Venice Things To Do
Bridge of Sighs
Arguably the most iconic bridge in the world, the Bridge of Sighs connects the Doges Palace with the prison across the Rio di Palazzo waterway, and is a major attraction, especially for couples. Best admired from the water, it is said that all who pass under it will find everlasting love, and there is always a constant flow of boats and gondolas gliding beneath it. This diminutive bridge was named by Lord Byron, and continues to inspire poets, artists, writers and photographers even today.
Overlooking the lagoon and St.Mark's Square, the Gothic palace dates back to the 12th century and is one of the most imposing landmarks in Venice. The interior exudes an almost fairytale quality, and its grand halls and lavish apartments are adorned with priceless renaissance artwork, and monumental statues. A tour here gives an insight into the golden era of Venetian history.
Built at the end of the 16th century, the Rialto Bridge connects the historic Rialto Markets along the banks of the Grand Canal, and represents a remarkable feat of engineering for its time. Featuring a unique stone construction of two inclined ramps covered by a portico, the bridge has a wide central walkway, and is an ideal place to soak up the delightful waterfront architecture. Go early in the morning to escape the crowds, and browse the fascinating markets.
St. Mark's Square
St. Mark's Square has been the heart of urban Venice since the 9th century, and the site of all social, political and religious life ever since. Surrounded by colourful and historic architecture, the square just buzzes with energy, and a drink in one of the colourful pavement cafes ensures you can watch local life unfolding.
St. Mark's Basilica
A fantastic example of Byzantine architecture, St. Mark's Basilica really represents the city's wealth and power in the Middle Ages, with this imposing structure boasting an east meets west style. Built in the 11th century, the basilica earned its nickname, 'The Church of Gold', thanks to its transformation over hundreds of years, being enriched with many treasures from the east, including glittering mosaics and precious gemstones. Tours are recommended to fully experience the vast beauty of the basilica.
Number 1 Vaporetto Grand Canal Tour
The more affordable alternative to a private gondola ride, the number 1 Vaporetto Grand Canal Tour presents the perfect way to view the city, and is the most rewarding and cost-effective way to sightsee. The water taxi makes the journey from Piazzale Roma to St. Mark's Square along the Grand Canal, with 20 stops en route, where you can get on and off as you please. Boats operate throughout the day, and run every 10 minutes, and you can purchase passes for unlimited travel for up to 72 hours.
Art and Museums
Most of the famous landmarks contain innumerable art treasures. Venitian churches like the Chiesa dei Frari have outstanding work by Titian and Bellini, and the 16th century Chiesa di San Sebastiano has beautiful frescoes by Paolo Veronese. Top Venice museums include the vast collection at the amazing Gallerie dell'Accademia, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection for 20th century masters like Picasso and Pollock, the Correr Museum for Venetian masters and Canova sculptures, and the Marciano Museum for tremendous views of St Mark’s Basilica.
Venice has a typically Italian profusion of first-class cafes. Pavement terraces are excellent spots for people watching and are good for salads, pasta and pizza with a glass of wine. Venice cafes really come into their own in winter: cosy, characterful spots to warm up with fantastic coffee or a shot of high-octane hot chocolate.