AT­TRAC­TIONS & MO­NU­MEN­TS

Where Venice - - Museums & Attractions -

Basilica del Re­den­to­re

Ba­sed on a pro­ject by the fa­mous ar­chi­tect An­drea Pal­la­dio, the Basilica was built in 1577 on the island of Giu­dec­ca. It con­tains works by Tin­to­ret­to, Ve­ro­ne­se and other im­por­tant Ve­ne­tian ar­tists. It was built to ce­le­bra­te the de­li­ve­ran­ce from the Black Dea­th, whi­ch kil­led one third of the po­pu­la­tion. To com­me­mo­ra­te the end of the pla­gue, a so­lemn fe­sti­val is still held at the chur­ch on the third Sunday of Ju­ly. www.cho­ru­sve­ne­zia.org. Cam­po Re­den­to­re (Giu­dec­ca). T: 041 2750462. Va­po­ret­to li­ne 41 and 2 (Re­den­to­re stop). Map E6

Basilica di San Marco

This is the mo­st im­por­tant Ca­tho­lic chur­ch in the ci­ty, and one of the mo­st im­por­tant mo­nu­men­ts in Ita­ly. The ori­gi­nal chur­ch dates back to be­fo­re the year 1000, whi­le its fa­mous po­ly­chro­me faça­de, em­bel­li­shed wi­th mo­saics and bas-re­liefs, is a

13th cen­tu­ry ad­di­tion. The fa­mous win­ged lion, a sym­bol of the ci­ty and of the an­cient ‘Ve­ne­tian Re­pu­blic' is de­pic­ted on its pe­di­ment. In­si­de, a trium­phant ar­ray of do­mes and tran­sep­ts, mo­saics and gold, mar­ble and nu­me­rous other trea­su­res. You might ha­ve to queue for a ti­me to get in­si­de, but your wait will be well wor­th­whi­le. Al­thou­gh ad­mis­sion is free, you will ha­ve to pay to see se­ve­ral spe­ci­fic sights. In or­der not to miss your vi­sit, be su­re to in­form your­self about the ope­ning hours, as they are of­ten su­b­ject to chan­ge. Open Mon-Sat 9.30am-4pm; Sun (and Pu­blic Ho­li­days) 2pm-4pm. www.ba­si­li­ca­san­mar­co.it. San Marco, 328. T: 041 2708311. Va­po­ret­to li­nes 1, 2 (San Marco stop). Map F4

Cam­pa­ni­le di San Marco (Bell To­wer)

This 98.6 me­tre bell to­wer is af­fec­tio­na­te­ly kno­wn to the Ve­ne­tians as ‘el pa­ron de ca­sa' (the ma­ster of the hou­se) be­cau­se it do­mi­na­tes the ci­ty, ob­ser­ving eve­ry­thing that lies be­low it. Re­sting lightly on the ex­qui­si­te Log­get­ta del San­so­vi­no, it has a par­ti­cu­lar­ly re­co­gni­za­ble sha­pe and a ri­ch history. The ori­gi­nal me­die­val bell to­wer was mo­di­fied se­ve­ral ti­mes, and re­built en­ti­re­ly when it unex­pec­ted­ly col­lap­sed in 1902. It is wor­th going up to the to­wer, to en­joy a brea­th­ta­king view over the ci­ty. Al­thou­gh ad­mis­sion is not free, it is of­ten in­clu­ded in joint tic­ke­ts. Ope­ning ti­mes are su­b­ject to chan­ge. T: 041 5225205. Va­po­ret­to li­nes 1,2 (San Marco stop). Map F4

Ca­nal Grande (Grand Ca­nal)

Al­thou­gh it is kno­wn as ‘the mo­st beau­ti­ful street in the world', the Ca­nal Grande is the main wa­ter­way of Venice and mu­ch mo­re.

