The city of Venice exudes a magical atmosphere. It’s an absolutely unique place in the world: not only for its unique urban structure – consisting of hundreds of islands separated by channels and connected by bridges –, but also because of its artistic and historic heritage. Each year, the city is crowded by millions of tourists, attracted by its wonderful attractions, such as Piazza San Marco, with the splendid Basilica and the Camapanile, or the elegant Doge’s Palace.
However, apart from those major attractions of Venice that almost everyone knows, the historic centre is full of monuments, churches and hidden places of interest that tourists usually miss.
Venice Things To Know
- Places to see: Grand Canal, St Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, Piazza San Marco, Rialto Bridge
- Main currency: Euro
- Main language: Italian
Explore medieval Venice on a walking tour of St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace. Marvel at the magnificent interiors of the buildings, and revel in the atmosphere of St. Mark’s square. Enjoy a walking tour to see significant Venetian monuments or discover a more authentic side to Venice on a walking tour, and wander among the alleys and peaceful canals. Encounter precious gems of art and architecture, and get a deeper more intimate experience of the city. for walking tours in Venice click here
Cruise to the islands of Murano, Torcello and Burano in the Venetian Lagoon on a 4.5 hour boat tour. The most famous of the Venetian islands, they are known throughout the world for their picturesque scenery, handicrafts, and history.
Your first stop will be the island of Murano. Sometimes referred to as the “Island of the Glass,” you will visit one of its famous glass factories and see the glass being manufactured and blown.
Afterward head to Torcello, the most ancient of the inhabited islands.
Continue to Burano, admiring the natural environment and the minor islands spread all around you. Enjoy some free time in Burano, a typical fishing island with colorful contrasts and chocolate-box painted houses. click here to discover this beautiful islands
On a budget?
Book a ticket that allows for unrestricted use of the ACTV public transportation services in the city of Venice. Ride the vaporetti (water buses) in Venice, Lido and the lagoon islands, and the land buses in Mestre, Marghera and other mainland areas. for more click here
St. Mark’s Basilica
History springs to life in what was the hub of Venetian social and political life for over 1000 years. The glittering St Mark’s Basilica is one of the world’s most jaw-dropping examples of Byzantine architecture. This church, bedazzling visitors with 8,500 m2 of glittering mosaics, dates back to the 9th century – the height of the Venetian Republic’s power. Napoleon once called the area it inhabits, Saint Mark’s Square, “the drawing room of Europe.” Take a guided tour for the historical lowdown.
As a symbol of Venice’s political power, the mighty Doge’s Palace is a highlight on every visitor’s list. Here you’ll witness impressive Renaissance artwork from the greats and learn the history and stories that make this palazzo something special. Look at the mosaics, dating from 1270 to see St Mark’s stolen body arriving at the basilica. Tour the Opera Museum, enter the atmospheric Piombi attic prison and vocalise your sympathies as you cross make like the prisoners and cross the Bridge of Sighs.
Explore the Waterways
Befriend a gondolier, grab your mandolin, and hop into one of the ubiquitous gondolas for a punt down one of Venice’s famous canals. Remember, it’s nice to have a singer serenading you, but that will boost the price. Psst – we can help you save a bit of cash. For a different view, jump on a vaporetto (the water bus) and take the Grand Canal boat tour down the city’s main thoroughfare. The 3.5 km boat trip from the railway station to San Marco is a great intro to Venice’s culture and history.
Head to the Dolomites
If you’re craving a slightly slower pace, take a day trip to the UNESCO-listed Dolomite Mountains. You can take in two of the most beautiful lakes in the whole peninsula, Lake Santa Caterina and Lake Misurina, eat your lunch in a traditional trattoria and stroll around the little mountain town of Cortina d’Ampezzo with all its unique boutiques. Renaissance painter Titian was born in the nearby Pieve di Cadore. By the time you get back to Venice you’ll be culturally richer, as well as refreshed.