Venice Black Book
The land of hotel tassel keys: old-world and cool-modern palazzos & pensiones, the best cicchetti bars and trattorias—and elegant souvenirs: velvet slippers, letterpress stationery, and fine linens
A city of massive contrasts—gorgeously decaying classic facades alongside contemporary galleries and vanguard art and film festivals; busy piazzas full of spritz-sipping crowds and empty churches hiding Old-Master paintings—Venice still holds incredible discoveries for those who veer away from the expected path. Recently, the city has thrown up protections against the constant assault it faces: from tourism (there’s now an entry fee of 3 to 10 euros) and from climate change, with the deployment of multibillion-dollar sea walls to protect it from catastrophic floods. We can’t help it, though—we can’t wait to go back. Last spring in our Italy Travel Planner we included a ton of Venice intel, but we wanted to do a full-on Black Book with some stellar new hotel recs—while also going deeper with our local Venetian friends on their favorite neighborhood restaurants, artisan ateliers and shops, and slightly off-radar cultural detours so you feel set for your next visit to La Serenissima.