Sung in the works of great poets, sophisticated Venice is a city of elegant contrasts and illusions. Behind the magnificent facades of the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Square, shabby, damp-eaten neighborhoods hide, and the sparkling masks of the vibrant Venice Carnival hide the gloomy and sometimes difficult everyday reality of local residents.
And yet, Venice is grandiose, no matter what stories are written about this city. Even though it has been submerged for more than a decade, dexterous gondoliers will still ride tourists along narrow channels for many years to come. And as before, in the hot summer months, the main palazzos of Venice will be overcrowded with tourists who have flocked from all over the world just to touch the beautiful history of the most magical city in Europe.
What to see and where to go in Venice?
The most interesting and beautiful places for walking. Photos and a short description.
The main water avenue of Venice is 4 km long, passing through the whole city. Starts right at the railway station of Santa Lucia. There are many pleasure boats plying here, from where you can see the city in all its glory. There is also a lot of public transport. Along the banks are the most beautiful palazzos, ancient churches, picturesque mansions. Every year, a historic regatta is held on the Grand Canal.
St. Mark's Square
The central Venetian square, the most important city landmark and the pride of the Venetians. The square has long become a symbol of the city, its personification. Here are the main places in Venice, all cultural events take place, and the cobbled pavement is trampled on by the boots of several million tourists every year. There are two columns with statues of the winged lion and the Apostle Mark on the square.
St. Mark's Cathedral
A cult temple in the classical Byzantine style (very uncharacteristic for Western Europe), which adorns St. Mark's Square. Until the beginning of the 19th century, the cathedral served as a royal chapel, where doge rulers were crowned. The relics of the Apostle Mark are kept here, which were brought to Venice in the 10th century after the next Crusade. The cathedral began to be erected in the 11th century, but the work was completed only by the end of the 15th century.
Saint Mark's Clock Tower
A building built in the 15th century by architect M. Coducci. The tower was designed in such a way that the astronomical dial could be seen from the Adriatic Sea. Thus, all the guests of the city, stepping on the embankment, could immediately feel the power and wealth of the Venetian Republic. The tower is decorated with a sculpture of a winged lion, which is a recognizable symbol of Venice.
St. Mark's Campanile
A hundred-meter bell tower of the 16th century, which previously served as a beacon for arriving ships. In the Middle Ages, there was a torture chamber inside. There are five bells on the bell platform, each of them has its own purpose. At the beginning of the 20th century, as a result of an earthquake, the bell tower collapsed, but in 1912 it was restored again. The restorers managed to restore the tower to its original appearance.
An elegant palazzo, where for centuries the doges lived - the rulers of the independent, wealthy and influential Venetian Republic. The palace was built, completed and decorated for more than 100 years, trying to give it sufficient grandeur and luxury. That is why the architectural ensemble is a mixture of styles. Here and late European Gothic, and Byzantine classicism, and elements of the Moorish style. Nowadays, the building houses a museum.
Scuolla San Rocco
The building, owned by the brotherhood of San Rocco, was built in 1477. On the square of the same name, the charitable organization built a palace in the Renaissance style. Nowadays, in Skuolle you can see an art gallery, a rich painting of the ceiling and walls. The entire interior of the palace is related to biblical stories and Christian relics.
Bridge of Sighs
An ancient bridge in the form of an arch thrown over the Palace Canal. It connects the royal Doge's Palace with the prison. The architecture of the bridge is elegant and romantic. This is a popular date place. According to one of the Venetian beliefs, it is believed that in a couple who kiss in this place, mutual love will never fade away. True, the increased attention of tourists to this attraction can ruin all the romance of the moment.
Bridge over the Grand Canal in the Rialto quarter. All pleasure boats sail past it so that tourists can take photos as a keepsake. The crossing has existed in this place since the 12th century. At first it was a floating bridge, then a wooden one, in the 16th century. he became stone. The structure collapsed several times with enviable regularity. The construction of 1591 has survived to this day, which turned out to be stronger than its predecessors.
South Venetian bridge spanning the Grand Canal. The construction connects the San Marco area with the galleries of the art academy. The modern version of the bridge was built in 1934. It was designed by the architect Miozzi. Many times they wanted to replace the wooden structure of the structure with a metal one, but the authorities did not allow the replacement.
