10 Things to Do in Venice in the summer

One of the best times to travel to Venice is the summer season, when the city shines in all its splendor and offers its visitors a wide range of activities.

Joaquín Montaño

Joaquín Montaño

12 min read

10 Things to Do in Venice in the summer

Beach in Venice | ©Mark Haynes

The City of Canals is one of the most visited tourist destinations on the planet. The attractions offered by Venice are not only in its monuments, churches and palaces, as the city itself, with its canals and bridges, is an attraction for all those looking for a destination to enjoy several days.

The Venetian summer is usually hot and, in addition, the city is full of tourists. Despite these drawbacks, no one doubts that it is an essential visit, since it is at this time when it celebrates its most striking festivals and activities. In addition, it is the best time to enjoy the night, especially taking a romantic gondola ride under the stars.

1. Take a romantic night walk along the canals of Venice

Venice by Night| ©Luca Sartoni
Venice by Night| ©Luca Sartoni

If a gondola ride during the day is already an incredible experience, imagine being able to do it at night, with the buildings and bridges dimly lit all around you. This activity, which the cold of winter in Venice would not allow, is highly recommended if you travel in summer. So don't hesitate to book a gondola ride in Venice.

Once it gets dark, the seasonal heat begins to descend and it is the best time for interesting activities. Among them, especially if you are traveling as a couple, is to take a walk along the canals of the city of Venice and enjoy the reflections that the lights leave on the water.

In addition, the night is the ideal time to visit the less frequented canals, as well as areas away from the center. If you can, ask the gondolier to pass under the Bridge of Sighs as he takes you on this wonderful journey.

Book a gondola ride in Venice

2. Look out for the stars of the Venice International Film Festival.

At the Film Festival| ©Igor Filippov
At the Film Festival| ©Igor Filippov

If there's one event (besides the carnival) that rivals Venice' s finest landmarks in terms of appeal to locals and visitors alike it's the famous film festival. Actually, most who come to the Lido, where it is held, do so in the hope of seeing one of the international stars that attend each year, but that alone is enough of a lure to draw you in.

The Venice Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world and is usually held in the first week of September. As I mentioned, the venue is located on the island of Lido and one of its main attractions is to see the actors and actresses arrive in gondolas to present their films, without forgetting, of course, the walk down the red carpet.

Keep in mind that there are many people who try to see these moments, so if you do not want to stay in the fifth row you should arrive early. Of course, you can also attend some of the screenings as an audience. You just have to buy tickets for those that are not specifically for journalists.

3. Experience the Venetian night at the bacari and on the terraces

Viewpoint of T Fondaco dei Tedeschi| ©LVMH
Viewpoint of T Fondaco dei Tedeschi| ©LVMH

Summer is the best time of the year to enjoy the Venetian night. There are two types of venues that star these nights: the bacari and the terraces of some buildings.

If you are looking for a familiar and popular atmosphere, the bacari are for you. These are the typical Venetian taverns, with few seats and a long counter. The most popular are those in the San Polo and Cannaregio districts. It is usual to order a glass of wine or a spritz, the most appreciated aperitif by the locals. To accompany the drink, nothing better than the popular cicchetti, the Italian version of tapas. Among other specialties, I recommend:

The terraces are another alternative to have a drink. The main advantage, which is not little, are the wonderful views that you will enjoy. Of course, the price is usually much higher, as they usually belong to luxury hotels such as the Danieli. Another interesting option is to book a gastronomic tour of Venice in which you will discover all the secrets of Venetian culinary history.

Book a gastronomic tour of Venice

4. Say goodbye to summer with the Sagra del Pesce and the Regata di Burano.

At the Sagra del Pesce| ©Carlo M
At the Sagra del Pesce| ©Carlo M

The best place to say goodbye to the Venetian summer is on a nearby island famous for its textile works: Burano. So don't hesitate to book an excursion to Burano. Two highly recommended events take place there during the third week of September, not to mention that the island itself is a must-see for those traveling to Venice.

  • Regata di Burano: The regatta has similar characteristics to the Regata Storica. Men and women participate in it with different types of boats. Thousands of Venetians come to cheer on the participants, as do tourists in the area.
  • Sagra del Pesce It is held simultaneously with the regatta and is a festival dedicated to fish. Numerous stalls are set up on the island selling fried fish, always accompanied by a good white wine.

The inhabitants of Burano, Venetians and tourists join in the celebration and enjoy the fish dishes among the characteristic colorful houses of the island.

