Cities Direct

Venice

Top Attractions in Venice

ST MARK’S SQUARE

ST MARK’S SQUARE

Arguably the world’s most recognised square, the Piazza San Marco exudes history and culture from every corner and teems with visitors flocking to see Venice’s most iconic landmarks in all their glory. Its centrepiece is undoubtedly the opulent, awe-inspiring basilica, nicknamed the church of gold, set adjacent to its soaring Campanile and the magnificent Doge’s Palace, for centuries seat of the Venetian government and home to the city’s law courts.
GRAND CANAL

GRAND CANAL

In essence Venice’s major traffic route through the city, the Grand Canal is in fact a breathtakingly beautiful ancient waterway lined by centuries-old, colourful Venetian palaces. Be it aboard the public vaporetto, a water taxi or an intimate gondola ride, a cruise down Venice’s most famous thoroughfare is an experience to remember as you glide under its iconic bridges, passing moorings, terraces and countless examples of architectural grandeur. An absolute must.
RIALTO BRIDGE

RIALTO BRIDGE

The oldest of four bridges crossing the iconic Grand Canal, the Rialto is without doubt a Venetian architectural icon. Dating back to the 16th century, the bridge was a stopping point for large cargo ships unloading silk and spices from the Orient and sell to merchants who travelled from across Italy and mainland Europe to trade. Today it teems with visitors browsing the small gift shops lining both sides of the bridge. 
SANTA MARIA DELLA SALUTE

SANTA MARIA DELLA SALUTE

One of Venice’s most stunning buildings, the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute occupies a prime position on a narrow stretch of land between the Grand Canal and St Mark’s Basin. Built in the 17th century following a catastrophic wave of plague, this majestic octagonal building with its distinctive dome contains works by Titian and Tintoretto within its Sacrestia Maggiore. The sunset views from Riva degli Schiavone are nothing short of spectacular.
CA’ D’ORO

CA’ D’ORO

A literal house of gold, the Ca’ d’Oro ranks as one of the most elegant arcaded buildings to grace the Grand Canal and one of Venice’s most important sights. Completed in 1430, this distinctive Gothic building boasted intricate detailing embellished in gold and was created to rival Emperor Nero’s golden house in Rome. Bequeathed to the city, today the building plays host to the Galleria Franchetti, displaying an extensive Venetian art collection.
BRIDGE OF SIGHS

BRIDGE OF SIGHS

Built at the beginning of the 17th century, the romantic Bridge of Sighs originally connected the city jail, situated for a time within the Doge’s Palace, with the new prison across the Rio di Palazzo, its name symbolising the ‘sighs’ emitted by prisoners as they said goodbye to freedom. Immortalised in poetry by Lord Byron, legend has it that if couples kiss whilst passing under the bridge at sunset, they will enjoy eternal love. 
PEGGY GUGGENHEIM COLLECTION

PEGGY GUGGENHEIM COLLECTION

Few museums can boast such a prestigious location as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, set as it is in the 18th-century Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on Venice’s Grand Canal. Originally the private collection of American heiress, Peggy Guggenheim, her impressive ensemble of artworks, amassed both in Europe and America, was passed to the Guggenheim Foundation in 1979 and contains works by Picasso, Kandinsky, Pollock and Ernst, her former husband. 

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