MONUMENTS IN VENICE
Skip the Line: Venice Walking Tour with St Mark's Basilica
This two-hour walking tour is an absolute must if you're a first–time visitor to Venice! You'll visit St. Mark's Basilica and other famous highlights, and discover the 'real Venice' as you enter a labyrinth of narrow passageways and alleys. Plus, you'll skip the long lines at St. Mark's Basilica! Don't waste time waiting in lines when you're on vacation!
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Duration: 2 hours
Price: Starting from EUR €21.00 per person
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PALAZZO DUCALE - THE DOGE’S PALACE
The Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) is the most emblematic symbol of the Venetian Republic during its majestic and voluptuous Empire as well as its cultural and artistic development.
It was founded in the XI century and was initially a castle; during the XIV and XV century the modifications gave it the gothic architectural structure that is still present today.
Once, Palazzo Ducale was the residence of the Doge (the highest office in the Serenissima), and also the seat of many different political and social institutions. In some ways, it had the same function of other important historic buildings such as the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.
In 1796, it became a public palace. The offices and rooms were very organised. The first floor was occupied by minor institutions such as the Censor, the Law Offices and the Naval Offices.
The second floor contained the most important rooms of the palace:
- the Grand Council Chamber;
- the Ballot Chamber, where the Doge was elected;
- the Doge’s apartments.
The third floor was occupied by the Sala del Colleggio, in which foreign ambassadors were received. The room called "Bussola"("compass") was used by citizens to complain and resolve problems against other citizens. Finally the "State Inquisitor Room" was used as a interrogatory room.
Address: Piazza San Marco
Phone: (0039) 041 2715911; fax: (0039) 041 5285028
Entrance: Porta del Frumento, Piazzetta di San Marco
Hours: 1/11–31/3 9am – 5pm / 1/4–31/10 9am – 7pm
How to get there: lines 1, 41, 51, 82 (San Zaccaria stop); lines 1, 82 (Vallarasso stop)
See the information about St. Mark’s Basilica on our site.
Skip the line and avoid the crowds and be the first to get into the Doges Palace by yourself or with your expert local guide.
Enter the Doge's Palace, visit the most secret and fascinating rooms in the Palace and discover where some of the most important decisions for Venice's, and even Europe's destiny were taken.
You can choose between 3 different types of visit. Look here!
The Clock tower is one of the most famous Venetian buildings.
It’s a masterpiece of technique and architectural taste. Overtopping the entry of the old Merceria, the main shopping street of Venice, it symbolizes with its big, astronomic clock the pass of time from age to age.
Visitors can see the interesting network of pulleys, weights and counterweights as they silently rise and fall at regular intervals. A metal spiral staircase then takes towards the complex workings of the clock proper; visitors get a close view of the mechanism and of the gears linking it with the south and north clock faces, overlooking St. Mark’s Square and the Mercerie respectively.
Address: Piazza San Marco
Phone: (0039) 041–5209070
How to get there: lines 1, 41, 51, 82 (San Zaccaria stop); lines 1, 82 (Vallarasso stop)
The Moors' Clock Tower is one of the most famous architectural landmarks in Venice, standing over an arch that leads into what is the main shopping street of the city, the old Merceria. The Tower and its large Astronomical Clock, a masterpiece of technology and engineering, form an essential part of the very image of Venice. For more than five hundred years, they have measured out the flow of life and history within the city.
Holders of the ticket for the Clock Tower get free admission to the Museo Correr, the National Archaelogical Museum and the State Rooms of the Biblioteca Marciana.
The Procuratie (Procuracies) are three monumental, connected buildings in St. Mark’s Square.
They are divided into Procuratie Vecchie (Old Procuratie) and Procuratie Nuove (New Procuratie).
The first buildings or Procuratie Vecchie on the north side of the Square were built around the XII century to house the offices and accommodations of the procurators of the Serenissima. Around the XVI century the Old Procuratie due to a fire, were rebuilt by Codussi.
