Known for its picturesque canals laden with gondolas, this city located in the Veneto region of Northern Italy attracts visitors from around the globe. You can take a train from the mainland to the metropolitan city of Venice (Venezia) located in the Venetian Lagoon, where water buses are the primary mode of public transportation: the limited number of bridges on the island make getting around strictly by foot a challenging task. Below is a curated list of places to visit while in the city built on water for travelers who really want to explore this Italian marvel’s heart.
1. St. Mark’s Basilica (Piazza San Marco)
The first three stops on this tour are located in St. Mark’s Square. The origins of the piazza can be traced to the ninth century, when the Roman Catholic religion dominated Italian lifestyle, art, and architecture.
© Michael Vadon
2. Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale)c
Known for being one of the most iconic Italian structures, this landmark’s history can be traced back to the 9th century, although the current building wasn’t constructed until the 13th century. A symbol of the growth of politics and government after the fall of the Roman Empire (“Doge” was the title given to governors of provinces), Doge’s Palace underwent many expansions and renovations, and today it stands as a public museum.
© Rudresh Calls
3. St. Mark’s Clock Tower (Torre dell’Orologio)
The Astronomical Clock of Venice has two faces, one on the north side of the tower and another on the south side. Featuring stunning depictions of art, this clock kept track of the time of the day, the days of the year, and even the movement of the planets.
© Brian Burk
4. Basilica of St. Mary of Health (Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute)
Take a ferry from St. Mark’s Basilica over to this next location, where the focus switches from Venice’s political past to its religious one. This church is one of the largest in Venice, and was built as a dedication to the Virgin Mary of the Catholic faith, following a plague that tormented the city.
© Vyacheslav Argenberg
5. Peggy Guggenheim Collection
An unexpected break from the historical landmarks on this list, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection houses astonishing pieces of modern art, with styles including Cubism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, and Futurism, where visitors can see art created by Picasso and Dalí. Its locations really provides a great opportunity to examine the correlations between Venice’s cultural past and present.
© Andrea Mancini
Become immersed in rich Italian culture, hear the romance in the voices of the local people, and wander in awe of the stunning architecture and history of Italy in Veneto’s capital city of Venice. It has become one of the most popular travel destinations for a reason, and taking time to explore the aged streets and unique canals will pay off for travelers looking for Italian adventure.
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Cover photo courtesy | Moyan Brenn