Top 20 sightseeing the best attractions to see on your holiday

Top 20 Venice

Top 20 Sightseeing in Venice

This week, we are going to share with you the top 20 sightseeing spots in one of the most famous and beautiful cities in the world, Venice. This very interesting city in the northeastern part of Italy is rich in architectural and artistic gems. Venice, also known in Italian as Venezia, is the capital city of the region of Veneto. It can be found in the swampy Venetian Lagoon, just in the middle of mouths of the rivers of the Piave and the Po. The entire city of Venice, together with its lagoon which extends along the coastline, is listed in UNESCO as one of the World Heritage Sites.

There is certainly something about this city that makes it one of the best travel destinations in the world. It is popularly known for the splendor of its artwork, setting and architecture. Come join us as we discover the things that makes this lovely place a heart-stopping city that is worth visiting for.


Basilica Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco

If Rome has Saint Peter’s Basilica as its most famous and significant religious place, Venice has Basilica Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco. The Basilica Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco, translated in English as Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark or simply Saint Mark’s Basilica, is the Roman Catholic Archdiocese’s cathedral church in Venice. St Mark’s Basilica is marked as the most popular church in the city. It can be found at the eastern part of the Piazza San Marco just nearby the famous Doge’s Palace. Because of its affluent design and gold ground mosaics, the basilica is considered as a status symbol of Venice. This Venetian wealth and power symbol is also known as the Church of gold or Chiesa d’Oro. It is also considered as one among the best examples of Italo-Byzantine architecture as well as of the Romanesque, Byzantine and Gothic art.


Canal Grande, Venetian: Canalasso

grand-canal-veniceThe Canal Grande Venetian or Grand Canal is one among the main water-traffic corridors in Venice Italy. This ancient waterway stretches all throughout the city with one end extends to the Saint Mark Basin and the other end to the lagoon located just nearby the railway station of Santa Lucia. The Canal Grande is likewise called by the Venetians as Canalazzo or Canalasso. It measures 3,800 meters in length and around 30 to 90 meters in width. The canal which makes a huge inverted S shape through the central neighborhoods of the city has an average of five meters in depth. Along the Grand Canal are a number of ancient beautifully constructed palazzos and buildings which are mostly owned by the wealthy Venetian families. Most of the approximately 170 building structures along the canal were built from the 13th century up till the 18th century.  The best way to appreciate the beauty of the canal and of the city is through water cruise. You can choose to take the water bus called the vaporetti, private water taxis or gondola in cruising through the canal.


Piazza San Marco

piazza-san-marco-venice-italyPiazza San Marco or St. Mark’s Square is the primary and the largest public square in the city. It is generally known as simply the “la Piazza” or “the Piazza” and is considered as the heart of the city. St. Mark’s Square is surrounded by a number of great architecture and of several main tourist attractions of the city. Also located just nearby the square are the major government buildings and offices as well as the other central facilities of the city. Embellishing the heart of the square is the grand St. Mark’s Basilica. The Campanile bell tower is also standing tall in the middle of the square. The square is also the location of several renowned cafes and of hundreds, if not thousands, of beautiful free-flying pigeons.


The Doge’s Palace

the-doges-palaceIf you arrive in Venice by water travel, the first thing that will catch your attention will be the most famous building in the city, the magnificent Doge’s Palace. This ancient palace is one of the major landmarks of Venice and is considered as the best representation of the Venetian culture together with the grand Saint Mark’s Basilica and the St. Mark’s Square. This Venetian Gothic style palace used to be the residence of the former Republic of Venice’s supreme authority known as the Doge of Venice. In 1923, it was opened as a museum which is known today as one among the 11 museums managed by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia. Aside from being the residence of the Doge of Venice, the Doge’s Palace also used to be known as the palace of justice as well as the seat of government.


Museo di Palazzo Mocenigo

Photo by ©Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia

Photo by ©Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia

Just on the southern side of the Grand Canal and nearby the Church of San Stae rests a huge and imposing building of gothic origin known as the Palazzo Mocenigo. The Palazzo Mocenigo which is located in Santa Croce district, Venice is now known as the home to the Museo di Palazzo Mocenigo, sometimes called the Palazzo Mocenigo di San Stae. The Museo di Palazzo Mocenigo is currently being managed by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia and displays collection of different costumes and fabrics. The palace was donated to the government of Venice in 1945 by the last descendant of the Mocenigo family named Alvise Nicolò Mocenigo. The palace turned museum used to be the residence of one of the Venetian aristocratic families, the Mocenigo family.


