Venice – the setting of so many honeymoon fantasies. Venice, the archipelago that is its gondoliers, its canals, its archaic bridges and yet so much more. With Pickyourtrail‘s list find out the top things to do in Venice that await you!
#1 St. Mark’s Basilica
Easily one of Venice’s best known church, St. Mark’s is the finest example of Italian Byzantine architecture. From the intricately carved domes to the gold-backed mosaic pictures above the doorway and the gold mosaics and fresco lined ceilings and walls, the basilica will have your eyes pinned and in awe. If you find it in you to pull away and look at the floor, be ready to be…floored by the intricate marble inlay covering the place.
Sitting on St. Mark’s Square, it is easily accessible from the Grand Canal.
Must read: Kashmira’s guide to Italy
#2 St. Mark’s Square
Housing the St. Mark’s Basilica, the Square is known for a lot more than just that. Located on the Grand Canal, the largest square in Venice is a sight to sore eyes. Framed by arcades on three sides, the other side opens up to the view of the basilica. Always abuzz with people, this is where the Venetians come to meet, greet, stroll around make merry and have their first shot of espresso in one the many fashionable cafes here.
Want to observe the buzz of the square from a distance? The St. Mark’s Clocktower offers the best views of the piazza.
#3 Canale Grande
Travelling from Saint Mark Basin to Santa Lucia train station, the Grand Canal snakes through the city of Venice. Lined by ancient Venetian buildings dating back to anywhere between 13th and 18th century, the Grand Canal is a sight of vaporetti, gondolas and boats throughout the day.
On the first Sunday of September, get here to witness the Venetian boats compete against each other at the Regata Storica.
#4 Ponte di Rialto
The oldest bridge in Venice, Ponte di Rialto or the Rialto bridge arches beautifully over the Grand Canal. Considered an architectural icon, it proudly struts the engravings of St. Mark and St. Theodore on its stone surface.
Catch a sunset here. Not only is it less crowded but you can admire the view of the gondoliers anchoring their boats into Grand Canal’s palazzi.
#5 Gallerie dell’Accademia
Located on the south bank of the Grand Canal, Gallerie dell’Accademia is a museum gallery for pre-19th-century art. It houses works of well-renowned Renaissance artists like Bellini, Carpaccio, Giorgione, Veronese, Tintoretto and Tiziano.
Visit the Gallerie dell’Accademia.
#6 Island hopping
Venice, in essence, is a culmination of the islets and lagoons that are divided by its canal waters. Dotted with many small islands, check these islands out while in Venice:
- Murano: Located on the northern shore of Venice, it is known for its glass-making factories. Walk into one of the shops lining the canalsides and pick up your souvenir – everything from garish to stunningly pretty is on display here.
- Torcello: Want yourself a Temple Run type adventure? Torello overloaded with its marshlands and mudflats offers intrigue alongwith a visit to the museum and basilica there. Skip it if your idea of adventure isn’t venturing to remote, new places.
Ferry connection: Venice → Burano → Torcello
- Venice Lido: A 11 km sandbar in the northern part of Venice, Lido di Venezia hosts the Venice Film Festival every September. It houses beaches, hotels and even an airport to accommodate smaller aircraft.
- Lazzaretto Nuovo: A small island in the archipelago, it became a quarantine island back in the 1600s. A great tour idea if you want to do something offbeat.
Tours take place only on Saturdays & Sundays at 9:45 am and 4:30 pm.
Related: Islands of Italy
#7 Bridge of Sighs
Located in the northern part of Italy, this is a white limestone bridge over the Rio di Palazzo – enclosed except for two windows. The bridge was the last sight convicted saw before being escorted to the prison – thus the name.
Today it connects the New Prison to the interrogation rooms in Doge’s Palace.
#8 Santa Maria dei Miracoli
Ornate and made entirely of marble, Santa Maria dei Miracoli is also called the marble church. It is known to have undergone a decade-long restoration that cost upto $4 mn and included removing and cleaning of all the marble cladding on the church.
For this reason and the fact that it was singlehandedly designed, built and decorated by Pietro Lombardo, it holds a special place in many Venetians’ hearts.
Read more: Rome for the history buffs
#9 Museo della Musica
Once the San Maurizio Church, today it is a museum dedicated to music – exhibiting instruments from as far back as three centuries ago. A huge part of the collection is dedicated to Italy’s 300-year-old legacy of violin making.
Keep track of concerts hosted here!
Must do: Venice Carnival
Held for the first time ever in the 11th century, the roots of Venice Carnival go way back. What began as a series of balls is today a world famous carnival that sees Venetians and outsiders dress up in costumes and take to the streets. It lasts for a fortnight.
Keep track and plan for the next one.
Grab a gondolier in Venice. But, before that, grab an awesome Venetian vacation with Pickyourtrail!
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