We have all heard from Venice. The city in the water, the gondolas, the carnival, the canals. Venice is not only a city of great beauty but also of great historical importance. The town lies on 117 tiny islands all connected through a network of canals, and bridges to cross them. Venice is not even close to being one of the biggest cities in Italy. However, that doesn’t subtract from its importance.
During the Renaissance, and before during the Middle Ages, Venice was always a significant point that has served as a military and financial century for hundreds of years. Not only that but Venice has still seen impressive cultural and artistic growth and development, more than the average city in Italy. That is probably why it is one of the most renowned cities in the Mediterranean country.
While remaining an economic center of Italy, Venice is one of the most visited cities by tourists in the whole world. Don’t miss the opportunity to absorb all the culture and history this town has to offer. Here are the attractions you cannot miss if you want a complete Venice experience.
1. St. Mark’s Basilica
The must of the musts. It is probably one of the most notable buildings in Italy. The building has been standing strong ever since it was built in 1092, and even though it has faced several reconstructions and restorations, it maintains its ancient glory and elegance. Not only that, but it is one of the most important religious centers in northern Italy. This church is just amazing to the eye, tons of ornate details, sculptures, and artwork, before entering the church. St. Mark’s Basilica has one of the most beautiful façades you’ll ever see in a church. Inside of the building, you can appreciate the frescos beautifully painted, as well as the Byzantine works of art you can observe if you look up to the domed ceiling. The Basilica is located inside the Piazza San Marco, and you can easily access it through the Grand Canal. This Basilica is genuinely an example of Italian Byzantine architecture.
2. Piazza San Marco
Right with the Basilica comes the St Mark’s square. Opposite the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, this plaza is one of the most important ones in Venice. While standing in the middle of the square, you’ll be surrounded by a series of ornate buildings and arches that frame the big space to perfection. Inside this piazza you’ll be able to visit some of the most famous buildings in the city, such as the (mentioned above) St. Mark’s Basilica, the St. Mark’s Campanile, the Torre dell’ Orologio, and the Doge’s Palace. My recommendation is to start here, so you can knock off the main attractions of Venice, to later continue into other parts of the city.
3. Canale Grande
The most significant and most crucial Canal in Venice. The Canale Grande is one of the canals that connect all the islands that consolidate the city. And honestly, your journey will not be complete if you don’t rent a gondola to wander through the canal, as well as walk along of it. The almost river passes from one side of Venice to the other while snaking through the city. In the banks of the canal, you’ll find over 170 buildings that date back to the 13th and 14th century, demonstrating how this canal has been a crucial waterway ever since that time. People usually travel along the canal, especially tourists, so only four bridges exist to cross it. When visiting this attraction, rent a gondola, but also walk along the river and genuinely admire the architecture and beauty of everything that surrounds it.
4. Ponte di Rialto
This bridge is truly a masterpiece. It is one of the four bridges that cross the Grand Canal, and it is very famous, not to mention an icon of the city. The bridge connects two districts, the San Marco and San Polo. Not only is it essential to a lot of pedestrians, but it is one of the most crowded and busy tourist attractions. It was initially made by wooden, and it remained that way for hundreds of years. However, it collapsed in 1524. A stone bridge was built to replace the critical structure, and that’s the bridge you would be crossing. As mentioned before, this bridge is a masterpiece, the details and designs displayed are beautiful, and the symmetry of the bridge particularly frames the canal. And if that is not enough, inside the bridge there are a series of stores selling anything from jewelry to souvenirs you can take back home.
5. Basilica di Santa Maria Della Salute
This is one of the islands inside the Venice district. Murano is not a single island, but a series of small ones, all connected through canals and bridges. It is very charming and not even close to being as busy as the central zones of Venice. It includes a lot of famous sights such as the Basilica di Santa Maria and the Campo Santo Stefano. But mainly, you can see and purchase glass blowing figures, and even see how they are made since there are several factories established in the area.