Book an excursion to Burano

5. Enjoy Venetian gelato in the summer heat


If Italy is the land of gelato, or rather gelato, Venice is the capital of gelato. During the hot summer days you should never miss tasting one of its varieties.

It is said that, after a time when it lost its popularity, gelato regained its splendor when the Venetian merchant Marco Polo returned from his trip to China. The route opened by Polo brought to Venice a number of gelato recipes that fascinated the city's nobility and from there spread to the rest of Italy. Today, Venice has a large number of ice cream parlors where you will find all kinds of flavors. Among the most outstanding are the following:

  • Bacaro del Gelato: offers totally handmade ice cream at a very affordable price. One of the most popular flavors is chocolate and pistachio.
  • Suso: located very close to the Rialto, in this place you will find ice creams with very original flavors and with Venetian names such as Opera or Bellini.
  • La Mela Verde: located not far from St. Mark's Square, La Mela Verde offers a good variety of flavors, all handmade.
  • Gelato Fantasy: some consider it the best ice cream parlor in town. Its most popular ice cream is the pistachio cremino, although the gianduiotto cup, a Venetian specialty, is not far behind.

Also, if you book a gastronomic tour of Venice and have the opportunity to try them, don't hesitate to do so.

Book a food tour in Venice

6. Relax on one of Venice's beaches.

Venice beach| ©Linus Henning
Venice beach| ©Linus Henning

Touring Venice in summer, with the crowds of tourists and the lines to get into St. Mark's Basilica or the Doge's Palace can be exhausting. The solution is to dedicate a morning or afternoon to relaxing on one of the beaches near the city.

The best known are those located on the island of Lido, which you can reach by vaporetto. To do so, book a Venice transport pass and you can get there at no extra cost. These beaches were chosen by the European bourgeoisie to spend the summer and today are considered the best in the area. The beaches of the Lido are of fine sand and the landscapes are quite beautiful and picturesque. Of course, the influx in July and August is usually quite high.

Those who prefer to escape from the crowds (although only a little) can choose the beaches located on other islands, such as Jesolo, Eraclea or Cavallino. The best rated is Jesolo, where you can also visit its beautiful lighthouse.

Book a Venice transport pass

7. Don't miss the great spectacle of La Regata Storica

The Regata Storica| ©Dimitris Kamaras
The Regata Storica| ©Dimitris Kamaras

The Regata Storica is one of the most exciting and engaging events of the Venetian summer for locals and visitors alike. If you are in Venice during its celebration, stop what you are doing and don't miss the colorful procession and the excitement of the competitions. If you can, try to get a spot in the stands that are set up overlooking the Rialto Bridge.

This regatta (regattas actually) is a tribute to the city's dependence on the waterways that form many of its streets. It usually takes place on the first Sunday in September and the four races involve different types of boats, including gondolas.

Many of the participants, especially the gondoliers, dress up in period costumes to make their way along Venice's Grand Canal. Both the pre-race parade and the races themselves are accompanied by musical performances, traditional food and drink, especially wine.

Book a gondola ride in Venice

8. Join the Festa del Redentore, the most important festival of the summer.

Festa del Redentore Fireworks Festival| ©Karen C
Festa del Redentore Fireworks Festival| ©Karen C

On the third weekend of July, Venice celebrates the most important festival of the summer, with activities that extend into the following days: the Feast of the Redentore, which in addition to its religious aspect, offers locals and visitors a fantastic fireworks display, dancing, traditional food and three regattas of typical Venetian boats.

This festival has been celebrated for five centuries and commemorates the end of the terrible plague epidemic that ravaged the city between 1575 and 1577. At the end of it, when a third of the inhabitants of Venice had died, the church of the Redeemer was built on the island of Giudecca, located in front of the city.

Venetians begin preparing for the festivities as early as Saturday afternoon. First they ride their boats decorated with colored lights and lanterns and with little tables for eating. The atmosphere on the water is festive, with music, food and singing. Although it won't be easy, you may find someone who will agree to put you on their boat to actively participate. And if not, large tables are set up along the banks of the canals (especially on the Giudecca Canal) where traditional dishes are served for dinner.


After this, thousands of people try to place themselves in the best possible spot to watch the fireworks display. Keep in mind that it is difficult to find a good spot, as many people wait there standing for a couple of hours. The fireworks, finally, usually start around 23:30 and last for no less than 45 minutes.

The launches take place from the island of Giudecca, which makes the shapes and lights of the fires reflect beautifully on the water. The feeling is that the whole bay is illuminated during that time.

