Venice is a beautiful city in northeastern Italy. Historic, romantic, and gorgeous, the city is best known for its canals and gondola rides. The city is made of 117 small islands, which are connected by many bridges, and separated by an extensive network of canals, which makes it truly unique. Millions of tourists visit Venice to see a city that lives on the water. But there is a lot more in the city. You will see something worth remembering at every turn. Check out these top 10 places to visit in Venice.
1. St. Mark’s Square: This is a large public square or piazza in Venice and the city’s main square. Also called ‘Piazza San Marco’, St. Mark’s Square is the hub of public life in Venice. There are restaurants, cafes, and iconic buildings all around. See the St. Mark’s Clock Tower, St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, and the Campanile.
2. Grand Canal: The main waterway of Venice, which divides the city into two. This is the top tourist attraction in Venice. The canal is 2.36 miles long and there are 4 bridges on top of it. The Grand Canal connects the lagoon near the Santa Lucia railway station and the Saint Mark Basin. Gondola rides, water taxis, vaporetti. You will find many beautiful buildings on both sides. Rowing competitions are held in the canal, which is also a major tourist attraction.
3. Doge’s Palace: This is a Gothic-style palace, which has now been turned into a museum. It is the former home of the ruler of the Venetian Republic and administrative center. Doge’s Palace is one of the most recognizable buildings in Europe. See the beautiful façade, interiors, Porta della Carta, and the Bridge of Sighs. Sculptures, paintings. Gothic Venetian style architecture. Learn about the history of Doge’s Palace here.
4. Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute: A beautiful domed Roman Catholic church in Venice from the 1600s. It is also called the Church of St. Mary, or simply ‘La Salute’ by the locals. The church, which is dedicated to Virgin Mary, is located at the entrance of the Grand Canal from the St. Mark’s Basin. See the unique façade, domed structures, and interiors with the works of Titian and Tintoretto.
5. Gallerie dell’Accademia: An important museum in Venice that houses art from the 13th to the 18th century. You can see the finest Gothic, Byzantine, and Renaissance art from the city here. Don’t miss the works of famous artists like Titian, Tiepolo, Canaletto, Tintoretto, Veronese, Tiziano, Carpaccio, Canaletto, Bellini, Veronese, and others. You may have to wait for a while at the museum as only 300 people are allowed at a time.
6. Rialto Bridge: A famous 16th century stone arch bridge in Venice, located over the Grand Canal. This is the oldest bridge across the Grand Canal. There used to be a fish, vegetable, and fruit market at the Ponte di Rialto once. You will now find many restaurants, cafes, and shops selling souvenirs. It is an excellent place to get good views of the canal. Many gondolas are parked along the Rialto Bridge.
7. Burano and Murano Island: These are 2 small islands in the Venetian lagoon. Burano is famous for its lace-making and colorful houses, while Murano Island has a thriving glass-making industry and its own Grand Canal. It used to be a leading glass and ceramic center in the world. Take a water taxi or Vaporetto to reach these islands.
8. Lido di Venezia: This is a small island, actually a sandbar between the Venetian Lagoon and the Adriatic Sea. This is where you will find some of the finest beaches of Venice. There are also a few naturist beaches, mostly in the southern part. The Venice Film Festival is held at the Lido every September. There are many resorts here in the quieter, more upscale neighborhoods. You will also find restaurants, cafes, and bike rentals. All beaches face the Adriatic.
9. Jewish Ghetto: The city of Venice used to restrict the movement of the Jews once and the places where they could live. During the days of the Venetian Republic, most of them were made to live at what is now popularly called the Jewish ghetto. However, it was disbanded after Napoleon occupied the Republic and this practice was eventually completely stopped after Venice joined Italy. But before that, Jews were allowed to enter the city only during the day time. You can see the Jewish synagogues, museums, publishing houses, and the only square in the area. To this day, you will find many Jewish restaurants.
10. San Giorgio Maggiore: A small island in the Venetian Lagoon close to the city. It houses the 16th century San Giorgio Maggiore church. The church is in classical Renaissance style with beautiful white marble work. It is the headquarters of the Cini Foundation. You will get good views of Venice from the island. See the old bell tower. The island is just a short Vaporetto trip from Venice.