Venice’s highlights, whether you’re fresh off the gondola, or think you’ve seen it all
The two-mile route of vaporetto (passenger ferry) No 1 is public transport at its most glamorous.
The Grand Canal starts controversially, with the luminous glass-and-steel Ponte di Calatrava bridge. Ahead are castle-like Fondaco dei Turchi, the historic Turkish trading-house; Renaissance Palazzo Vendramin, housing the city’s casino; and doublearcaded Ca’ Pesaro. Don’t miss Ca’ d’Oro, a 1430 filigree Gothic marvel. Points of Venetian pride include the Pescaria fish market, built in 1907; the Rialto Market stalls, overflowing with island-grown produce; and the marble splendour of the Ponte di Rialto. The next two canal bends could cause architectural whiplash, with Sanmicheli-designed Renaissance Palazzo Grimani and Mauro Codussi’s Palazzo CornerSpinelli followed by Palazzo Grassi and Baldassare Longhena’s Baroque jewel box, Ca’ Rezzonico. Wooden Ponte dell’Accademia was built in 1930 as a temporary bridge, but the beloved landmark remains. Stone lions flank the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, where the American heiress collected ideas, lovers and art. You can’t miss the dramatic dome of Longhena’s Chiesa di Santa Maria della Salute or Punta della Dogana, Venice’s customs warehouse reinvented as a contemporary art showcase. The Grand Canal’s grand finale is the pink Gothic Palazzo Ducale and its adjoining Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs).
Palazzo Grassi French magnate François Pinault scandalised Paris when he relocated his contemporary art collection here, to be displayed in galleries designed by Gae Aulenti and Tadao Ando. Punta della Dogana Minimalist architect Tadao Ando creatively...
Ca’ Rezzonico See how Venice lived in Baroque splendour at this 18th-century art museum with Tiepolo ceilings, silk-swagged boudoirs and even an in-house pharmacy.