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Venice unmasked:

Where meetings are more than a masterpiece



January 31, 2024

Nestled in the heart of northern Italy, Venice is a city like no other, renowned for its romantic canals, historic architecture, and vibrant culture. Beyond its reputation as a tourist destination – Venice’s history, art and architecture attracts an estimated 20 million visitors every year – this UNESCO World Heritage site has emerged as a unique and enchanting location for meetings and events. Its charm, exquisite venues, iconic sites, and celebrations make it easy to see why.

Venetian venues

Venice Grand CanalVenice boasts a host of venues that seamlessly blend historical grandeur with modern amenities. For an intimate corporate gathering or a lavish event, consider the Palazzo Pisani Moretta. This 16th-century palace along the Grand Canal offers opulent meeting spaces and breathtaking views, creating an unforgettable atmosphere. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, a modern art museum housed in an 18th-century palace, provides a sophisticated backdrop for events with a touch of cultural flair.

Another noteworthy venue is the Venice Convention Center – home of the Venice International Film Festival - strategically found on the lagoon, offering state-of-the-art facilities and a range of meeting spaces to accommodate various needs. The proximity of these venues to iconic sites ensures an immersive experience for attendees.

Iconic sites

Venice - San Marco square, Basilique and CampanileVenice's unique charm lies in its timeless beauty, making every event an unforgettable experience. Plan a gondola ride through the picturesque canals, allowing attendees to absorb the city's romance and mystique. The Piazza San Marco, surrounded by architectural masterpieces like the Basilica di San Marco and the Campanile, provides a majestic setting for outdoor events.

For a taste of history, the Doge's Palace offers guided tours that transport visitors back to the days of Venetian republics. The Rialto Bridge, a symbol of Venice, offers a stunning backdrop for events and is easily accessible from many venues.

Nestled along the eastern edge of the enchanting city of Venice, the Lido is a slender strip of land that serves as a captivating retreat for both locals and visitors. Renowned for its pristine beaches, the Lido offers a refreshing escape from the bustling canals and historic architecture of Venice. With its charming promenades, upscale boutiques, and inviting cafes, the Lido provides a relaxed and picturesque setting. Beyond its idyllic shores, the Lido is also home to the historic Venice Film Festival, adding a touch of glamour to its serene ambiance. Unlike the rest of Venice, there are a limited number of cars, buses and scooters on the island.

Getting there

Venice is well-connected, ensuring smooth travel for event attendees. The Marco Polo Airport, found on the mainland, serves as the main gateway. From there, water taxis and ferries provide a scenic journey to the heart of the city. The efficient vaporetto (water bus) system and the iconic water taxis offer convenient transportation within Venice.

Additionally, the Santa Lucia train station connects Venice to major Italian cities, making it easily accessible for attendees arriving by rail. The city's pedestrian-friendly layout allows for seamless navigation between venues and attractions.

Venice, with its romantic canals, historic architecture, and vibrant culture, offers a myriad of activities for groups of all interests.

  • Gondola ride: Experience the magic of Venice with a traditional gondola ride through its iconic canals. Consider hiring a private gondolier for a personalized tour or join a shared ride for a more budget-friendly option.
  • Venetian cooking class: Immerse your group in the culinary delights of Venice by taking a cooking class. Learn to prepare traditional Venetian dishes such as risotto, cicchetti (small tapas-style dishes), or tiramisu.
  • Venice - Rialto BridgeHistorical walking tour: Explore the rich history of Venice with a guided walking tour. Visit landmarks like St. Mark's Basilica, the Doge's Palace, and the Rialto Bridge while learning about the city's fascinating past.
  • Island hopping: Take a boat trip to the nearby islands of Murano and Burano. Murano is renowned for its glass-blowing workshops, while Burano is famous for its colorful houses and handmade lace.
  • Wine tasting: Discover the wines of the Veneto region through a wine tasting experience. Visit local wine bars, known as bacari, to sample regional wines paired with Venetian cicchetti.
  • Concert at Teatro La Fenice: Enjoy a night of culture and music at Teatro La Fenice, one of the most famous opera houses in Italy. Check the schedule for performances ranging from opera to classical concerts.
  • Cicchetti crawl: Experience the local food scene by embarking on a cicchetti crawl. Hop from one bacaro to another, sampling small bites and enjoying local wines at each stop.
  • Rowing lesson: Experience the unique Venetian tradition of rowing. Take a rowing lesson with a local instructor and navigate the tranquil canals of Venice in a traditional Venetian rowing boat.

You’re in for an extra treat if you’re lucky enough to visit during the Carnival of Venice (takes place in the weeks leading up to Shrove Tuesday (typically February or early-March). With its rich history and elaborate traditions, the city is transformed into a surreal and magical realm. Celebrations and associated events are endless in carnival season so try incorporating some Carnival-specific activities into your itinerary, so your group will have the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the festive spirit of this iconic celebration.

  • Mask parade: The Carnival is synonymous with elaborate masks and costumes. Attend or take part in the Grand Mask Parade, where locals and visitors alike showcase their creativity with stunning and intricate masks and costumes.
  • Venice - people dressed up for traditional VeniceCarnivalCarnival events: Check the Carnival schedule for a variety of events, including masquerade balls, live music performances, and street theater. The city comes alive with a festive atmosphere, offering entertainment for everyone.
  • Carnival boat parade: Marvel at the spectacular Carnival Boat Parade along the Grand Canal. Decorated boats and gondolas sail through the waterways, creating a picturesque scene that's perfect for capturing memorable moments.
  • Masked balls: Attend one of the many masquerade balls held during the Carnival. These elegant events often take place in historic palaces and offer a sophisticated and glamorous atmosphere for an unforgettable evening.
  • Visit St. Mark's Square: St. Mark's Square is the epicenter of Carnival activities. Enjoy the lively atmosphere, street performers, and the chance to see the best-dressed participants in the heart of the city.

Venice's timeless elegance, historic charm, and unique transportation infrastructure make it an exceptional choice for meetings and events. From grand palaces along the Grand Canal to intimate gatherings in historic museums, the city offers a diverse range of venues to suit various occasions. Immerse attendees in the magic of Venice, where each event becomes a memorable journey through the canals of history and culture.

Fun facts

  • No roads, only canals: Venice is renowned for its lack of roads; Instead, it is a labyrinth of canals, with the Grand Canal being the most famous. The city has over 150 canals, interlinked by more than 400 bridges. The total length of the canals is approximately 38 miles
  • Acqua alta: During periods of high tide, known as "acqua alta," some areas of Venice flood. Raised walkways, known as "passerelle," are temporarily installed to navigate these flooded streets.
  • Gondola traditions: There are only 400 licensed gondoliers in Venice, and the art of gondola rowing is passed down through generations.

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