Top 10 to do & see in Venice
Explore the city of canals with the top 10 selection not to be missed.
What comes to your mind while dreaming about Venice? It’s romantic and inspiring canals, intrinsically interwoven architectural styles, the grandeur of St. Mark’s Square or a mystic high water flooding the city from time to time? Whatever it is, the most romantic destination of all times will never leave you indifferent.
1. St. Mark’s Square
The beginning of the history of St. Mark’s Square (in Italian: Piazza San Marco), a symbol of Venice, roughly dates to the 9th century AC. An eclectic architectural ensemble of “The Piazza” includes the great church of St. Mark, the Clock Tower (Torre dell’Orologio) and St Mark’s Campanile.
2. Rialto Bridge
Like London, in the past Venice had only one bridge across the main waterway and this was the Ponte di Rialto. Over time, the bridge has been rebuilt and the present stone bridge, built by an architect named Antonio da Ponte, dates from the end of the 16th century.
3. St. Mark’s Campanile
The bell tower of St. Mark’s church (in Italian: Campanile di San Marco) is 98.6 meters (323 ft) tall and was presumably used as a watch tower or lighthouse for the dock. Interesting to know that on July 14, 1902 it completely collapsed without taking any victims apart the caretaker’s cat. The reconstruction of the tower was approved the same evening and inaugurated on April 25, 1912.
4. Bridge of Sighs
Only a few steps from St. Mark’s Square, the Bridge of Sighs is a destination for all couples and an infinite source of legends. According to one of them, to ensure their eternal love, lovers should kiss passing on the gondola underneath the bridge at sunset.
5. St Mark’s Basilica
An incredible fact about the great church of St. Mark is that in spite of having an aura of a great cathedral, in reality it did not become the cathedral of Venice until as late as 1807. A marvelous example of Italo-Byzantine architecture, St. Mark’s Church holds the relics of St. Mark, patron saint of the city.
6. Doge’s Palace
Palazzo Ducale is the supreme expression of Gothic style in the city. This magnificent structure has come through centuries of trade, war, crusades, piracy, diplomatic exchanges and voyages of exploration, where three of the world’s greatest architectural styles – classic, Islamic and Gothic – have met and blended in an inimitable way.
7. Jewish Ghetto
Not many people are aware that the world’s first ghetto was the walled quarter Venice created for its Jews in the 16th century. Nowadays, Venice is home only to about 500 Jews with only 30 of them actually living in the historic Ghetto, remaining the focal point of Jewish life in Venice.
8. Grand Canal
Like other major European cities, Venice is traversed by a principal waterway,in the Grand Canal, which winds in an inverted s-shape through the city. A number of the original canals have now been filled in to make streets, but their presence is usually recorded in the street names by the words rio terrà. A trip over the Grand Canal by boat is an unmissable way to discover the city of water.
An ancient lace-making and fishing village, Burano is characterized by the unified scale of its two- and three-storey houses, painted in a palette of vivid colors, yet harmonized by their Istrian-stone window frames and dark-green shutters.
Murano’s reputation as a renowned glass-making center was born when the Venetian Republic, fearing frequent fire incidents and the destruction of the city’s mostly wooden buildings, ordered glassmakers to move to Murano in 1291. Nowadays, you can visit the Murano Glass Museum in the Palazzo Giustinian and marvel as glass-makers create intricate Murano glass objects.