Venice Things to Do Tips by grandmaR
Venice Things to Do: 2,983 reviews and 5,526 photos
Tourists getting gondola rides
My daughter said my grandson wanted to ride in a gondola, but that would be quite expensive. Official rates for gondola rides, which started at €80 for 40 minutes. Additional 20-minute increments are €40. After 7 p.m., the base rate climbs to €100, with €50 for an additional 2 minutes
I think my grandson would have liked to take one of the power boats/water taxis because he's a power boat guy at heart. But that would have been expensive also. A trip within the historic center can easily cost €30.
I have heard it said that if a gondola ride seems too expensive to you (as it does to me), then you won't enjoy it through worrying about the cost. I agree.
If I had been really on the ball, I would have taken one of the Traghetto or gondola ferries that cross the Grand Canal. It might have been a problem for me though as one normally stands in the traghetto, and I do have some problems due to intermittent vertigo. But that only costs half a €
Some say this is the true heart of Venice. It was built between 1588 and 1591 to replace the pontoon boat bridge that went to the Rialto market. It remained the only way to cross the Grand Canal on foot until the Accademia Bridge was built in 1854.
Antonio da Ponte ("Anthony of the Bridge") competed for the contract against Michelangelo. Actually I told my grandson that it was designed by Michelangelo. I was wrong. I don['t know where I got that piece of mis-information from.
We only saw the bridge from the vaporetto so we did not go on any of the three walkways including the a wider central walkway leading between two rows of small shops that sell jewelry, linens, Murano glass, and other items for the tourist trade.
If you want to shop on the bridge, the No. 1 local stops at Rialto on its way up or down the Grand Canal
Directions: Between San Polo and San Marco
Start of the trip
Sometimes when one visits a city, just riding one of the bus routes is a good way to see the sights. Such as riding one of the big red routemaster buses in London. But since the streets in Venice are either small walking paths or canals, the standard bus option isn't available. Instead Venice has Vaporettos which are fat canal boats that trundle up and down the wider canals.
We rode Vaporetto Route 1 from Piazzale Rome to the Lido and back and gawked at the scenery and took photos. Get on at the Piazzale Rome end to get a seat in the bow of the boat.
The stops are
# Piazzale Roma
# Ferrovia (railway station)
# Riva de Biasio
# San Marcuola
# San Stae
# Ca' d'Oro
# Rialto (Mercato Vecchio)
# Rialto (Banca d'Italia)
# San Silvestro
# Sant' Angelo
# San Toma'
# Ca' Rezzonico
# San Marco Vallaresso
# San Zaccaria
# Sant' Elena
I know that Venice is a big city for art, but we just did not have either the time or the inclination to visit museums when we were there. I did take photos of them however.
The first museum that I became aware of (seeing it on the map I had) was the Peggy Guggenheim Museum (photo 3), which is billed as "the most important museum in Italy for European and American art of the first half of the 20th century". It is located in Peggy Guggenheim's former home, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, on the Grand Canal in Venice. The museum was inaugurated in 1980 and presents Peggy Guggenheim's personal collection of 20th century art (among other things).
704 Dorsoduro, I-30123 Venezia
Open daily 10am-6pm (closed Tuesdays and December 25)
The one that I liked best from the outside was the Ca' D'oro which was once the most beautiful in Venice because of the colours of its facade. But the building fell on hard times until Baron Giorgio Franchetti bought it at the end of XIX century to create an art gallery. Inside in addition to the art, you can see what remain of the decorations that once made beautiful the facades of the buildings near the Gran Canal. Downstairs, in the backyard it's possible to admire the well by Bartolomeo Da Bon, a masterpiece of 1427 made with red marble of Verona.
Opening hours: Daily: 9.00/13.00.
Ticket: € 7; free entrance for people under 18 and adults over 60 years and foreign visitors under 12 years.
Photos 2 and 4 are of the Palazzo Grassi which apparently is the site of revolving exhibitions. What attracted my attention to the building was what appeared to be an enormous skull made from metal scraps which was outside the building.
Opening hours: Daily from 10.00 to 7.00 p.m. except 24th, 25th, 31st of December and the 1st of January.
Tickets: € 9 - € 6.50 reduced
The Ca' Pesaro (photo 5) is a baroque marble palace facing the Grand Canal of Venice which has a large collection of Oriental art. There is also a contemporary art museum with works by Klimt, Klee, Kandinsky.
Opening hours: 9.00/17.00, closed on Monday.
Ticket: € 5,50/ reduced € 3,00 for students* from 15 to 29 years;
Address: Palazzo Grassi Campo San Samuele, 3231
Directions: All these museums are on the Grand Canal
Other Contact: http://www.guggenheim-venice.it/
Phone: Infoline : 199 139 139
Basilica di San Marco from the Campanile
When we got to the Piazza San Marco we headed for the Cathedral. But even early in the spring, there was a long line to get in. So we admired the Byzantine architecture (photos 2, 3, and 4), and then I decided I didn't want to see the inside THAT much, so we went up the Campanile instead.
