What to see in Venice? There are two ways to visit Venice: join the hoards of people who will just see the surface of Venice in a few hours or rely on a professional tour operator which will let you see the best of the city but also its hidden gems!
When deciding what to see in Venice, you can’t exclude the highlights of the city, we don’t deny that. Arriving in St. Mark’s Square, enjoy the view of a place you’ve seen so many times on postcards, tv and books, is an unmissable experience. Just like walking along the Rialto Bridge to admire the Grand Canal and a take a snap to catch this special moment!
But it is still undeniable that Venice is so much more than that: Venice holds so many extraordinary places and buildings and crafts shops that set it apart from any other cities in Italy and the world.
With the help of our licenced, English-speaking, local guides you will be able to see all the buildings, Curches and Galleries that reaveal the real history of Venice: the Gallerie dell’Accademia, the Grand School of St. Rocco or the Church of the Friars and so many more. You will be amazed by the quantity and quality of the works and architectures hideen in those places.
We are about to give you just a hint of what to see in Venice: book our tour and you will have the chance to create your own itinerary with your private guide!
1) St. Mark’s Square in Venice
Piazza San Marco, the italian name of St. Mark’s Square, is the first thing that comes to most people’s minds when talking about Venice. The huge square, its Basilica and the pigeons craving to be fed with breadcrumbs is the most popular image of Venice.
Before the relics of St. Mark reached Venice and the Basilica was built, this area was simply a big vegetable garden. The river Batario was still flowing through it, before the Doge Vitale II Michiel decided to bury it. St. Mark’s Square is the one and only place in Venice which has the right to be called a “square”. All the other big, closed places in the city are just referred to as “Campo” (courts).
During its years as a Maritime Republic, Venice hosted fairs, tournaments, parades and even bull huntings, which were very similar to the ones still organized in Pamplona. Today, St. Mark’s Square is surrounded by expensive coffee places and restaurants, where you can sit and admire its beauty.
2) Doge’s Palace in Venice
Inhabitants of Venice care very much about this Palace: it holds their history and is the main character of most of the important events of the city.
Doge’s Palace stands in the very same place where it was during the Maritime Republic. It survived wars and battles and was still standing when Venice was annexed to the Italian State.
Although it was a constant presence in the city, the Doge’s Palace underwent many changes in style,mainly due to the long series of fires which required the building to be partially rebuilt and changed overtime.
Since the doges (Venetian name for “duke”, from the latin “dux”, chief, leader) based their headquarters here, the Doge’s Palace was the most important political area in the city. Even Napoleon chose to make it the centre of his administrations offices, after conquering Venice in 1797.
When Venice became part of the Italian State, a conspicous part of the newborn country’s money was used to finance a total refurbishment of the Doge’s Palace. Despite the bad financial stuation of the state, which had taken on the debts of all the other states annexed to it, Italy decided to honor one of the most important symbols of Venice as best as it could.
3) Venice Grand Canal
Peope in Venice often call it “canalazzo”: far from being a derogatory name, this is just a nickname of one of the most beloved place in the city.
The Grand Canal is far more ancient than the city itself: it flows across Venice for 4 chilometers, with its width reaching even 70 meters, dividing the city centre into to parts and creating an “S” shape.
The buildings visible from the Grand Canal all face the river: during a slow, relaxing cruise of the canal on board of a gondola or a ferry-boat, admire the beauty of the facades, the harmony of their architecture and the narrow alleys that peep through the buildings.
4) Venice and its Bridges
Try to count them all! We warn you, this is no easy task:Venice has 354 bridges! As any cities built on a river, venice has a strong relationship with their bridges, in a desperate attempt to link the different areas and make it easier for its population to move across them. People in Venice transformed their need in the most peculiar symbol of their city!
The most famous is the “Bridge of Sighs”: despite being one of the most romantic spots in the world, its name has nothing to do with the sighs of lovers being let out under the bridge. The sighs linked to the bridge were those of the condemned people being led to the near prisons: the sighs of people seeing their city for the last time.
Also famous is the Rialto Bridge: in 1594 it took the place of a very old wooden bridge made with boats, which linked the city to the crowded Rialto Market. Today the bridge is full of tourists and sellers and is one of the most photographed spots in the world.
Would you like to discover more about Venice? If you are wondering about what to see in Venice and you would like to have a wonderful experience, let us know! Our licenced guides will lead you and your friends and relatives through the tour of your life. We also have kid-friendly tours of Venice available, to let the little ones enjoy the city whilst learning and having fun!