Must-See Destinations : Venice is an absolute must. With its iconic gondolas, canals and charming alleyways reminiscent of something out of a fairy tale, Venice makes you feel as though you’re floating on water. Divided into six distinct neighborhoods called Sestieri each boasting their own identity; plus it includes several smaller islands like Lido, Murano and Burano for added charm!
1. St. Mark’s Basilica
Venice is an internationally acclaimed travel destination, and no visit would be complete without visiting St. Mark’s Basilica – an architectural fusion between East and West that stands the test of time and offers stunning opulent church decor such as shimmering mosaics set aglow by golden sunlight at sunset.
The basilica is famous for its treasures, including four bronze horses that grace its facade and the Pala d’Oro – an elaborate Byzantine alter piece covered with gold and studded with thousands of gems – covered with thousands of gems. When traveling as part of a small-group tour group, your guide can show you all these highlights and more!
2. Doge’s Palace
Doge’s Palace, Venice is an essential stop for history lovers and anyone wanting to gain more insight into Venice. This luxurious gothic palace served as Venice’s government seat from 14th to 18th centuries and housed both its executive office (Doge) as well as Senate meetings, court facilities and prison facilities – giving visitors an insight into Venice’s wealth and power at that time. Today its magnificent interiors provide visitors with a glimpse into that time period.
Begin your tour at the Central Courtyard, featuring columns and statues that exemplify Renaissance splendor. Next stop should be Scala dei Giganti or “giant’s steps” which offers breathtaking views of an impressive staircase leading up to state apartments on the first floor of the palace.
3. Rialto Bridge
Rialto Bridge, as one of the oldest bridges in Venice, should be on any traveler’s must-see list. From strolling underneath it on a sunset gondola ride or admiring it from afar, its iconic status cannot be denied. One unique aspect of Rialto Bridge’s design are its intricate sculptural elements – its sides contain figures and symbols representing Venice’s rich history and culture.
From its inception, artists from all periods and styles have drawn inspiration from this iconic landmark. Notable among them are Michele Marieschi as a landscape painter; Gabriele Bella for Baroque/Neoclassical art; Francesco Guardi as a vedutist; Giorgio De Chirico as surrealist artist and John Singer Sargent (an American painter).
4. Bell Tower
Anyone visiting Venice should make time to see this iconic tower, standing 84.7 metres tall. Offering beautiful views across Venice, this must-see is also home to several fascinating features like Giotto’s Bas-reliefs on its second-floor as well as 16 niches containing statues of Kings, Patriarchs and Prophets in each niche on this floor.
As a bonus, the tower offers an incredible gondola lift that allows visitors to climb all the way up and witness stunning city views! Additionally, its opening hours extend until 6pm allowing you to witness it all lit up at night for an unforgettable experience!
5. San Giorgio Monastery
Venice is one of the top travel destinations in Italy for good reason; this dreamy floating city is filled with incredible beauty, tremendous history and incredible museums – it can be difficult to fit everything in when only visiting for a limited amount of time. San Giorgio Monastery provides an idyllic sanctuary away from Venice’s hectic pace; originally founded as a Benedictine monastery it now hosts Giorgio Cini Foundation as an international cultural center.
The Palladian Church is an absolute must, particularly the Sala Capitolare – an exquisite room featuring a gilded ceiling and wall paintings depicting biblical scenes and allegorical figures. Additionally, you should visit Longhena Library, commissioned by Cosimo de’ Medici during his exile from Florence in 1433.
6. Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Peggy Guggenheim was an iconic American heiress who rose to become one of the foremost figures in modern art circles, amassing an impressive collection of 20th-century works that she displayed at her Grand Canal home and later at Venice’s Peggy Guggenheim Collection museum. Today, this venue remains one of Venice’s top tourist spots and one of its must-visit attractions.
Peggy Guggenheim Collection can be found in Venice between the Academia Bridge and Santa Maria della Salute basilica in Dorsoduro. Here, you’ll discover a breathtaking collection of twentieth-century masterpieces, from Jackson Pollock and Mondrian to Picasso, Magritte, and Dali – including Jackson Pollock himself!
7. St. Mark’s Square
Piazza San Marco, commonly referred to as Saint Mark’s Square in English, is perhaps Venice’s most celebrated public square. Home to attractions such as Basilica di Saint Mark and Doge’s Palace as well as Bridge of Sighs; Museo Correr also houses beautiful art and history museums that make this square worth exploring.
Visitors to Venice Square can see Egyptian, Roman, Babylonian and Greek statues as well as other artifacts that help tell its history and those of Venice. A favorite activity here is climbing Campanile for an aerial view of Venice; an elevator whisks visitors quickly up the tower – the views are truly incredible!
8. Canale Grande
Venice’s Canale Grande is one of its most important waterways. Winding its way in a reverse-S shape through Venice’s central districts (sestieri), or sestieri, for almost 4 km (2.5 mi), the Grand Canal is an essential component of Venetian economy and must-see attraction during any visit to this iconic city.
Gondolas are undoubtedly the preferred way to explore Venice’s canals, while you could also opt for slower travel on a vaporetto. A great place to begin exploring is at Gallerie dell’Accademia which features pre-19th century Venetian art from masters such as Canaletto and Titian that will provide any art lover with plenty of inspiration during their trip to Venice. A visit here will make any trip even more unforgettable.
9. Rialto Market
Foodies should visit Venice’s Rialto Market to sample fresh produce and seafood. With its stalls lining an embankment along the Grand Canal, its offerings reflect what can be found locally – most products displayed feature labels denoting where they originate – such as from nearby islands in the lagoon or Venetian countryside. Not only is the Rialto Market an interesting sight; its offerings also marry history with contemporary culture: many products displayed are labeled to indicate their place of origin or provenance.
For an authentic Venetian experience, visit Rialto Market early in the morning to witness how locals shop and experience life in Venice. Watch as fishermen unload their catch to be sold to restaurants and locals! For something extra tasty to complement your wine, pick up some Cicchetti snacks – an irresistibly tasty Venetian snack enjoyed with wine.
10. Campo Santa Margherita
Campo Santa Margherita is an unforgettable part of Venice that should not be missed when planning a visit. This lively public square offers restaurants, bars and shops catering to both residents and visitors. There are several historical buildings here as well, such as Scuola Grande dei Carmini (Established 1597); its walls boast artwork highlighting religious values emphasized within this Carmelite order.
Campo San Maurizio features an iconic truncated campanile which can be seen throughout Venice. This particular structure can be found near Campo, making for an exciting visit. Young people from nearby universities often congregate here at night; and it provides access to both touristy and authentic bars/restaurants so it’s easy to find something suitable.
Also Read : The 5 Most Beautiful Places To Visit In Germany