Visiting Venice Responsibly

Venice is world famous for its artistic and architectural heritage, with the city’s museums and churches boasting an extraordinary wealth of art. Visitors are asked to respect certain codes of behaviour and dress when visiting these sites.

When visiting churches, your shoulders should be covered and shorts and skirts should be on the knee or lower. Most churches do not permit photography or filming, and visits are not permitted during mass. For any further information we advise you to ask on the spot.

N.B. For security reasons you are not permitted to enter St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace or other museums with backpacks, large bags or suitcases. Facilities are provided on the premises or nearby where you can deposit these items free of charge.

As Venice is a unique and fragile city, the Municipality has devised a Visitors’ Code to encourage visitors to behave responsibly and considerately.

These are the main points:

  • You are not permitted to sit or lie on the ground or picnic in the St. Mark’s area.
  • Dress appropriately for a city – it is not acceptable go shirtless or in swim-wear in public areas.
  • Diving or swimming are not permitted in the city’s canals.
  • As Venice’s streets are very narrow, you should walk on the right-hand side of the street and keep moving on bridges.
  • Remove your backpack when travelling on the vaporetto (water bus). Remember that these boats are the only form of public transport in Venice and they are used by locals as well as visitors.
  • In the event of acqua alta flooding, use an alternative route where possible. When using the boardwalks, walk on the right hand side and keep moving along.
  • Do not buy merchandise from illegal vendors – illegal merchandise may be hazardous to your health and you risk prosecution.