Li­ned on bo­th si­des by an unin­ter­rup­ted se­ries of pa­la­ces, chur­ches, ho­tels, and other pu­blic buil­dings, it of­fers a jour­ney back in­to history, evo­king the pomp and splen­dor of the an­cient Se­re­nis­si­ma. For cen­tu­ries, the Ca­nal has wit­nes­sed la­vi­sh par­ties and work­shop even­ts, re­li­gious pro­ces­sions, ca­pi­tal exe­cu­tions, hi­sto­ri­cal re­gat­tas and epi­de­mics. Tho­se vi­si­ting Venice should de­di­ca­te a few hours to a crui­se on the Ca­nal, not on­ly for the plea­su­re of this ex­pe­rien­ce, but be­cau­se it of­fers se­ve­ral of the be­st pa­no­ra­mic views of Ve­ne­tian pa­la­ces. It is is al­mo­st im­pos­si­ble to li­st all of them, but for mo­re in­for­ma­tion you can vi­sit the www. ca­nal­gran­de­ve­ne­zia.it web­si­te. For ex­cur­sions and boat crui­ses vi­sit www.ca­nal­gran­de.it, or ask your con­cier­ge.

Chiesa del­la Ma­don­na dell’Or­to

This is one of the lar­ge­st chur­ches in Venice, and, ac­cor­ding to po­pu­lar be­lief, is na­med af­ter a sta­tue of the Vir­gin Ma­ry whi­ch sup­po­sed­ly had mi­ra­cu­lous po­wers. It con­tains a si­gni­fi­cant num­ber of art­works, mo­stly by Tin­to­ret­to and Bel­li­ni, but al­so by Ti­tian and Pal­ma the Youn­ger. The com­plex al­so hou­ses the smal­ler chur­ch of San Mar­zia­le, da­ting back to be­fo­re the year 1000. This chur­ch can on­ly be vi­si­ted by boo­king. Open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 12pm-5pm. www. ma­don­na­del­lor­to.org. Can­na­re­gio, 3512. T: 041 719933. Va­po­ret­to li­nes 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, A (Or­to stop). Map E2

Chiesa and Scuola Grande di San Rocco

A Re­nais­san­ce com­plex con­si­sting of a chur­ch and ad­joi­ning pa­la­ce, it was built as a si­gn of de­vo­tion to San Rocco who was cal­led upon to pro­tect the pla­gue-stric­ken po­pu­la­tion of Venice du­ring the 15th cen­tu­ry. The in­te­riors are fil­led wi­th nu­me­rous trea­su­res, in­clu­ding an im­pres­si­ve num­ber of works by Tin­to­ret­to as well tho­se by Tie­po­lo and Gior­gio­ne. Ope­ning hours su­b­ject to chan­ge www.scuo­la­gran­de­san­roc­co.org. San Po­lo, 3052 (Cam­po San Rocco). T: 041 5234864. Va­po­ret­to li­ne 2 (San To­mà stop). Map D4

Ghet­to di Ve­ne­zia Al­thou­gh do­cu­men­ta­tion chro­ni­cles the pre­sen­ce of a Jewi­sh com­mu­ni­ty in Venice from be­fo­re the year 1000, it was on­ly du­ring the 6th cen­tu­ry, due to po­li­ti­cal un­re­st in Eu­ro­pe and a si­gni­fi­cant in­crea­se in non-Ch­ri­stian im­mi­gran­ts that, for the fir­st ti­me, the Ve­ne­tian Se­na­te, is­sued a de­cree sta­ting that the Jewi­sh po­pu­la­tion should mo­ve to a spe­ci­fic part of the ci­ty, whe­re they could be bet­ter ‘con­trol­led'. Thus Jews we­re for­ced to mo­ve to this, then, re­mo­te nor­th­we­stern cor­ner of Venice, to an aban­do­ned si­te of a 14th­cen­tu­ry foun­dry (‘ghet­to' is old Ve­ne­tian dia­lect for "foun­dry," a word that would soon be used th­rou­ghout Eu­ro­pe and the world to de­pict an area whe­re iso­la­ted mi­no­ri­ty groups li­ved. The Ve­ne­tian Ghet­to ne­ver­the­less be­ca­me a th­ri­ving, vi­brant di­strict. In 1797, when Na­po­leon rol­led in­to town, the ghet­to was di­sban­ded as an in­sti­tu­tion, and Jews we­re free to mo­ve el­sewhe­re. To­day it is still the cen­ter of Venice's ever-di­mi­ni­shing com­mu­ni­ty of Jewi­sh fa­mi­lies. Va­po­ret­to li­nes 4.1, 4.2, 5.1 (Ponte Gu­glie stop). Map D2