Ponte di Rialto

rialto-bridge-of-veniceThe Ponte di Rialto or Rialto Bridge is known to be the most famous and the most ancient of the four bridges that cross the Grand Canal. It connects the districts of San Polo and San Marco and serves as the entranceway to the Rialto Market. The Rialto Bridge was once swarming with Venetian merchants and traders from different countries like Lombardy and Florence during the heyday of Venice. Now, it is crowded with tourists making it the most photographed, most visited and one of the most popular top attractions of the city.


Church of Santa Maria e San Donato

The Basilica of Santi Maria e Donato, also known as the Church of Santa Maria e San Donato, is a religious edifice in the Campo S. Donato on the Murano Island located in the northern part of Italy. It was believed to be built either in the 7th century or the 10th century. The Basilica of Santi Maria e Donato is considered as one among the most interesting religious edifice in the Venetian lagoon and is popular for its 12th century Byzantine mosaic pavement. The Basilica of Santi Maria e Donato is said to be the home to the vestiges of Saint Donatus of Arezzo and the remains of the dragon that was killed by the saint. The pavement which bears a waving geometric patterns as well as peacocks that were designed with precious stones like serpentine and porphyry is one of the most interesting parts of the church.


Santa Maria Formosa

Another remarkable church in Venice is the Santa Maria Formosa. It was built in 1492 and was originally constructed from wood. It was designed by Mauro Codussi, a renowned Renaissance architect. Santa Maria Formosa is known as the first religious edifice on the Rialto that was dedicated to the Virgin Mary.  Santa Maria Formosa is located on the exact site where the 7th century church once stood. It was believed that this church was one among the eight churches founded by Bishop San Magno of Oderzo. According to the legend, the church was named as Santa Maria Formosa to commemorate the fact of the vision of San Magno about the Virgin Mary who allegedly appeared as a formosa or buxom matron at the site where the church is currently situated.


Ponte dei Sospiri

The Ponte dei Sospiri or the Bridge of Sighs is a famous enclosed bridge in Venice that crosses the Rio di Palazzo which serves as the division of the ducal palace or Doge’s Palace and the prison called Prigioni Nuove or New Prison. This legendary bridge designed by Antonio Contino was built in the early years of the 17th century and was constructed with white limestone.  The windows of the bridge have stone bars.  The bridge was named as the Bridge of Sighs because this was where the prisoners crossed from the court to the room of torment or to their prison cell.  Local tradition says that if lovers kiss each other on a gondola under the Bridge of Sighs at sunset when bells of St Mark’s Campanile ring will have everlasting love and happiness.


Ca’ Rezzonico

Photo by Ca' Rezzonico

Photo by Ca’ Rezzonico

Just like the Palazzo Mocenigo, the Ca’ Rezzonico is also located on the Grand Canal. This canal side palace of the 17th century can be found in the Dorsoduro district of Venice. Ca’ Rezzonico is now known as the home to the Museum of 18th-Century Venice or Museo del ‘700 Veneziano, one of the public museums run by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia. Ca’ Rezzonico showcases the features of a grandiose Venetian home during the final days of the grand Republic. Its ballroom alone suggests what the idle Venetian rich people’s lifestyle looked like during these days. The ballroom was extravagantly frescoed by Pietro Visconti as well as by the Italian painter and visual artist Giovanni Battista Crosato.


San Michele in Isola

The current San Michele in Isola is the reconstructed version of the first Roman Catholic Church designed by Mauro Codussi. It can be found on the Isola di San Michele of Venice, an island which houses the cemetery of the city and is located just nearby the lagoon. The San Michele in Isola is dedicated to Saint Michael. It was built in 1469 and was commissioned by the island’s Camaldolese community. It was constructed completely in salt-white colored Istrian stone and is considered as the first exemplar of the Venetian Renaissance architecture. Its interior is impressively ornamented with various precious decorations.


Palazzo Contarini Del Bovolo

The Palazzo Contarini Del Bovolo, also known as the Palazzo Contarini Minelli dal Bovolo is one of the palaces in Venice. It is popular for its spiral staircase which is designed with a plethora of arches called the Scala Contarini del Bovolo. It is smaller in size as compared to the other grand palaces in the city. The Palazzo Contarini Del Bovolo can be found in the alley called the Calle della Vida located adjacent to the Campo Manin and just nearby the Rialto.


