- Beautiful city
- Arts and other beauty
- Gondola ride
- Many museums
- Many places to visit
But what we recommend to see in Venice?
1. Piazza San Marco
Piazza San Marco is located in the heart of Venice. It is 180 meters long and 70 meters wide and is the only square in Venice since the city has only fields and a square.
That of San Marco is one of the most fascinating squares in the world, in fact, Napoleon Bonaparte called it “the most beautiful hall in Europe” 💓.
It is the big square with pigeons waiting for some crumb: it is the most famous Venice’s image 🐦.
It was built in the 9th century and paved in 1177, 100 years after its construction.
Piazza San Marco is the lowest area of Venice and, therefore, is the first area to be flooded with high water. In these cases, the municipality of Venice installs walkways, to allow the regular transit of pedestrians. If you are lucky (or unlucky, depending on your tastes), you will see the square full of water.
The most important buildings in the square are Basilica di San Marco, Palazzo Ducale, Museo Correr, Campanile and Torre dell’Orologio.
On the upper balcony of the Torre dell’Orologio, in Renaissance style, two bronze statues signal the change of time. On the day of Epiphany and Ascension, the procession of the Magi, presided by an angel, comes out at the stroke of every hour.
When the weather is good, the square fills with life and strolling among its famous cafés, with live music, is priceless 💃!
Travelers who do not mind the expense can have a drink at the tables of the Caffè Florian, one of the oldest bars in Italy, founded in 1720 and which has been offering live music for more than 100 years. A point against him? The cheapest drink costs around € 10 😥!
The Basilica of San Marco is the most important temple in Venice, which has always been the center of the public and religious life of the Serenissima.
Inside the Basilica, the dominant color is gold. The mosaics in the dome of the Ascension (the main dome) are from the early 13th century and show scenes from the New Testament. The atrium mosaics were made with glass and gold tiles and depict scenes from the Old Testament.
Basilica represents the living heritage of Roman, Byzantine, and Venetian culture.
Under the altar, supported by four columns of alabaster and marble, rests the body of San Marco. Access to St. Marco’s Basilica is free, but there are paid areas: the Museum, the Treasury, and the Pala d’Oro.
Every day, from 9:30 to 17:00.
Sunday: from 14:00 to 16:00 (until 17:00 from April 16 to October 28).
Access to the basilica: free.
San Marco Museum: € 5.
Treasure: 3 €.
Pala d’Oro: € 2.
With a height of 98.5 meters, it is the tallest building in the city and offers spectacular views of the Serenissima.
At the highest point of the bell tower, there is a golden statue of the archangel Gabriel. There are also five bells, which, during the Republic, were used with different functions: the “Marangona“, the largest which tolled at the beginning and at the end of the working day; the “Malefic“, the smallest one who announced death sentences; the “Nona“, which rang at nine; the “Trottiera“, which was used to gather the members of the Maggior Consiglio in the Council Chamber; the “Half Third“, which announced a session of the Senate.
From the top of the bell tower, you can observe the best points of interest in the lagoon: the Basilica of San Marco, the Chiesa della Salute, San Giorgio and, if the weather is favorable, the nearby islands, such as Murano.
From 1 November to 31 March: from 9:30 to 17:30.
From 8 to 19 January 2019: closure for maintenance work.
From 1 April to 15 April: from 9:00 to 17:30.
From April 16 to October 28: from 8:30 to 21:00.
Adults: € 8.
Reduction of 4 € only for groups of more than 25 people.
In the 9th century, the Doge’s Palace was a fortified castle, rebuilt after a fire and used as a prison. The building, of extraordinary beauty, features Byzantine, Gothic, and Renaissance architectural elements. Inside there are various works by Titian, Tintoretto, and Bellini. After crossing the Scala d’Oro (a golden staircase leading to the second floor of the building), you will visit the halls of the doges and voting, the armory, the courtyards, and the prison. Continuing the visit, we reach the Sala del Maggior Consiglio, where more than 1,000 people voted for the fate of the Serenissima. In this room, there is “Il Paradiso” by Tintoretto, the largest canvas in the world. The visit ends with the prison, where you will see cells and wells. The appearance of this area of the building is anything but welcoming.
