I’ve wanted to go to Venice ever since I studied the history of its canals in middle school. Somehow I’ve never been able to pull the trip together, but I still love to dream of the places I will visit there when I get the chance. When planning a trip, I think it’s best to learn where the locals go, so here are three recommendations from Venice experts featured in last weekend’s Wall Street Journal.
Fondazione Prada. When a place has a name like Prada, I’m instantly onboard, but this isn’t a couture center, it’s a modern art museum at Ca’Corner della Regina, a spectacular 18th century palazzo on the Grand Canal. Princess Bianca di Savoia Aosta, a designer whose family owns a resort there suggests, “Spend the day in the lesser-known part of Venice and enter every church you happen to bump into. Then drop into Fondazione Prada… Everything I’ve ever seen in there has been astonishing.”
Harry’s Bar. This place is a favorite of Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, who spent six months in Venice writing and directing The Tourist. He calls it “the most satisfying cake experience in the world.”
Doge’s Palace. Located in St. Mark’s Square, this Venetian Gothic edifice is one of the city’s main landmarks. Philip Rylands, director of Peggy Guggenheim Collection on the Grand Canal, says it’s a no-miss and suggests booking the guided secret tour in advance. As he explains, it “takes you out of the glided reception room and into the old offices, meeting rooms and even torture chambers where the real business of government was conducted.”