Lined with palazzos and adorned with boats of every shape and size, Venice’s canals comprise one of the world’s most famous and romantic sights to see. Splendid buildings adorned in Gothic and Renaissance style line the waterfront, and if you know where to look, you can find a place where you can enjoy the view while you grab a bite or a glass of vino.
The Hotel Gritti is one of the few hotels that actually sits on the waters of the Grand Canal. Complete with waterfront entrance, the hotel also has a restaurant patio where meals are served from the Club del Doge restaurant during the warmer months. Don’t miss out on breakfast on the patio if you’re able to get here in the morning.
Lineadombra is another restaurant with a waterfront terrace, this one floating on the Giudecca canal. A warm summer evening spent here at sunset is a wonderful experience. The food makes for a nice accompaniment to the view, with modern takes on traditional Italian seafood dishes, but it can get expensive – especially if you opt for one of the many wines on the list that are priced at several hundred euros!
A spot that’s more distant from the tourist spots is Algiubagio, which overlooks the lagoon on the northern side of the city. The view of the cemetery island is spectacular, making this another great sunset spot in the warmer months. It can get cold on the water if it’s not summer, though, so dress accordingly! Food and wine are similarly expensive and high in quality here, with more delicious seafood preparations and good pasta and meat courses as well.
For a less expensive dining experience, try Osteria Bancogiro. Outdoor seating in summer brings lovely views of the Grand Canal, but only a partial canal view can be seen during fall and winter. Luckily the interior has plenty of its own classic Venetian charm, so it’s worth a visit any time. Be sure to make a reservation, since this place is well-known for its view and delicious food at great value. More of the regional seafood dishes are on the menu here, too, but they’re executed just as well or better than more touristy places and at a fraction of the price. Values can be found on the wine list, too, so don’t miss out on trying a chianti or prosecco to complement your meal.
[photo courtesy of gnuckx]