day tour!

A Chaotic City

The canals that divide up Venice make the city appear so picturesque, but this does present some problems for long-term residents. It’s hard to get around and with the volume of tourists to the city; Venice becomes extremely frustrating to travel in. The narrow lanes and streets quickly become overwhelmed with the millions of visitors the city attracts each year.

Crowds gather on the promenade at the Carnival of Venice.

There are currently only 60,000 year round residents of the city and this number is shrinking, too. The city itself, with its lovely old-world buildings is sinking, some say at a rate of around 8 inches every century. Venice is a city in constant transition and for locals, this can be a hard environment to live in.

A Museum City

Of course, those are some of the negatives. But there are plenty of positives. Firstly, there really is no place like Venice on earth. It’s the very definition of romance, a city, full of storied buildings and architecture, which seems to float on water. Secondly, with the sheer variety of culture and art, living in Venice all year round can seem attractive to say the least.

Venice, stunning both day and night.

Then there’s the real communal spirit in the more traditional and less touristy neighbourhoods like the eastern parts of Castello and the northern parts of Canareggio. The houses are smaller here so the residents often congregate in the streets outside their homes or in their local parks. Why not take our Saint Mark's Basilica After Hours tour and experience some of the formidable sights for yourself!

Locals eat Differently

On a vacation in Italy you’ll certainly give in to temptation and eat several course meals on more than one occasion. With such good food, it’d be impossible not to indulge!

But local Venetians eat differently to the stereotype of Italians. Many locals eat at pub/restaurants known as osterie, or at neighbourhood bars titled bacari. At these bars the tradition is to order your food and then eat it standing up at the bar. Locals will also eat a lunch of chicchetti, a Venetian version of tapas. This lunch varies but it often includes things like spicy meatballs and olives.

People enjoying food and drink at a bar on the Grand Canal in Venice.

The real Venice is rapidly fading. On an Italian vacation to the city you’ll struggle to see what it’s like to live in the city full time. But under the surface, away from the bright flashes of tourists’ cameras, it’s still there. If you look carefully, you’ll catch glimpses.

There are two sides to Venice. One is designed with tourists in mind. And then there’s the Venice locals experience. For them, the city is busy, slow, and difficult. The buildings are old and the water is rising. But that’s part of the romance, that’s part of the charm. Venice is Venice; there’s nowhere else like it.

If you’d like to see the real Venice, contact us and have a look at the tours we offer at Venice Events. Our tour guides will help you see past the mask; to the city the locals know and love.