HomeSestiere San Marco, the heart of Venice

Sestiere San Marco, the heart of Venice

Venice is a very hard city to visit witout a map, ans it is also a very ppeculiar city and, to live it better, tourists always need for a little help.. For this reason this page will help you to discover sestiere San Marco, and will suggest you the best attractions and restaurants of the area, to be sure that you will try and visit everything.


Where is sestiere San Marco?

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To arrive in sestiere San Marco from Piazzale Roma and from Santa Lucia Train Station we have two options:
The lines of the ferry boat service are:

  • line 1, which takes approximately 40 minutes
  • line 2 that takes more or less 25 minutes

On foot it takes 30-40 minutes and the itinerary is Lista di Spagna, Strada Nova, Campo San Bartolomeo and Mercerie. If you have luggage to carry on it is suggested to take the ferry boat.
From Rialto you arrive in Piazza San Marco traveling through Mercerie in 10 minutes.

What to do and what to see in sestiere San Marco

Sestiere San Marco is the richest and splendid of the city with its numerous monuments and with the richness of art that encloses within it.
It takes the name by the Cathedral that was built to to contain the body of the evangelist Marco, now the patron saint of the city, and replaced the original name of Rivoalto from which the name Rialto derives.
The heart of sestiere is Piazza San Marco, famous as “living room of the world” becauseis the location of the most important political and religious events of the Republic of Venice, and the center of all the venetian life for almost a millennium. This is the only area of the city that is called “square”, because the others open spaces are named fields and courtyards.

In this square we can find:

  • Doge’s Palace and the Cathedral of San Marco, two symbols of the City of Venice
  • New and Old Procuratie, that inglobes the best cafè of the City, like Caffè Florian.
  • Campanile of San Marco, place where you can have an impressive view of all the city

Have a nice walking that starts from Piazza San Marco and ends in Rialto’s area, along Mercerie, the heart of the venetian trade. It is the main shopping street, where there are luxury shops and jeweleres.

Peculiarities about sestiere San Marco

In sestiere San Marco we can find Marciana’s library, famous for a scene of the film “The Tourist” with Jhonny Depp and Angelina Jolie. The scene shooted was in the Police Station, where the main character is because he had throwed a carabiniere in the water of the lagoon.
In sestiere San Marco there is also the Conservatory Benedetto Marcello, whit a garden where a gunfire of the film Casino Royale, chapter one of the film series 007, was set.

Monuments and attractions in San Marco

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The district of San Marco is the richest of attractions and monuments of the city. We can distinguish them between the “must see” and the others to visit with more time available. Let’s start see what to visit in sestiere San Marco.

Unmissable attractions in sestiere San Marco

If we think about this district, Piazza San Marco immediately comes to mind, the true vital heart of this area, enclosed by Old and New Procuratie and a starting point for the visit of this sestiere. In this square there is the Doge’s Palace, the seat of Venetian political power and the San Mark’s Cathedral, the main church of Venice, the cathedral and the seat of the patriarch.
Also in this square there is San Marco’s Campanile, defined as “El Paròn de casa” that, from its 98 meters high, offers an evocative view of the city and the Torre dell’Orologio or Torre dei Mori overlooking on one side the access to Piazza San Marco, while on the other the commercial area of the city, or Merceria.

Leaving the square ang going to Bridge of Paglia a must for the tourists is a picture of Ponte dei Sospiri that links Doge’s Palace with prigioni Nuove.

If we move from th Square we can find a lot of important points of interest, like the Theater La Fenice, the most important opera house of Venice, Theater Goldoni, the oldest of the city and Palazzo Grassi/Punta della Dogana, overlooking the Grand Canal, permanent location of the collection François Pinault and location of other contemporary art expositions.
It deserves also a visit the Church San Moisè, an example of baroque architecture and the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, located in front of sestiere San Marco. Here stands the Church San Giorgio Maggiore with its monastery, the location of Giorgio Cini Foundation.

What to visit if you have more time available

If you have more time available and you love museums we suggest you to visit Museum Correr which offers a lot of itineraries to discover the art and the history of Venice and the National Archeological Museum, located in Procuratie Nuove, with a lot of finds of venetian collectionism.
Another important attraction in Church San Salvador, close to Rialto Bridge and Academy, where there are some important paintings like “Annunciazione” of Tiziano Vecellio.
Finally, you can go to Marciana National Library that houses the mot important collections of latin, oriental and greek manuscripts and a quick stop at Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo,very close to Campo Manin, which feature is the stair outside the circolar tower.

Best restaurants in San Marco


If you are in the district San Marco and you want to have lunch or dinner we can suggest you some place where to eat some good fish or some delicious dish.

The best places where taste the venetian cooking are:

  • Trattoria al Gazzettino, where you can eat a mixed fried fish or choose from the menu that offers typical venetian dishes
  • Ai mercanti proposes typical but renewed venetian dishes, that unifies in an unusual way different dishes and the result is particularly refined.
  • Restaurant La Caravella, historical venetian restaurant, looks like and old sailing ship, it offers both dishes of the venetian tradition to make known the venetian cuisine both dishes reinterpreted by the chef.
  • Restaurant and Pizzeria Rosa Rossa, famous beacuse it hosted more than once time the actor Jhonny Depp during the shooting of a film (he left an unusual drawing on the floor), it offers both meat and fish dishes, as well as the classic pizza.
  • You can’t miss a stop at Harry’s Bar for a drink, where you can taste Bellini, a cocktail invented by the owner Cipriani, prepared with prosecco and peach juice.

Where to stay

If you want to stay in the heart of Venice you have to book an hotle inside sestiere San marco. This solution allows you to be very close to the most important attractions of the city.


Hotel San Maurizio

ZONA: Calle Zaguri, San Marco, Venice
This hotel i very close to San Marco Square, a perfect place for who wants to spend some day in Venice and visit all the mos important points of interest. Rooms are not very spacious but are furnished in venetian style, and are clean and with wi-fi. Staff is very kind and helpful for giving information.


Locanda Casa Petrarca

Calle Schiavine, San Marco, Venice
Locanda Casa Petrarca is almost in San Marco Square, inside a little calle (the typical narrow street of Venice) easy to find with the help of a map. The building has 7 rooms, not very big but well furnished, clean and well kept by the nice owners, always helpful to give informations and advices. Every room has free wi fi and breakfast included.


Hotel San Samuele

Salizzada San Samuele, San Marco, Venice
Hotel San Samuele is very close to San Marco Square, but has also a great central position, close to a lot of palaces and attractions. Rooms are well kept, clean and spacious. Free wi-fi is available in every room and the staff is very kind and helpful.

Video of sestiere San Marco

Here below we propose a video that will make you feel the magnificence of sestiere of San Marco to make you understand what awaits you:

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