Luckily it’s fairly easy to stay active as Venice is strictly a walking city with plenty of steps. But if you’re keen to do a bit more than, here are a few suggestions of things to keep you fit while travelling.
1. Walk... everywhere
Anywhere you travel in Venice is on mostly on foot, so since you’re already walking, book a guided tour and discover the variety of neighbourhoods, local hot spots and historical insights of the city. Most tours range from 2-3 hours, covering most of the island.
2. Learn to row a gondola
Take a 90 minute course in gondola rowing with an instructor as you row through the smaller and quieter canals, enjoying the views of the city while practicing your rowing and steering before heading to the open water. It’s tricker than it looks!
3. Hit the beach
Beaches near Venice tend to be packed with deck chairs and tourists socking up the sunshine. Instead, the lagoon in Lido di Venezia Island offers some quieter spots for swimming on the sandbar. You’ll find a few large public beaches among the private ones.
4. Hop in a kayak
If taking a gondola ride is a little too touristy for you, a small number of tour operators provide full and half day kayak tours of the Venetian canals. You’ll get the same gondola view and a bit of exercise as well.
5. SUP those famous canals
For something a little different, try stand up paddleboarding alongside the gondolas as you make your way through the canals. It’s a decent all over workout that also improves your balance. While not for beginners if you’re at least a novice, give it a try.
6. Circolo Golf Venezia
Venice’s sandy Lido Island or simply, ‘The Lido’ also offers golf facilities if you’re keen to hit the green. With three practice courses and a full 18-hole course, non-members are welcome with proof of membership to another golf club on their home turf.
7. Climb Scala Contarini del Bovolo
For a small fee you can climb the spiral staircase up the tower and enjoy some of the best views over the Basilica and Campanile, and a great place for photos over the city. If you’re a lover of architecture, it’s doubly worth the visit.
8. Go on a scavenger hunt
If you’re travelling as a family and the kids need to burn some energy, book a scavenger hunt with a tour company such as Macacotour. It’s educational, great fun for families and allows everyone to learn about Venetian life in an interactive way.
9. Hike the Dolomites
If you have the time, make a single or multi-day trip out to the Dolomites and enjoy hiking trails suitable for families as well as more challenging climbs. There’s even some historic hikes focused on the World War I trenches fortification remains.
10. Hit the gym
If all else fails and you’re staying in Mestre or the mainland of Venice (rather than the island), you’ll find some of the more commercial gyms like Virgin Active available on a per day rate. All the usual equipment as well as a sauna and relaxation rom are available