The second buildings or Procuratie Nuove are on the south of St. Mark’s. They were built by Vincenzo Scamozzi in 1586 and completed by Loghena by the year 1640. In 1810 the small church located between the two procuraties were demolished and replaced with the Napoleon Wing, a Giuseppe Matia Soli’s design in a neoclassical style.
The Napoleon Wing and the Procuraties are today the location of the Correr Museum.
Today, the arcades under the procuraties house historical restaurants like Caffè Quadri, Caffè Florian, Caffè Lavena, the best spots for tourists that are in a tight budget such as students that are loooking for a drink in the most beautiful and suggestive square of Venice.
Address: Piazza San Marco
How to get there: lines 1, 41, 51, 82 (San Zaccaria stop); lines 1, 82 (Vallarasso stop)
TEATRO LA FENICE
Teatro la Fenice was built between 1790 and 1792. It got its name from the company's survival. The theater was inaugurated in may 1792 with an opera by Giovanni Paisiello. During the XIX century la Fenice became famous all around Europe.
In 1836 the theater was destroyed by fire, but it was quickly rebuilt by Tommaso and Gianbattista Meduna. In that period Giuseppe Verdi,one of the greatest Italian composers, performed more than once in la Fenice; he presented Attila, La Traviata, Simon Boccanegra.
During the World War I, the theater was closed; it reopened some years later becoming again a referring point for the greatest singers and composers. In January 1996, la Fenice was again destroyed by a fire.
Two electricians, Enrico Carella and Massimiliano Marchetti, were accused of setting the fire. The rebuilding began in 2001 according to a design of Aldo Rossi. The structure had to be the same of the old theater. At the end of 2003 la Fenice reopened with a concert by Riccardo Muti.
Address: S. Marco, 1965
Phone: (0039) 041 5222609
The Arsenale (Arsenal) is a shipyard in the area of Sestiere di Castello. It’s a symbol of the glorious period of the Serenissima, when Venice was very strong; in fact, thanks to the ships constructed here, Venice, more than once, managed to defeat the Turkish fleet. The Arsenal represents the most remarkable example of preindustrial architecture.
Its erection had begun in 1104, by the wish of the Doge Ordelaro Faliero, and continued during the XIV, XV and XVI centuries.
After Costantinopoli Empire’s collapse, The Porta Magna (The central gate) and the two towers next to the portal above the water were built in 1453 and restored in the XVII century. The main portal is inspired to the triumphal arches of Rome; two Greek lions are placed on the side of the gate.
From 1473 to 1570 residences of workers and stores for cereal were built in a big area (the so called Darsena Nuovissima). During the Republic of Venice, more than 16.000 people worked at the Arsenal, a lot of ships were constructed; the Arsenal became the fulcrum of Venetian economical development.
During Napoleon’s Empire the Arsenal’s activities were strongly reduced and more than 2,000 workers were fired. Between 1876 and 1909 the Arsenal had the last big enlargement. Italy had an important port in the Adriatic Sea, so the new area Piazzale Bacini was added. Later, it was restructured as the present Darsena Grande.
Today, the Arsenal has lost its successful role as a shipyard that it had at the time of Serenissima. Now, it’s a place of many cultural activities.
Inside the Arsenal you can visit the Historical Naval Museum.
Phone: 041 2441399 Fax: 041 5200276
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:45a.m – 1:30p.m / Saturday and prefestive 8:45a.m – 1:00p.m / Closed every Sunday and during festivities
Ticket prices: € 1.55 / free entrance for school children
How to get there: lines 1, 41, 82 / (drop off: Giardini sx); 51, 61 (pick up: Giardini Biennale dx) line 42 / (drop off: F.TE NOVE DX) line 51; (pick up: F.TE NOVE SX) line 42 / (drop off: MURANO FARO M/S SX) line DM; (pick up: MURANO FARO M/S SX) line 42.
