Attractions

  • Saint Mark's Basilica

    Address:
    Saint Mark's Basilica, Piazza San Marco, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy .

    Basilica San Marco, the grand, multi-domed church on Saint Mark's Square is one of Venice's top attractions and one of Italy's most spectacular cathedrals. Exhibiting influences from Byzantine, Western European, and Islamic architecture all related to Venice's past as a major seafaring power, Saint Mark's Basilica is truly an embodiment of the Venetian aesthetic.


    Visitors flock to Basilica San Marco to admire its gleaming, golden Byzantine mosaics, which adorn the church's main portal as well as the inside of each of the basilica's five domes. Most of the astounding ornamentation of Saint Mark's Basilica dates from the 11th to the 13th centuries. In addition to gorgeous mosaics, Basilica San Marco also houses the relics of its namesake, the apostle Saint Mark, and the sumptuous Pala d'Oro, a golden altarpiece decorated with priceless jewels.


    Location: Basilica San Marco dominates one side of Piazza San Marco, or Saint Mark's Square, the main square of Venice. The square and basilica combined to form one of the most iconic and recognizable scenes in the Western world, be sure to take a moment and soak in the beauty before you head to the entrance doors.
    Hours: Saint Mark's Basilica is open Mondays through Saturdays 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and Sundays until 4:30 p.m. (5 p.m. in the summer). Last entrance is usually 15 minutes before closing. On religious holidays, especially at Easter and Christmas, the basilica may open late or close early, so be sure to check current times before you try to visit.
    Admission: Admission to the Basilica is free, but visitors should expect to pay entrance fees during holidays or to special parts of the basilica complex, such as the Saint Mark's museum, Pala d'Oro, the Bell Tower, and the Treasury. To help manage the dense crowds, visitors are allowed approximately 10 minutes to walk through and admire the basilica's beauty. On hot, sunny days, wear a hat and comfortable shoes, and bring a bottle of water.

  • St. Mark's Square

    Address:
    St. Mark's Square, Piazza San Marco, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy .

    Piazza San Marco, often known in English as St Mark's Square, is the principal public square of Venice, Italy, where it is generally known just as la Piazza. All other urban spaces in the city are called campi. The Piazzetta is an extension of the Piazza towards San Marco basin in its south east corner. The two spaces together form the social, religious and political centre of Venice and are commonly considered together. A remark usually attributed to Napoleon calls the Piazza San Marco "the drawing room of Europe".

  • Rialto Bridge

    Address:
    Rialto Bridge, Sestiere San Polo, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy .

    The arched Rialto Bridge, or Ponte di Rialto, is central to the history of Venice and is now one of the most famous bridges in Venice, if not the world, and one of Venice's top attractions.
    This was the first of only four bridges that today span the Grand Canal:
    Ponte dell Accademia, rebuilt in 1985
    Ponte degli Scalzi, built in 1934
    The modern Ponte della Costituzione, or Ponte di Calatrava, built in 2008 and designed by famed Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava 
    And the 500-year-old stone Rialto Bridge, which is packed with shops on either side. As such, the 16th-century Rialto Bridge is by far the oldest Grand Canal bridge and divides the districts of San Marco and San Polo.
    The bridge gets its name from the Rialto, the first district of Venice to be developed when people began to settle here in the ninth century. It didn't take long for the area to become the commercial and financial hub of a burgeoning city. The bridge is also a gateway to the Rialto Market, a warren of sellers to the west of the span hawking produce, spices, fish and more, and the city's principal food market since the 11th century.


    Prior to the construction of the Rialto Bridge in the late 16th century, a series of bridges occupied this natural crossing, the so-called "lazy bend" of the Grand Canal and its narrowest point. Because this bridge was the only place to cross the Grand Canal on foot, it was imperative to construct a bridge that would hold up to heavy use and would also allow boats to pass underneath.


    Beginning in 1524, artists and architects, including Sansovino, Palladio, and Michelangelo (yes, that Michelangelo) began submitting blueprints for the new bridge. But no plan was chosen until 1588 when municipal architect Antonio da Ponte was awarded the commission. Interestingly, da Ponte was the uncle of Antonio Contino, the architect of Venice's other unmistakable bridge, The Bridge of Sighs connecting the ducal palace with the prison.

    The Rialto Bridge today
    The Rialto Bridge is an elegant, arched stone bridge formed of three sets of stairs divided by arcades. The central stairs are lined with shops and vendors and so densely packed that it's easy to miss the fact that you're crossing over the Grand Canal. These shops occupy some of the most expensive real estate in Venice, so while it's nice to say you bought a souvenir on the Rialto Bridge, this is not the cheapest place to find your keepsake of Venice. 