The name of St. Marks comes from when Venetian merchants stole the supposed relics of Saint Mark the Evangelist from its original resting place in Alexandria, Egypt in 1828, and smuggled them past the Muslim guards under layers of pork. The basis of the current church was laid down in 1063, and finished in 1094 at which time the body of Saint Mark was supposedly rediscovered in a pillar by Vitale Falier, doge of Venice at the time. The basic structure is designed on a Greek cross floor plan but especially the fourteenth century, Venetian ships that returned from the Orient often brought capitals, or friezes, taken from some ancient building, to add. Gradually, the exterior brickwork was been covered with various marbles and carvings, some much older than the building itself. In order to blend in better, higher wooden domes were constructed and the outside was renovated when the Doge's Palace was redesigned.
If we had stayed in line, the hours are
Basilica, Tesoro, and Pala d'Oro: summer Mon-Sat 9:45am-5pm; Sun 2-5pm (winter hours may be shorter).
Museo Marciano: summer daily 9:45am-5pm (winter hours may be shorter)
Cost: Basilica, free admission; Museo Marciano (St. Mark's Museum, also called La Galleria, includes Loggia dei Cavalli), 1.50€; Tesoro (Treasury), 2€
If you want to book your free visit at St. Mark's Basilica, please fill in the form in the site www.venetoinside.com .
With InfracomTelebookings system you will be able to book your free access to the "Basilica of San Marco" for maximum 5 persons and up to 48 hours before your selected date.
Address: San Marco, Piazza San Marco
Directions: From Piazzale Roma:
By the water-bus lines :
* 1 (in about 40 minutes)
* 52 direct (in about 20 minutes)
* 82 direct (in about 30 minutes)
On foot it takes about 40 minutes to reach it.
Other Contact: (+39) 041 241 3817 (tours)
St Marcos Campanile
The line at St. Marks was long, so we went up the bell tower instead. That was 8 € each and was a lot of fun. We had great views over the city. There is an elevator - you don't have to walk up. Before we got on the elevator we saw signs in many languages (photo 5) which said "It is obligatory to deposit here the backpacks. The deposit is free. Attention! Do not lose your ticket. Thanks"
A campanile – pronounced /kampaˈni:le/ – is, especially in Italy, a free-standing bell tower, often adjacent to a church or cathedral. The word derives from the Italian campanile, from campana (bell). In the St Mark's Campanile, there are the 5 bells (one of them is in photo 2). I don't think they will be rung while people are up there.
For those that like statistics, the tower is 98.6 meters tall, and is mainly a plain brick square shaft, 12 meters a side and 50 meters tall, above which is the arched belfry. The belfry is topped by a cube, alternate faces of which show walking lions and the female representation of Venice (la Giustizia: Justice). The tower is capped by a pyramidal spire, at the top of which sits a golden weathervane in the form of the archangel Gabriel. If you get a good picture of what the bell tower looks like in your head, you can figure out where you are because all the many campanile of Venice are different.
Schedule for visits
From April To June and In September and October:
From 9 a.m. the morning until 7 p.m. in the evening.
In July and August:
From 9 a.m. of the morning until 9 p.m. in the evening.
From November To March:
From 9 a.m. thirty the morning up to 4:15 p.m. in the afternoon.
When you are looking over the city and trying to pick out landmarks, it had a green triangular top.
Square from above - feeding pigeons
We came in on a cruise ship and docked about 10 am. Most of the tours of Venice involved a lot of walking, so I didn't take one, but I felt that we ought to at least see St. Marks Square. We got off the ship (my grandson had his camera this time), and I got a round trip on the Italian shuttle (not the ships shuttle) for 11€ each which went from the ship's dock to St. Mark's Square with no other stops.
When we got off the shuttle, we saw a map of the square (photo 5) and I wanted to be sure to be able to recognize where the shuttle left from in order to get back to the ship. We walked along where the gondolas were docked (photo 3). But when we got to the square, we saw the line at St. Marks was long even though it was only early April. So we went up the Campanile. From there we got great views of the Plaza and all the people below, looking like ants.
You needn't worry about the structure as the tower that is there was built in 1912 as an exact replica of its predecessor, which collapsed unexpectly on the morning of July 14, 1902
San Marcuola Cannaregio
Since we did only a trip up and down the Grand Canal on the Route one vaporetto, we obviously did not get to walk around any of the six sectors of Venice. When I looked on a map, I found that the Cannaregio district would have been on the side of the railroad station. There were two churches which came to our attention in this stretch. One was San Marcuola Cannaregio (which has the district in the name).
It looked unfinished, and it was. Apparently the architect thought he would cover the surface with white marble but didn't get around tuit. It isn't a new church - it was built between 1728 and 1736 by the architect Giorgio Massari. Giorgio Massari b. Venice 1687 - d. 1766 was Venice's most important architect in the first half of the 18th century. It was not uncommon for facade to be left unfinished in Venice. Finishing them cost a great deal of money and was usually left for last.
The church is dedicated to Saints Ermagora and Fortunato—yet its name is San Marcuola. It is near to the Ghetto Nuovo
The second church had an inscription on it which said
VERGINE DI SIRACUSA
MARTIRE DI CRISTO
IN QUESTO TEMPIO
ALL'ITALIA AL MONDO
Roughly translated, this means
Lucia, Virgin of Syracuse, Martyr of Christ in this Temple Rests
Italy Implores all the World, Light Peace
Chiesa di Santa Lucia has in it the urn containing the relics of Santa Lucia. Actually there are two St. Lucias both from Syracuse which makes it confusing. After the death of the Saint in 304 A.D., his body was moved around and in 1204, the Venetian Doge Enrico Dandolo, sent it to Venice where it was put in the church of S. Giorgio Maggiore. On 13 December 1279 some pilgrims to the shrine drowned after the capsizing of boats in a sudden storm so it was decided to take the body of the Saint to the church S. Maria Annunziata or "Nunca" situated in the Cannaregio district, where they were placed the precious relics transferred from S. Giorgio. In 1313 a new church dedicated to St. Lucia, where the relics of saints were placed permanently.
There are regular hours for masses.
Directions: From the railroad station - CHURCH OF SCALZI ON THE LEFT AND THE BRIDGE OF SCALZI ON THE RIGHT, CONTINUE TO LIST OF SPAIN TO REACH THE FIELD S. GEREMIA. (3 minutes)
Vittorio Emanuele 11 statue
Along the waterfront on the Riva degli Schiavoni (after you leave the St. Mark's Square stop) is an equestrian statue to Vittorio Emanuele 11 (1887), modelled by Ettore Ferrari (1848-1929). There is supposed to be a detail of the roaring Lion of Saint Mark but it must be on the other side. People in Venice call it just "The Monument" as you will notice there are not very many statues in Venice.
Victor Emmanuel II was the first king of unified Italy. First he was the Monarch of Piedmont, Savoy, and Sardinia from 1849 to 1861. On February 18, 1861, he assumed the title King of Italy to become the first king of a Italian unification, a title he held until his death in 1878.
The Castello is the largest district of Venice’s six districts. It is an area situated east of St. Mark’s Square in the former city centre of Venice. Once called Olivolo, it was the center of ecclesiastical power. Nowadays it’s a quiet neighborhood and a large part of the district is covered by the Giardini Pubblici park and the Parco della Rimembranze which provide a green respite from the crowds (photos 3, 4, and 5) that throng the Riva degli Schiavoni.
The Giardini Pubblici (the public gardens) were created by Napoleon who issued a decree in 1807 stating that "the good city of Venice must be equipped with a public space where people can stroll".
The gardens were laid out between 1808 and 1812 according to the landscaping project of Giannantonio Selva. Several churches and monasteries were demolished to make the gardens; the arched doorway to the church of Sant’Antonio (on the left, along the canal) is all that remains of those buildings. The pleasant walking area and playground is next to the gardens of Biennale, the international contemporary art exposition which takes place every other year.
The Parco delle Rimembranze is probably one of the nicest green areas in the city. Located in Sant'Elena, the most Eastern part of Castello district, this park offers plenty of children's play areas and a roller-skating rink.
Directions: Arsenale or Sant Elena water bus stops
Santa Maria della Salute from the water
Santa Maria della Salute (Basilica of St Mary of Health/Salvation AKA Salute) is in a prime location right opposite St. Mark's Square. It is really easy to pick out in my pictures because the dome is covered with scaffolding. So I have photos from many different angles.
This is another plague church. After the plague ran through Venice starting in 1629 and was not stopped by prayers in other churches, the Venetian Senate in October 22, 1630, decreed that a new church would be built - not just against the "plague" or to a patron saint, but to the Virgin Mary. It worked before - why should it not work again?
Each year they put a temporary bridge across the Grand Canal and the Senate processes across to the the church yearly, on 21 November, the Feast of the Presentation of the Virgin, in a celebration known as the Festa della Madonna della Salute. That would be interesting to see.
Santa Maria della Salute is on the opposite side of the Grand Canal from St. Mark's Square, near the triangular tip of the Dorsoduro quarter. If you're visiting the Accademia art gallery or the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Salute is easily to reach on foot from either of those museums. (Just make sure you have a good map, or you could get lost.)
Address: Across from St. Marks
Directions: The No. 1 water bus stops at the nearby Salute vaporetto platform, (between the Santa Maria del Giglio and San Marco stations). Or you can ride the traghetto (an inexpensive gondola ferry) from the Campo del Traghetto in San Marco.
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