Summer in Venice: Festivals, Food, and Unforgettable Experiences
May 25, 2023
Without a doubt, summer in Venice is incredible to experience. As it is the most popular time of year for tourists, the city is more alive and vibrant than ever, with diverse activities, festivals, and pop-up shops.
During the summer, however, it is important to plan your trip in advance since the city will be crowded and options decrease. For example, make reservations for hotels, restaurants, and tours, and buy museum tickets in advance. Once you have these practicalities sorted, here are some of the best things to do in summer in Venice, including the best festivals and delicious seasonal dishes.
Visiting Venice in late July? Don’t miss out on the fireworks during the Festa del Redentore. Photo credit: Gianni Torre
Venice summer activities: Festivals and things to do
Beach day on Lido Island
With the intense heat in Venice during the summer, many people choose to go to the beach. The perfect island for a beach day is the Lido. This island is famous for its beautiful beaches and relaxed atmosphere. It also offers the best amenities for a great day out.
Picnic on Sant Erasmo Island
As Venice doesn’t have much nature and vegetation, if you want to enjoy a picnic in the summer, Sant’Erasmo is your best bet. This island sports stunning natural landscapes, and is also where the primary vegetable crops are grown. You can enjoy a beautiful day on this island in the fresh air and taste delicious local food in the large green area.
Take a food tour of the market
There is nothing more refreshing for all the senses than a stroll in a local Venetian market. A food tour in the market is a mixture of flavors, smells, and colors that will make you enjoy a complete sensory experience. There you can immerse yourself in the daily life of Venetian locals, get to know the main products, and sample typical dishes.
Enjoy a gondola ride
Gondola rides are a year-round classic in Venice. During the summer, it is, however, much more pleasant since there is no rain, it is a way to withstand the heat, and you can observe the vibrant Venetian life from the water. But something to take into account is to book your tour well in advance as it is one of the most requested services during this season.
Celebrate Festa di San Piero di Casteo
If you are lucky enough to visit Venice during the last days of June and the first days of July, you will find one of the most important festivities of the city, La Festa di San Piero di Casteo. This is a religious festival celebrating San Pietro, the patron saint of Venice.
The celebration consists of different activities during these days, such as processions, masses, dances, music, art exhibitions, and food stalls, among many others that will make you know more about Venetian culture.
Take part in Festa del Redentore
The Festa del Redentore is one of the most important festivities for the Venetians, commemorating the end of the plague epidemic that occurred between 1575 and 1577. The celebration is during the third weekend of July with different activities such as crossing the temporary bridge that connects Venice with the island of Giudecca to reach the Chiesa del Redentore (Church of the Redeemer). The event is studded with fireworks, decorated boats, tasting of traditional food, and a variety of other festive outdoor activities.
Insider’s Tip: Find out more about the fascinating Venetian churches and how they tell the history of the city.
Must-try summer dishes in Venice
Sagra del pesce
An important part of Venice’s gastronomy during the summer is fish and seafood, so much so that there is La Sagra del Pesce (the fish festival). This fair is held every year in mid-July for 10 nights, where all visitors can taste several ways that Venetians cook fish and seafood dishes. During this festival, chefs prepare a wide variety of dishes, including fried fish, pickled anchovies, grilled fish, and many other delicacies of Venetian cuisine.
Sarde in saor
Sarde in saor is one of the most iconic dishes in Venetian cooking. It consists of marinated anchovies in vinaigrette mixed with onions, raisins, and pine nuts. An iconic local bite bite, they can be found around the city’s many bacari as a popular cicchetti.
Risi e bisi
June is one of the months in which to find fresh peas, so it is ideal for making – or trying – the beloved Venetian dish risi e bisi. Made with rice and fresh peas, this recipe is very similar to risotto in its consistency. However, in terms of preparation, it is quite different – and warrants a try!
Moléche is a species of soft crab that reaches their peak during the summer. After being cooked briefly, they are served in a sauce of vinegar, garlic, and parsley. If you are a seafood lover, add this to your to-try list.
When you visit Italy during the summer, no matter what city or region you are in, gelato is a must. So this is the ideal dessert to cool down during those hot summer days. You can find a lot of fantastic Venetian gelaterias serving up both classic and innovative flavors.
by Yareli ParraView more by Yareli ›
Book a Tour
Pristine Sistine - The Chapel at its Best
Premium Colosseum Tour with Roman Forum Palatine Hill
Rome Food Tour with Pizza-Making, Local Market Tastings
Crypts, Bones Catacombs: Underground Tour of Rome
VIP Doge's Palace Secret Passages Tour
Legendary Venice: St. Mark's Basilica, Terrace Doge's Palace