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Venice, Italy: Top 3 Things To Do


Modified: September 26, 2023

by Cindi Munson



Welcome to the enchanting city of Venice, Italy – a place that exudes romance, history, and charm. Nestled in the Venetian Lagoon, this stunning floating city is renowned for its intricate network of canals, majestic architecture, and fascinating history. From the iconic gondolas gliding along the waterways to the captivating Renaissance art and architecture, Venice is truly a destination that captures the heart and imagination of visitors from around the world.


As you wander through the narrow alleys and picturesque bridges, you’ll be transported to a bygone era, where the allure of the past merges effortlessly with the vibrant present. Whether you are a history buff, art enthusiast, or simply seeking a romantic getaway, Venice offers an array of unforgettable experiences to suit every traveler’s taste.


This article will guide you through the top 3 things to do in Venice, ensuring that you make the most of your visit and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Exploring St. Mark’s Square

One cannot visit Venice without spending time in the iconic St. Mark’s Square, also known as Piazza San Marco. This historically significant and visually stunning square is the heart and soul of the city, offering a mix of architectural beauty, cultural heritage, and vibrant atmosphere.


As you step foot in St. Mark’s Square, you’ll be greeted by magnificent landmarks that tell the tale of Venice’s rich history. The grand centerpiece of the square is St. Mark’s Basilica, a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture adorned with intricate mosaics and stunning domes. Marvel at the golden mosaics that depict biblical scenes, and don’t forget to climb the rooftop terrace for panoramic views of the city.


Adjacent to the basilica, you’ll find the imposing Campanile di San Marco, a bell tower offering breathtaking views of Venice’s skyline. Take the elevator or climb the stairs to the top for a bird’s eye view of the lagoon and the rooftops below.


Another must-visit attraction in St. Mark’s Square is the renowned Doge’s Palace. This magnificent Gothic palace was once the residence of the Doge, the elected ruler of Venice. Step inside and be captivated by the opulent interiors adorned with intricate art, golden stucco, and marble columns. Explore the famous Bridge of Sighs, which connects the palace to the prison, and discover the stories of prisoners who, as legend has it, sighed as they caught their last glimpse of Venice through the small windows.


After immersing yourself in the historical sights, take some time to relax at one of the iconic cafes lining the square. Sip on a cappuccino or enjoy a delicious gelato as you soak in the vibrant atmosphere and watch the world go by. Be entertained by the live orchestras that often grace the open-air areas and add a touch of melodious charm to the square.


St. Mark’s Square is not just a feast for the eyes; it is a place of cultural significance and a true reflection of Venetian grandeur. Make sure to allocate ample time to explore and immerse yourself in its timeless beauty.


Gondola Ride through the Canals

No visit to Venice would be complete without experiencing a romantic gondola ride through the picturesque canals that weave and wind their way through the city. Stepping onto a gondola is like stepping back in time, immersing yourself in the centuries-old tradition of Venetian transportation.


As you glide along the waterways, you’ll pass by elegant palaces, charming bridges, and hidden corners that can only be discovered from the enchanting perspective of a gondola. The skilled gondolier, dressed in the traditional striped shirt and straw hat, effortlessly navigates the narrow canals, serenading you with the soothing sound of their harmonious voice.


While the gondola ride is often associated with romance, it is also a way to appreciate the uniqueness of the city and the art of gondola craftsmanship. These sleek and slender boats, painted black and often adorned with intricate carvings and gold leaf finishes, are a true symbol of Venice.


Opt for an evening gondola ride to witness the city transform into a captivating dreamscape. The soft glow of the streetlights, reflecting off the water, adds a touch of magic and romance to the experience. The peacefulness of the canals in the evening creates a serene ambiance, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the romance and charm of the city.


While you can enjoy a gondola ride throughout the city, some of the most iconic routes include the Grand Canal, which winds through the heart of Venice and offers breathtaking views of the palaces and bridges that line its banks. Another popular option is to explore the quieter and more intimate canals of the charming neighborhoods such as Dorsoduro and Cannaregio.


Keep in mind that gondola rides can be quite popular, especially during peak tourist seasons, so it is recommended to book in advance or be prepared to wait in line. Regardless of the time of day or season, a gondola ride in Venice is an experience that will linger in your memories long after you’ve returned home.


Visiting the Doge’s Palace and Bridge of Sighs

One of the most captivating landmarks in Venice is the Doge’s Palace, a magnificent Gothic palace that stands as a testament to the city’s rich history and remarkable architecture. As you step through the entrance, you’ll be transported back in time to the golden age of the Venetian Republic, which ruled over the Mediterranean for centuries.


The Doge’s Palace, also known as Palazzo Ducale, was the residence of the Doge, the elected ruler of Venice. The palace boasts a magnificent blend of architectural styles, with intricate details, beautiful arches, and stunning courtyards. Explore the opulent rooms and chambers adorned with priceless art, including works by Renaissance masters such as Tintoretto and Veronese.


Be sure not to miss the masterpiece of the palace – the Chamber of the Great Council. This expansive hall features an impressive ceiling painting by Tintoretto, depicting the allegory of Venice, as well as grandiose portraits of past Doges and mythological figures.


Connected to the Doge’s Palace is the famous Bridge of Sighs, one of the most iconic and romantic spots in Venice. This enclosed limestone bridge gets its name from the sighs of prisoners who would cross it, knowing it would be their last view of Venice before entering the prison cells. The bridge offers a picturesque view of the canal and the cityscape, making it a popular spot for photographers and lovers alike.


Visiting the Doge’s Palace and crossing the Bridge of Sighs allows you to delve into the intriguing history and grandeur of Venice. It is recommended to explore the palace with a guided tour to fully appreciate the stories and secrets that lie within its walls.


After your visit, take the time to stroll through the neighboring streets, where you’ll find charming shops and quaint cafes. Take a moment to reflect on the beauty and splendor of this historic site, and appreciate the role it played in shaping the legacy of Venice.