The city of Venice is known to ooze romantic vibes through its gondola rides. But, that is not just what surrounds the city of Venice. The city is rich in its art, culture and history too. An admirer of art and the artists work will surely fall in love with this city in a second. As it comprises one of the most prominent architectures that have a significant story behind it. Despite being subjected to destruction, the monuments have been restored back.
The Grand Canal of Venice
The Grand Canal of Venice is considered the most significant canal of Venice city as it is also the main water source of the city. The S-shaped river canal runs up to 3 km long and widens up to 300 feet. The Grand Canal is surrounded by tall buildings that are considered to be built between the thirteenth to the eighteenth century. The canal was earlier the centre for trading practices. Due to this, many houses nearby belonged to many merchants.
You’ll be able to spot the old buildings of this era by their unique architectural design. The buildings have an evident Byzantine-style architecture that has a fairly long gallery attached to it. The Ca’ da Mosto building is the oldest building near the Grand Canal which showcases the thirteenth-century old Byzantine-style too.
The later centuries have been constructed with Venetian-Gothic style that can be seen on the outskirts of the phenomenal palazzo Ca d’Oro. Apart from the famous buildings, the Grand Canal is also surrounded by famous churches and palaces. It is famous for its iconic gondola rides that can be seen to be ridden by tourists. Travelling on the waters of the canal is also possible through the Vaporetto, which is a kind of water bus.
Famous places to visit in Venice
If you are planning to visit venice then don’t miss these iconic places at all.
The Rialto Bridge is an iconic sixteenth-century arched bridge of Venice that sits on the banks of the Grand Canal. The bridge has a special place in the heart of every Venetians. Hence, witnessing the bridge while sitting on the gondola or the Vaporetto is a moment to be captured both your eyes and camera. The Rialto Bridge is the oldest bridge across the canal that has been numerously applauded for the brains that went behind making it look a stunning piece of architecture.
The bridge was designed and built by Antonio da Ponte and his nephew, Antonio Contino, who entered a design competition to win the contract of the bridge. The exact spot for the bridge stands was earlier embraced by three wooden pontoon bridges and a boat bridge. After being subjected to several collapses, the Rialto bridge was constructed. Before the bridge was built, people used to travel only through the gondola ferries.
For a very long period, the Rialto Bridge was the only way through which people could cross the Grand Canal on foot until the Accademia Bridge was built in 1854. The bridge has been formed by three flight of stairs. The central stairs of the bridge have been occupied by many shops that sell great kinds of souvenirs for you to take home, though they might be slightly more expensive than the ones you’ll find someplace else in the city.
The two other stairs that are located on the north and south sides of the bridge offer the views of the waters of the Grand Canal that can be seen to be enjoyed by people through the gondolas, Vaporetto and commercial boat rides. A walk on top of the Rialto Bridge you to the famous Rialto Market. Vendors here can be seen selling fresh-picked fruits, vegetables, freshly caught fish, herbs, and much more.
The Doge’s Palace is the official residence of the elected leaders of the former Venetian republic that were famously called the doges. The palace is considered an as a rich masterpiece amalgamation of the Gothic, Moorish, and Renaissance architecture. It is considered significant in the eyes of the government bodies as they used to meet here to conduct meetings.
The place was built in 814, but, was later burned by the people of Venice in 976. Even after reconstruction, the palace was again burned down. In the fourteenth the palace was not only built back to its original structure but, it was also extended by elaborate sculptured and carved facades inspired by the Byzantine architecture. The palace is now open to the public as a museum that lets them in on the important history, art and architecture.
The doge’s palace was not only a meeting place for the government bodies. It also consists of the Piombi that is considered to be one of the scariest places where the sentencing of prisoners was announced. The Doge’s Palace has been built around an elaborate courtyard that consist of elaborate halls and long staircases.
One of the easiest tour for you to get enrolled into is the ‘Skip The Line: St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace Tour’, which helps you save time by avoiding standing in the long queue or at the basilica. The tour also includes a guide who will point out the most important highlights and history. The tour lets you into the Sala del Maggior Consiglio, Scala Ord’o, Sala del Collegio, and Sala del Senato and other fascinating places to visit inside the Doge’s Palace.
St Mark’s Basilica
St Mark’s Basilica or the Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark is one of the most famous cathedrals of Venice. The cathedral is another stunning piece of Byzantine architecture that is loved by one and all. The entrance of the St Mark’s Basilica shows you the rich and beautiful Romanesque carvings that are going leave you in pure awe. The middle arch of the basilica has been painted with various structures that depict the months of the year and signs of the zodiac.
The outer arches have been adorned with caricatures that depict the traditional Venetian trades. The church was built with the purpose of storing the relics of St. Mark. A popular belief is that St. Mark’s body was earlier stolen by some merchants of Venice. The merchants were clever enough to hide it past the Muslim guards that were appointed to guard the body of St. Mark. The merchants had hidden it under layers of pork kept inside barrels.
