The very best of Venice, from the places you need to see to the iconic landmarks, islands and churches.
Piazza San Marco, the heart of the city, is a square enclosed by Renaissance-style marble. Under its arches, you’ll find boutiques and cafes and inside you’ll see all three of the Torre dell’Orologio (the clock, clock tower and the two statues keeping time). Alongside, there is the Campanile di San Marco, a simple tower with great importance for the city.
One €18 ticket permits you to see 4 museums, including the Palazzo Ducale, which was a residence for the doges and seat of government. The other museums are Museo Correr, Museo Archeologico and Sale Monumentali Biblioteca Marciana. Set aside at least half a day for these; don’t leave Venice without visiting them!
With no shortages of churches in Venice, the Basilica di San Marco is one you must step inside at least once. Admire the Romanic-Byzantine architecture from the outside and the golden Byzantine and Renaissance mosaics inside. Other beautiful churches include Church of the Scalzi and The Church of San Zaccaria.
The iconic Ponte Rialto with its arches and boutiques and The Ponte dei Sospiri (bridge of sighs, once used to transport prisoners) are most notable. Good photo opportunities can be had on the large bridge that greets you in front of the train station, overlooking the Grand Canal. It is one of three bridges that connect the two parts of the city. Try to see at least one sunset upon one.
Although there are a few, the most frequented by tourists is Murano (glass-making) and Burano (lace-making). There are plenty of speciality shops on both islands. It’s best to visit if you’re getting a tour to make the €20 ticket and hour and half boat trip worth it.
Good to know:
- Food- Restaurants on the water by the Rialto Bridge are as charming as ever. Alternatively, try the street food. Avoid getting food at the train station
- Getting around- don’t buy a map, go by an interactive map on your phone and lookout for the signs and arrows leading the way. You’re bound to get lost at some point; when all else fails, follow the tourists
- Gondola’s- available in abundance, costing between €80 and €100 for a ride
- Carnival- a must if you’re able to to! Click here to read more
- For my personal thoughts and experiences in this gorgeous city, click here