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Historic landmarks come a dime a dozen in Venice, but Torre dell'Orologio (clock tower) is a bit more legendary than most. Centrally located at the entrance to one of the city's oldest marketplaces, the looming structure has stood watch over generations and generations of busy Venetians. By appointment only, visitors can enter the hulking monolith, ascend its stairways, climbing through the complex inner workings of the ancient clock, and taking in some astounding views of the neighborhood below.
You get a splendid view of Venice and the Basilica di San Marco from the tallest bell tower in Venice. It can be seen from the laguna and once you have reached the top, the whole laguna can be seen from above. Even though the Basilica di San Marco-Campanile was erected at the beginning of the 20th Century, it is an exact replica of the 15th-century bell tower. In 1609, Galileo Galilei exhibited his telescope here, and during the Carnevale, it was used to serve as a stage for the tight rope-walkers who entertained the doge with their acrobatics.
This iconic Baroque bridge was designed in the early-17th century by Italian architect Antonio Contino. It was built over the Rio di Palazzo to connect the Doge's Palace and the New Prisons, creating a route traveled by forlorn convicts between sentencing and imprisonment. Although many attribute the bridge's name to its popularity as a rendezvous for lovers, other accounts say that its namesake sighs were those of prisoners experiencing their last glimpses of freedom. As for its English moniker, Lord Byron is accredited with translating Ponte dei Sospiri to Bridge of Sighs in the 19th century. This must-see Venetian landmark is now beloved by tourists and welcomes all to see it for themselves.
Spanning the girth of the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge was once the only way to get across on foot. The majestic bridge arches dramatically over the murky waters of the canal, allowing ample room for the gondolas and water buses to glide underneath. The bridge was built in record time, between 1588 and 1591, replacing predecessors from the 12th Century onward. Designed by Antonio da Ponte, the bridge is a triumph, having survived unscathed for over four centuries. Today, the Rialto is only one of the four bridges that serves the canal, but remains the most prominent. Small shops selling all kinds of souvenirs and curiosities run the length of the bridge while the Mercato di Rialto is a popular local market nearby.
Venice has only four bridges that traverse the famous Grand Canal. Ponte dell'Accademia is one of them connecting the neighborhoods of San Marco and Dorsoduro. It was originally built in 1854 and reconstructed twice to form the present structure. Though the bridge itself is not too great to look at, it affords magnificent views of gondolas and water taxis sailing through the Grand Canal and the play of sunlight creating myriad shadows on the surrounding red Venetian buildings. It is also a romantic spot and a popular destination with couples who wait to watch the awe-inspiring sunsets. Despite it being illegal, many couples attach talismans and love locks to the metallic rails of Ponte dell'Accademia as a symbol of eternal love.
Scuola Grande di San Rocco, a stunning building was built during the Renaissance period but displays traces of successive interventions up until the Baroque period. Scuola Grande di San Rocco is often used as a concert hall, and is next to the San Rocco Church with which it is often mistaken. It is dedicated to Rocco, who cured the sick during the 14th-century plague. The interior decoration of the school was entrusted to Jacopo Tintoretto, whose works, such as the Allegories, Life and Passion of Christ, and episodes from the Old and New Testaments can be admired. Among the most famous displays are The Annuciation, The Epiphany, and The Flight to Egypt. It is open throughout the year except for a few occasions.