Jan 02, 2024

By Goodnight Staff

15 Natural Attractions In and Around Venice

Venice, a city renowned for its intricate waterways and rich history, is surrounded by many natural attractions that offer a serene contrast to its bustling canals and alleyways. From the tranquil lagoon islands to lush parks and gardens, the area around Venice is a treasure trove of natural beauty.

These hidden gems provide a peaceful escape and showcase the diverse landscapes of the Veneto region. This article explores 15 natural attractions in and around Venice, each offering a unique glimpse into the serene and picturesque environment that complements the city's vibrant cultural tapestry.

1. Canal Grande

The Canal Grande, or Grand Canal, is the pulsating heart of Venice, Italy, famed for its stunning architecture and historical significance. This central water-traffic corridor snakes through the city in a large S-shape, flowing between the lagoon near the Santa Lucia railway station and the basin at San Marco.

Dotted with more than 170 buildings from the 13th to the 18th century, the canal reflects the affluence and artistry of the Republic of Venice.

Gliding along the Canal Grande on a Vaporetto or gondola, you're treated to a living gallery of Venetian history and culture. Magnificent palaces and churches flank the canal, showcasing various architectural styles, from Byzantine to Baroque.

Notable structures include the Palazzo Barbaro, Ca' d'Oro, and the baroque Santa Maria della Salute church, standing majestically at the canal's mouth. This grand waterway, bustling with gondolas, water taxis, and small boats, is not just a tourist attraction but a vital artery of the city, offering an unparalleled perspective on the timeless allure of Venice.

2. Laguna di Venezia

The Laguna di Venezia, or the Venice Lagoon, is an enchanting blend of natural wonders and cultural heritage, crafting an integral part of the city's unique landscape. This enclosed bay of the Adriatic Sea in northeastern Italy covers an expanse of approximately 550 square kilometers, making it one of the most extensive wetlands in the Mediterranean.

The lagoon has numerous small islands, each with charm and history, contributing to the area's rich biodiversity and cultural significance.

A journey through the Venice Lagoon offers a serene escape from the bustling city streets, revealing Venetian life's quieter, more contemplative side. The lagoon's shallow waters are home to diverse flora and fauna, creating a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.

Murano and Burano stand out for their colorful houses and traditional crafts among their many islands. Exploring the lagoon, whether by boat or along its gentle shores, provides a unique opportunity to witness the harmonious coexistence of human and natural worlds, a testament to Venice's enduring allure.

3. San Michele

San Michele, often called the Island of the Dead, is a unique and serene location in the Venice Lagoon. This small island has been Venice's main cemetery since the early 19th century and is known for its tranquil atmosphere and beautiful architecture. The island, separated from Venice by a narrow canal, offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city.

Visiting San Michele provides a reflective and poignant experience. The cemetery is adorned with elegant cypress trees and features an array of ornate tombs and mausoleums, reflecting the rich history and diverse cultures of those laid to rest here. Notable figures, including composer Igor Stravinsky and poet Ezra Pound, are buried on the island.

The combination of its historical significance, architectural beauty, and the serenity of its gardens makes San Michele a uniquely contemplative natural attraction near Venice.

4. Riva degli Schiavoni

Riva degli Schiavoni, a picturesque promenade in Venice, is a vibrant and scenic spot that presents a unique mix of natural beauty and historical charm. Stretching along the waterfront, this bustling walkway provides stunning views of the Venetian Lagoon, making it a favorite for locals and tourists.

The Riva starts from the Doge's Palace, winding its way along the coast, and is lined with historic buildings, charming cafes, and lively street vendors.

As you stroll along Riva degli Schiavoni, you're treated to a panoramic view of the lagoon's shimmering waters, with gondolas and vaporettos gliding by. The promenade is also a fantastic spot to witness the magical Venetian sunsets, with the sky and water merging in various colors.

5. Giardini della Biennale

Giardini della Biennale, nestled in the heart of Venice, is a serene oasis that contrasts the bustling city streets. Known for hosting the prestigious Venice Biennale, these gardens are not just a cultural hub but also a tranquil retreat.

Spanning over a large area, the gardens are a harmonious blend of art, nature, and architecture, offering a peaceful escape amidst lush greenery and shaded walkways.