Giardini della Biennale

The Giardini della Biennale or Gardens of the Biennial Exposition are known to be the largest parkland area in Venice. The gardens which date back to the Napoleonic era are open to the public. The Venice Giardini is the main venue for the Venice Biennale Art Festival, a festival that is considered as a major part of the cultural Biennale of Venice. Among the interesting features of the gardens are the 30 permanent pavilions. Many of the pavilions were made by Alvar Aalto, Carlo Scarpa and by other 20th century prominent architects. The gardens is also popular as home to many stray cats which wander around the gardens.


San Francesco della Vigna

One other great religious edifice in Venice that is worth visiting for is the San Francesco della Vigna. This Roman Catholic church of Renaissance style is located in Campo of San Francesco della Vigna, in the district of Castello. The church was designed by Jacopo Sansovino according to the advice given by Fra Francesco Zorzi, a Franciscan friar who suggested that the sizing element of the church should be based on number three as representation of the Holy Trinity.


Saint Eustachius

Saint Eustachius, abbreviated as simply San Stae, is yet another must see church in the city. It can be found in Santa Croce district of Venice. Saint Eustachius was built at the early years of the 11th century. It was then renovated in the 17th century. In 1709, Domenico Rossi constructed the main facade on the side of the Grand Canal. It is abundantly ornamented with a number of sculptures and monuments made by Antonio Tarsia, Antonio Corradini , Pietro Baratta and Giuseppe Torretto. Saint Eustachius is also the home to the sepulcher of the Mocenigo family.


Chiesa dei Santi Apostoli di Cristo

The Chiesa dei Santi Apostoli di Cristo, translated as the Church of the Holy Apostles of Christ in English, is a Roman Catholic Church in Venice. This 7th-century church can be found in the sestiere of Cannaregio.  The Chiesa dei Santi Apostoli di Cristo, also popularly known as simply San Apostoli, is one of the most ancient churches in Venice. Although it has already undergone a number of refurbishment works since its construction it is still able to retain its original 16th century design. The current structure is the outcome of the 1575 major restoration work. The church also serves as the burial place of Giorgio Cornaro and his sister Catherine Cornaro, the Queen of Cyprus. The chapel also houses the graveyards of several Cornaro family members.


Santa Maria del Carmelo

The Santa Maria del Carmelo, also known as Santa Maria dei Carmini or simply Carmini, is a colossal church in the Dorsoduro district of Venice. It is located alongside the Scuola Grande di Santa Maria del Carmelo or Scuola dei Carmini, just nearby the Santa Margherita square and in front of the homonymous square. Santa Maria dei Carmini was built in 1286 and was dedicated in 1348. Its renaissance style façade was reconstructed in 1500 and was redesigned with marble and bricks. The façade is also ornamented with some lunette made by Giovanni Buora as well as with some busts of Eliseo and Elia who were believed to be the founder of the Carmelitani order.


Chiesa di Santa Maria del Giglio

The Chiesa di Santa Maria del Giglio, translated as St. Mary of the Lily and also known as Santa Maria Zobenigo, is a church on the Campo Santa Maria Zobenigo in Venice that was founded in the 9th century. The name St. Mary of the Lily is derived from the flower lily that was presented by Gabriel the Angel during the Annunciation. Chiesa di Santa Maria del Giglio is located on the western side of the Piazza San Marco. It features one of the best Venetian Baroque facades in the entire city. Between 1678 and 1681, the church was reconstructed by Giuseppe Sardi by order of Admiral Antonio Barbaro.


Church of Santa Maria del Rosario

The Church of Santa Maria del Rosario or St. Mary of the Rosary Church is a scenographic church of classical style that was designed by architect Giorgio Massari. It is likewise widely known as the Church of the Gesuati or just Gesuati. The Church of Santa Maria del Rosario which date back to the 1700s is regarded as the most massive example of the religious edifies built in the 18th century. It is located in the neighborhood of Dorsoduro, alongside the Giudecca canal.


Ponte della Costituzione

ponte-della-costituzione-veniceThe Ponte della Costituzione, also called in English as the Constitution Bridge, is one of the four bridges that cross the Grand Canal and the first bridge being constructed in the city in 125 years. It was formerly called as Quarto Ponte sul Canal Grande and is currently known among locals and tourists as Ponte di Calatrava or Calatrava Bridge. The Ponte della Costituzione was designed by Santiago Calatrava. The bridge connects Piazzale Roma and Stazione di Santa Lucia. It was inaugurated in 2008 and was then opened to the public on September 11, 2008.