PALAZZO FONDAZIONE QUERINI STAMPALIA
The Querini Stampalia Foundation arises in 1869, wanted by the count Giovanni, the last descendant of a Venetian noble family.
For the family, the urban palace was a way to show everyone their own power.
It’s the only present example together with Palazzo Mocenigo in which properties, books, archivies of the family are collected intact. The Foundation is open to the public for academic research.
The palace was built in the XVI century and it’s located between the district of Rialto and San Marco. The palace has the civic old city centre library and a historical museum preserving typical Venetian furniture of the past.
The ground floor and the garden have been restored by Carlo Scarpa in the early 60’s.
A series of written resources certify the several modifications to the structure of the palace made time by time. The first expansion of the palace was in 1513–14 under the commission of Niccolò Querini.
Around the first half of the XVII century a palace next to the Stampalia was added.
Today it’s a property of the Parish Church. Other modifications to the palace were made between 1789 and 1797. A third floor was added and many rooms were used by famous painters such as Jacopo and Vincenzo Guarana.
When the count Giovanni died in 1869, the palace became the seat of the Foundation.
The library was set up on the first floor, and in the patrician floor, all the paintings, scultures, furniture that once belonged to the family, are preserved.
Address: Castello 5252
Phone: 041 2711411 – Fax: 041 2711445
Open Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 6pm;
Friday and Saturday 10am – 10pm
FONDACO DEI TURCHI
This palace on the Grand Canal is the site of Natural Science Museum today.
It was built under the commission of Giacomo Palmieri, the progenitor of the Pesaro family, in the XIII century. Around the end of the XIV century the palace became property of the Serenissima; according to the historic sources, the Fondaco was a large patrician residence, provided with a stairs both on the facade and in the back.
The palace was inside embellished with decorations and beautiful furniture such as marble fountains, columns and staircases.
It got its name (Fondaco dei Turchi) from the Turkish merchants; the palace in fact began to have importance about the first half of the XVI century when the Serenissima decided to give it to the Turkish merchants to lead their commercial activities. They kept the Fondaco till 1838.
At that time, it was modified in order to separate it from the residences of the citizens; apartments of the Turks were disposed on 3 floors while on the grand floor were stores, a room with the function of mosque and an apposite place for the ritual bath.
The Turkish merchants imported from Orient oil, wool, leather, wax, tobacco (since 1700) in exchange for other goods. About 1860 the palace was totally rebuilt according to the structure of the former building, built in the XIII century.
The palace was first the seat of the Correr Museum which was later moved in St. Mark’s Square. Since 1923, On Giorgio Silvio Coen’s iniziative, the palace became the seat of Natural Science Museum.
Today the Fondaco dei Turchi is one the Venetian palaces overlooking the Grand Canal recognizable for its elegant and sumptuous facade.
Address: Santa Croce, 1730
Phone: 041 2750206; fax: 041 721000
Hours: (Open to the public the Ligabue Expedition room and the Tegnue aquarium)
Tuesday – Friday 9:00am – 1:00pm
Saturday – Sunday 9:00am – 4:00pm
Closed on Mondays, 25th of December, 1st of January, 1st of May
How to get there: line 1 (San Stae)
Palazzo Mocenigo (Mocenigo Palace) was the urban residence of the patrician family Mocenigo (XVIII century). His last representant Alvise Niccolò Mocenigo gave the Palace into the hands of the Municipality. He wanted all his archives and furniture to become an art exhibition.
Today the palace is open to visitors and it was substantially kept intact for years. The museum is particularly interesting for people curious to know the history of the most precious Venetian hand–tied cloths, elegant and nice examples of Venetian art tradition revealing the extraordinary ability of lace-workers and dressmakers at the time of the Serenissima.
Address: Santa Croce 1992
Phone: 041 721798; fax: 041 5241614
Hours: 1/11 – 31/03 10am – 4pm
11/04 – 31/10 10am – 5pm
Closed on Mondays, 25th of December, 1st of January, 1st of May.
