Look out over the pigeon-packed square and long arcades beneath the towers and crosses topping St. Mark’s Square, the central attraction in the sestiere (district) of San Marco. Being here is an unforgettably peaceful experience, unlike others you will encounter in Italy or Europe. Wander through the open spaces of the square and enjoy this beautiful scene.
Spend hours studying the fine details of St. Mark’s Basilica, the cathedral on the eastern end of St. Mark’s Square. Its Byzantine exterior dazzles with its manifold arches and gold trim. Inside are some of the most decadent gold leaf paintings of any cathedral, which together symbolize central tenets of Christian iconography. Their beauty is so widely recognized that they have even served as the basis of scientific studies about the biology of artistic appreciation.
Another important attraction in San Marco is Doge’s Palace. Built for the Doge of Venice, the chief magistrate of the former Republic of Venice, today the site serves as a preeminent example of Venetian-Gothic architecture and houses an art museum. Take your time perusing the many chambers of this building, the design of which has been widely imitated throughout the world.
As is the case with most of Venice, San Marco is densely packed with elaborate Baroque churches. In particular, be sure to visit the Chiesa di San Salvatore, which sports a cannonball in one of its columns left behind after a skirmish with Austrian forces.
Before you leave, have a dry martini at the famous Harry’s Bar, a truly expatriate experience. This place has served as the favorite haunt of Ernest Hemingway, Alfred Hitchcock, Philippe de Rothschild and many others. Also try two Italian treats that were invented here, the carpaccio meat dish and the Bellini prosecco cocktail.
While all of Venice is a marvel, San Marco is a wonder set right in the heart of the city. Allow enough time to explore the special treats of this perfectly European sestiere.
Museums, Romantic and Cathedrals
Take a stroll across Venice’s oldest and most iconic bridge for romantic views, souvenir shopping and street entertainment.
Gilded mosaics, a jewel-encrusted screen and magnificent Byzantine architecture make this cathedral one of the most stunning attractions in Venice.
Experience the timeless charm of Venice’s glorious heart, home to the city’s most famous cultural icons, many cafés ... and several thousand pigeons.
This grand building was home to Venice’s rulers for centuries and is still a statement of wealth and power.
Arching high over the water, linking a palace with a prison, is a spectacular bridge steeped in local legends.
Enjoy breathtaking 360-degree views from the top of this landmark bell tower, where Galileo once made his name.
Cruise across the waters of the Venetian Lagoon to visit 3 famous islands, each with its own unique ambiance and time-honored traditions. Hop off to explore colorful Burano, roam the streets of quaint Torcello, and watch the famous glass-blowing masters of Murano at work.
Combine the top 2 sights in Venice in a hassle-free tour led by an expert local guide. With pre-reserved tickets and skip-the-line access, you get straight inside the Doge's Palace for an intimate small-group tour. First, step inside Venice's most important church, St.
Skip the lines and step inside 2 of Venice's most iconic monuments with a knowledgeable guide. First, go behind the pink marble facade of the Doge's Palace to see all of Venice's historic wealth and power on display, and then walk under the gold mosaics and beneath the gilded domes of Saint Mark's Basilica.
Step into a page right out of a Venetian storybook as you glide along quiet canals in an authentic gondola. Cruise past ancient palazzos on the Canal Grande, and be serenaded by a troupe of Italian musicians as you pass beneath elegantly arching bridges on hidden waterways.
Glide peacefully among the grandeur and the centuries-old palazzos of Venice during a ride on a traditional gondola. Pass under elegant bridges, sail from the postcard-perfect waters of the Canal Grande into quieter waterways and live the inimitable atmosphere of the Queen of the Adriatic.
Duration: 30 minutes Start time: 01 Apr - 31 Oct: 6:30pm / 18:30 and 7:30pm /19:30 01 Nov - 31 Mar: 3:30pmÂ / 15:30 Meeting Point: Tour departs from â€œCampo Santa Maria del Giglioâ€ in front of hotel Gritti - Please arrive the meeting point 15 minutes before starting time Ending Point: Same than departure Itinerary The meeting point for your Venice Gondola ride is Campo Santa Maria del Giglio, a guide will accompany you to board your Gondola nearby.
The smallest of Venice’s six districts, this is also one of the oldest. It offers many tourist sites in its palaces, its churches and the Rialto Bridge.
One of six districts in Venice, this beautiful area has many sights located along the edge of Venice and on the island of Giudecca.
Santa Croce is known for its charming cafes, and you can make a stop by Piazzale Roma and Grand Canal while in the area.
Cannaregio is beloved for its popular shops. Take some time to explore sights in the area like Ca' d'Oro and Grand Canal.
Castello is beloved for its popular shops. Take some time to explore sights in the area like Basilica di San Giovanni e Paolo and Giardini della Biennale.
San Giuliano is popular for its ample dining options, and you might make a stop by San Giuliano Park, a top place to visit in the area.