ATTRACTIONS & MONUMENTS
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).
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