Venice - Venice guide, attractions and pictures

Venice Travel Guide

Venice (Venezia) is a truly unique city frozen in time. Built on low lying islands in a muddy lagoon with canals instead of streets this truly remarkable city is visited by 12 million people every year. Venice is so rich in history with its Palazzi, Churches, Bridges and Museums that every house and every corner has something to offer to the traveler. Even the less marketed sites represent unique cultural monuments. The city`s history of wealth has produced some of the best palaces, places of worship, and residential buildings.

The Venetians built their houses using unique construction technique. They used pinewood piles which were driven deep (7.5 m -25ft) into the clay of the lagoon (caranto), then they put a layer of bricks, on top of that they used Istrian stone for damp-proof foundations. When this was done the building of the houses could begin. The result was remarkable. Founded in AD 421 Venice quickly became the most powerful city in the Mediterranean accumulating wealth and influence.

The Grand Canal is one of the finest water boulevards in the world. The boats pass the Scalzi and San Geremia churches and the palace Palazzo Labia. Further along is the masterpiece of the Canal, the Palazzo Vendramin-Calergy, which has built upon the architectural principles of Leon Alberti. Richard Wagner was the most renowned resident of the palace. The 13th century Palazzo Loredan has been renovated in a Veneto-Byzantine style. On the right bank, the visitor can see the Palazzo dei Camerleghi, which had served as the chambers of the Venetian Exchequer. The impressive building of the Palazzo Corner de la Regina had been the residence of the queen of Cyprus, Caterina Cornaro.

Piazza San Marco gathers flocks of visitors who feed the famous Venetian pigeons. The Basilica di San Marco is marked by the Romanesque and Renaissance architectural styles. Built by the plan of the Church of the Twelve Apostles in Constantinople, the basilica had served as the private chapel of the Venetian dodges. The facade arches are decorated with superb mosaics. The domes and the arcs are covered by mosaics which mainly depict scenes from the Old Testament. The Palazzo Ducale had functioned as the dodges residence, the seat of the Venetian government and bureaucracy, and the state prison. Built in the 9th century, the palace was frequently reconstructed over the years. The facade of the palace is designed in Gothic style, boosting Istrian stone and Veronese marble. Inside, the superbly decorated rooms lead to the Grand Council Hall. One of the largest oil paintings in the world, Paradise by Tintoretto, adorns the hall. Another famous work of art contained in the hall is The Apotheosis of Venice by Veronese.

The famous Bridge of Sighs leads to the new prisons of the Palazzo Ducale. The name of the bridge reminds of the sigh of the prisoner who was taken behind the bars. The guided tour Secret Itineraries takes the visitors to the prison`s administrative offices, the Inquisitor`s Office, and the prisoner sells.

The Annual Carnival in Venice which began in 11th century still attracts millions of people each year. Finally, the famous gondolas may take the visitors to the quiet back canals and let them enjoy the unique Venetian scenery.

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Accademia has a vast collection of Venetian Art.
Basilica di San Marco
Basilica di San Marco is one of the most remarkable buildings in Venice.
Ca' Rezzonico
Ca' Rezzonico is one of the few palazzi in Venice open to the public.
Ca’ d’Oro
Ca’ d’Oro is the most famous Venetian Gothic Palace.
Doge’s Palace
The Doge’s Palace was the home of the Doge of Venice.
Grand Canal
Grand Canal is the main artery in Venice.
Piazza San Marco
San Marco Square is flocked by tourists year round.
Rialto Bridge
Rialto is the first bridge to span the Grand Canal.
Santa Maria della Salute
Santa Maria della Salute is the first major structure upon entering the Grand Canal
Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari
Frari is a repository of Venetian works of art.
Santi Giovanni e Paolo
Santi Giovanni e Paolo rivals the Frari as the city’s grandest Gothic Church.
Scuola Grande di San Rocco
Scuola Grande di San Rocco was decorated by Tintoretto.

User Comments about Venice

nade says:
Venice is the most extraordinary city I've ever been. It is filled with history, canals, beautiful buildings and churches. Too bad that most of the visitors stop in Venice only for a day. If you truly want to explore Venice you have to stay there at least 4 days and visit the neighbouring islands in the lagoon. Also don't hesitate to spend money for a gondola ride. It is expensive but once in a lifetime experience. Beautiful beautiful city!

terry says:
Ageless city, just amazing! Too bad it is sinking :(