Venice for Visitors logo
Venice Home All topics
Where to stay Transportation

Arrow. Helping 30+ million Venice travelers since 1997

Venice > Planning > Public benches

Public benches in Venice

Our "Where to Sit in Venice" guide shows 21 places (in addition to parks) where you can lounge with the locals for free.

Campo San Vio bench in Venice.

ABOVE: Two women and a dog share a public bench in the Campo San Vio.

Our illustrated article on Venice's parks and public gardens  describes green spaces where you can sit, enjoy fresh air, let your children play, and exercise your dog. But sometimes you just want a comfortable bench in the heart of the city where you can take a break from sightseeing or soak up local atmosphere.

In this guide to urban sitting, we describe 21 locations (mostly campi, or squares) with free benches for Venetians and visitors. Each description includes a large photo and a Google map.

(Tip: Google's place names are sometimes incorrect, and street signs don't always agree with labels on printed or digital maps.)

You may run across benches in other locations, but the ones in this guide--and the benches in Venice's parks and gardens--are the easiest to find.

Please note that it's also important to know where not to sit:

  • Don't sit on bridges. For one thing, you'll impede foot traffic. But just as important, sitting on a bridge--or even on church steps--can result in a fine of €100 to €200. (See our article on tourist fines for bad behavior.)

  • Don't sit on the wall by the lions on the north side of the Basilica di San Marco. Police or tourist monitors can fine you, though they'll probably just tell you to move on.

And now for our guide to free public benches, which we've organized by district or sestiere:


Campo dei Gesuiti

Benches in Campo dei Gesuiti, Venice, Italy.

The Campo dei Gesuiti is located near the Gesuiti Church, just inland from the Fondamente Nove on the northern side of Venice's historic center.

You'll find several benches inland from the church, south of (and across from) the Combo hostel and students' residence.

This is a handy place to take a break if you're coming from (or going to) the  Fondamente Nove waterbus piers.

Campo Ghetto Nuovo

Benches in Campo Ghetto Nuovo, Venice, Italy.

The main campo of Venice's ancient Jewish Ghetto has several benches that face the center of the relatively quiet square.

The benches offer views of synagogues and street life in the neighborhood, which has been revitalized by an influx of messianic Jews from other parts of Italy and abroad.

Campo Sant'Alvise

Benches in Campo Sant'Alvise, Venice, Italy.

The Campo Sant'Alvise is in the northern reaches of Cannaregio by the Sant'Alvise church. It has several benches, and because the square is off the main tourist routes, you can usually find a bench to yourself.

If you follow the Calle Larga Piave a short distance north from the square, you'll reach the Sant'Alvise ACTV waterbus stop (scroll down for a separate description) with its public benches and lagoon views.

Campo Santa Maria Nova

Bench in Campo Santa Maria Nova, Venice, Italy.

The Campo Santa Maria Nova is a pleasant, lively little square just across a small bridge from the Santa Maria dei Miracoli church. Its amenities (aside from benches) include several cafés, shops, and a laundromat.

Campo Santi Apostoli

Benches in Campo dei Santi Apostoli, Venice, Italy.

The Campo Santi Apostoli (a.k.a. Campo SS. Apostoli) is at the eastern end of the Strada Nova, on the main pedestrian thoroughfare from Venezia Santa Lucia Railroad Station to the Rialto Bridge and the Piazza San Marco.

It's a small but busy square with benches arranged around a tree in the center.

Sacca di San Girolamo

Benches at Sacco di San Giralomo, Venice, Italy.

Only a few tourists find their way to the far northwest corner of Cannaregio, where a delightful and peaceful promenade is hidden behind a neighborhood of well-kept social housing.

You can reach this location from the Cannaregio Canal or a small bridge from the Fondamenta Colletti.

Benches on the Fondamenta di Sacca S. Girolamo and the Fondamenta delle Case Nuove offer views of the Venetian Lagoon and the airport in the distance. 

If you wander around the neighborhood, you'll find several places that offer views of the Ponte delle Libertà causeway and railroad bridge from the Italian mainland.

Sant'Alvise ACTV

Benches a the Sant'Alvise ACTV (vaporetto) station in Venice, Italy.

The Sant'Alvise ACTV stop is a short walk on the Calle Larga Piave from the Campo Sant'Alvise (see description above).

This vaporetto stop has benches on shore that face the Venetian Lagoon.

From your bench, you can watch boat traffic, enjoy views of the mountains on clear days, and see planes landing at Venice Marco Polo Airport.


Arsenale 1 (Campo Arsenale)

Bench in Campo Arsenale, Venice, Italy.

The Arsenale benches are on both sides of a canal near Venice's Naval headquarters.

The first and most attractive group of benches is in the quiet Campo Arsenale. You can see the Torri dell'Arsenale ("Arsenale Towers") in the background.

Arsenale 2 (Campiello della Malvasia) 

The Arsenale's second cluster of benches is in the Campiello della Malvasia, which is across a bridge from the Campo Arsenale.

