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What to see in Venice

Venice Attractions

Mention Venice and the image of beautifully-lit canals and graceful gondoliers come to mind. But this romantic city boasts many more excellent tourist attractions. The Grand Canal (Canalazzo), Venice's main waterway, divides the city with city quarters to the west and east of it. It's the core around which much of the activity in Venice is conducted, surrounded by the elegant facades of the palazzi. A 'must-see' is St Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco) in the heart of Venice, while the 14th-century Basilica dei Frari, a Gothic Franciscan church, is mostly known for being the resting place of Titian and the Venetian sculptor, Antonio Canova.

Explore the School of St Roch or the Gallerie dell'Accademia, which houses one of Europe's finest art collections from the 14th to 18th centuries. Visit the historic La Fenice Theater or the Jewish Ghetto of Venice, from where the word 'ghetto' derives. Jewish culture is still very active in the ghetto, home to five synagogues as well as various shops and restaurants. Venice is a great starting point for exploring the sights and history of Northern Italy, from the nearby islands of Murano and Burano in the Venetian Lagoon to the city of Padua, with its famous basilica and stylish cafes.

The traditional mode of transport in Venice is by foot or boat, so enjoy the strolls and relaxed boat trips. All visitors to Venice should buy a Venice Card, as it gives you use of the main tourist services, including optional discounted airport transfers, vaporetto services and admission to some museums and attractions.

Basilica dei Frari

The Basilica dei Frari was constructed in the 14th century, and is primarily known as the burial place of Titian and the Venetian sculptor Antonio Canova. Titian's tomb in the…

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Bell Tower (Campanile di San Marco)

Originally built in the 9th century, this 318 feet (97m) bell tower is the highest structure in Venice, offering visitors breathtaking views of the cupolas of St Mark's, the lagoon…

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Burano is a small picturesque island set within the Venetian lagoon that's famous for its pastel-coloured houses and for the handmade lace that was historically made by the wives of the local fishermen.…

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Gallerie Accademia

This famous gallery was established in 1807 to house the artwork removed from Venetian churches and public buildings on Napoleon's orders. It's housed in three old religious buildings:…

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Gondola Rides

Surely one of Italy's most iconic images is that of gondolas being oared through the narrow canals of Venice by stripe-shirted, serenading gondoliers. These flat-bottomed boats…

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Peggy Guggenheim Collection

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is housed in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, becoming one of the most illustrious collections of modern art in Italy. It spans the artistic movements…

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Rialto Bridge

One of Venice's most iconic landmarks, the Rialto Bridge is often described as the heart of the city. It is the oldest bridge spanning the Grand Canal, and is one of only four…

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School of St Roch

San Rocco is known for the canvases of Jacopo Tintoretto adorning its interior. Tintoretto was commissioned to decorate the School in 1564 and dedicated 23 years to this task.…

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St Mark's Square

The city's first citadel and church were erected on the Piazza San Marco: the Palazzo Ducale and the Basilica di San Marco, respectively. The latter is a unique juxtaposition of…

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The Grand Canal (Canalazzo)

The Grand Canal is a hub of activity in Venice, encircled by the elegant facades of the palazzi testifying to the city's past opulence. The best way to explore the architectural…

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