The main and the most famous square of Venice is always bustling with life. It is surrounded by many famous sights such as the St Mark's Basilica, dominating the square with its five domes and detailed exterior decoration. There are other buildings representing different architectural styles – the Doge's Palace as a fine example of Gothic architecture or the beautiful Clock Tower from Renaissance period. If you want to see the square from above, there is no better way than to climb to the top of the Campanile. The viewing platform offers great views of the square including the mysterious white lines drawn on its pavement. They were probably used to mark the places for market stalls.
This Gothic style building in the heart of Venice, is definitely a must -see. The City State of Venice was once a rich and important place and therefore the seat of its government and the residence of the elected Doge is quite spectacular. The construction of the palace started in 1340 and was finished in the 15th century. Nowadays, it is home to the largest oil painting in the world called Paradise (by Tintoretto). The famous lover and womaniser Giacomo Casanova also visited the Doge’s Palace. In fact, he was imprisoned there for witchcraft. You can visit the cell where he was held and from which he managed to escape. If you plan to visit the palace, you should consider buying the tickets online in advance. Otherwise, you will spend a long time queuing.
An absolute must see of Venice! The architecture is a mix of Italian and Byzantine styles and actually one of the best examples of Italo-Byzantine architecture that you can see. It's definitely worth going inside as well, its gilded interior with gold ground mosaics is just incredible. The treasury houses a unique collection of Byzantine metalwork.
A great place where to head to when you want to buy for some vegetables, fruits or fish. In fact, it has been a busy marketplace for many centuries (its existence dating back to the 11th century). You can find plenty of fresh local products there. However, there is no telling which specific products you may come across because all goods sold there are rather seasonal. Also, if you want to be sure to get what you want, you might need to head for the market sooner rather than later because if you get there by the time the market closes, most of the goods will likely be sold.
The largest canal in Venice which secures more than a half of all water transport in Venice. It runs from San Mark Basin and ends in the lagoon. It is nearly four kilometers long (its width differs). You can travel up and down the canal either by water public transport, private water taxis or by the stylish gondolas. From the water, you can see all the imposing buildings (there are nearly 200 of them built along the edges of the Grand Canal). The beautiful mixture of architectonical styles – Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque or even modern – is truly an impressive experience. If you travel to Venice during the summer, be prepared for crowds of tourists on the canal.
This bell tower located at the Piazza San Marco is one of the iconic symbols of Venice. It was finished in its present-day form in 1514 but in 1902 it collapsed. The restoration process started almost immediately after that and in 1912 the perfect replica of the original tower was finished. There are five bells inside the bell tower, each with its own purpose. The tower features as a location in a popular computer game franchise Assassin’s Creed II. If you go to the top of the tower, you can enjoy the spectacular view of the city. There is an elevator so you do not need to worry about an exhausting climb up. The number of people who are let to the tower at a time is limited so the place is never crowded. However, the ticket queues might take up to an hour.
There are several “Bridges of Sighs” all over the world. The one in Venice is however the original one after which the other ones (e.g. in Cambridge or Oxford) are named. It was built in 1600 in baroque style and nowadays it is one of the most visited places in Venice. The locals say that it got its name because it was located between the interrogations rooms of the Doge’s Palace and the New Prison. The convicts would sigh crossing the bridge as they saw the city of Venice one last time before being imprisoned for the rest of their lives. The expression got popularised by Lord Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, where he uses the phrase “Bridge of Sighs” when talking about Venice. Due to the popularity of the place, there are always many tourists taking pictures of the bridge and the place gets crowded very often.
Riva degli Schiavoni is a Venice promenade that starts by the Doge’s Palace and ends by the Arsenal. It is a beautiful place for a late afternoon (or even evening) stroll when the crowds of tourists and souvenir vendors disappear. There are many little cafés located alongside the promenade so you can rest and enjoy the sunset. Also, the promenade is lined up with many beautiful historical buildings that are definitely worth seeing as well as hotels and restaurants. During the day there are also many little shops selling pastries, clothing or some Venice-themed souvenirs to the tourists.
