Ten unforgettable experiences
In a few square kilometers Venice encloses artistic and architectural heritage that normally exceeds what can be found in an entire nation. Trying to select among the attractions would be very partial. Keeping this in mind we nevertheless suggest 10 things that you absolutely must see before you leave Venice.
- Let’s start with the San Marco Basilica. This monument, which was enriched over the centuries, with its 8,000 square meters of mosaics on a golden background, leaves you speechless. The famous Pala d’Oro jewel that is preserved here, is found on the high altar of the basilica which contains the relics of San Marco. The Basilica can be visited November to March from 9:45 a.m. to 16:45 p.m. (Sundays and public holidays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.), during the remaining months visits are permitted from 9:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Sundays and public holidays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.).
- In front of the Basilica you’ll see the bell tower, which collapsed on July 14 1902 and was then rebuilt identical to the original. The rooftop panorama from the is bell tower is incomparable. One’s gaze stretches beyond the Bacino San Marco and the islands. It is open in October from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; November to March from 9:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.; April to June from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and July to September from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m..
- In the Area Marciana a must see as well is the Palazzo Ducale; its architecture looks like a lace and the interior will leave you amazed. “Home” of the Doges, the Palazzo Ducale has thousands of hidden corners to explore such as the Giants’ Staircase, the torture chamber, the lead on the Ponte dei Sospiri, the lodges and the beautiful rooms of the Venetian magistracy. For those of you who seek more information there is a guided tour of the “secret itineraries”, which will show you the rooms that are usually not accessible to the public. Open 1 April to 31 October from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 1 November to 31 March 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m..
- Not to be missed are the colorful houses of Burano, the lace-making island. You reach the island by ferry which crosses the northern lagoon. Burano, the island of fishermen, will ravish you with its beauty. The houses, which were originally painted in bright colors so the fishermen could recognize them during foggy days, the women as they embroider, the colorful balconies, the church, the square and its petit bridges are a spectacle like no other.
- For those who love Venice and its “craftsmanship” a visit to the squero di San Trovaso where the gondolas are built is a must. For visiting information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Another part of Venice that deserves to be seen is the Ghetto of Venice, with its extremely tall houses. In 1516 the Venetian Republic decreed that all Jews in the city had to live here. In the Ghetto, the first known in history, you can visit the Jewish Museum (open 1 June to 30 September from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 1 October to 31 May 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) and the synagogues (guided tour every hour from 10:30 a.m. starting 1 June to 30 September and the last guided tour is at 5:30 p.m. and 1 October to 31 May, last tour is at 4:30 p.m.).
- The island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni is a little gem. It is occupied by a monastery that is the main abode of the order of the Mekhitaristi. The island, which was once used as a military hospital, was adored by Lord Byron. It preserves 170,000 volumes, including 4,500 manuscripts, as well as the mummy of Nehmeket. The tours start at 3:30 p.m. and there is no need for reservations.
- Included in the list of things to see is the Scuola Grande di San Rocco (open 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.). You will be flabbergasted by the cycle of paintings by Tintoretto.
- There are so many works of art preserved at the Gallerie dell’Accademia that it would be a shame not to visit this extraordinary museum (open from 8:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday and 8:15 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday). The famous painting by Giorgione “La Tempesta” is worth the visit alone, however there are just as important masterpieces by Veronese, Bellini and Tiziano, as well as many beautiful paintings that depict Venice as it once was over the centuries.
- Last, but certainly not least, on our list is Murano, the cradle of artistic glass where you can watch the impressive glass processing and visit the Basilica of Santi Maria e Donato and the church of San Pietro.