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4 things to do when visiting the Venice Film Festival by superyacht

By Rebecca Bradbury   Last Updated: 19 May 2023

The Venice Film Festival attracts a wealth of celebrities and superyachts to the Floating City every September. Find out four things to do away from the film premieres and flashing paparazzi when visiting on a luxury yacht charter vacation.   

Unlike the Cannes Film Festival, tickets for screenings at the 11-day Venice Film Festival are up for grabs. This means yacht-goers can join in the red carpet action and nab themselves a seat at one of the official screenings taking place in the Sala Grande at Palazzo del Cinema.

After the curtain call, charterers can then discover what else Venice has offer, from A-list hotspots and after parties to must-see sights and secret hangouts. Read on to find out more.

Sip champagne with the stars

terrace of Bar Longhi overlooks the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy

Pick from the legendary cocktail menu and join the film festival glitterati lounging on Bar Longhi’s spectacular terrace, which overlooks the Grand Canal. While, inside, the establishment is celebrated for its private and intimate setting and elegant atmosphere.

Where better to sample a Bellini than at Harry’s Bar, the venue where the Prosecco and peach cocktail first appeared in 1948. With a history of hosting famous names, such as Charlie Chaplin, Noël Coward and Truman Capote, this unassuming bar has much star appeal.

Another of Venice’s prestigious drinking dens is the Lion’s Bar. A classic art nouveau extravagance, it’s all baroque curves and stately porticoes with views over the red carpet of the Palazzo del Cinema.

Party till dawn 

DJ spins the decks at an after party at the Venice Film Festival
Aurora Beach on Lido di Venezia in Italy
beautiful restaurant setting of Hotel Danieli in Venice, Italy
Hotel Excelsior is the site of many an A-list party at the Venice Film Festival

Most film festival parties are closed to the public so use your connections and bag yourself an invitation. One prime venue is the Aurora Beach Club on Lido di Venezia where, after dark, DJs take to the decks and rev up the mood with energetic dance beats.

For a more lavish party experience, 14th century palace Hotel Danieli is likely to appeal. Moonraker, Casino Royale and The Tourist, starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, were all filmed here and the Restaurant Terrazza Danieli is probably the most popular spot in Venice for marriage proposals.   

Also offering lashings of glamour is the iconic Hotel Excelsior, which has always been a favourite party haunt among stars of the festival thanks to its five-star splendour and beachfront setting not far from the Palais de Cinema.

See the sights

gondola cruises up a narrow canal in Venice, Italy
beautiful Grand Canal in Venice, ItalyGothic Doge’s Palace in Venice, Italy

A city unlike any other, Venice combines shimmering canals with architectural treasures, a jaw-dropping main drag and world-class museums. It certainly wouldn’t be doing justice to this spectacular superyacht destination if you left without delving further into its cultural offerings.

Key sights not to miss include the two-mile-long Grand Canal, the Gothic Doge’s Palace perched defiantly on the edge of the encroaching lagoon and the Basilica of San Marco, which glows with Byzantine gold mosaics.

If there’s time, get lost in the labyrinthine network of narrow waterways, bridges and pedestrian alleys and discover the fascinating hidden-depths of the city.

Escape to the islands

colourful fishermen houses on the island of Bruano in the Venice lagoon

After a stint of attending film premieres, partying with the A-List and seeing the sights, you’ll probably be in need of a rest. Head to the islands tourists don’t visit and enjoy the real atmosphere of the lagoon while indulging in the comfort only a luxury charter yacht can provide.

Sant’Erasmo is the largest island in the Venetian lagoon and offers a rural tranquillity seemingly a world away from the hustle of the city, while Bruano is famed for its lace-making and brightly coloured fisherman houses.

Likewise remaining under the tourist radar is Mazzorbo, an undiscovered Italian gem with a peaceful atmosphere and a historic church dating back to the eighth century. The stunning tower and cathedral on the tiny island of San Giorgio Maggiore are definitely worth a visit too.

A city unlike any other, Venice combines shimmering canals with architectural treasures, a jaw-dropping main drag and world-class museums

Interested in booking a luxury yacht charter?

superyacht berths in Venice on a luxury yacht charter

To find out more about chartering in the region, please see our in-depth Italy yacht charter guide. For some inspiration, check out our sample itineraries handpicked by experts for the region.

For more details on planning a Venice yacht charter, speak to your preferred charter broker.

Alternatively, compare all luxury yachts available to charter in Italy.

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