Celebrated throughout the world for its singular beauty, Venice and its lagoon is one of the Italian UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1987.
Its network of channels, its romantic atmosphere make this city a unique place by the overwhelming beauty that deserves to be discovered without leaving anything to chance. Founded in the 6th Century by the Venetians to escape the Barbarian Invasion, Venice was already one of the most powerful cities in Europe around the year 1000.
From the first settlements on the islands of Torcello, Iesolo and Malamocco, the city later developed over 118 different islands, becoming an important political, cultural and commercial center. Testaments to the power of the Marine Republic of Venice are still visible today, including its splendid piazzas, bridges, and palaces, inside of which are preserved the timeless artworks of Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese and many others.
Next to the Basilica stands the Palazzo Ducale, ancient residence of the Doge, whose two main sides are a beautiful example the Venetian Gothic architectural style .
The Palazzo Ducale was, for several centuries, the most important government in Europe, administrated from inside the elaborate and lavish Higher Council Hall.
The Clock Tower is an early renaissance building on the north side of the Piazza San Marco at the entrance to the Merceria. It comprises a tower, which contains the clock, and lower buildings on each side.
The Campanile di San Marco (Bell Tower), realized in 1173, was reconstructed in front of the Palazzo Ducale after it collapsed in 1902. From the small loggia or gallery at the top of the bell tower (in the red marble of Verona) it is possible to admire reliefs depicting the ventures and undertakings of the “Republic of the Golden Lion.”
Our tour continue with the famous bridges of the city, in particular the Ponte di Rialto which together with the Accademia bridge, the Scalzi bridge and the bridge of the Constitution, cross the Grand Canal.
The most iconic bridge is the Ponte dei Sospiri or Bridge of Sighs but not everyone knows that his name does not come from the languid sighs of lovers who pass under, vowing eternal love. It seems that the name of the bridge, come from the sights of the convicts who were taken to nearby prisons and, looking for the last time the city, they left by anxiety attack .
Other highly sought-out touristic destinations in the lagoon are the islands of Murano and Burano, where visitors can see the typical artisan workshops of glass. The Lido is a renowned seaside destination, and the seat of the celebrated Venice Film Festival, second best only to Venice’s Carnival.
Venice is an open-air museum that seems to float on its lagoon. Visitors can walk its entirety if they want to, crossing its characteristic calle or vias, its campi and campitelli (piazzas and little piazzas, to be exact) and its magnificent bridges. Or they can watch the city go by from the comfort of a boat, choosing from private transport (the beloved gondolas), or public – the vaporetti – which boast the ideal vantage point (the Canal Grande) from which to observe all the fantastically beautiful scenery this unique place has to offer. Another special experience to do is to try the typical Venetian food at aperitif time: it’s customary to go to the so-called bacàri, typical Venetian taverns with few seats as it’s used to consume little cichéti (snacks) with a ombra de vin (goblet of wine) in the hand.