Venice Car Hire the city of canals

Considered one of the most spectacular and visited cities in the world, Venice is a unique destination that presents itself to visitors as an intricate labyrinth of “calli” (narrow streets), squares and canals overlooked by majestic monuments, stately palazzos and ancient churches.

Capital of the Serenissima Republic of Venice, the city has played a major role in Italian and European history and has earned a number of nicknames that underline its importance; “La Serenissima”, “La Dominate” and “La Regina dell’Adriatico” are the names that best summarise its grandeur.

Venice, the capital of Veneto, has always been one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy, thanks to its beautiful artistic treasures, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its most hidden and unusual places, which reveal the city’s most authentic soul.

Holidays in Venice: the attractions of the city centre

The historic centre of Venice cannot be visited by car, but a car will be very useful for reaching the areas surrounding the city.

Our advice is therefore to head to Maggiore’s car rental offices at Marco Polo Airport or Mestre and to park the car in Piazzale Roma or near Ponte Libertà and then move around Venice by public transport, choosing between water taxi, vaporetto or ferry.

Once in the centre, start your visit from the spectacular St Mark’s Square, the heart of the Serenissima, which is dominated by some of Venice’s most famous monuments such as the magnificent St Mark’s Basilica, decorated with mosaics that narrate the history of the city, St Mark’s Campanile, a 99-metre-high bell tower that the Venetians affectionately call “El Paron de Casa” (Lord of the House), and Doge’s Palace, connected to the Basilica by the Porta della Carta and part of the city’s Civic Museums.

Not to be missed are the 4-km long Grand Canal, the “Canalasco” which crosses the city offering an absolutely unique perspective on the beautiful attractions of the city, the Bridge of Sighs and the Bridge of Rialto, the most famous of the 354 city bridges, the Basilica dei Frari, the largest in the city, and the Church of the Redentore, located on the island of Giudecca and designed by Andrea Palladio.

Among the things to see in Venice are the stupendous aristocratic palazzos, the most famous of which are Palazzo Fortuny in the San Marco district, Palazzo Grassi, overlooking the Grand Canal, and the Renaissance Palazzo Grimani near the Rialto Bridge, to which must be added the numerous private residences that have kept the ancient name of Ca’.

Don’t miss Ca’ Corner, a Renaissance palazzo designed by Jacopo Sansovino, Ca’ Pesaro in the Santa Croce district, Ca’ Dario, a palazzo in the Dorsoduro district known as the “palazzo maledetto” (cursed palazzo) due to the tragic fate of many of its owners, and Ca’ Foscari, Gothic-style palazzo that now houses the university of the same name. 

Also worth visiting in the Venetian capital are its magnificent museums such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, housed in Palazzo Venier dei Leoni and considered one of the most important modern art museums in the world, the Gallerie dell’Accademia, considered the most important gallery of Venetian painting in the world, the Ca’ Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art and the Ca’ Pesaro Museum of Eastern Art, both located in the historical Palazzo Ca’ Pesaro, the Museum of the 18th century, housed in Palazzo Ca’Rezzoni and covering 4 floors, and the Museum of Natural History set up inside Palazzo del Fontego dei Turchi.

Your list of places to see in Venice must also include the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, a historic building located in the San Paolo district and known for the beautiful frescoes painted by Tintoretto between 1564 and 1588 that have earned it the nickname of the “Sistine Chapel of Venice”, the Gran Teatro La Fenice, one of the most prestigious theatres in the world, the Carlo Goldoni Theatre inaugurated in 1622, and the Jewish Ghetto, located near Cannaregio station and considered the oldest in Europe.

Other things to do in the city include a trip to the three main islands of the lagoon, namely Murano, Burano and Torcello, a tour of the Rialto market, a stop at the Libreria Acqua Alta or one of the city’s historic cafes such as Caffè Florian which opened in 1720, the Gran Caffè Quadri which opened in 1775 and Harry’s Bar declared a national heritage site.

Venice is also home to many important events: don’t miss the famous Carnival, the Film Festival or the Biennale.


Around Venice: what to see

There are plenty of things to see and do in Venice, but we suggest you don’t miss out on a tour of the attractions in the surrounding area.

Take the car and drive the 20 km that separate you from Mirano, a town surrounded by greenery considered the “Park of Venice” and home to no less than 79 patrician villas, including the beautiful Villa Belvedere and its extraordinary park. Then head for Noale, a fortified town where you should not miss the 12th-century Rocca dei Tempesta, the Castle with the Clock Tower and Bell Tower and the 16th-century Church of the Assumption.

From Noale, it takes about 50 minutes to reach Portogruaro, an elegant town in the Adriatic hinterland known as the “City of Porticoes”, where, in addition to the numerous Venetian-style buildings, bridges and canals, you can also admire the famous mills on the Lemene river, and then continue on to Salzano, part of the territory of the seven municipalities of Miranese, where you can visit Villa Donà Romanin-Jacur and the Romantic Park before treating yourself to a few hours of relaxation at the town’s renowned spa.

There are many other things to see near Venice, such as the beautiful Roncade Castle, the elegant Villa d’Aglio, “La Marignana”, in Mogliano Veneto, the Cathedral of Santo Stefano Protomartire in Concordia Sagittaria and the characteristic town of Mestre where you can admire places of great interest such as the Duomo of San Lorenzo, the Clock Tower and Palazzo del Re.

Venice and its surrounding areas allow you to spend a holiday dedicated to art, history and nature, evoking intense and unforgettable emotions.