Pa­laz­zo Ca’ Ven­dra­min Ca­ler­gi (Ca­si­nò di Ve­ne­zia)

Over­loo­king the Grand Ca­nal, this buil­ding hou­ses the ol­de­st ca­si­no in the world. An ageold de­sti­na­tion, for ari­sto­cra­tic tra­ve­lers from bo­th East and West, Venice was the fir­st ci­ty in the world to open a ga­ming hou­se way back in 1683. To­day its old-world am­bien­ce con­ti­nues to play ho­st to se­ve­ral of the world's mo­st clas­si­cal ga­mes. The ca­si­no is open to eve­ryo­ne aged 18 and over and pro­per at­ti­re is re­qui­red. www.ca­si­no­ve­ne­zia.it. Can­na­re­gio, 2040 (Cal­le Co­lom­bi­na). Va­po­ret­to li­nes 1, 2 (San Mar­cuo­la stop). Map E3

Piaz­za San Marco (St. Mark’s Square)

Kno­wn th­rou­ghout the world, this square is the heart of Venice and its mo­st sym­bo­lic land­mark. It con­sists of a cen­tral, tra­pe­zoid-sha­ped unit in­te­gra­ted wi­th other areas. Mea­su­ring 170 me­tres in leng­th, it fa­ces di­rec­tly on­to the wa­ter and is sur­roun­ded by se­ve­ral ma­gni­fi­cent sta­te­ly buil­dings. Its in­cal­cu­la­ble sce­nic beau­ty ma­kes it one of the mo­st wi­de­ly-pho­to­gra­phed pla­ces in the world. The be­st thing to do he­re is to look around and exult, but don't for­get that the square has a num­ber of spe­ci­fic land­mark si­tes, who­se in­te­riors can al­so be vi­si­ted: the Basilica of San Marco (see li­sting), the Bell To­wer (see li­sting), Pa­laz­zo Du­ca­le (see Museums li­stings), the Clock To­wer (see li­sting) and so­me 18th cen­tu­ry ca­fés, the Flo­rian and the Qua­dri, to men­tion the be­st­k­no­wn... Va­po­ret­to li­nes, 1, 2 (San Marco stop).

Map F4

Ponte dei So­spi­ri (Brid­ge of Si­ghs)

The Brid­ge of Si­ghs is a Ba­ro­que brid­ge that, by cros­sing the Rio di Pa­laz­zo, on­ce con­nec­ted the Pa­laz­zo Du­ca­le to the pri­sons, and to­day it is one of Venice's mo­st ro­man­tic sights. The ‘si­ghs' from whi­ch its na­me de­ri­ves are not tho­se of lo­vers, but tho­se of con­dem­ned pri­so­ners, emit­ted as they we­re led do­wn to the cells. It can be ac­ces­sed on a vi­sit to the Pa­laz­zo Du­ca­le. Open dai­ly 8.30am7­pm. www.pa­laz­zo­du­ca­le.vi­sit­mu­ve.it. San Marco, 31024 (piaz­za San Marco). T:041 2715911. Va­po­ret­to li­nes 1,2, (San Marco stop). Map F4

Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Brid­ge)

This is the ol­de­st and mo­st beau­ti­ful of the four brid­ges cros­sing the Grand Ca­nal. Wit­ness to cen­tu­ries of history, it is ex­ci­ting to cross it (shut­ter­bugs per­mit­ting), but even mo­re spec­ta­cu­lar when seen from the wa­ter, pe­rhaps aboard a gon­do­la. Ori­gi­nal­ly built du­ring me­die­val ti­mes as a pon­toon brid­ge at the ca­nal's nar­ro­we­st point to fa­ci­li­ta­te ac­cess to the po­pu­lar Rialto Mar­ket, it is still a hub of com­mer­ce and is li­ned on bo­th si­des by shops. Un­for­tu­na­te­ly, it is not ac­ces­si­ble to eve­ryo­ne; bet­ween up­ward and do­w­n­ward slo­pes, it in­clu­des as ma­ny as 120 steps. San Po­lo, 30125

(ac­cess from Ru­ga dei Ore­si or from Sa­li­za­da Pio X). Va­po­ret­to li­nea 1,2 (Rialto stop). Map F4

