Dating back to the middle of the 13th century, the construction of Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari was extended and continued until the 16th century. The church houses paintings by Titian, such as l'Assunta and La Madonna di Cà Pesaro. Within the chapel, you will find Bellini's Madonna. It also contains the tombs of Titian, Canova, Monteverdi, and Francesco Foscari. In spite of its many historical and artistic treasures, the church's large dimensions make it look spacious. Services are held daily. This is the place where you can thoroughly appreciate the religious art of the Renaissance period.
Layer upon layer of differing architectural styles come together to form the magnificent Doge's Palace. A symbol of the Venetian government and political heritage, the historic palace was once the seat of the Doge, the chief magistrate of the former Republic of Venice. The foundations of the complex were laid during the 14th Century. Through the years, the palace was repeatedly reconstructed, extended and restored, creating a mix of artistic and architectural styles ranging from the Medieval to the Renaissance. A masterpiece of Gothic design, the palace is replete with exquisite details like sculptures, frescoes, arches and graceful columns. The original Doge's Apartments, the Armory, the Prisons, the Courtyard and Loggias have all been beautifully restored, with numerous hidden treasures around every corner. This historic icon also houses the Museo dell'Opera and its extensive art collection.
Houses of every imaginable hue line the canals of Burano - an island in the Venetian lagoon. A collection of brightly colored fisherman's cottages form the core of this modest town, vying for attention alongside teal canals plied by equally vibrant boats. Burano is famous for its lace, a local tradition that dates back to the 16th Century. Down the narrow alleys and winding paths, local women can still be seen working on these intricate works of art. Burano's Museo del Merletto chronicles the history of this craft and showcases an extensive collection of lace. The leaning campanile of the Church of San Martino, wooden terraces and quaint bridges are other charming sights.
Chiesa di San Vidal is a historic former church in Venice with the magnificence of an ancient palace. A major landmark, this site is home to a year-round series of classical music concerts. Chamber music aficionados flock to the church to hear music performed in the grandest of settings. San Vidal is not open otherwise to the public.
The only Venetian square to be granted the title of 'piazza', St. Mark's Square, or Piazza San Marco, is the city's political, religious and social center. The square lies at one end of the Grand Canal, surrounded by some of the city's most iconic historic edifices. The Basilica di San Marco is the focal point of the square - a 12th-century, Venetian-Byzantine church highlighted with gold mosaics and lavish carvings. On either side lie the Procuratie Vecchie, stately buildings that once harbored the offices and apartments of the procurators. Two columns erected in honor of the city's patron saints, St. Mark and St. Theodore of Amasea, stand nearby, while the splendid Doge's Palace, the towering Campanile, the Procuratie Nuove, the National Library, and a couple of museums take up the rest of the space around Venice's largest square. The city's history comes together at the awe-inspiring St. Mark's Square.
Richly adorned with gold mosaics, intricate carvings and marble arches, Saint Mark's Basilica is a glorious example of Byzantine architecture. The basilica was originally built in the 9th Century to house the remains of Saint Mark. Destroyed in 932 CE, the church was later rebuilt to a better design and served as the Doge's chapel until 1807 when it replaced the Basilica di San Pietro in Castello as the cathedral of the Archdiocese. Although the architectural plan of the church has remained largely unchanged since the 12th Century, generous adornments were added over the years, creating one of Italy's most impressive collections of ecclesiastical art. Inside, the ceilings are made of gold mosaics, full of intriguing architectural details. One of Venice's most iconic structures, the Saint Mark's Basilica sits amid Piazza San Marco at one end of the Grand Canal.
Built over a lagoon, upon a collection of over 100 small islands, Venice is a city of extraordinary beauty. The city's scenic canals serve as major thoroughfares, reflecting the people and places that surround its teal waters. Gondolas glide past historic buildings in the pink glow of sunset. The Grand Canal forms the city's main waterway, lined on either side by an array of Renaissance and Gothic mansions, culminating at the Piazza San Marco where the eponymous basilica inspires awe. Bedecked in Byzantine mosaics, the basilica is just one of the city's many artistic treasures, while others await down narrow streets. Each morning, the city comes alive to the call of the gondoliers, while by night, Venetian bars are filled with diners eager to sample local cuisine. The lagoon itself is a thing of beauty, formed thousands of years ago and maintained by artificial means. Several small towns and cities occupy the islands, besides the city of Venice.
Holy Thursday, the Thursday before Easter, is celebrated here in full spirit. In the Basilica di San Marco, just after sunset, a torch is lit in the atrium and carried in a procession to the Basilica.
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, to learn about the complex inner workings of the ancient clock and take in some astounding views of the neighborhood below.
Horses of Saint Mark, which grace the front facade of the St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, are majestic statues of horses which are four in number. The original sculptures, which date back to antiquity, have been removed from the facade and taken to a museum so as to conserve them. They are attributed to Lysippos, who was an ancient Greek sculptor of the Fourth Century BCE. The statues which are now in their place in the loggia are exact replicas of the originals.
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.