Barefoot in Venice

Alex wears a spotty dress and stands barefoot by a Venetian canal, smiling

If you want to have a go at going barefoot in a city, then consider going barefoot in Venice. 

Going barefoot has a number of surprising health benefits including maintaining good strength, stability, and movement in feet and ankles, so why don’t we do it more? In many parts of central Africa, going about your day to day life totally bare footed is normal, and barefoot hiking is making a bit of a splash across Europe, particularly in the UK. Leaving the shoes at home in big cities is trickier due to the hazards that are a byproduct of city life, but it’s still possible. One of the best cities to have a go at some barefoot city walking is Venice. 

Barefoot in Venice – the facts

The streets and campos across the city are paved with smooth stones that are comfy underfoot, whatever the weather. Where these stones can sometimes be slippy with shoes on, they’re great for barefoot grip. 

All streets in Venice are kept immaculately clean which is a barefoot dream. Despite the hundreds of bars, broken glass and debris is kept to an absolute minimum, which is much better than most big European cities! If you’re up and about early enough, you will encounter the fantastic teams of Venetians who come out to clean the streets with old-fashioned brooms and a brilliant community spirit!

Venetians are partial to small dogs, and you’ll usually see at least a few on your travels. Venetian dog lovers seem to be incredibly responsible and always clean up after their four legged friends, so stepping in dog muck is another thing that barefooters don’t need to worry about. 

If you decide to ditch the shoes across the city, you’ll be able to walk around without much bother from anyone. Most people are so absorbed in what they’re doing and where they’re going, they won’t even notice your bare souls. Elderly locals sitting on benches in campos might give you an amused look as you pass by, but that’s about all you can expect!

As always, it pays to carefully watch where you’re walking when you have no shoes on. Despite best efforts, there are always bits of debris that manage to escape under the radar, and there’s nothing worse then stepping on something that will injure you! 

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