San Gior­gio Mag­gio­re

Boa­sting a mo­na­ste­ry and an ad­joi­ning mu­seum

(see Mu­seum li­stings), the chur­ch of San Gior­gio Mag­gio­re si­ts on the lit­tle island of San Gior­gio Mag­gio­re across from St. Mark's square. One of the ma­ster­pie­ces of An­drea Pal­la­dio, the chur­ch, and the en­ti­re com­plex, whi­ch holds a num­ber of mar­ve­lous sur­pri­ses in­clu­ding a ma­ze, is wor­th vi­si­ting. This small island, that is a part of the pa­no­ra­ma that can be en­joyed from St. Mark's square, is se­pa­ra­ted from the Giu­dec­ca by the la­goon island of La Gra­zia. Iso­la di San Gior­gio Mag­gio­re. T: 041 5227827. Va­po­ret­to li­ne 2 (San Gior­gio stop). Map G5

San­ta Ma­ria del­la Sa­lu­te (Chur­ch of the Vir­gin Ma­ry of Good Heal­th)

Ge­ne­ral­ly re­fer­red to as “La Sa­lu­te,” this cro­wn jewel of 17th-cen­tu­ry ba­ro­que ar­chi­tec­tu­re proud­ly stands at a com­mer­cial­ly and ae­sthe­ti­cal­ly im­por­tant point, al­mo­st di­rec­tly op­po­si­te the Piaz­za San Marco, whe­re the Grand Ca­nal emp­ties in­to the la­goon. De­si­gned by Lon­ghe­na, who­se work was in­fluen­ced by Pal­la­dio, it was con­struc­ted to ho­nor the Vir­gin Ma­ry for de­li­ve­ring Venice from the pla­gue of 1630. On 21 No­vem­ber ea­ch year, a po­pu­lar re­li­gious ce­le­bra­tion, mar­king the of­fi­cial end of the Black Dea­th, is held he­re. The chur­ch is al­so fa­mous for its or­gan con­certs. Open dai­ly 9am-12noon/3pm5.30pm. www.ba­si­li­ca­sa­lu­te­ve­ne­zia.it. Fon­da­men­ta Sa­lu­te, 30123. T: 041 2743911. Va­po­ret­to li­ne 1 (Sa­lu­te stop). Map E5

San­ta Ma­ria Glo­rio­sa dei Fra­ri

Kno­wn by the Ve­ne­tians sim­ply as ‘i Fra­ri', this land­mark fea­tu­res 17 mo­nu­men­tal al­tars and is the lar­ge­st chur­ch in the ci­ty. This me­die­val chur­ch in Go­thic-Ve­ne­tian sty­le, hou­ses, in ad­di­tion to two pain­tings by Ti­tian, the tombs and fu­ne­ra­ry mo­nu­men­ts of nu­me­rous fa­mous peo­ple, in­clu­ding Ti­tian, Mon­te­ver­di and Ca­no­va. cho­ru­sve­ne­zia.org. Cam­po dei Fra­ri. T: 041 2750462. Va­po­ret­to li­ne 1, 2, N (San To­mà stop). Map D4

San­ti Gio­van­ni e Pao­lo

One of the ci­ty's mo­st im­por­tant exam­ples of me­die­val ar­chi­tec­tu­re, San­ti Gio­van­ni e Pao­lo is con­si­de­red the Pan­theon of Venice be­cau­se all the Ve­ne­tian do­ges, star­ting from the 13th cen­tu­ry, are bu­ried he­re, to­ge­ther wi­th nu­me­rous other no­ta­ble per­so­na­ges. www.ba­si­li­ca­san­ti­gio­van­nie­pao­lo.it.

Cam­po San­ti Gio­van­ni e Pao­lo (Plea­se no­te: this si­te might be mar­ked in Ve­ne­tian dia­lect as ‘san Za­niPo­lo' on the ci­ty's maps).