Cathedral of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari
Franciscan Gothic church of the XIII-XIV centuries, dedicated to the Holy Virgin Mary. During the construction, several styles were used: Byzantine, Venetian and Gothic. The best masters of that time were invited to paint the walls and decorate the interiors. For example, in the temple there is a sculpture of John the Baptist by the famous Donatello and the painting “Madonna Pesaro” by the immortal Titian.
Cathedral of Santa Maria della Salute
The church appeared as a gratitude to the Almighty for the deliverance of Venice from the terrible plague epidemic in the 17th century. The disease claimed tens of thousands of lives (more than a third of the city's population in those centuries). The construction of the cathedral lasted 50 years; for stability, countless wooden beams were driven into its foundation. The temple is located opposite the Doge's Palace on the main city square of St. Mark.
Cathedral of San Giorgio Maggiore
The church is located on the island of the same name. It was built in the 16th century in the classical style of the Renaissance. Since the 10th century, the island has been the property of the monastic order of St. Benedict. Before the earthquake at the beginning of the 13th century, there was a monastery and an old temple here, which were destroyed as a result of the elements. The new church appeared by the beginning of the 16th century. On the inner walls are depicted "Manna from Heaven" and "Last Supper" by Tintoretto.
Cathedral of Santi Giovanni e Paolo
Located on the square of the same name, built in 1430. The cathedral is dedicated to St. John and Paul. It is in this place that 18 doges of the Venetian Republic are buried. The interior of the temple is decorated with numerous works of art. The facade is made in the Gothic style. A distinctive feature of the cathedral is that there is no bell tower in the temple tower.
Church of San Pantalon
Located on St. Panteleimon Square. The church was rebuilt in its current form in 1668. The ceiling painting of the temple contains 40 biblical scenes woven together by Giovanni Fumiani. The ceiling painting in the church has no borders or frames. This creates the illusion that the walls and ceiling are one. A Christian relic is kept in the church chapel: the nail of the True Cross.
Ca' d'Oro Palace
The official name of the building is the Palazzo St. Sophia. The building was built in the 15th century. Architects Bartolomeo and Giovanni Bona, commissioned by one of the most powerful Venetian families. Gold leaf was used for exterior decoration, but it has not survived to this day. At the end of the 19th century, the mansion was acquired by Baron Giorgio Frenchetti. The aristocrat gathered a large collection of paintings, which, together with the house, went to the state after his death.
Palace of Ca' Rezzonico
Museum in a luxurious 17th century palazzo, where works by Longhi, Piasetto, Tintoretto, Guardi are exhibited. In addition to painting in the museum, you can look at sculptures, furniture and clothes. The interiors of the palace demonstrate the desire for opulent luxury, characteristic of the Venetian aristocrats in the 17th-18th centuries. The palazzo belonged to the Rezzonico family, where Pope Clement XIII came from.
Palazzo Cantarini del Bovolo
The palace in San Marco was built in 1499. The highlight of the attraction is the spiral staircase leading to the balconies, which offer a panoramic view of the city. For a long time, the Venetian palace was owned by Pietro Contarini. Today, tour groups are allowed to tour the palace.
Fondaco dei Tedeschi
A huge Venetian palace is located on the Grand Canal. The spacious and sunny courtyard was needed by German merchants who brought their goods through it into the house. In our time, the courtyard of the palace was covered with a roof. Now there are shops, cafes and souvenir shops. From the galleries of the Fondaco Palace, amazing views of Venice open up.
Teatro La Fenice
One of the main musical theaters in Venice. The building was completed by 1982. It was here that in 1813 the debut of Gioacchino Rossini took place, whose operas are now staged in all theaters of the world. Several times the theater burned down, but each time it was rebuilt in an even more magnificent form, for which it got its name (“la fenice” means “phoenix”). The last fire happened in 1996, after which the stage was opened to the audience only in 2003.
Municipal Museum of Correr
The museum, named after the collector Teodoro Correr, a representative of an aristocratic Venetian family. This philanthropist bequeathed his entire collection to the city along with the palace where this collection was located. Gradually, the museum's funds grew, new works of art were acquired, some exhibits were donated by private individuals. This is how the Foundation of the City Museums of Venice was gradually formed.
The museum was founded at the end of the 18th century. At first, it housed a school of painting and sculpture, and then exhibitions began to appear. Among the exhibits there are paintings by Veneziano, Canaletto and Titian. In the XIX-XX centuries. the collection was quite modest, but thanks to the gifts of patrons, the number of exhibition halls has increased to 24. There are always long queues at the entrance to the museum, so you have to wait to go inside.
Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Museum of Modern Art, founded by the niece of the famous collector Solomon Guggenheim (its galleries are open all over the world). Works by Kandinsky, Picasso, Klee, Dali and Miro are exhibited here. Periodically, temporary exhibitions are held on the territory of the museum. The meeting is housed in an unfinished palazzo. The basis of the exposition is paintings from the personal collection of Peggy Guggenheim.
Punta della Dogana
Art Gallery of the city, located in the old customs building. The building was built in the city in 1678. Most recently, an exhibition of contemporary art was opened in a local gallery. Provocative works attract the attention of visitors literally from the doorway. There is also a maritime exhibition in the building, where you can view fragments of ships and everything that was raised from the seabed.
An archipelago of small five islands, where Venetian glass products have been made for hundreds of years. From here, glassblowing spread throughout Venice. On the island, you can watch the process of creating masterpieces or visit one of the many shops offering products of local craftsmen for every taste. Murano glass is a well-known global brand highly valued outside of Italy.
A small island near Murano, where one of the urban areas of Venice is located. The place is interesting because there are picturesque multi-colored houses of unusually bright colors. Local legend says that it was the wives of local drunkards who painted the walls so that tipsy husbands would not confuse their house with their neighbor's. Interestingly, each building is officially assigned a certain color.
A site surrounded by canals in the Cannaregio area. It was nicknamed the ghetto due to the fact that once only Jews lived there. In 1516 they were expelled from the city, they were settled on this island. Jews in Venice were forbidden to hold public office, they could not master a number of professions, they entered the city only with the permission of the guards of the island. In order to somehow accommodate the growing population of the ghetto, the Jewish community had to build eight-story buildings.
Armory and shipyard in the historic part of Venice. The arsenal was founded at the beginning of the 12th century. for the purpose of equipping battle galleys. Here the galleon was invented - a warship, a real floating fortress, which was used in many future naval battles. Now the building of the Arsenal houses a research center and an exhibition hall where you can trace the history of the development of shipbuilding in the Venetian shipyards.
The market in the historic quarter of the city has existed for over 1000 years. Venice began its existence with the Rialto. On small islands near the Grand Canal, there are stalls with vegetables and fruits. There are also fish shops that are obligatory for these places. The modern building with shopping malls was erected in 1907. Adjacent to the market is the adjoining courthouse, where the carabinieri regularly deliver handcuffed prisoners. The market itself is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 7.30 am to lunch.
Libreria Acqua Alta
The famous bookstore, located at the Grand Canal. It does not have the usual bookshelves. All publications are stacked on the floor. When the store's old building is in danger of flooding, the owner moves the books into tubs, basins, and even boats. From 9 am, the store sells both rare editions and popular literature in Italian. At the entrance, visitors are greeted by the owner's cat, and Luigi himself, the founder of this place, stands behind the cash register.
An iconic Venetian coffee shop that has been operating since the 18th century. The cafe has several halls and even has its own orchestra. All famous people who have come to Venice for the last 150 years have made sure to mark their presence in this place. At Floriana you can taste signature desserts, cocktails and coffee. There are tales about the prices in the establishment among tourists, as they are quite high, as in any similar place.
The beaches of the Lido
The satellite island of Venice is a resort with breathtaking beaches. Ferries and boats transporting tourists run around the clock from the city's pier to the island. Lido beaches are divided into paid and free. Paid sites can only be used by guests of local hotels. The beach area consists of sand and pebble sections. All beaches are equipped with the necessary infrastructure.
Gondola - the symbol of Venice
The very first thing that comes to mind at the mention of Venice is the gondola and its helmsman: a cheerful, quick-witted and a little stupid gondolier. Walking along the Venetian canals is the most popular pastime for tourists. But few people know that some boats cost more than the most expensive cars, and in order to obtain a gondolier license, an applicant needs to study for a long time and pass a difficult exam.
Venice Film Festival
A well-known international event in the world of cinema, which brings together world stars and elites. Here, author's films, documentaries and short films are submitted to the jury. The main prize is the Golden Lion. Having received the coveted statuette, the director can count on the most profitable contracts and interesting projects. Many moviegoers from all over the world aspire to get to the Venice Film Festival.
Festive extravaganza before the onset of Great Lent, leaving traditions in the distant past. During the Carnival, the streets are filled with people in luxurious costumes and masks, many of which are works of art. Balls, dinner parties in the Renaissance and Baroque style are held in the palazzo. This is a magical time when the whole city goes into a brilliant past for ten whole days.