Venice or “La Dominanti” is undoubtedly the most beautiful city ever that was built by man. The picturesque city in all its majestic grandeur is surrounded by 118 small islands and it is Venice that has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site along with its water lagoon. The Italian city lies surrounded by Po and Piave rivers and is a center of art and architecture and beautiful settings. The city that is linked by bridges and separated by canals from rest of the islands is also known as “city of masks”, city of canals or floating city due to the sheer number of canals it is surrounded by. The city gets its name from ancient Vente People who lived here during 10th century BC and is the capital of Venetian Republic. The city is not only popular for its contemporary culture but also for its ancient historic roots. The city has played host to maritime power in middle ages and during Renaissance. It was also a staging area for Crusade and Battle of Lepantos. It also was a commercial and economic center which explains its wealth and rich history. It was an export center for silk, spices, grains and artworks during early 13th century up to late 17th century. It was also associated with artistic movements during Renaissance and is home to various well known creators. the city’s rich cultural heritage beckons everyone to at least pay it a visit once and immerse in the grandeur of this beautiful city and enjoy the sights it has to offer to every visitor.
The most beautiful and romantic city has a lot to offer and while you are here, take a look at top 10 places you must visit when in Venice.
10. Accademia (Gallarie Dell’ Accademia)
The Gallerie dell’s Accademia is a museum gallery which contains masterpieces of Venetian painting up to 18th century and is situated on the south bank of the Grand Canal. The Accademia was founded in 1750 and Giovanni Battista Piazzette was its first president and it was the first institution to study art restoration by 1777 with Pietro Edward, which was formalized as a course in 1807. The Accademia was renamed as Accademai Reale di Belle Arti and moved to its current position in 1807 by the orders of Napoleonic occupying forces.
9. Palazzo Santa Sofia
Commonly known as Ca’ d’Oro (golden house) it is situated on the Grand Canal and is one of the oldest palazzo. It was built between 1428 and 1430 for the Contarini family which provided eight Doges between 1043 and 1676. The chief architects were Giovanni Bon and his son Bartolomeo Bon, best known for their work on Doge’s place. On the Ca’ d’Oro’s ground floor a recessed colonnaded loggia which provide access to the entrance hall directly from canal. After the fall of the Venetian republic in 1797, the palazzo was acquired by Marie Taglioni, who destroyed the ornate balconies and removed staircase from inner courtyard. The palazzo was bequeathed to the State by 1922 and inner stairway was reconstructed.
8. San Giorgio Maggiore
San Giorgio Maggiore is a picturesque and historic island lying east of Giudecca and south of the main island group. It was owned by the Memo family and had a church by 829 constructed by St. George. Doge Tribuno Memo donated the whole island to monk Giovanni Morosini to establish monastery in 982. San Giorgio is best known for the church of San Giorgio Maggiore build in 1566 by Palladio. It is now headquarter of the Cini Foundation arts Centre and home to Teatro Verde open-air theatre.
7. Museo Correr
Museo Correr is also located in the famous St. Marks Square, right next to the St Mark’s Campanile. The Museo Correr is a very important place to include in your trip. It is one of the 11 civic museums with rich and varied collection about art and history of Venice, and extends along the south side of Piazza. A member of traditional Venetian family dedicated most of his life for the collection of work of art and history and upon his death all his materials were donated to the city with their palace, the nobleman left some funds to be used to extend his collection and make it available for the people. When Venice came under Austria in 1814, this palace was used as the house of Emperor Franz and was handed over to State by 1919 by king of Italy Vittorio Emanuele III.
6. St. Mark’s Campanile
This is a 98.6 meter tower located in the Piazza San Marco made up of fluted brick square shaft, above which is a loggia surrounding of belfry, containing 5 bells. The belfry is topped by a cube showing alternate faces of Lion of St. Mark and female representation of Venice. This tower was used as a watch tower and lighthouse for dock. In July 1902, the north wall of tower showed some cracks and on July 14 the tower completely collapsed, demolishing the logetta. The new tower was inaugurated on April 25, 1912, on the occasion of Saint Mark’s feast day.
5. The Bridge of Sighs
The Bridge of Sighs is located alongside the Doges Palace, northern Italy. This is an incredible example of architecture made up of limestone with window rising a few meters above water and made up of stone bars. It passes from Rio di Palazzo and also connects the interrogation rooms in Doge’s Palace to New Prison. This bridge name given by Lord Byron in the 19th century came from suggestion that the prisoners would sight their last view of beautiful Venice. It was designed by Antoni Contino and built in 1602.
4. The Grand Canal
The Grand Canal is the main water route in Venice nearly 4 kilometer long and 80 meter wide and forms one of the major water-traffic corridors in the city. The Grand Canal connects the railway station to the west and the St. Mark’s square to the east through a scenic and in between it makes a large S-shape through the central districts. The Venetian families faced huge expenses while making of this canal to show off their richness. The banks of the canal are connected with over 170 buildings and some churches like Senta Maria delle Salute. Many festivals are being celebrated from centuries along the bank of the canal like Historical Regatta. There are currently four bridges across the canal.
3. Rialto Bridge
It is the oldest and biggest stone bridge over Grand Canal and was dividing line of districts of San Macro and San Polo. Rialto market on the eastern basin increased traffic on floating bridge son it was replaced by a timber bridge but that didn’t work as it was burnt in the revolt led by Bajamonte Tiepolo in 1310 and 1444 and it also collapsed by the weight of crowd during boat parade in 1524. The idea for stone bridge was first proposed in year 1503 and plans were offered by many famous architects, the present day stone bridge designed by Antonio da Ponte was completed in year 1591 and is similar to the wooden bridge before it. The bridge has defined its critics to become one of the architectural icons of Venice.
2. St. Mark’s Basilica
It is one of most famous church in the city and best known example of Byzantine architecture. Originally it was a chapel of the Doge constructed in 828, this was replaced by a new church in 832 but that was burned in a rebellion in 976, rebuilt in 978 and again to form the basis of present basilica since 1647. While the basic structure of the building remains nearly unchanged, its decoration has changed greatly over time. The interior is based on a Greek cross, and the upper order of the interior is completely covered with bright mosaics containing gold, bronze and a variety of stones.
1. Doges Palace
The Doges Palace is the most important landmark of city Venice built in Venetian style. The palace was the residency of Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of republic Venice and became a museum in 1923. In 810 Doge Angelo Partecipazio ordered to build a palace however no traces of that palace were left behind and was destroyed in the 10th century fire. The reconstruction was done and a new palace was built out of fortresses although very few traces remain of that palace. Only in 1424, did Doge Franceso Foscari extended the rebuilding work to the wing overlooking the Piazza and serving as law courts. In 1483 reconstruction become necessary as a violent fire broke out and this time a new Renaissance language was added to the building’s architecture. Since 1996 Douges Palace has been a part of Venice museum network.