  • Grand Canal

    Address:
    Grand Canal, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy .

    Grand Canal : the main waterway of Venice, Italy. It is lined on each side by palaces and spanned by the Rialto Bridge.

  • Bridge of Sighs

    Address:
    Bridge of Sighs, Piazza San Marco, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy .

    The Bridge of Sighs, known as the Ponte dei Sospiri in Italian, is one of the most famous bridges not just in Venice, but in the world.


    The bridge passes over the Rio di Palazzo and connects the Dogi's Palace to the Prigioni, the prisons that were built across the canal in the late 16th century. But where does its name come from, and why has this bridge become a symbol of romance in the modern era?


    History and Architecture of the Bridge of Sighs
    Antonio Contino designed and built the Bridge of Sighs in 1600. Though highly ornamental, built of white limestone with lattice-like screens covering two small rectangular windows, the footbridge served a very practical purpose. It was used to lead prisoners from the examining rooms to their cells in the Prigioni.

    Legend has it that prisoners who crossed the bridge on the way to their prison cells or the execution chamber would sigh as they caught their last glimpses of Venice through the tiny windows. The bridge and its unforgettable name became particularly famous after Romantic poet Lord Byron referenced it in his 1812 book "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage": "I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs; a palace and a prison on each hand."


    View From the Bridge of Sighs
    The legend of the bridge, while well known, is incorrect: Once someone is on the Bridge of Sighs, very little of Venice is visible from one end to the other. It's more plausible that the "sighs" were the prisoners' last breaths in the free world because once in Dogi, there was little hope of ever being released.

    To further challenge the legend, most historical accounts suggest that only low-level criminals were kept in the Prigioni, and the bridge wasn't even built until the Renaissance era in Italy, which was well after inquisitions had become a thing of the past.

    Romance and the Bridge of Sighs
    The Bridge of Sighs has become a symbol of love in a city that drips with romance.

    Access to the Bridge of Sighs is available only through booking the Itinerari Segreti, the Secret Itineraries tour. You may also get a closer look at its exterior by taking a gondola tour. And if you want to be especially romantic, take that gondola tour with your beloved.

    It's said that if a couple in a gondola kisses as they pass under the bridge at sunset as the bells of St. Mark's toll, their love will last forever.

    In addition to motivating many romantic gestures, the Bridge of Sighs also has inspired many architects, including American Henry Hobson Richardson, known for his "Richardson Romanesque" style.

  • Burano

    Address:
    Burano, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy .

    Burano is an island in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy, near Torcello at the northern end of the lagoon, known for its lace work and brightly coloured homes. The primary economy is tourism.

  • Murano Island

    Address:
    Murano, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy .

    Murano Island
    Murano Island, famous for glass-making, is the most popular Venetian island among tourists. A few centuries ago, all glassmakers were required to live on the island to protect the glass-making secrets. Today the tradition of glassmaking continues here and you can find out all about it in the glass museum.

    Some glass factories allow visitors or tours and there are many shops selling glass creations and souvenirs. Murano also has canals, sidewalk cafes and restaurants.

    Getting There: From Fondamenta Nove, Vaporetto Number 12, 13, 41, or 42 to Murano. For guided tours to the island, ask at us
     

  • Torcello

    Address:
    Torcello, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy .

    Torcello is one of the most popular islands to visit in the Venice lagoon yet it is still fairly peaceful. The main reason for visiting the island is to see the spectacular Byzantine mosaics in the seventh-century Cathedral of Santa Maria Dell'Assunta. Much of the island is a nature reserve, accessible only on the walking paths.

    Founded in the 5th century, Torcello is even older than Venice and was a very important island in ancient times, once having a population possibly around 20,000. Eventually, malaria hit the island and much of the population either died or left. Buildings were plundered for building material so that little remains of its once splendid palaces, churches, and monasteries.

  • Doge Palace

    Address:
    Palazzo Ducale, Piazza San Marco, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy .

    Doge's Palace, also known as the Palazzo Ducale, is one of the most famous buildings in Venice. Situated on the grand Piazza San Marco, the palace was the home of the Doge (ruler of Venice) and the seat of power for the Venetian Republic, which lasted more than 1,000 years. Today, the Doge's Palace is one of Venice's must-see museums.