The Ca’ d’Oro, a palace overlooking the Grand Canal, represents the highest and most complete example of the typical gothic buildings; the present one is the result of several modifications made throughout the centuries.
The origin of Ca’ d’Oro is very uncertain and has several theories.
Official sources tell that the building was built in the 20’s – 40’s of the XV century under the commission of Mario Contarini, a rich merchant who appointed Matteo Raverti, Giovanni and Bartolomeo Bon for decorating the palace. Another theory is that the palace owns its name due to the gilded ornaments that once were on the facade.
The little lions decorating the roof conserve still today traces of these ornaments. A third theory says that the Ca’ d’Oro takes its name from the Doro, the rich family who lived in the second half of the XIV century and committed the erection of the palace.
It’s sure that years after years Ca’ d’Oro came in hands of several families, undergoing internal transformations that caused a great degradation. About the end of the XIX century the building was bought by the Russian Alessandro Troubezkoi. The engineer Giovanni Meduna was appointed to restore the palace.
He decided, according to his personal taste, to enlarge and modify it without a clear and sensible project.
In 1894 the palace was bought by Giorgio Facchetti who made his best to take Ca’ d’Oro’s internal style back. Here Facchetti decided to expose his own art collection.
It conserves mainly painters from Veneto and Tuscany, scultures, antique furnitures, tapestries, precious Venetian ceramics and much more.
Since 1916 the Facchetti’s collection receives constantly financial aid from the Italian State.
The Ca’ d’Oro is a small building but unique for its suggestive decoration. The facade is asymmetrical. Each floor has one single loggia. Therefore, the palace has pinnacles and tunnels of clear oriental taste which give the whole facade the appearance of a lace.
Phone: 041 5222349
Hours: Mondays 8:15am – 2:00pm, Tuesday – Sunday 8:15am – 7:15pm
(The ticket office closes 30 minutes before the closing of the museum)
Closed every 1st of January, 1st of May, 25th of December
Museums Reservations: reserve your ticket museum to visit to the Ca' d'Oro - Franchetti Gallery
How to get there: line 1 (Ca’ d’Oro)
The Labia Palace is one of the bigest buildings of Venice overlooking the Grand Canal in the district of Cannaregio.
It was constructed between 1730 and 1740 by Andrea Cominelli for the Labia family who wanted a monumental urban residence.
The building has three different facades. One of the facades was designed by Giorgio Massari; the other facade overlooks the Grand Canal, and the third facade overlooks the "Rio di Cannaregio".
The palace takes inspiration from the Classicism of the XVII century; the serious and rigour style of the exterior contrasts the luxurious interior. The dance room is frescoed by Tiepolo both on the walls and on the ceiling representing mainly legends and allegoric images.
With the pass of time, the palace lost its gaudiness when it fell into the hands of several owners that didn't have interest in preserving its masterpieces.
The first attempt to restore it was made by Carlos de Bestegui who tried to improve the degradation status of the frescoes. Since 1964 the palace has been the property of RAI s.p.a, and thanks to them, it had a radical restoration that brought back all of its splendour.
Address: Cannaregio, Campo San Geremia, 275
Phone: 041 5242812 / 5240782 – Fax: 5240675
In this palace, in perfect baroque style, is situated the museum from the XVIII century. The palace was started in 1667 by Baldassare Longhena under the commission of the Bon Family. After financial difficulties, the palace was acquired by Rezzonico, a rich family form Genoa who committed the conclusion of the palace to Giorgio Massari.
The most suggestive room of Ca’ Rezzonico is surely the dance room, designed by Massari. As for the furniture, the wonderful glass chandelier from Murano embellished by flower decorations, illuminates the whole room. The other rooms have been frescoed by Giambattista Tiepolo and decorated with small paintings by Pietro Longhi, representing Venetian daily lives. The palace preserves some important works by Canaletto ("Rio dei Mendicanti" and "Canal Grande verso Rialto"), Bernardo Bellotto and Guardi.
