• Rialto Bridge

Venice

Engineers love Venice — a completely man-made environment rising from the sea, with no visible means of support. Romantics revel in its atmosphere of elegant decay, seeing the peeling plaster and seaweed-covered stairs as a metaphor for beauty in decline. And first-time visitors are often stirred deeply, awaking from their ordinary lives to a fantasy world unlike anything they've ever experienced before. Built on a hundred islands with wealth from trade with the East, its exotic-looking palaces are laced together by sun-speckled canals. The car-free streets suddenly make walkers feel big, important, and liberated. It's basically one giant amusement park for grown-ups, centuries in the making. By day, Venice is a city of museums and churches, packed with great art. Linger over lunch, trying to crack a crustacean with weird legs and antennae. At night, when the hordes of day-trippers have gone, another Venice appears. Dance across a floodlit square. Glide in a gondola through quiet canals while music echoes across the water. Pretend it's Carnevale time, don a mask — or just a fresh shirt — and become someone else for a night.

At a Glance

▲▲▲ St. Mark's Square Venice's grand main square.

▲▲▲ St. Mark's Basilica Cathedral with mosaics, saint's bones, treasury, museum, and viewpoint of square.

▲▲▲ Doge's Palace Art-splashed palace of former rulers, with prison accessible through Bridge of Sighs.

▲▲▲ Rialto Bridge Distinctive bridge spanning the Grand Canal, with a market nearby.

▲▲ Correr Museum Venetian history and art.

▲▲ Accademia Venice's top art museum.

▲▲ Peggy Guggenheim Collection Popular display of 20th-century art.

▲▲ Frari Church Franciscan church featuring Renaissance masters.

▲▲ Scuola San Rocco "Tintoretto's Sistine Chapel."

Campanile Dramatic bell tower on St. Mark's Square with elevator to the top.

Bridge of Sighs Famous enclosed bridge, part of Doge's Palace, near St. Mark's Square.

La Salute Church Striking church dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Ca' Rezzonico Posh Grand Canal palazzo with 18th-century Venetian art.

Punta della Dogana Museum of contemporary art.

Ca' Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art in a canalside palazzo.

Scuola Dalmata di San Giorgio Exquisite Renaissance meeting house.

Church of San Zaccaria Final resting place of St. Zechariah, plus a Bellini altarpiece and an eerie crypt.

Church of San Polo Ninth-century church with works by Tintoretto, Veronese, and Tiepolo.

Nearby Islands

▲▲ Burano Sleepy island known for lacemaking and a lace museum.

San Giorgio Maggiore Island across the lagoon featuring church with Palladio architecture, Tintoretto paintings, and fine views back on Venice.

Murano Island famous for glass factories and glassmaking museum.

Torcello Near-deserted island with old church, bell tower, and museum.

San Michele Cemetery island on the lagoon.

Plan

Photos

  • Cicchetti, Venice, Italy
  • Grand Canal View, Venice, Italy
  • Bridge of Sighs Billboard, Venice, Italy
  • Ponte della Costituzione, Venice, Italy
  • Acqua Alta, St. Mark's Square, Venice, Italy
  • Colorful Houses, Burano, Venice, Italy
  • People Mover Transit, Venice, Italy
  • Cruise Ship at Venice, Italy
  • Beggar and Tourist in Venice, Italy
  • Gondolas in Narrow Canal, Venice, Italy
  • Gondola in Venice, Italy
  • Doges Palace and Square, Venice, Italy
  • Hotel Reception Staff, Venice, Italy
  • Chalkboard Restaurant Menu, Venice, Italy
  • Gondolas on Small Canal, Venice, Italy

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