T: 041 5235913. Va­po­ret­to li­ne 5.1 (Fon­da­men­te No­ve stop, Ospe­da­le Ci­vi­le stop). Map F3

Scala Contarini del Bovolo

Pa­laz­zo Contarini is an ex­qui­si­te, la­te Go­thic buil­ding. Ho­we­ver, what ma­kes it su­ch a po­pu­lar at­trac­tion to­day, was the ad­di­tion, by its ar­chi­tec­ts, in 1499, of an ama­zing, ex­ter­nal ‘bovolo' (snail-shell) stair­well en­clo­sed in a cy­lin­der per­fo­ra­ted like la­ce. The ar­chi­tec­tu­ral beau­ty of the stair­well, com­bi­ned wi­th the view that can be en­joyed on rea­ching the top, is well wor­th a vi­sit. Open Tues-Sun: 10am1.30pm/2pm-6pm. www.sca­la­con­ta­ri­ni­del­bo­vo­lo. com. c/o Pa­laz­zo Contarini del Bovolo. San Marco, 4299 (Cam­po Ma­nin, Rio San Lu­ca). T: 041 3096605. Va­po­ret­to li­ne 1 or 2 (San Marco Val­la­res­so stop).

Map E4

Scuola Grande dei Car­mi­ni

Hou­sed in a 16th cen­tu­ry pa­laz­zo, it is the seat of an an­cient bro­the­rhood and all its ori­gi­nal fur­ni­shing and a num­ber of pri­ce­less oil pain­tings ha­ve been pre­ser­ved in­tact. The dra­ma builds when en­te­ring the Sa­la del Ca­pi­to­lo, who­se cei­ling fea­tu­res ni­ne ex­cep­tio­nal can­va­ses pain­ted by the bro­the­rhood's mo­st fa­mous mem­ber, Giam­bat­ti­sta Tie­po­lo. Open dai­ly 11am-5pm. www.scuo­la­gran­de­car­mi­ni.it. Dor­so­du­ro, 2616 (Cam­po dei Car­mi­ni, Cam­po San­ta Mar­ghe­ri­ta). T: 041 5289420. Va­po­ret­to li­ne 1 (Ca' Rez­zo­ni­co stop). Map C5

Teatro La Fenice

Twi­ce de­stroyed by fi­re and twi­ce re­sto­red to its for­mer splen­dour (the la­st ti­me was bet­ween 1996 and 2003), for cen­tu­ries it has been Venice's prin­ci­pal sta­ge for world-class ope­ra, mu­sic, thea­ter, and bal­let. Ho­we­ver, its hi­gh point ca­me in the 19th cen­tu­ry when it ho­sted the ‘pre­mie­res' of ope­ras by Ros­si­ni, Bel­li­ni, Do­ni­zet­ti and Ver­di. Not on­ly stron­gly as­so­cia­ted wi­th Venice's cul­tu­ral he­ri­ta­ge, it is al­so a stun­ning feat of ar­chi­tec­tu­re. tea­tro­la­fe­ni­ce. it. Tic­ket of­fi­ce T: 041 2424. San Marco, 1965 (Cam­po San Fan­tin). Va­po­ret­to li­ne 1 (San Marco-Val­la­res­so stop). Map E4

The islands

Al­thou­gh the who­le of Venice lies on an ar­chi­pe­la­go, an ‘ex­cur­sion to the islands' ge­ne­ral­ly means a half-day crui­se on a boat to vi­sit the islands of Mu­ra­no, Tor­cel­lo and Burano, th­ree char­ming, small islands, ri­ch in history and tra­di­tion. Mu­ra­no is fa­mous th­rou­ghout the world for its hand-blo­wn glass (ar­ti­sa­nal work­shops still di­splay glass­ma­kers at work). Tor­cel­lo, bir­th­pla­ce of the la­goon, on­ce a th­ri­ving town wi­th 8,000 in­ha­bi­tan­ts, is to­day a se­mi­ru­ral island wi­th on­ly 17 per­ma­nent re­si­den­ts and two me­die­val chur­ches that speak poi­gnan­tly of pa­st glo­ries, and Burano, one of the mo­st pho­to­gra­phed sights in the world, thanks to co­lour­ful hou­ses re­flec­ted in its ca­nals. Burano is al­so fa­mous for its ar­ti­sa­nal la­ce work and a par­ti­cu­lar kind of bi­scuit, whi­ch al­so re­sem­bles la­ce. Find out mo­re and buy tic­ke­ts for your trip to the­se ma­gi­cal de­sti­na­tions. Vi­si­tors lo­ve the­se islands, and the­re may be a ri­sk of not fin­ding a seat on the boat. See Map pa­ge 62.

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