Every day, from 8:30 to 17:30 (from April to October until 19:00).
Adults: € 20.
Students (aged 15 to 25) and over 65: € 13.
Children (0 to 5 years): Free admission.
Rolling Venice Card: 10 €.
Single ticket: includes a visit to the museums of Piazza San Marco (Palazzo Ducale, Correr Museum, National Archaeological Museum, and Marciana National Library).
2. Canal Grande
The Grand Canal can be traveled on the Vaporetto, although the most pleasant option is the ferry ⛴. For those who prefer to walk, the Grand Canal can be crossed on foot through these four bridges:
- Rialto Bridge: It is the most fascinating bridge, but also the oldest in Venice.
- Ponte dell’Accademia: Originally in iron, in 1854 it was built in wood.
- Ponte degli Scalzi: Also called “Ponte della Stazione” and “Ponte della Ferrovia”, due to its proximity to the Santa Lucia station.
- Ponte della Costituzione: The most modern bridge in Venice, designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, connects Piazzale Roma with the Santa Lucia station.
The best Vaporetto line to travel the Grand Canal is 1. During the journey you can see the Ca ‘d’Oro Palace, the Accademia Galleries, the Ca’ Rezzonico Palace, the Church of Santa Maria della Salute, or the very famous Rialto bridge.
3. I Ponti
The Rialto Bridge is the oldest of the four bridges on the Grand Canal. It is famous for both its architecture and its history. For years it was the hub of the economy of Venice.
Crossing the Rialto Bridge from San Marco, you will reach the Rialto Market, a colorful place where fruit and vegetables are sold 🍉. The market has ancient origins and has been built in this place since 1097. It opens every day, from 9 to 12 in the morning, in the Campo de la Pescaria. In summer, even more than in other seasons, you will realize how difficult it is to resist the temptation to approach the colorful boxes of fresh fruit on the market!
The Sospiri Bridge was built in 1614 to join the Palazzo Ducale to the adjacent building intended for the New Prisons. Closed and covered, it consists of two corridors separated by a wall. One connects the Prisons to the Halls of the Magistrato alle Leggi and the Quarantia Criminal to the Palazzo Ducale; the other connects the Prisons with the Sale dell’Avogaria and the Parlatory. The famous nickname of “Sospiri Bridge” dates back to the Romantic era and refers to the sigh of the prisoner who, leaving the court of the Palace, crosses the canal crossing the bridge to reach the cell in which he will serve his sentence 🚔.
4. Le gallerie dell’Accademia
Accademia Galleries are one of the most important museums in the world. It exhibits masterpieces by masters such as Titian, Veronese, Canaletto, and Bellini, from 300s to Reinassance.
The Accademia Galleries are a fundamental visit for art lovers and scholars. If you are not interested in art, you will surely have something else to do during your stay in the Serenissima.
Monday from 8:15 to 14:00.
Tuesday to Sunday: 8:15 am to 7:15 pm.
Closed: 1st January, 1st May and 25th December.
Adults: € 12.
European citizens between 18 and 25 years: 2 €.
Children under 18 and over 65: free admission.
The Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari is one of the largest religious buildings in Venice, surpassed in size only by the Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo.
In addition, Peggy Guggenheim is a museum where Picasso, Kandinsky, Magritte, De Chirico, Boccioni, Dalì are just some of the artists that you can find at the museum.
5. Cruises and boat trip
Glass is the island’s main economic activity and, therefore, there are many workshops and shops on its streets. In one of its shops, you can observe how glass is blown. As you can imagine, after the demonstration it is a must to go through the whole shop.
It takes a few hours to visit it, being a very small island. If you want to make the most of the trip, from Burano you can take the direct Vaporetto to Torcello, which takes only five minutes to reach the island.
So come to visit Venice! Not as tourists, but as guests! 😍😍