Saint Mark’s Square is surely a place that can’t be missed, an exhibition of rare and unique beauty appear on a 360° view in front of the visitors, the Saint Mark’s Church, the bell tower, the “procuratie” and the Napoleonic wing, the clock tower and the two blacks.
The Church, a Romanic Byzantine style was born initially as a mausoleum of the Patron Saint, it has 5 domes, marbles and mosaics to embellish the façade, inside, decorations and wall of golden leaf mosaics represents tales of the Patron Saint.
The bell tower is the highest point of the city, 98.6 meters tall, from the top there is a unique and breathtaking view of the isle, it was originally built as a watchtower and a lighthouse in the IX century.
Finally the clock tower, also a renaissance style palace, its arcade allow to enter into the square from the “Mercerie” so called because during the Republic there where many shops selling precious merchandise coming from distant ports. Today the Mercerie are site for various commercial activities, mostly murano glass shops and most modern cloth and gift shops.
If you are in Venice you cannot miss the opportunity to visit St Mark’s Church, the famous San Marco Basilica. It is one of the most valuable treasures of history, art and faith in the world, located in St Mark's Square, the so-called ‘drawing room of Europe’.
When you visit St Mark’s Cathedral you cannot avoid gazing at the vast amount of decorations, mosaics, architectonic structures, precious objects and sacred and allegorical images that adorn the church inside and outside. To face all this in the best way before delving into the details, it is important to let oneself be swept away by this abundance, which changes time after time depending on the lighting, one’s stance and many other details that all together turn San Marco Basilica into a constantly new and deep experience to live in Italy.
A visit of St Mark’s Basilica means entering into an intricate world imbued with religion, art and sacred images that narrate in detail the history of Venice: the beauty of this place is nonetheless blindingly evident and one does not need to decipher it in order to appreciate it.
Burano is amongst the main islands of the Venetian lagoon. At the moment about 3000 people live there and it is part of the municipality of Venice. It is linked to the smaller island of Mazzorbo by a small bridge. Just like Venice, it is divided into “Sestieri” (districts): San Martino Sinistro, San Martino Destro, San Mauro, Terranova and Giudecca (not to be confused with the homonymous island).
The isle of Burano is famous for the lace working art, (a tradition since the XVI century), its bright multicoloured houses and for the culinary traditions.
It's probably the most famous island of the venetian Lagoon, it's composed by seven minor islands. It is well known worldwide for the art of blowing glass. All glass factories were moved to the island of Murano in 1295 to preserve the city from fires that often were caused by factories themselves.
Murano was at first inhabited by refugees coming from Altino right after the barbarian invasion. Today it is completely urbanized and counts on 5500 inhabitant. Until 1171, when it was annexed to the Santa Croce district, the island was autonomous. In the year 1275 part of the autonomy was returned to the island's government, so they could promulgate laws and even coin their own money (the Osella). The autonomy of Murano was maintained also during the Austrian domination, that made of it a municipality. During the Austrian occupancy many churches and monasteries were sacked and destroyed so that only three now are left. The Murano municipality (that includes San’t Erasmo and Vignole islands) was suppressed in 1923 and the territory unified with the Municipality of Venice.
The Rialto Bridge is the first one built across the Grand Canal. In the beginning it was a wooden drawbridge to permit sailing ships to sail from St. Marks Basin to Piazzale Roma area. Only in 1588 the bridge was rebuilt in a sort of white marble called istrian stone, a trademark for most of Venetian artworks (an opera by Arch. Antonio da Ponte) until 1854 the only one spanning across the Grand Canal.
It’ s 22 meters wide and 48 meters long a unique arcade 7,5 meters high, crowned by several smaller arcades it’ s crossed with three parallel staircases,
The one in the centre has double arcades on both sides, shops and stores are host below the archway, on the niches.
The Rialto area is well known for its famous market, open every day (Sunday closed), from San Polo area to the bridge. The market Is frequented mostly by venetian citizens, a continuous passage of people, boats and carriage of fruits, vegetables and fish make of it the most alive part of the city, many tipical trattoria and osterie, serving local wines and food can be founded around, simple but delicious dishes.
Venetian called it “Erbaria” and sice ever it has been the main marketplace of the city, in the past ( now the wholesale market has been moved to another part of the city) dozen and dozen of boats loaded with all kind of goodies from the islands and mainland cultivations.
The Fenice Theatre is one of the best known not just in Venice but worldwide. It was designed in 1790 by Giannantonio Selva commissioned by a rich and famous drama company. The building was subject of criticism mainly for the positions (in saint Mark’s area, campo San Fantin) and for its Neoclassic style.
During the centuries it has been stage for many world premiere of operas become part oh the history, Gioacchini, Rossini, Verdi and more Donizetti, Bellini, Stawinsky… All of them gave their best creation on the stage of this great theatre.
The theatre itself has been spectator of the city life, he known the Serenissima Republic, Napoleon, the Austrian empire, the reign of Italy and the Italian Republic.
Actually the theatre hosts an important Operas Season, an International Festival of Contemporary Music and the new year eve concert.
The Accademia Museum (Gallerie dell'Accademia) is part of a complex including the church of Santa Maria della Carità, the homonymous Scuola Grande (the original entrance is now the main access to the museum) and the Monastery of the Canonici Lateranensi (the complex was in use until the beginning of the XIX century).
The gallery take its name from the Accademia delle Belle Arti (Art Accademy) who opened the building and shared the sites until few years ago (2004).
The operas preserved inside the Gallery are many and of inestimable value. Most of the painting comes from a period between the XIV and the XVIII century, the most important authors are Carpaccio, Bellini, Tintoretto, Tiziano. Also many sculptures and drawing can be admired, amongst them the vitruvian man by Leonardo da Vinci, exposed only few periods. Initially the museum was operating as didactic and restoration of art operas centre.
The Correr Museum offers a real opportunity to know the Art and History of Venice. In the Napoleonic wing that was during the 19th century house of kings and emperors with their impressive neoclassical rooms, we find an important collection of works of one of the greatest sculptors of that time, Antonio Canova (1757-1822). In this museum we can also visit the New Magistrates, "Procuratie Nuove", which were designed between 1552-1616 by the architect Vincenzo Scamozzi and where once the most important civic authorities of the Republic of Venice were housed.
In these spacious rooms, currently there are collections that document various aspects of the city's history, such as public institutions, daily life, naval achievements and local festivals. On the second floor is the exhibition of the Art Collection covering the period from the beginning of Venetian painting to the 16th century; also here we can find other incomparable masterpieces.
The Dogi Palace represent the symbol and the hart of the political and administrative life of the Venetian Republic millenary history. In the halls of the palace the Doge and the council took all the decision about Venice and its life.
St. Mark’ s Bell Tower is certainly one of the symbols of Venice, nicknamed “El Paron de Casa” (The Master of the House) . It is the highest building of the city, from the top of its 98.50 meters is possible to enjoy a 360° view of the city, a must if you're visiting Venice!!!
So called the “Canalazzo“, is the most important water way of Venice, about 3800 meters long, it splits the city in two sides..Venice from above looks like a big fish, not bad for a city on the sea! The Grand Canal it's like a thick dark line that creates a kind of "big S" inside the fish.