Places to visit in Venice

Venice is a beautiful city with countless tourist attractions, museums, galleries and magnificent church buildings. Many of the museums are located right in the heart of the city. Venice has many interesting shopping streets as well as food markets. Since traveling on the water is a way of life in Venice, tourists must enjoy a trip up the canals in a vaporetti, gondola or perhaps cross the Grand Canal in a traghetto gondola ferry.

The Grand Canal/ Canale Grande

The canal is about 4km/2.5miles long and is the main aquatic throughfare in Central Venice. The waterway stretches from the Tronchetto parking island and the Piazzale Roma to Piazza San Marco and St. Mark’s Basin. Traveling the Grand Canal by vaporetto in the evening is especially beautiful with all the lights of Venice glowing on the water. Dozens of palaces can also be seen from the canal.

The Grand Canal has spectacular bridges that cross it. Some of them are the Ponte di Calatrava, the Accademia Bridge and the Rialto Bridge. They all offer wonderful views of the canal and of the passing boats. The Rialto Bridge is made of stone and is famous as the main crossing between the Canal banks since 1591. The stone bridge is lined with shops, and the structure of these shops actually helps to strengthen the bridge, making piers unnecessary. The Accademia Bridge is an attractive wooden structure.

St. Mark’s Square/Piazza San Marco

This is one of the world’s greatest squares and a very popular area for tourists. Although busy, the square is large enough for everyone, including the many pigeons! From fall through spring, St. Mark’s Square is occasionally flooded, and pedestrians must put on their boots or use the elevated walkways.

The St. Marks Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) dominates the square as both a house of worship and a monument to kleptomania. The building’s exterior is decorated with marble, and the magnificent interior features gold mosaics on the ceilings and walls, and a marble floor. Tourists can visit the Basilica for free, but tickets are required for the San Marco Museum, the Treasury and the Golden Altarpiece.

At St. Mark’s Square, you could also climb the Campanile or bell tower, and visit the Torre dell`Orologio or clock tower.

Adjacent to Basilica di San Marco is the Doges’ Palace or Palazzo Ducale. It was home to the government of the former Venetian Republic, and displays splendid Venetian Gothic Style.

Venice has many islands that lie approximately 4km from the Italian mainland. Some are linked by bridges, and others are only accessible by boat. Boat trips range from 6 - 45 minutes in duration, depending on how far away is the island. San Michele is Venice’s public cemetery and is a walled island. Murano is famous in the glassmaking industry and tourists may visit a factory and glass museums. Other islands are Burano, Mazzorbo and Torcello. Lido is a residential suburb with a lovely beach. It also has a lively shopping district.

Most Venetian citizens live away from the historic city center. It can be most interesting to see how they live, and to explore the endless succession of pedestrian streets, canals and bridges.

Another popular site to see is the Rialto Food Markets. There are two markets just to the north of the Rialto Bridge in San Polo. Fruits and vegetables are sold at the Erberia, and the Pescheria or fish market has many aquatic edibles and delicacies.

The Alilaguna water buses travel various routes which are distinguished by the color of the boats. Most hotels and areas in Venice can be easily reached by the ferries. Ferry boats usually leave the pier every hour.

Museums in Venice

  • The Corer Museum is dedicated to the history of Venice.
  • The Naval Museum displays many interesting boats and lagoon crafts.
  • The Natural History Museum has interesting fossils and dinosaur skeletons.
  • The Ca`Pesaro features Japanese, Chinese and Indonesian art.
  • The Palazzo Mocenigo is complete with 18th century furnishings

Other museums include the Peggy Gruggenheim Collection, the Marciano Museum, the Museo Archeologico, the Scuolo Grande Di San Rocco and Ca’ Rezzonico.

Tourists who would like to visit many of the Venice attractions and museums can save money by purchasing the Venice Card. They have a variety of offers and pricing schemes. Public transport is included in the price of these cards.