Venice FAQs

On this page we’ve collected questions about Venice we were repeatedly asked by visitors. If yours isn’t amongst them, do contact us here !

Why was Venice built in the middle of a Lagoon?

Venice wasn’t constructed in one day but developed gradually. Since Roman times, the Lagoon was settled and the Romans built villas in the Lagoon to fish and hunt. More people started arriving in the wetlands and on the islands from the 5th century AD and officials from Byzantium had been present in the Lagoon ever since.

Why does Venice still look like in the 15th century? 

Venetians had their own state, a Republic, from 421 – 1797. As a nation, they developed an architectural style of their own, mainly based on inspiration and ideas from the Levant. They also had to learn to build in a certain manner because constructing in a Lagoon on unstable ground required special techniques. What worked for 1,600 centuries is being continued to this day, no need the re-invent the wheel, so to say.

When should we come to Venice?

Come anytime, there’s no really unpleasant season with the exception for December and January. The light will be darkish and opaque though but we found that’s what many visitors love ! Any season of the year can be unstable, and Venice is known for brief yet hefty thunderstorms in summer. What you must expect, in particular between end-October and February, are bouts of exceptionally high tides (acqua alta). Summer, in particular August, can be very hot and humid, it wasn’t too hot in the last three years though.

Can I visit Venice during Acqua Alta (exceptionally high tides)?

If you have already arrived in Venice, you may find that you can’t reach certain areas in town for a couple of hours. Acqua alta usually doesn’t last longer than a few hours !! You might also need to walk on passerelle – wooden planks above the water. It may be trickier when you arrive in Venice during acqua alta. In that case you may find that you can’t go beyond Fondamente Nove because the San Zaccaria stop next to Piazza San Marco is flooded. Public transport usually works during acqua alta, but it may not reach all parts of Venice.

Does Venice have enough hotels to host her 25 million visitors a year?

In the very high season, for the Carnival weekends, during Biennale and regattas events, hotel rooms in town are short. Yet you could stay on the mainland (Mestre) or at the Cavallino peninsula near Iesolo in summer. You should find your perfect room if you book a few months ahead. That’s also important to take into account if you are planning to stay in Venice for longer than one week.

Which language is spoken in Venice?

Italian, of course, but also a dialect of the ancient language of Venice. This language is called Venessian, a Romance language just like Italian or Spanish are. This dialect is still spoken in families while all the street signs in Venice are written in Venessian. Our blog has a focus on this language and in our culinary ecourses (available from spring 2017), we will include material for you to learn the basics of our language.

What does Venetian fashion look like? Is there a special trend?

Venice has coined several fashion trends in the last few centuries. Lo scialle venessián – the Venetian black scarf is one example. Venice made extravagant shoes and exported them all over Europe for centuries. Today, it’s mostly jewellery and fashion made from lace,  silk and damask. There’s a special fashion style created here in Venice, perhaps intermingled with glass beads,  which you can embellish with other precious Venetian-made accessories. More articles on Venetian fashion will be available under the category “fashion” from spring 2017 on our Blog.

What’s the national Venetian dish?

It’s a sweet one, a fish one and a sweet-sour delicacy. The sweet pastry is fritole, the most ancient Venetian recipe we know of. Venetian merchants brought this recipe to Venice from Persia in the 12th century. Venetians adapted it, flavoring it in many delicious manners . You can taste your fritole during Carnival, on 21 November when the Festa della Salute takes place and on January 6.

The fish dish is baccalà. Venetian merchant Piero Querini brought stockfish to Venice in the 15th century and Venetians made a soft spuma (foam) from it which they called baccalà.

The sweet sour dish is sarde in saor, basically any fish flavored with sweet ingredients (raisins), pinoli and onions.

Do you have a question not answered here? We’d love to include your question in this list !! Contact us below and take a glimpse at our e-journey: Seven Steps to Discovering Venice here !!