Venice has always been a popular tourist destination and for good reason, from mesmerising art and architecture, the romantic appeal of the canals and the local Italian coffees, this ancient town is packed with beauty.
Piazza San Marco
The St. Mark Square (Piazza San Marco) is a central landmark and meeting place always overcrowded with tourists, photographers, and pigeons. Venice’s main city square is one of the few ancient European squares that is a pedestrian zone.
The Bassilica di San Marco is a Venetian cathedral and indisputably, the most famous church in Venice. With its exemplary Byzantine architecture, this 11th century building is a sumptuous design.
The Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) is a Gothic palace that served as the residence of the Venetian doge. It is a museum with valuable paintings, frescoes, sculptures, furniture, and objects of applied art. The palace houses numerous works by Tintoretto, Veronese, Tiepolo, Guardia, and other great artists, making Doge’s Palace one of the most visited Venetian museums.
Gondoliers are part of the history of Venice as well as the myth. Traditional gondolier clothing consists of a straw hat with ribbon and striped sailor shirt and black pants. The gondola is easy to maneuver through shallow and narrow channels. Once crucial for transporting goods from markets to palaces, today they are predominately used for leisure and a gondola ride is most likely one of the most important experiences when in Venice.
The Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge) is the oldest and most famous of the four bridges that span the Grand Canal in Venice. Over time, the traffic over the pontoon bridge increased so much, due to the market in the eastern part, that people had to build a wooden bridge in 1255. It was a building with two symmetrical moving ramps, which could be raised to allow the passage of high ships. During the first half of the 15th century, shops were built along the bridge, on each side. This wooden beam bridge burnt down during the revolts of 1310. It then collapsed under the weight of the spectators of 1444 who followed the procession of ships, – it fell again under the weight of 1524.
The people of Venice celebrated the arrival of spring through carnival festivities, but it was not only then when they wore masks. People were not allowed to wear masks during major religious holidays but were allowed from New Year’s Eve to Shrove Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, from Assumption to mid-June, and from early October to mid-December. They were worn at official banquets, at court parties, in casinos, often on the street, and sometimes when visiting monasteries.
There were numerous reasons why people wore masks, often semi-criminal. Namely, people hid their identity from those with whom they were indebted or from the spouses of their lovers.
Caffè Florian and Coffee Museum
Visit Caffè Florian and the Coffee Museum in St. Mark’s Square. Located under the porches of St. Mark’s Square, the Florian Café is one of Venice’s most important social institutions. Dont forget to sit in the square and enjoy the view, afterwards, take a look at the coffee museum behind the cafe (your bill is also a ticket).
Bacari and Spritz
You must have an ‘aperitif’ in a typical Venetian ‘bacar‘ and the best recommendation is the famous ‘spritz’ with ‘cicheto’. The nicest thing is that you don’t need to stay in one bar, but you can go from one place to another.