    Any building worthy of being called a palace should be lavish, and the Doge's Palace is especially ornate. From its stunning exterior, decorated in a Gothic style with an open portico, a second-floor balcony, and patterned brick, to its interior of grand staircases, gilded ceilings, and frescoed walls, the Doge's Palace is a sight to behold inside and out. In addition to being a home for the Doge and a gathering place for Venetian dignitaries and administrators, the Doge's Palace also contained the prisons of the Republic, some of which were accessed via one of Venice's most famous bridges: the Bridge of Sighs.​

    A visitor could easily get lost marveling at all of the paintings, statues, and architecture of the Doge's Palace. 

  • Museo Correr

    Address:
    Museo Correr, Piazza San Marco, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy .

     located on Piazza San Marco, the Museo Correr is dedicated to Venice's civic history. The museum is named after Venetian aristocrat Teodoro Correr, whose last will and testament bequeathed many of the items in the collection, including paintings, drawings, copperplates, coins, seals, and classical antiquities. Of particular interest in the Museo Correr are the fine marble sculptures by Antonio Canova and the many paintings and drawings of the Venetian cityscape as it has changed through the centuries. Admission to the Museo Correr is included with that of the Doge's Palace.

  • Scala Contarini del Bovolo

    Address:
    Scala Contarini del Bovolo, Campo Manin, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy .

    In Venice, places of interest that few talk about, but that should be absolutely visited, we certainly have the Scala contarini del Bovolo at the top of the list.

    Over the centuries the palace has had several "owners" but only with the arrival of the Contarini family was it enriched by this noble staircase. The name derives partly from the family, and partly from "bovolo" which in Venetian means snail or better to say in this case snail.

    You will be enchanted by this splendid spiral staircase hidden in the heart of Venice, a real jewel to be admired up close ... with a memorable view of Venice from above!

  • Teatro La Fenice

    Address:
    Teatro La Fenice, Campo San Fantin, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy .

    If you are visiting Venice, the Teatro La Fenice is definitely a must for making your stay in Venice unique. The visit between the stuccos and gold of its prestigious venues let you take a look at the secrets of the Theater and its stars, tracing its history from its origins to the present day.

    The Theatre hosts a Maria Callas exhibition, focused on her Venetian years.

  • Luxury shopping street

    Address:
    Calle Larga XXII Marzo, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy .

    Calle Larga XXII marzo near Piazza San Marco is the street preferred by lovers of luxury shopping, since here are the most important boutiques in Venice.

  • Ca' D'oro

    Address:
    Ca 'd'Oro, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy .

    The Ca 'd'Oro is a well-known building in Venice, located in the Cannaregio district overlooking the Grand Canal. Its name derives from the fact that originally some parts of its facade were covered with a golden edge, forming part of a complex polychromy that pitifully has been lost with the pass of time. However, this building is considered one of the best examples of Venetian Gothic.

    Today Ca 'd'Oro, after a deep restoration, has been transformed into a museum and houses a beautiful art collection belonging to Baron Giorgio Franchetti.

    In this Gothic Venetian style palace, visitors can admire many photographs of the Venetian school, among them the famous San Sebastiano by Andrea Mantegna and other masterpieces of the Tuscan and Flemish schools, as well as small and wonderful bronze statues and sculptures from the Renaissance. In the Ca 'd'Oro annex, there is a very interesting collection of pottery found in the Venice lagoon.

  • Ca' Rezzonico

    Address:
    Ca' Rezzonico, Dorsoduro, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy .

    Ca 'Rezzonico is one of the most important buildings in Venice and at the same time is one of the few that can be visited today. It is located on the bank of the Grand Canal in the district of Dorsoduro. Ca 'Rezzonico is a rich Venetian residence that houses a valuable collection of 18th century Venice furniture and paintings.

    The donations of Egidio Martini include several paintings, almost entirely belonging to the Venetian school from the '400 to the beginning of ‘900. This marvelous collection includes works by Cima da Conegliano, Alvise Vivarini, Bonifacio de 'Pitati, Tintoretto, Palma the Young, Bernardo Strozzi, Ippolito Caffi, Emma Ciardi among others, a jewel in Venice to discover.

  • Libreria Acqua Alta

    Address:
    Libreria Acqua Alta, Calle Lunga Santa Maria Formosa, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy .

    Hidden among the calle of Venice there is one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. In a city where the streets are made up of canals full of water, collecting books can be a gamble, but the Acqua Alta Library manages floods well.

    In this library you will not find books crammed on the shelves, but nestled in bathtubs, gondolas and canoes: it's a real show.

    This spectacular place with a staircase made of books is located on Calle Lunga Santa Maria Formosa. Acqua Alta is among the 10 most beautiful bookstores in the world according to BBC. Books, magazines, maps and ephemeral things invade the entire space of the library. In addition to the books that can be consulted, the old volumes and encyclopedias that no one consults anymore have become furnishings.