Arriving in Venice by train from Rome offers an incredible view of the Italian countryside. It is a city of 118 small isles that make up the city that is linked together by 400 bridges and surrounded by 160 canals including the Grand Canal with gondolas coming and going making it the busiest zone in the city. Venice may just be the most beautiful, exotic, historic and exciting place in the world. It has everything you want in a trip of a lifetime whether you are honeymooning, visiting relatives, on a religious pilgrimage, a history buff, taking a course, attending the Vogalonga regatta or on a business trip, Venice is the place to be. You will enjoy great food, great wine and laid-back hospitality. It is guaranteed to tame the bully in anyone. Here are five exciting places in Venice that you do not want to miss.
1. St. Mark’s Square, St. Mark’s Basilica and St. Mark’s Basin
St. Mark’s Square is 175.70 meters long and 82 meters wide on which the Basilica of St. Mark sits. The Basilica side of the square is 57 meters wide on the opposite side. St Mark’s Basin is the busiest water square of Venice with gondolas and other water transports constantly coming and going crowded with both sightseers, business people and residents. This is the busiest area in Venice all year round. The Rio della Canonica is a canal crossed by five bridges which links the center of the city with the Basin of St. Mark’s. The Bridge of Sighs can also be seen from this point. St. Mark’s Basilica was originally built between 828 and 832. It was devastated by fire in 976 and was rebuilt in 1063 at which time the planners utilized decorative art treasures conquered during the Serenissima wars in the east between the XII and XIII centuries. One of the blundered art treasures is the group of Alexandrian bronze horses seized in Constantinople during the IV Crusade and set up on the façade of the Basilica in 1250. It took about 700 years to carry out all of the decoration within the Basilica.
2. The Ducal Palace
The Ducal Palace is Venice’s largest secular building. The present building was started in 1340 and completed in the first half of the XV century, earlier buildings were destroyed by fire in 976 and 1105. It is the Senate Hall in which Doges and Senators gathered. The building is a three story rectangular structure whose left side sits flush against the side of the Basilica which was the church of the Doges until 1807. On the far wall above the throne is the huge deposition by Tintoretto while on the left are the works of Palina the Younger.
3. The Bridge of Sighs
The Bridge of Sighs is the bridge that connects Palazzo Ducaler and Palazzo delle Prigioni. It connects the Doge’s palace with the prison. It is called the Ponte dei Sospiri because the prisoners of the Republic sighed as they got their last glimpse of Venice as they crossed this bridge to return to the prison or to the gallows. Take a gondola tour and pass directly under the bridge. Legend says if you kiss a lover at sunset directly under the bridge you will have eternal love and bl.iss.
4. The Santa Maria della Salute Basilica
The Saint Maria Basilica was built by popular vow to Virgin Mary to liberate Venice from the plague that broke out in 1630. Nearly a third of the population was wiped out. The structure is considered the masterpiece of Baroque art in Venice.
5. Free Tour Venice
Free Tour Venice is the best kept secret in Venice. Francesco provides a full tour of all of Venice for a small donation to a charity. Be sure to wear your walking shoes you will criss-cross the canals by bridges along with taking an optional gondola ride. You will visit Plazas and Basilicas as well as Palaces and little known places and hidden treasures. One of those treasures is a trip through the Jewish Quarter, the oldest Jewish ghetto in the world. Just call Francesco 39345 901 8639 or firstname.lastname@example.org or www.freetourvenice.it for a most informative and interesting tour.
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