Have you ever thought about riding a horse around Venice?
Maybe not right in the centre, even though people used to ride through the city until the late Middle Ages, even in St Mark’s Square, until it was prohibited.
One of the bells in St Mark’s bell tower is called “trottiera” because it announced Great Council meetings and the nobles would arrive on horseback, trotting. However, you can ride on the Lido, with a walk along the lagoon, the beach or along the “murazzi” dams, riding a tame horse that will help you discover new places and views in an unusual way. At the Circolo Ippico del Lido, Via Colombo 41, you can go on these rides, admiring Venice from a different perspective or exploring unexpected panoramas.
To get back to the city center, or rather along its canals, perhaps you would like to learn how to row Venetian-style. Standing on the stern of a “sandolo” or a “batella a coda di gambero” (boats typical of the lagoon), like a gondolier with an oar or, for the more daring, “alla valesana” with two oars, as they used to do in the fishing valleys? All you need to do is book a lesson and you will be rowing along the small canals, obviously far from the Grand Canal and the busier routes. You might be a bit clumsy at first but you will gain confidence, and you can explore a particular kind of Venice, almost like the Venetians of yesteryear.
Here is another suggestion for those who love to try new and different things: discover the city from the water, or rather on the surface of the water, with a ride in a kayak. It’s an alternative to the Venetian rowing lesson, but it’s still a matter of rowing, and in fact in Venice it couldn’t be anything else. Travelling along quiet canals is a way to see Venice from another viewpoint, perhaps the most suitable for a city born on the water. You can imagine what life was like in the past, and how people moved with times marked by the seasons, but also strong arms that rowed to move the boats loaded with vegetables from the islands, fish caught in the sea or the lagoon, goods transported to the city’s warehouses, and, as you see today, people on the gondolas.