Venice, Italy, is known to be one of the most magical place on earth. Sitting in the Adriatic Sea like a vision (especially if one first approaches it from the mainland by boat), the city is an emblematic symbol of art, culture, and evokes the power of imagination.
The Basilica di San Marco ("Saint Mark's Basilica" in English), right next to Saint Mark's Square and near the Doge's Palace, is the most famous of Venice's churches, and is among the world's best-known examples of Byzantine architecture. The basilica is today considered a living monument to the heritage of the Byzantine, Roman, and Venetian cultures.
One of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice, the Rialto Bridge is the oldest and serves as the dividing line between the San Marco and San Polo districts. It began as a floating pontoon bridge built by Nicolò Barattieri in the late-12th century and was named Ponte della Moneta due to its proximity to the entrance of the mint.
Officially titled Palazzo Santa Sofia, the Ca’ d’Oro (or “Golden House”) is one of the oldest palaces on Venice’s Grand Canal. It was nicknamed due to the gilt and polychrome decorations that once adorned the walls, with delicate marble filigree by Bartolomeo Bon on the façade that would have made an undeniably impressive vision.
Considered one of "the most famous and renowned landmarks in the history of Italian theatre”, Teatro La Fenice is an opera house in the heart of Venice. It was here that some of the most celebrated operas were premiered during the 19th century, including those by composers such as Verdi, Bellini and Rossini.
An iconic symbol of Venice, gondolas are a traditional, flat-bottomed rowing boat that was once the preferred means for Venetians to get around the city’s canals. These wooden boats are made by hand in special workshops known as squeri, with a few still in operation today.
Dating to the 16th century, the Scuola Grande di San Rocco is one of the most beautiful buildings in Venice. It was constructed from white marble to house a charitable society dedicated to San Rocco, regarded by many as a protector against the plague.
Located on the Grand Canal in the Dorsoduro sestiere, Palazzo Rezzonico (also known as Ca' Rezzonico) is an opulent palace that provides a fascinating glimpse into 18th-century Venetian life. It was designed by the Baroque architect Baldassare Longhena, but not completed until 1756 (almost 100 years later) by Giorgio Massari.
Situated on the Campo dei Frari in the heart of the San Polo district, the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari is one of the most important churches in Venice. Affectionately known as the “Frari”, construction began on the church around 1340 by the Franciscans and its immense campanile (the second tallest in the city) was completed in 1396.
Considered the “parent island” of Venice, Torcello lies at the northern end of the Venetian Lagoon. It was first settled in the 5th century, developing into a bustling commercial town with its own cathedral by the 12th century and believed to be from where Venice’s population originated.
Nicknamed the “marble church”, Santa Maria dei Miracoli is one of the best-preserved examples of early Venetian Renaissance architecture. It was designed by Pietro Lombardo and built between 1481 and 1489 to enshrine a picture of the Virgin Mary, with the plans expanded in 1484 to include a new convent.
Separating the Venetian Lagoon from the Adriatic Sea, the Lido di Venezia is a 12-kilometer-long strip of sand that is considered Europe’s first beach resort. It was once the place to be seen for celebrities and royalty, with grand hotels and Art Nouveau villas lining its golden sands.
Located overlooking the water in Piazza San Marco, the Colonna di San Marco e San Teodoro are two columns topped with bronze and marble statues that honor Venice’s patron saints. San Marco Evangelista is depicted as a winged lion on the Column of the Lion, while San Teodoro is seen atop the other.
One of the most iconic landmarks in Venice, the Campanile di San Marco is the soaring bell tower of Saint Mark’s Basilica. It stands alone in a corner of Piazza San Marco near the front of the basilica and towers to a height of almost 100 meters.
Towering on the northern side of Piazza San Marco near the entrance to the Merceria, the Torre dell’Orologio adjoins the eastern end of the Procuratie Vecchie. This Renaissance clock tower dates to the late 15th century and was designed to exhibit the wealth of Venice and strategically placed to be visible from the lagoon waters.
One of the largest churches in Venice, Santi Giovanni e Paolo is located in the Castello sestiere and was built on the remains of an earlier church. Doge Jacopo Tiepolo donated the land after he experienced a vivid dream in which white doves flew over it.
Situated near the University of Venice, Campo Santa Margherita is a prominent city square in the Dorsoduro sestiere. It is named after a church that once stood on its northern side and has long been home to fisherman’s stalls and a small vegetable market.
Located in the lively Dorsoduro sestiere of Venice, Campo San Barnaba is a small square named after the San Barnaba Church. This Neoclassical church was dedicated to the Apostle Saint Barnabas and dates to 1776 when it was reconstructed based on designs by Lorenzo Boschetti.
Renowned for its long tradition of glassmaking, Murano is a series of seven islands linked by bridges in the Venetian Lagoon. Jump aboard a vaporetto and make the short ride across the lagoon to visit Murano’s Museo del Vetro and shop for locally crafted glasswork.
One of the biggest attractions in Venice is the spectacular Doge's Palace, also known as the Palazzo Ducale. Much of the present building dates from the 15th century – although an earlier building on the spot may date back to the 9th century - and has been rebuilt and added on to several times.
Positioned on the narrow Punta della Dogana that lies between the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal, Santa Maria della Salute is a Roman Catholic church in the Dorsoduro sestiere of Venice. Construction began in 1631 following a devastating outbreak of the plague and the church was dedicated to Our Lady of Deliverance (“Salute”), with many of its art works referencing the “Black Death”.
Established by the Italian Royal Navy in 1919 (just after the end of World War I), the Museo Storico Navale (Museum of Naval History) is located in the Castello district of Venice. It highlights the naval and maritime history of the city and its famous Arsenale (Arsenal), with a fascinating collection of ship models and old weapons.
Dedicated to pre-19th-century art, the Gallerie dell’Accademia is one of Venice’s most famous art museums. It’s situated on the southern bank of the Grand Canal and originally served as the gallery of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia until the art school was relocated to the Ospedale degli Incurabili in 2004.
The Riviera del Brenta connects Padua with the lagoon of Venice by 36 km of beautiful and unique countryside: a landscape which portrays art and culture, nature and history.The construction of the canal began in the 16th century.
The emperor Napoleon supposedly described it as "the finest drawing room in all of Europe" and if you visit Piazza San Marco in Venice, it's easy to agree with him. The square, also known as Saint Mark's Square – dedicated to the city's patron saint - is one of the most beautiful public squares in Europe.
Nestled between Palazzo Tiepolo and Palazzo Barbarigo della Terrazza on the banks of the Grand Canal, Palazzo Pisani Moretta is a historic 15th-century residence built by the Bembo family. It later became home to the wealthy Pisani Moretta family and was extended over successive centuries, eventually taking on its current appearance in the 18th century.
Other Venice-related lists of tourist attractions and sightseeing spots: