What to do
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is quite a sleepy city, especially when you compare it to
other major cities of the world. There are several reasons
for this. The first is the high average age of its
citizens probably the highest in Italy. The second is
the relative difficulty there is to get around. This is not
a place for cars and other private means of transport, and a
boat ride is not really ideal for an evening out. Finally,
there is a lack of space in Venice, so everything is very
In short, you will search in vain for nocturnal activities.
There simply isn't anything to do. However, if you really
can't do without nightlife, you can drive to Piazzale Roma
(a true Venetian would need a very good justification for
doing so) and then on to Jesolo.
Besides, by nature Venetians do things differently. They
enjoy entertaining friends in the privacy of their own
homes. As a consequence, there are very few restaurants
which stay open until late to the point where going
for something to eat after the cinema would be a major feat.
It is only relatively recently that some restaurants with
live music have reopened: "Il Paradiso perduto, in the
Misericordia district, is noted for its ambience and its
endless disputes with local residents.
Campo Santa Margherita in the summer is an exception to this
rule. The presence of hundreds of students on their summer
holidays transforms the square into a pleasure pavilion,
with restaurants, live music and extemporaneous art
exhibitions. Amongst the most popular are those at Du Champ,
the Caff?Rosso and Ai Sportivi. Another exception is
during the Carnival. In September, Campo San Polo houses an
open-air cinema, where you can sit under the stars and watch
films which have only just been released at the Biennale
The opening seasons of the Goldoni Thestre, and the
operatic-symphonic Fenice Theatre (until September at
Palafenice in Tronchetto, but repeated for a little longer
in the historic centre of renovated Malibran) attempt to
shift the winter-blues. For those who like a gamble, there
are two Casinos in the city and Mestre.
Finally, there is the Lido an island that makes this
waterlogged city go bathing-mad. But even here, whether you
like it or not, the emphasis is on Mann, rather than
Maracaibo. The beach is extremely beautiful, but where it is
most beautiful, it is also very expensive. Where the sand
runs out, towards the Murazzi islands, the water is dirty
and there are breakwaters, with not so much as a stick of
celery to take shelter beneath.
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