With nicknames such as ‘City of Water’, ‘Queen of the Adriatic’, ‘City of Light’ and the ‘City of Bridges’, the city of Venice in northern Italy is a destination with no shortage of character and ambience. Best known for capturing the very essence of romance, relatively large Venice covers 256 square miles, with a significant proportion of this area made up of the canals and waterways that the city is so famous for.
Steeped in history, the city of Venice offers visitors no lack of cultural experiences with locations such as St Mark’s square and structures such as the magnificent St Mark’s Basilica among the more worthy sights to include on a city tour. Also notable is the Doge’s Palace, a building with a fascinating history as the seat of Venice’s government offices.
No visit to Venice is complete without a trip along its waterways; visitors can hire water taxis or gondolas to take them around the city and capture its finest sights. The Canal Grande is perhaps the highlight of any such trip, offering views of some of the city’s most extravagant architecture. For a truly romantic atmosphere, the trip is best taken at night, with the city lights lending an altogether different perspective to the old buildings.
Grand Canal: the most notable street in the city can be visited by gondola or water taxi and yields some truly magnificent architectural sights.
Saint Mark’s Basilica: situated on San Mark’s square and otherwise known as the Cathedral of Venice, this is undoubtedly the city’s most famous church and is a fine example of Byzantine architecture.
San Marco square: otherwise known as Piazza San Marco, this is one of the city’s most famous landmarks and is a popular tourist spot that hails back to the 9th century.
Doge’s Palace: the larger part of this famous Gothic palace was built between 1309 and 1424 from a design by Filippo Calendario.
Santa Maria della Salute: a major Venetian landmark, this building is the most dominant sight on the Grand Canal.
Chiesa dei Frari: among the oldest churches in the city, this structure dates back to the 15th century and is notable for its ornately decorated interior which includes frescoes by the likes of Titian and Giovanni Bellini.
Chiesa di San Sebastiano: built in the 16th century, this church is home to a variety of artistic masterpieces by Paolo Veronese. The artist’s body lies within the church as a fitting tribute to his contributions to its splendor.
Campo dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo: this picturesque square is home to the famous Monumento di Bartolomeo Colleoni sculpture by Verrocchio as well as some interesting buildings.