The roots of existence of the Clock Tower on St. Mark’s Square go back to the 15th century. This renaissance building together with the clock was built in 1499. The mechanism of the clock is not the original one though. It was modernised several times. The tower is decorated with many statues (e.g. the Lion of Venice or the Virgin and Child). Interestingly, the numeral display of the time is done in both Roman (hours) and Arabic (minutes) numerals. If you want to visit the Clock Tower, you need to book your tour in advance. Also, if you plan to climb to the tower be prepared for narrow steps (there is no lift).
The Basilica di San Giovanni e Paolo, known in Venetian as San Zanipolo, is a church in the Castello sestiere of Venice, Italy. One of the largest churches in the city, it has the status of a minor basilica. After the 15th century the funeral services of all of Venice's doges were held here, and twenty-five doges are buried in the church.
Santa Maria dei Miracoli is a church in the sestiere of Cannaregio, in Venice, Italy. Also known as the "marble church", it is one of the best examples of the early Venetian Renaissance including colored marble, a false colonnade on the exterior walls, and a semicircular pediment. The organisation "Save Venice" restored the church over a period of ten years, from 1987 to 1997. The marble cladding contained 14 percent of salts, and was on the point of bursting. All marble cladding was removed, and cleaned in stainless steel tanks, in a solution of distilled water. The restoration was calculated to cost 1 million dollars, the final cost was 4 million dollars. The main altar is reached by a series of steps. The circular facade windows recall Donato Bramante's churches in Milan. Built between 1481 and 1489 by Pietro Lombardo to house a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary. The plans for the church were expanded in 1484 to include the construction of a new convent for nuns of St.
Murano is a series of islands linked by bridges in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy. It lies about 1.5 kilometres north of Venice and measures about 1.5 km across with a population of just over 5,000. It is famous for its glass making. It was once an independent comune, but is now a frazione of the comune of Venice.
Santa Maria della Salute, commonly known simply as the Salute, is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica located at Punta della Dogana in the Dorsoduro sestiere of the city of Venice, Italy. It stands on the narrow finger of Punta della Dogana, between the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal, at the Bacino di San Marco, making the church visible when entering the Piazza San Marco from the water. The Salute is part of the parish of the Gesuati and is the most recent of the so-called plague churches. In 1630, Venice experienced an unusually devastating outbreak of the plague. As a votive offering for the city's deliverance from the pestilence, the Republic of Venice vowed to build and dedicate a church to Our Lady of Health.
San Giacomo di Rialto is a church in the sestiere of San Polo, Venice, northern Italy. The addition of "Rialto" to the name distinguishes this church from its namesake San Giacomo dell'Orio found in the sestiere of Santa Croce, on the same side of the Grand Canal. It has a large 15th-century clock above the entrance, a useful item in the Venetian business district but regarded as a standing joke for its inaccuracy. The Gothic portico is one of the few surviving examples in Venice. It has a Latin cross plan with a central dome. Inside, the Veneto-Byzantine capitals on the six columns of ancient Greek marble date from the 11th century.
Burano is an island in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy; like Venice itself, it could more correctly be called an archipelago of four islands linked by bridges. It is situated near Torcello at the northern end of the Lagoon, and is known for its lace work and brightly coloured homes.
The Church of San Zaccaria is a 15th-century former monastic church in central Venice, Italy. It is a large edifice, located in the Campo San Zaccaria, just off the waterfront to the southeast of Piazza San Marco and St Mark's Basilica. It is dedicated to St. Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist.
The Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, usually just called the Frari, is a church in Venice, northern Italy. One of the greatest churches in the city, it has the status of a minor basilica. It stands on the Campo dei Frari at the heart of the San Polo district. The church is dedicated to the Assumption. The Franciscans were granted land to build a church in 1250, but the building was not completed until 1338. Work almost immediately began on its much larger replacement, the current church, which took over a century to build. The campanile, the second tallest in the city after that of San Marco, was completed in 1396.