They were almost going to drown inside the water of the sea when they were travelling. But, according to the merchants they were saved by St. Mark himself! The entire story has been pictured on the 13th-century mosaic above the left door as you enter the basilica. The design element of Basilica uniquely features easter and western-inspired architecture. In 976, the cathedral was burned down during a riot. But, was rebuilt twice, till 1063. It was the Doge’s palace’s private chapel. In 1807, it became the city’s cathedral and hence, was opened to all.
St Mark’s Campanile
The bell tower of the St. Mark’s Basilica, the St Mark’s Campanile is a popular landmark of the Venice city. The tower was initially built in the ninth century as a lighthouse and watchtower. The bell tower is 323 feet tall and offers the best view of the Venice city and lagoons from its top. St Mark’s Campanile’s minaret is cube-shaped that is enhanced by the images of the Lion of St. Mark and the female representation of Venice.
The top of the tower has a gold colour weathervane (an instrument used for showing the direction of the wind) in the form of the archangel Gabriel). The bell tower collapsed in 1902, but, was constructed again in the span of the next ten years. It is popularly believed that Galileo Galilei stood on top of the St. Mark’s tower and traced the satellites of planet Jupiter with his telescope and proved that the theory of Copernican was true.
The bell tower is located on the elaborate spot of St. Mark’s Square. It is one of the most famous and largest squares in Venice city. The spot is perfect to explore the city’s historic buildings and to grab a corner to eat some delicious food. The square is lit up with many eatery spots, coffee serving cafes and shopping hubs.
If you have some time in hand then you should attend the catholic mass to derive a rich experience from this trip.
Carnival of Venice
The carnival of Venice is one of the most vibrant festivals in Venice. The carnival has been celebrated since the thirteenth century. Hence, it holds strong artistic as well as historical significance in the hearts of the people of Venice. The carnival was earlier celebrated with masks and elaborate costumes, but, was soon banned. In 1979, the carnival got the green signal to celebrate with vibrant costumes.
The upliftment of the ban has resulted in flourishment for the tourism of the city. Many people had never seen the carnival celebrated like this, hence for them, it is a new yet a great experience. The carnival also conducts daily mask competitions during the daytime.
People can be seen parading down the streets in elaborate masks. A masquerade party and ball is organized in some parts that are quite fun to attend during the carnival tie. People can try going for other fun activities like skating, attending a live concert, the street performances or the parades.
TRAVELLING IN VENICE on foot
Do you love walking, well if not then you are certainly going to have a hard time in Venice? As pretty as Venice is in the pictures with its iconic gondola rides, what it misses to show you are its tiny lanes. Hence, reaching a place can only be possible by foot. While it may seem like a drawback for many, exploring the city’s beauty is best to e done on foot.
Though it’ll be convenient for you to carry that is surely going to help you reach your destination on time. Exploring the canals or sitting in a Venice cafe while sipping coffee is also considered as one of the must experience amidst the entire architectural hopping. A Venice trip is not complete without the iconic gondola rides. They are one of the most touristy things that you ought to try out at least once, to help you etch that memory in your head forever.
Travelling through the waters in Venice is an essential part of the people of Venice. The ride is €180 for 2 people and lasts for 20 mins. If your bargaining skills are great and you’re travelling a group of six then it can come down to as low as €30 per person.
Honeymooners should surely not skip out on this romantic experience. Passing under the bridges surrounded by the artistic building is labelled as a lovely and must event for couples. You can also request for your assigned gondolier to sing in their soulful voices, hence making your experience a notch above on the romantic meter.
IS VENICE SINKING?
The ‘high water’ which affects Venice numerous times in a year has caused the city to suffer from subsidence. the city stands on top of a muddy lagoon and disproportionate foundation. The land combined with the groundwater that is pumped out from under the city is causing a gradual rise in the sea levels. Hence, this has resulted in the city to slowly sinking. Also due to the subduction of the Adriatic plate beneath the Apennine mountains is to be blamed for the city to sink.
Though the groundwater pumping has been stopped, it was assumed that the subsidence had stopped. But according to new studies the process has slowed down, but, it still continues to affect the city. It’s even been discovered that whole area also tilts very slightly to the east, with the city of Venice itself on the slightly higher end.
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT VENICE?
To appreciate the historical art and architecture of Venice in full light and sun, you should plan your trip in the months of summer. Starting from the month of June to July anytime is good enough. As everyone s aware that Venice is sinking, hence,
The winter months that is between November to March should be avoided as you’ll be greeted with flooding roads and streets. And no one would want to explore the city drenched from top to bottom. But if you’re especially visiting Venice to witness the famous Venice Carnival then make sure you visit here towards the end of February and the beginning of March.