Address: Dorsoduro, 3136
Phone/Fax: 041 2410100
Open Hours: 1/11 – 31/3 10:00am – 5:00pm; 1/4-31/10 10am-6pm
How to get there: line 1 (Ca’ Rezzonico)
Palazzo Grassi was built in the second half of the XVIII century by Giorgio Massari, the most important architect of that period, for the Grassi family, rich Venetian merchants.
Inside the palace you can fing a beautiful, big staircase that was frescoed by Michelangelo Morlaiter (1729–1808). The frescos mainly represent the life of Venetians in the XVIII century. The palace was sold in 1840, and passed through hands of several owners until it was bought by the FIAT group in 1983, who are still the current owners. Between 2005 and 2006 the palace was restructured by Tadao Ando according to the directions of Pinault (today president of the Grassi).
Nowadays, the palace is open for tourist.
Address: Campo San Samuele, 3231
Phone: 0039 041 5231680; fax: 0039 041 5286218
Hours: Monday – Sunday 10am – 7pm
(the ticket office closes 30 minutes before the closing of the museum)
How to get there: line 82 (San Samuele) / (drop off: Ferrovia Santa Lucia sx) lines 1, 52, DM; (pick up: Ferrovia Scalzi sx) line 82 / (drop off: Zattere sx) lines 51, 61; (pick up: Zattere dx) line 82 / (drop off Ferrovia Bar Roma) lines 42, DM; (pick up: Ferrovia Scalzi sx) line 82 / (drop off: Sacca Fisola dx) line 41; (pick up: Sacca Fisola dx) line 82.
times of water buses refers to 8.00am – 9.00am time band, leaving from Piazzale Roma, but they are the main routes that you’ll find at the others hours of the day.
PALAZZO LEONI MONTANARI
This beautiful palace–gallery was put up in 1678, by the hands of Giovanni Leoni Montanari. He was the member of the Leoni Montanari family who increased their status by expanding their family work–producing and trading fabrics.
Since the family wanted to reach the status of nobility in the city, they put all of their strength in building this palace, and it is the only baroque residence in Vicenza, which was all made in a classical Palladio style. This residence made a final cut with the conservative taste of the local aristocracy.
The Palazzo Leoni Montanari is now the private museum of Intesa Sanpaolo.
Address: Via Contrà S. Corona 25 Vicenza
Phone: +39(0)444 991222
Hopen Hours: Tuesday–Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00
THE CHARITY MONUMENTS OF VENICE
Many historical buildings in Venice are charity monuments, that once were controlled by autonomous confraternities of nobles and middle class.
Today they are property of the IRE, public authority which cares for elders and minors. Here is a list of the present charity monuments in Venice:
SCALA CONTARINI DEL BOVOLO
The Scala Contarini del Bovolo is one of the most singular examples of the Venetian transition from the gothic style to the renaissance art born in Florence.
At the end of the XV century, Paolo Contarini added to the palace a new factory’s body, probably a project by Giovanni Candi in oder to qualify visually the internal facade of the palace overlooking the small yard once protected by walls.
The palace has a cylindrical staircase with a plethora of arches, called in Venetian dialect "bovolo". The structure takes inspiration from the renaissance architecture with some parts of its construction in gothic and the Byzantine style.
The wending staircase takes you all the way up to the cupola where you can have a charming panoramic view of Venetian roofs, bell towers and the St. Mark’s Basilica.
Address: San Marco 4299 Corte dei Risi o del Bovolo
How to get there: take the ACTV water bus at San Marco or Rialto stops.
The church of Santa Maria dei Derelitti, today known as Ospedaletto, was constructed in 1575 in a place that was a base of the hospital for poor people. Probably the church was an idea of Palladio, but its erection was executed by Baldassare Longhena.
In time, it became the favorite destination of the patrician financial aids. Thanks to them, the church conserves works by Tiepolo, Loth, Liberi.