These benches tend to be busier than the ones mentioned above, and the views aren't as good.

Campo Bandiera e Moro o de la Bragora 

Bench at the Campo Bandiera e Moro or de la Bragora, Venice, Italy.

This small but centrally located square is a short walk inland from the Riva degli Schiavoni waterfront promenade east of the Piazza San Marco.

If you're walking along the riva, look for the Calle dei Dose, which will lead you to the campo and its benches.

Campo San Lorenzo

Benches in Campo San Lorenzo, Venice, Italy.

The Campo San Lorenzo is dominated by the 9th Century church where Marco Polo's remains are interred.

Along the left side of the square, you'll see a row of benches that are popular with residents of the retirement home in the cream-colored building above.

You may also see children playing or dogs chasing balls in the pleasant neighborhood campo.

Questura police headquarters, Venice, Italy.Trivia note: If you look across the canal at the front of the square, you'll notice the Questura, or police headquarters, which is featured in Donna Leon's Inspector Brunetti mystery novels.

Campo San Pietro

Benches at Campo San Pietro, Venice, Italy.

The Campo San Pietro is directly in front of the Basilica di San Pietro di Castello, which served as Venice's Cathedral from 1451 to 1807.

The church and its square are on the small island of San Pietro, which is toward the eastern end of Venice.

You'll find two rows of benches outside the church, near a footbridge that connects the island to the city center.

Campo Santa Maria Formosa

Bench on Campo Santa Maria Formosa, Venice, Italy.

The Campo Santa Maria Formosa wraps around the Church of Santa Maria Formosa. It's a busy square with hotels, restaurants, bars, and plenty of local life. (On a typical day, you might find vendors' stands and children bouncing soccer balls off the church walls.)

Beyond the church at the quiet southern end of the square, two benches sit next to a footbridge and a canal.

Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo

Benches in Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice, Italy.

The Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo is home to the large Gothic church of the same name, which is one of the biggest (and, to our minds, among the most attractive) churches in Venice.

The square also contains the main entrance to the city's ospedale or hospital with its sprawling complex of courtyards and buildings hidden behind a Renaissance façade.

Alongside the church, under a tree, is a quartet of benches where you can sit for free while your fellow tourists spend money in the campo's expensive cafés.


Campo Santa Margherita

Benches in Campo Santa Margherita, Venice, Italy.

This large campo is one of the most pleasant places to sit in Venice.

The southern end of the square has benches where you can watch neighorhood life, see fresh fish being sold, and enjoy a cup or a cone from the Gelateria Il Doge (which is only a few meters away along the bottom of the Campo Santa Margherita). 

Campo San Vio

Bench and view of the Grand Canal in Campo San Vio, Venice, Italy.

The Campo San Vio is a small square just off the main pedestrian route from the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute and the Guggenheim Collection to the Accademia Bridge. Its big selling point is a view of the Grand Canal.

Campo Sant'Agnese

Campo Sant'Agnese with benches, Venice, Italy.

From the Accademia Bridge on he Dorsoduro side of the Grand Canal, follow the wide Rio Terà Antonio Foscarini, which leads inland toward the Giudecca Canal.

Just before you reach the Giudecca Canal, you'll see a pretty square off to your left with the Swiss Consulate facing a wellhead. This is the Campo Sant'Agnese, where you'll have a good chance of finding a vacant bench.

San Marco

Campo San Stefano

Benches in Campo San Stefano, Venice, Italy.

Unless you're taking a circuitous route, you'll pass through the large and busy Campo San Stefano while walking between the Piazza San Marco and the Accademia Bridge.

Most seating on the campo is at cafés and restaurants, but if you're lucky, you may be able to grab one of the four public benches by the church at the northern end of the square.

San Polo

Campo San Polo

Bench at Campo San Polo, Venice, Italy.

The Campo San Polo is a large, uncrowded square in the sestiere or district of San Polo, across the Grand Canal from the Piazza San Marco. It's almost impossible to miss if you're walking on the main pedestrian route between the Accademia Bridge and the Rialto Bridge.

This campo is popular with neighborhood residents, since it has  a decent number of benches where parents can sit while their children play.

Santa Croce

Campo San Giacomo dall'Orio

Bench in Campo San Giacomo dell'Orio, Venice, Italy.

The Campo San Giacomo dall'Orio (or "dell'Orio," depending on your preferred spelling) is a delightful place to sit.

 Although the square is off the main tourist routes, it's easy to find, and there are several benches near the small Coop supermarket where you can rest before or after visiting the campo's pretty little church.

Back to introduction

Also see:
Venice's Parks and Public Gardens:

About the author:

Durant Imboden photo.Durant Imboden has written about Venice, Italy since 1996. He covered Venice and European travel at for 4-1/2 years before launching Europe for Visitors (including Venice for Visitors) with Cheryl Imboden in 2001.

PC Magazine
has called this "the premier visitors' site for Venice, Italy." Over the years, it has helped more than 30 million travelers. For more information, see About our site, our Europe for Visitors press clippings, and our reader testimonials.