Giardini Pubblici (Public Gardens), Viale Trento, Venice.
These gardens can be found on the eastern edge of the city, situated along the Riva degli Schiavoni and away from the main tourist areas. The greenery begins near the statue of Garibaldi in the Castello area and reaches as far as the public gardens and the grounds of the Biennale d'Arte exhibition. The gardens contain beautifully designed avenues, which are lined on both sides with large trees. There are are also good facilities for children, with a play area including swings and slides. In odd-numbered years, there is a large and impressive international festival of modern art that takes place in the summer. The park can be easily reached and is just a short walk from the city centre - or alternatively, you can use one of the city's Vaporetti. Also just across the small canal is the delightful Parco delle Rimembranza.
Parco delle Rimembranze (Park of Remembrance), Castello, Venice.
The Parco delle Rimembranze is a large and serene park which has been dedicated to those soldiers who died in the second world war. The park is littered with tall trees, plants and benches. There are also excellent children play areas, several large areas of lawns, as well as an inline skating rink. Cross over to the shops on the wide Viale Quattro Novembre to acquire the makings for a pleasant picnic under the shade and in sight of the lagoon - the park is also close to Venice's large football stadium (Stadio Penzo).
Giardinetti Reali (Little Royal Gardens), San Marco, Venice.
Located not far from Piazza San Marco and the vaporetto stop of the same name, this beautiful area is full of mature trees and flowers, winding pathways and comfortable benches, making it an excellent pit stop after a long day of sightseeing. The Royal Gardens were originally created in the early 19th century by Napoleon, to give an eye-catching panorama from his nearby offices, when overlooking the Grand Canal. Public toilets are available at the far western end of the garden and please note that the gates are locked at night.
Chiostro San Francesco della Vigna, Castello, Venice.
An excellent place to escape the hustle and bustle of Venice, far from the crowds of tourists and shoppers - the cloister garden at the Church of San Francesco della Vigna in northern Castello is one of the most silent and serene places in the city. There are tall cypress trees and beautiful flowers, as well as a statue of St. Francis in the middle of the charming courtyard. The church itself is of course well worth a visit too, as it contains several important works of art, including paintings by Veronese and Bellini.
Campo Santa Margherita, Dorsoduro, Venice.
This well-maintained park, with its large trees, open spaces and fine fountain is a popular place for both locals and tourists alike. Campo Santa Margherita is situated in the district of Dorsoduro, which is lively but still mainly residential; the park itself is also home to a local market, which sells fruit, vegetables and fish. Close by you will be able to find good quality excellent restaurants for either a hearty lunch or romantic dinner and also some superb ice cream parlours for dessert.