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.
Just around the corner from the Galleria dell'Accademia, on the Grand Canal is one of Venice's premier museums. This world-famous museum is run by the same institution, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, that manages the renowned Guggenheim Museum in New York. Peggy Guggenheim, was interested in contemporary art and came into contact with various artists who guided and educated her, including Alexander Calder and Marcel Duchamp. This museum houses her collection of contemporary art such as works by Bacon, Balla, Brancusi and Chagall. You'll also find masterpieces by the likes of De Chirico, Kandinsky, Klee, El Lissitskj, Magritte, Man Ray, Picasso and Pollock.
Punta della Dogana is a stunning art gallery located on the triangular piece of land that separates the Grand Canal from the Giudecca Canal. Set in the former customs house, a beautiful 17th-century building, this gallery houses the permanent collection of world's numero uno art collector, Francois Pinault. Here, you will find his famous personal collection, besides several other exhibits pertaining to contemporary art.
There is a silent and almost respectful ambiance in this museum. Visitors enter Museo Correr by means of a staircase, originally built as a grand entrance to the Napoleonic Wing. From here, the tour continues through neoclassical rooms, the Royal Palace, the Canoviana Collection, Venetian Civilization, Antique Art, and Renaissance Bronze. There are many sculptures by Canova and decorative objects by Francesco Hayez. Venezia by Jacopo De' Barbari can be admired in the entrance.
Within the old Hospital of San Francesco lies a unique museum, dedicated to medical science. Museum of the History of Medicine of Padua or MUSME in short, showcases through its exhibits the history of medical practices that were used back when the hospital was still functional. Highly informative, the exhibits are also closely linked to the University of Padua.
Palazzo Zuckermann is one of the most famous palaces in the city of Padua. It was built during the years 1912 and 1914, in an era which demanded a new urban planning of the city, in order to give the city a more monumental aspect. The name comes from the last name of the man who commissioned the structure, in a XIXth century style, with a liberty front, and it hosts in its courtyard the old walls of the city. Nowadays it is the seat of two museums: the Museo Bottacin and the Museum of Applied and Decorative Arts.
A unique aristocratic palace, Palazzo Grimani was the family house of Antonio Grimani. The charming, historic structure still stands out with its original architecture and gorgeous decorations and is now home to several splendid artworks. The permanent collection here comprises of masterpieces by Mannerists such as Francesco Salviati, Francesco Menzocchi, Camillo Mantovano and Federico Zuccari to name a few. Even without the unusual art that adorn its walls, each room inside this palace is comprises of opulent stuccowork and beautiful frescoes that any art enthusiast wouldn't want to miss. Unique in its architecture and the treasure trove it houses, Palazzo Grimani makes for a brilliant visit.
What today is Museo Fortuny was once the house of Mariano Fortuny, friend and colleague of D'Annunzio. He was a set designer, inventor, fabric manufacturer and photographer of Catalan origin and transformed this former Gothic palace like a theatre set. It is a vision of furnishings, objects, textiles and ornaments from the beginning of the last century. Admire beautiful paintings, photographs, fabrics and light fixtures. It is open only when the temporary exhibitions are on, but is worth a visit.
Museo della Musica di Venezia is a place that is a must stop for music lovers from all over. This museum is a true hidden gem, and although it has free entry, you will rarely encounter crowds here. The guide takes you around the premises, which feature vintage musical instruments, Venice being a centre for music after all. String instruments of every kind, from harps to violins can be found here, with some as old as the late 1600s.