Our top sights, highlights, and exclusive tips
Venice, a city of expression, romance, and architecture, welcomes you. Follow in the footsteps of famous past residents: merchant Marco Polo, exuberant spy Casanova, and renaissance painter Bellini, and wake to enjoy a breakfast of pastries and espresso in a local café. Visit Doge’s Palace and then St. Mark’s Square, a flatland of serene beauty among the waterways. Enjoy a lunch of Bigoli in Salsa with a glass of Pinot Grigio before hopping on a gondola to float along the Grand Canal at moonlight. In the “Floating City,” there’s no wrong direction.
A pink building with a white line of pillars and arching entries, Doge’s Palace is a splendor of Venetian architecture located by St. Mark’s Square. Enter this building and gaze at paneled doors and ornate ceilings of intricate, historic beauty. Doge’s Palace was once a seat of power for a Venetian Republic for over 1,000 years. Walk grand staircases full of admiration, step outside to take in its stunning exterior, before hopping in a gondola and moving with the current.
Enjoy a local spread known as cicheti: bitesize eats of octopus, sardines, and meatballs that go nicely with a glass of prosecco at a local bàcari tavern. The Rialto Bridge at sunset in the “City of Canals” is the perfect spot to relax outdoors after such a feast. This stone bridge was originally completed in 1591 and invites you to walk between rising arches and gaze across the Grand Canal in awe of its majesty.
In Italian they call Venice’s largest and most beautiful flatland, St. Mark’s Square, Piazza San Marco. And to its east is the Italo-Byzantine architectural delight, St Mark’s Basilica. Built in the 9th century AD, inside the cathedral 85,000 square feet of mosaics glow. Doge’s Palace and library Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana astound equally and demand attention. All of what we imagine Venice to be is in St. Mark’s Square.
Teatro la Fenice is a venue that celebrates world-class performance. Orchestral and operatic compositions by Bellini, Donizetti, and Verdi have soared in a theater that has twice risen from the ashes since opening in 1712. How brilliant the venue looks from a balcony under evening light. Take a night to experience world-class acoustics that illuminates live performances of soprano song, on the banks of the moonlit Rio de la Verona canal.
What better name to give Venice’s beautiful waterway than The Grand Canal? Hop on a gondola and be guided between buildings that date from the 13th to the 18th century—it’s a pleasing view. An S-shaped waterway, the Grand Canal has been Venice’s centrepiece attraction since ancient times of early settlements. Boat ride at sunset as the sky pinks to take in the majestic and classic Venetian architecture.
Venice Giardini is a leafy park full of inviting green spaces. The park houses 29 pavilions that host national art from around the world and hosts La Biennale, an art exhibition that runs for several months throughout the year. In the district of Castello, locals leisurely amble by beautiful statues, pausing to enjoy Sarde in saor by a water fountain with a Bellini, a glas of sparkling prosecco made from peaches.
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