The best places to visit Venice, with a city full of sights like Venice, it’s hard to know where to start.
The best places to visit Venice
Perhaps the best way is to simply waste a few hours wandering its streets and small charming corridors, wandering beside its canals, and finding its secret corners. In each role, you’ll see something worth remembering with a picture. No matter where this exploration takes you, it’s easy to find a way back to Piazza San Marco and the Grand Canal. Most of the best sights you’ll want to visit are around these two attractions.
Venice is divided into six neighborhoods, neighborhoods with distinctly different characters. San Marco is the central area, surrounded on three sides by a large ring in the Grand Canal.
Across the Rialto Bridge is the artisans’ district of San Polo, and across the Grand Canal to the south there is an elegant Dorsodoro, with prestigious art museums and lively squares.
On the outer edges is Santa Croce, Castillo and Canaregio, home to the original ghetto. Beyond the six -sestieri-neighborhoods – from the city itself, you will want to jump aboard a steam to its islands: Lido, Murano, Burano, and Torcello.
Rabaa Island, San Giorgio Maggiore, is worth a visit to enjoy the beautiful views of San Marco and Venice from the tower of her church.
Ducale Palace (Doge Palace) and The Bridge of Sighs
Visitors who once arrived in Venice arrived at the beach under the façade of this extraordinary palace.
They cannot fail to admire, both in terms of their size and their prowess in architecture.
If they were greeted at home by dogs, the impression would only be reinforced when they entered through Porta della Carta, a perfect example of the Venetian Gothic at its peak, and ascended the huge Scala dei Giganti and scala d’Oro vaulted gold to be contained in what many consider the most beautiful room in the palace, Sala del Collegiate.
Even the dilapidated 21st century travellers are gasping for splendour in the grandeur of the palace and the lavish décor.
You’ll see the works of all the venetian greats including Tintoretto, the world’s largest oil painting paradise. Not open on public tours but included in private tours is a walk across the bridge of sighs to the dark cells of Prigioni – prisons from which Casanova managed to escape.
The lines of entry to this Venetian landmark are often long, but you can avoid them, and see the palace sections are not open to public visitors, with the line crossed: a ticket and a tour of the Doge Palace.
The local guide will take you after the lines and explain the history and art in each of the dazzling rooms before driving you across the bridge of sighs and into the notorious prison.
Canal Grande (Grand Canal)
Sweeping the heart of Venice in the giant reverse S curve, the Grand Canal is a main street across the city, connecting Piazza San Marco, rialto bridge, and the access point of the railway station and bridges of the mainland.
Only four bridges cross 3.8 miles long, but a stripped gondola beneath them is called traghettishuttle back and forth at several points between the bridges.
The Grand Canal was the preferred address of anyone who claimed any influence in Venice.
The palaces of all the leading families open to the canal, the dazzling Gothic Venetian facades and the early renaissance facing the water, which brought visitors.
These grand palaces – or at least their facades – are well preserved today, and a trip along the canal by Vaporito is the best way to see them.
Of course, a trip along the Grand Canal on the Gondola is one of the most romantic things you can do in Venice at night.
Ponte de Rialto (Rialto Bridge) and San Polo
Once the only bridge across the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge represents the first settlement on the island, called Revos Altos (High Bank). Built in 1588, about 150 years after a former wooden bridge collapsed, this stone arch supports two busy streets and a double set of shops.
Besides serving as a busy crossing point halfway along the canal, it’s a favourite spot for tourists taking or putting up photos, and to see the variety of boats that always pass under neath them.
The Church of San Bartolomeo, near the end of San Marco Bridge, was a church of German merchants who lived and worked in Fondaco dei Tedeschi (German Commodity Exchange) adjacent to the canal here. It has an excellent altar, the martyrdom of St. Bartholomew Palma, the youngest.
On the other side of the Rialto Bridge is the busy food market, where Venetian chefs and chefs shop for fresh produce and seafood.
On the narrow streets of San Polo, just outside the market, there are artisan shops and mask making studios, one of the best places to shop in Venice. You’ll also find places to eat that are not full of tourists, such as those near San Marco.
Scola Grande de San Rocco
This magnificent white marble building was built between 1515 and 1560 to house a charity dedicated to San Rocco.
Shortly after its completion, the 16th-century venetian artist Tintoreto won the competition to paint a central painting of Sala Albergo’s ceiling by entering the building and putting his painting in its intended place before judging, provoking much irritation from rival artists.
He later decorated his walls and ceilings with a full round of paintings, which are a masterpiece of the artist. The oldest works in Sala dell’Albergo, dating back to 1564 and 1576 include the glorification of St. Roche, Christ before Pilate, Ecce Homo, and the most powerful ever, The Crucifixion.
Those in the Upper Hall depict new testament scenes, painted between 1575 and 1581. The lighting is not good, the paintings themselves are dark, but you can still appreciate Tintoretto’s innovations in the use of light and color.
You can see the ceilings more easily with one of the available mirrors. More works by Tintoretto at the altar of the nearby Church of San Rocco.
The best tourist attractions in Venice, the delicate marble piece of Bartolomeo Bon looks like lace so that it is carved from stone, and you can only imagine the impression that this façade must have been covered by its original and golden hero.
Besides Porta della Carta in Palazzo Ducale, also created by Bartolomeo Bon, this is the most ideal example of Venetian Gothic.
You can admire the interior too, as this palace is now an art museum, restored to provide an environment for works of art and a look at the way wealthy Venetians lived in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The expert in charge of saving the palace, Baron Giorgio Franchetti, presented his art collection of the state in 1922, with works by Titian, Mantina, Van Dijk, Tolio Lombardo, and Bernini.