The gardens are beautifully landscaped, featuring different flowers, plants, and trees, creating a picturesque setting. Visitors can enjoy strolls along the paths, relax on benches under the shade of trees, or admire the numerous national pavilions that dot the landscape.

Each pavilion, representing different countries, adds a unique architectural element to the gardens. The Giardini della Biennale is a perfect spot for those seeking a natural respite within the city, offering a chance to enjoy the beauty of nature and the allure of art in one place.

6. San Francesco del Deserto

San Francesco del Deserto, a serene and lesser-known gem near Venice, is an island that creates a unique mix of natural beauty and spiritual tranquility. This small island, nestled in the Venetian Lagoon, is renowned for its historic Franciscan monastery dating back to the 13th century.

The island's name, translating to 'Saint Francis of the Desert,' commemorates Saint Francis of Assisi's visit, adding a layer of historical and spiritual significance.

The natural surroundings of San Francesco del Deserto are as captivating as its history. The island is adorned with lush gardens, well-manicured pathways, and an atmosphere of peace permeating every corner. Visitors can explore the monastery, learn about its rich history, and enjoy the island's tranquility.

7. Isola di Sant'Erasmo

Isola di Sant'Erasmo, often called the "Garden of Venice," is a tranquil escape from the bustling city, offering a unique glimpse into the rural side of Venetian life. This relatively large island in the Venetian Lagoon is known for its fertile soil, making it an agricultural haven where local farmers cultivate a variety of produce, including the famous Sant'Erasmo artichokes, known for their tender texture and unique flavor.

The island's landscape is a picturesque blend of sprawling fields, vineyards, and orchards, crisscrossed by serene canals and dotted with colorful farmhouses. Visitors to Isola di Sant'Erasmo can enjoy leisurely bike rides or walks along its quiet paths, immersing themselves in the peaceful, natural environment.

The island also offers stunning views of the lagoon and the distant outline of Venice, making it a picture-perfect spot for photographers and nature lovers. Its rustic charm and agricultural heritage contrast Venice's grandeur, making it a must-visit for those exploring the natural beauty around the city.

8. Giardini Reali

Giardini Reali, nestled in the heart of Venice near St. Mark's Square, is a hidden gem that offers a serene escape from the city's bustling tourist hubs. This historic garden, dating back to the Napoleonic era, is a testament to Venice's rich cultural and botanical heritage.

Recently restored to its former glory, the Giardini Reali features a variety of lush, meticulously maintained plant life, creating a tranquil green oasis amidst the city's iconic canals and architecture.

Visitors to the Giardini Reali are greeted with elegantly landscaped paths shaded by various trees and surrounded by vibrant flower beds. The garden's layout, with its classic Italian style, provides a peaceful setting for relaxation and contemplation. It's a perfect spot for a stroll, offering a picturesque view of the Grand Canal.

9. Parco delle Rimembranze

Parco delle Rimembranze, located in the enchanting city of Venice, is a beautiful and poignant tribute to those who lost their lives during World War II. Often overlooked by the typical tourist itinerary, this park offers a peaceful respite from the bustling city streets, making it a cherished spot for locals and visitors seeking tranquility.

The park's lush greenery, interspersed with statues and memorials, creates a serene and reflective atmosphere. Its well-maintained paths are ideal for strolls, jogging, or simply sitting and enjoying the calm surroundings.

The park provides breathtaking views of the Venetian lagoon, adding to its allure. Parco delle Rimembranze is not just a natural haven but also a place of historical significance, making it a unique and meaningful destination for those exploring the natural beauty around Venice.

10. Giardini Papadopoli

Giardini Papadopoli, nestled in the heart of Venice, is a charming and often overlooked gem. This tranquil park, named after the wealthy Greek Papadopoli brothers who once owned the land, provides a lush green oasis amidst the city's historic canals and architecture.

The gardens are beautifully landscaped, featuring many plants and trees, creating a magical setting for a peaceful walk or a quiet moment of reflection. Benches scattered throughout the park offer spots to relax and enjoy the peaceful ambiance.

Giardini Papadopoli's proximity to the Piazzale Roma and Santa Lucia railway station makes it easily accessible, yet it remains a tranquil haven, often missed by the tourist crowds. This hidden green space in Venice is a delightful retreat for those seeking calm and natural beauty.

11. Palazzo Nani Bernardo

Palazzo Nani Bernardo, standing elegantly along the Dorsoduro district's canals in Venice, is not just a testament to Venetian architecture but also a symbol of the city's rich history and culture.

This grand palace, dating back to the 16th century, showcases the splendor of Renaissance architecture. Its façade, adorned with intricate stonework and classical motifs, reflects the artistic and architectural prowess of the era.

The palazzo's interiors are equally impressive, with lavish decorations and artworks that speak volumes of its past glory. While not a natural attraction in the traditional sense, the Palazzo Nani Bernardo complements Venice's wild beauty with its artificial elegance.

Its location by the canal offers a picturesque view, blending the architectural marvel with the serene waters, making it a unique point of interest for those exploring Venice's natural and cultural landscapes.

12. Isola del Lazzaretto Nuovo

Isola del Lazzaretto Nuovo, nestled in the Venetian Lagoon, is a hidden gem with a fascinating history. Originally established as a quarantine station for ships arriving in Venice in the 15th century, it was crucial in protecting the city from the spread of plagues.

This small island, though less frequented by tourists, offers a unique insight into Venice's efforts to combat historical pandemics, a topic that resonates deeply in today's world.

Today, Isola del Lazzaretto Nuovo is an intriguing mix of history and nature. The remnants of its past, including the old quarantine buildings and archaeological findings, provide a haunting yet educational experience. Surrounded by the lagoon's tranquil waters, the island also offers a peaceful escape from the bustling city.

13. Giardini Savorgnan

Giardini Savorgnan, a serene oasis in the heart of Venice, offers a delightful retreat from the city's bustling streets and canals. Tucked away in the Cannaregio district, this hidden garden is a testament to Venice's ability to preserve green spaces amidst its historic urban landscape.

The garden, originally part of the Savorgnan family estate, showcases a variety of lush vegetation, creating a tranquil and picturesque setting.

Visitors to Giardini Savorgnan are greeted with a charming array of flora, including shaded pathways lined with ancient trees, vibrant flower beds, and manicured lawns. This peaceful haven is ideal for those seeking relaxation or a quiet stroll.

The garden's intimate atmosphere and natural beauty make it a perfect spot for contemplation and escape, uniquely contrasting the grandeur of Venice's more famous landmarks. Its understated charm is a reminder of the city's diverse and multifaceted appeal.

14. Riva del Carbon

Riva del Carbon, nestled along the Grand Canal in Venice, is a picturesque and historically significant location. This charming area, known for its traditional Venetian architecture and bustling atmosphere, offers a glimpse into the city's rich maritime history.

The name "Riva del Carbon" refers to when this area was a key hub for the unloading and storage of coal, playing a crucial role in the city's trade and industry.

Today, Riva del Carbon is a vibrant spot where visitors gather to enjoy the scenic views of the Grand Canal. The area is lined with elegant buildings, reflecting the grandeur of Venetian architecture, and is often bustling with gondolas and water taxis.

It's a perfect place for a stroll, offering an opportunity to soak in the unique charm of Venice with its intertwining canals and historic ambiance. The Riva del Carbon is a testament to Venice's enduring allure, blending its historical significance with the city's lively spirit.

15. Parco della Certosa

Parco della Certosa, a serene oasis in the Venetian lagoon, offers a tranquil escape from the bustling streets of Venice. This park, located on the island of La Certosa, blends natural beauty and historical significance.

Once home to a monastery, the island has been transformed into a green haven, providing a peaceful retreat for locals and tourists. The park's lush greenery, meandering pathways, and diverse flora create a perfect setting for leisurely walks or picnics.

Visitors to Parco della Certosa can enjoy various outdoor activities, including bird watching, as the park is a habitat for numerous bird species. The island also offers sailing and other water sports facilities, making it a unique destination for those looking to combine relaxation with recreational activities.

Sign up for updates on our hotel meta-price comparison tool!

We’re excited to be working on helping you find the best hotel deals. Stay tuned.