An important starting point of your Venetian tour is the St. Mark’s Square wherein the main monuments are located. Also known as Piazza San Marco, it is Venice’s largest square in which the famous St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, the Campanile, and Torre dell'Orologio are located. The square even has an adjoining space called the Piazzetta which contains the Biblioteca, the Molo, and the Zecca. Piazza San Marco guided tours are offered, which would allow you to tour all the remarkable attractions in this wonderful square. It would enable tourists to skip the long lines for the Doge’s Palace and the Basilica.
One of the remarkable monuments in the square is the St. Mark’s Basilica. Nicknamed as the Church of Gold, Saint Mark’s Basilica is one of the most visited sites in Venice and is certainly a must-see attraction in any traveler’s itinerary. This 76-meter long and 62-meter wide church was is one of the finest in Europe, and its Venice ’s symbol of wealth and power. The Italian-Byzantine church erected today in the square isn’t the same as the one that stood in the 10th-century Venetian grounds for the first basilica was burnt during a revolt against Pietro Candiano IV in 976, and it was restored by Doge Domenico Contarini, Candiano’s successor. Roaming the church is delightful enough, but make sure that you check out its highlights: the church's five domes, the collection of sculptures, mosaics, ceremonial objects, the bronze horses in the gallery, and the marble statues made by Jacobello and Pier Paolo dalle Mesagne.
Another notable attraction of the square is the Doge’s Palace, which stands side by side with the Basilica. The Venetian Gothic palace served as the residence of the Doge—the former supreme authority of Venice—and it is one of the main landmarks of the city. What used to be a center of the former Venetian Republic is now a museum that houses custom paintings for the Doge’s Palace’s interior. Inside the museum is the Sala del Maggior Consiglio, or Hall of Great Council, which used to seat the lower house of the Venetian Parliament. The Hall also houses masterpieces by Tintoretto and Veronese that are directly painted on the walls of Sala del Maggior Consiglio. The Sala del Collegio is considered as the most beautiful room in the palace wherein its ceiling and walls are adorned with gold and paintings by Tintoretto or his pupils. The Doge also houses the infamous prison cell of Casanova in which he made his legendary escape in 1755.
In the heart of Venice is the famous Grand Canal in which hundreds of ferries, gondolas, and other water vehicles flock over. More than 200 palaces and buildings line the sides of the grand canal, ranging from early Byzantine-Romanesque buildings to Renaissance palaces. The grand canal may be cruised through the famous gondolas that used to be the Venetian primary form of transportation. Gondola rides usually last for 40 minutes, but it you may adjust the time accordingly, depending on what you and the gondolier agreed upon. A ride that fits up to six people costs €80, but rates increase to €100 after 7 PM. Make sure that you communicate your desired ride duration well to the gondolier and be sure that you both agree with the price before stepping into the boat.
Along the south bank of the Grand Canal is a museum called Gallerie dell'Accademia wherein a comprehensive collection of Venetian paintings from the 15th to 18th-century is placed. Simply called the Accademia, the museum’s collected is from closed monasteries and churches, and from the clearing of palaces. Works in the museum are arranged chronologically, and highlights include Mantegna’s St. George, Tintoretto’s Cain and Abel, della Francesca’s St. Jerome and a Donor, Carpaccio’ Supper in the House of Levi, St. Ursula, and Veronese’s Marriage of St. Catherine. The museum can be visited daily, and the costs €15.00 per entry, which can be bought directly at the museum’s ticket office or booked online with a reservation fee of €1.50. It is also important to note that entrance to the museum is free on the first Sunday of the month; free tickets cannot be reserved online for they should be claimed directly at the ticket office.
If you’re wondering where to stay on your Venetian vacation, you can try our luxury holiday rentals at All Luxury Apartments for a hassle-free getaway in this beautiful city. We have a range of holiday rentals in Venice that would fit your preferred location, budget, and duration of stay. With a number of accommodation choices, ranging from luxury Venetian apartments by the Grand Canal to holiday villas in Venice, All Luxury Apartments can provide vacation rentals—be it short term or long term—that would suit your needs.