The Ospedalletto is also very famous for the experienced music school that has a chorus of young orphaned girls. The room in which they sing was frescoed by Guarana, Mengozzi Colonna.
Address: Castello 6691, Barbaria de le Tole
Open Hours: Friday and Saturday 3pm – 6pm
Ticket prices: Standard € 3 – Reduced € 2
SCUOLA GRANDE DI SAN ROCCO
This school is famous for conserving more than 50 canvasses by Tintoretto.
Tintoretto made for San Rocco what Michelangelo made for Rome, thinking that it took 23 years to complete all the works conserved in the School.
It was founded as a charitable institution, being one of the schools that belonged to the benevolent associations that cared for poor citizens. These schools, which were suppressed during the Napoleon Occupation, were very important in the XIV and XV centuries for supporting artists with economic aids.
The school of San Rocco was built in the 1516, according to a project by Bartolomeo Bon. The school later organized an art competition for frescoing the main convention room, involving important artists like Tintoretto, Schiavone, Veronese, Zuccari. The competition was won by Tintoretto.
On the first floor of the School, masterpieces like Storia della Vergine Maria e dell’Infanzia di Cristo are located. The frescoes in the ceiling of the Salone Maggiore (175–1581) represent scenes from the Old Testament; the walls are frescoed with New Testament’s representations.
The fresco Storia della Passione (Crucifixion) made by Tintoretto decorates the small room Sala dell’Albergo.
The big canvass represents the dramatic event of the Crucifixion. At the middle of the painting stands the cross and dying Jesus.
The Crucified is the only one emanating light in this painting. That symbolizes that God is present though it doesn't seem so.
The light illuminates the whole painting revealing the human figures who are emotionally involved.
Address: San Paolo, 3054
Phone: 041 5234864
Open Hours: Monday – Sunday 9am – 5pm
SCUOLA DI SAN GIORGIO DEGLI SCHIAVONI
The school was opened in 1451 and proved the presence of the Dalmatian (Schiavoni) community.
In fact the School took its name by Dalmatian community wich became a corporation in 1451 with the patronage of saints George, Jerom and Tryphon.
The Schiavoni were an important and wealthy trading colony of Dalmatian merchants who built their own scuola, or confraternity.
This school is important for the Venetian histrory of art.
Vittore Carpaccio, who was himself a Dalmatian descent, painted a pictorical series of nine masterpieces in which he represented the lives of St. George (patron saint of the scuola) and St. Jerome, the Dalmatian patron saints.
Some of the moments of their lives represented here are:
–St. George while charging his ferocious dragon on a field littered with half–eaten bodies and skulls.
–St. Jerome leading his lion into a monastery, frightening the friars.
–St. Augustine has just taken up his pen to reply to a letter from St. Jerome when he and his little dog are transfixed by a miraculous light, and a voice telling them of St. Jerome's death.
In the middle of the XVI century the facade was transformed using marbles giving it the actual aspect.
School was closed by Napoleon and reopened later allowing the confraternity to be active untill today.
Address: Calle dei Furlani, 3259/a, Castello
Phone: 041 5228828
Open Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 9am – 12pm, 3pm – 6pm
Closed on Mondays
SCUOLA GRANDE DEI CARMINI
The school "Scuola Grande dei Carmini" was built around the second half of the XVII century (1668–1670) by Baldassare Longhena.
The ceiling and the walls on the first floor are decorated with frescoes by Niccolò Bambini.
The monumental stairs takes you to the upper floor in which the "Sala Capitolare" is located.
The ceiling of the room is divided in 9 parts/sectors containing magnificent canvasses by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.
Tiepolo was appointed to work at this art project in 1739 and he managed to finish it many years later (1743–49). The central canvass illustrates the Virgin surrounded by allegoric images and angels.
Address: Dorsoduro, 2617
Phone: 041 5289420
Hours: Monday – Saturday 9am – 12pm, 3pm – 6pm
Closed on Sundays