Calli and campielli that create a open-air maze, ancient historical palaces, majestic and noble theatres, amazing churches always full of people, a huge number of bridges that links the opposite sides of the canals: this is Venice, one of the most beautiful cities of the world, that is the favourite destination of millions of tourists that every year choose Venice for their holidays, because of the uniqueness and the spectacularity that only this magical city can give to its visitors.
But what can you see in Venice? Actually, get lost on the streets to discover its most hidden and evocative corners is the best way to fully live the atmosphere of this city. But, we want to make things easier for you and we give you a short guide of Venice, with the best places to see during you holiday in one of the most enchanting places in the world.
St Mark’s Square
The real heart of Venice is the famous Piazza San Marco, the only square of the lagoon and is always full of people and pidgeons. It is considered the living room of Venice, this squadre is surrounded on three sides by arcades and procuratie, that in the past were the locations of the attorneys, but today are the house of shops, cafe and elegant restaurants.
On it there are the historical symbols of the city, like Torre dell’Orologio, that, with the two bronze blacks that indicate the hours hitting the bell, the astronomic clock and the Lion of San Marco, represent the main access in the square, and the Campanile di San Marco, almost a hundred meters high, from the top of which you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the entire lagoon. Every year from this campanile starts the flight of Colombina, that indicated the beginning of the well-known Carnival of Venice.
But it is San Mark’s Basilica, majestic and elegant, which is able to enchant all its visitors with its tall domes and its large golden-leaf mosaics.
Beside the Cathedral there is Doge’s Palace, the center and the symbol of the political power of Serenissima. This venetian gothic art’s masterpiece it was repeatedly destroyed over the years by devastating fires, but today it is more beautiful than ever. Inside it you can visit the historical apartments of Doge, the armory, the courtyard, the loggias and all the various institutional rooms.
To visit better this symbolical places of the ancient Republic of Venice, we suggest you to take part in one of the guided tours that are reoganized like, for example, the following one, that allows you to avoid the queue at the entry.
Step by step
The essential advice to visit Venice? Bring with you a pair of comfortable shoes in your suitcase! Discovering this marvelous city, there will be numerous steps that you will have to climb and descend as you cross the many bridges you will encounter during your journey. Venice is one of the cities of Europe, if not the world, with the highest number of bridges within its territory: there are over 400, made of stone, iron or wood.
Bridge of Sighs still the most evocative: it is located close to San Marco Square, this bridge links Doge’s Palace to the Prisons of Serenissima. The name derives from the sights of the convicts, that crossed it for the last time, before being closed forever in their cells. An ancient, and more romantic legend tells instead that if two lovers ,at the tolling of the bells of San Marco at sunset, kiss in a gondola under the bridge, their love will be eternal. Don’t miss this chance and book a romantic tour of the canals of Venice with your soul sister, to admire the ancient and majestic palaces of the city on the water. The other main bridges of the city are those that link the sides of the Grand Canal, first of all the ancient Rialto Bridge, another symbol of Venice, which with its interminable coming and going of people, gives the tourist who crosses it an amazing view.
The other important bridge that cross the Grand Canal is the Ponte degli Scalzi, that you will find in front of the trai station of Venice Santa Lucia. This building is made of Istrian’s rock, and it is so named because it overlooks the Church of Santa Maria di Nazareth, where, for many centuries, Mass was celebrated by the order of the Discalced Carmelites.
The third, but not the less important, is the Ponte dell’Accademia, that is entirely made of wood and it was built in just 37 days. From here you can see the Church Santa Maria della Salute, a wonderful church that has only few visits, that become a meeting point for thousands of venetian people during the Fest of Madonna della Salute in 21st of November.
Looking for museums, palaces and theaters: what to visit in Venice
The idea of visiting some of the interesting museums or historical palaces of Venice could be a good idea if the weather is bad during your holiday in Venice. However, with the sun, the rain or acqua alta, we suggest in any case to spend some hours in this inside activity that surely will not be boring.
If you are art’s lovers you shouldn’t miss Gallerie dell’Accademia, a very important collection hosted in the prestigious location of the Scuola Grande di Santa Maria della Carità. Here you can admire the masterpieces of the masters Giorgione, Veronese, Tintoretto, Tiziano, Tiepolo, Canaletto and many others, discovering also the venetian reinassance painting.
It is one of the most popular stages for tourists visiting Venice, and for this reason the queues at the entrance could be intolerable, so even if, we recommend the purchase of this solution, which will allow you to immediately enter the Galleries, without wasting precious time during your vacation.
If you appreciate modern art more, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is waiting for you in the wonderful Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, along the Grand Canal. This important collection will surely astonish you, with the masterpieces of Picasso, Braque, Mondrian, Kandinsky, Mirò, Dalì, Pollock and many others, for a travel through Cubism, Futurism, Abstractionism, Surrealism and Expressionism.