The party, after the fireworks, continues on the Lido (another island you must visit), with dancing and music until dawn. In the morning, the Regatta of the Redeemer takes place, in which a large number of typical boats participate.

Book a gondola ride in Venice

9. Take part in the millenary history of the festa di San Piero in Casteo

Festa di San Piero of Casteo| ©Argomenti
Festa di San Piero of Casteo| ©Argomenti

One of the most historic celebrations in Venice is the Festa di San Piero of Casteo. Not only will you be able to participate in this ancient tradition, but you will also enjoy live music and stalls offering typical Venetian dishes.

The event takes place for several consecutive days at the end of June (although sometimes it can reach the first days of July). It has a religious origin and, in fact, begins with a mass in St. Peter's Basilica officiated by the Patriarch of the city himself. After that mass, a procession takes place along the water coming out of the San Giuseppe canal and the fishermen of the city offer the so-called piscatore ring to the Patriarch.

Most of the activities take place in front of the Basilica of San Pietro, located in the district (sestiere) of Castello, east of the historic center. You can reach it on foot or with one of the Venetian vaporettos that come to the area.

10. Go to the summer cinema in Arena di Campo San Polo

Cinema in Campo San Polo| ©Martin Pettitt
Cinema in Campo San Polo| ©Martin Pettitt

Going to a summer cinema is, for many, a way to go back to childhood. If, moreover, you can do it in a city like Venice, the sensations will multiply. The Cinema Arena Campo San Polo is the ideal place to experience a few hours of cinema, socializing and meeting people in the City of Canals.

The venue where the screenings take place is located in Campo San Polo, in the San Polo district. It is an open-air cinema with a long history in the city and only operates between the end of July and the last days of August in Venice.

The screen of the open-air cinema is the largest in the city and usually shows reruns of the year's top-grossing films. Occasionally, however, you may find a new release. Although the experience is worthwhile even if you don't know Italian, some of these movies are shown in the original version.

Weather in Venice in summer

Packing| ©Craig Adderley
Packing| ©Craig Adderley

Summer in Venice is usually quite hot and humid. At its onset in late June, there can be bouts of rain, but precipitation decreases as the season progresses. Temperatures often exceed 30 degrees Celsius. In any case, don't forget to check the weather forecast shortly before your trip to make it more reliable.

  • June
  • Last days of the month
  • High 27ºC
  • Low 16ºC
  • Rain: 7 days of the month
  • July
  • Full month
  • Maximum 30ºC
  • Low 19ºC
  • Rain: 5 days
  • August
  • Full month
  • High 29ºC
  • Low 18ºC
  • Rain: 5 days
  • September
  • First three weeks
  • Maximum 25ºC
  • Low 14ºC
  • Rain: 5 days

Is there a dress code for churches?

Inside St. Mark's Basilica| ©Michael Vadon
Inside St. Mark's Basilica| ©Michael Vadon

It is common knowledge that tourists visiting the Vatican must follow certain dress code rules, but is this also the case in Venetian churches?

In principle, most churches do not set any obligation in this regard, although it can always happen that they tell you something. Where this happens most often is in St. Mark's Basilica. There you will most likely be asked to cover your legs and shoulders and, in fact, there is usually a stall where they sell brown cloth for you to wear as a scarf or sarong.

Book your ticket for the Doge's Palace

Advantages and disadvantages of traveling to Venice in summer

Gondolas in Venice| ©Pedro Szekely
Gondolas in Venice| ©Pedro Szekely

Venice' s attractions make it a city that is always worth visiting. But, even so, each season has its advantages and disadvantages.

Unlike Venice in winter, the pros of traveling to this city in summer are the following:

  • More hours of sunshine: not only does it rain much less, but there are many hours of daylight and, therefore, you can lengthen the tours.
  • You can go to the beach: Venice is not usually considered a beach destination, but if you can not go without lying on the sand and take a dip you will find several beaches on the nearby islands.
  • More atmosphere: the city's bars start to fill up when the evening falls. It is the time to have a snack on the terraces and enjoy the music that enlivens the evening.

On the other hand, you will also find some inconveniences if you travel in summer:

  • The heat during the day: the Venetian summer always leaves some days of excessive heat. The humidity, moreover, does not help to make the atmosphere pleasant.
  • Higher prices: as it is high season, the prices of flights and accommodations go up quite a bit. My advice is to try to book well in advance.
  • Large influx of tourists: the city is full of visitors during the summer months. The visits will not be as comfortable as you would like and there are long queues to get into the most popular places.

Book a guided tour of Venice