There are also other interesting museums, like Civical Museum Correr, located in Porcuratie Nuove of San Marco Square, where you can choose between different itineraries to discover the art and the history of Venice, or the Historical Naval Museum, in the Arsenale, or the different halls of the Natural History Museum, located in Fontego dei Turchi, overlooks the Grand Canal.
We also suggest you to visit other venetian palaces:
- Cà d’oro, the most prestigious palace, that houses the art collection of Baron Franchetti,
- Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo, where you can have a wonderful view of Venice by the top of its elegant stair,
- Cà Pesaro, sumptuous and majestic palace that hosts the Galley of International Modern Art,
- Cà Centani, famous for being the house of Carlo Goldoni, that nowadays is a fascinating museum
- Cà Foscari, gothic palace that overlooks the Grand Canal, the current location of the Univesity of Venice,
- Palace Vendramin, overlooks on the Grand Canal, the house of Casino of Venice.
Another idea, suggested for who wants to have a relaxing evening, is to attend a concerto or a show in one of the theaters of Venice. We remeber you that, besides the very famous and elegant Theater La Fenice, there also many others in the city, like Theater Carlo Goldoni and Theater Malibran, with an equally rich program that you can consult on the official websites.
Little gems of Venice
Venice is not only San Marco and Rialto Bridge, but it can offers you more than this during your holiday in the city!
The venetian lagoon is built on little islands, one more enchanting than the other, and all to be discovered.
We suggest you to not missing the three main islands: Murano, Burano and Torcello. In every one of them you will be live a unique atmosphere, rich of secolar traditions. If you choose this boat tour of venetian islands, you will visit Murano, the island of glass, where you will see the masters that works on the glass to create wonderful objects.
You cal walk throug the streets of Burano, surrounded by thousands colors of the houses of fishermen. The ideal place for photo photography lovers, and by the famous shops of precious laces.
And finally Torcello, that has only more or less 20 inhabitants, but in the past was more populated than Venice. On this island you will take a dip in the past, walking through the charming boulevards and the ancient Byzantine churches.
Discovering the hidden pathways of Venice
The classic itineraries that are described until now are essential for who wants to visit Venice for the first time and wants to know what to see in the city. But for those has already visited it, or simply wants to avoid the crowd of tourists that rush every day the most important attractions of the city, we suggest you some unusual place, fascinating and evocative, where you can discover the hidden corners of Venice and its soul.
The first tip that we want to give you is to visit one of the local markets of Venice, maybe the oldest and the most famous, Rialto market. It is the pulsating heart of Venice, where, walking through color and smells of the stands, it will be easy for you to immerse yourself in the daily life of the Venetian inhabitants. A characteristic and suggestive atmosphere not to be missed!
Also book’s lovers have lot of things to do in venice! In addition to the many libraries scattered around the city, a mandatory step is Acqua Alta bookshop, located in an uncrowded alley, not far from Piazza San Marco. A ot of people consider it one of the mostbeautiful libraries of the world, a microcosm made of ancient books, unusual furnitures (also a gondola!), lot of cats and the famous “acqua alta”(the exceptional tide peaks that occur periodically in Venice), of course. With acqua alta. The water takes possession of the library floor, where the books are rescued thanks to gondolas and tubs inside the library. In short, a place to visit at least once in your life!
Another place without a lot of people, but that is very interesting is the Jewish Ghetto of Venice, the ancient area of the city where jewish people lived since 1300 to the Second World War. Only few peol know that venetian ghetto is the oldest in Europe, where you can visit the ancient synagogues and the Jewish Museum.
If even in Venice you want to go shopping for a few hours, there are a lot of opportunities. In addition to the huge number of shops scattered around the city, we suggest you to visit the T Fondaco dei Tedeschi, the recent shopping center close to Rialto, where you can find the most prestigious international brands and refined Venetian excellences. You can’t miss a visit of the terrace on the roof of this beautiful palace that overlooks the Grand Canal, from which you can have a wonderful view of Venice, especially at sunset.
After an exhausting but satisfying day spent in museums, palaces and churches, but especially long walks, take it easy in the many gardens and parks scattered around Venice, such as the Parco delle Rimembranze, the Biennale Gardens, the Park Savognan or Giardini Papadopoli.
To adapt to the venetians uses, especially young people’s ones, you can’t miss a Bacaro tour: it consist in various steps in the bacari of Venice (typical venetian bar), where you can taste with your friends the traditional venetian cicheti and the unmissable “ombra de vin” (a little glass of wine).
As you can read in the post, this beautiful city has a lot to offers to its visitors and inhabitants. Through its numerous attractions, we have tried to give you a complete list of what to see in Venice and of the unmissable places of the city that, in every period can give you unique and unfeorgettable and emotions.