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Santa Maria Della Salute Church and the Bay of Venice

Venice Hotels, Attractions, and Information

Written by Beth Garrett

Italy?s Venice has long been considered one of the most romantic cities in the entire world. This is a city where the chief mode of transport is gondolas rather than the modern day car. What could be more romantic than winding your way down the Grand Canal in this ancient mode of transportation at twilight with the one you love? For hundreds of year?s lovers, families and friends have flocked to Venice in order to immerse themselves in one of Europe?s cultural epicenters. Since Venice was established in AD 452, Gondola Traffic Near Little Bridge in Venice Venice has experiences its fair share of invasions, wars and hostile takeovers. From the Turks to Napoleon Bonaparte, everyone wanted a piece of Venice. After the Third War of Independence ended in 1866, Venice was rightfully returned to the Kingdom of Italy. The trials and tribulations that the city experienced at the onset of it?s founding is evident in the architecture and art throughout Venice. Whether you are a connoisseur of paintings, architecture, sculpture, manicured gardens, beautiful churches or music, Venice, Italy has something wonderful to offer each and every visitor.

St. Mark's Square

The heart of Venice is Saint Mark?s Square and is a hustle and bustle of activity. There is a plethora of cultural experiences to enjoy in this area of the city. St. Mark is one of the city?s two patron saints, St. Teodoro is the other. During the 9th St.Mark's Cathedral and the Palace in Venice century two Venetian merchants stole the body of St. Mark from Alexandria and brought him to their city. The saint?s body has resided in the church ever since. Here stands Saint Mark?s Cathedral, one of the most famous cathedrals in the entire world. Originally built in 828, the building was destroyed by a fire in 976. When the structure was finally rebuilt between 1047 and 1071, the cathedral was deemed just as opulent as the original. The basilica boasts exquisite mosaics, as well as an altar that is adorned with hundreds upon hundreds of rubies, sapphires and pearls. This emblem of Venice stands as an excellent testament to Byzantine architecture. A climb up the bell tower is well worth the trip. At the top climbers are rewarded with a spectacular view of the city. Rialto Bridge in Venice Also sharing the square is Doges? Palace. Destroyed on four occasions by fire, the palace was rebuilt each time. Each reconstruction was grander than the one before it. It now acts as one of the best examples of the famed Italian Gothic style. The staircase, known as the Scala d? Oro, is absolutely astounding with the frescoes embellished with solid gold.

A City of Bridges

Located behind Doges? Palace is the Bridge of Sighs and rightfully so. The bridge connects the palace with Venice?s public prisons and acted as the main route in which prisoners were led to hear their judgments. The Tower of the Clock is located kitty corner from the basilica. Built in the 15th century, two people still stand in the tower to beat the bell with hammers every hour. Venice is celebrated for its bridges. The Rialto Canal Grande in Venice spans the Grand Canal and is surrounded by shops. The Ponte dei Tre Archi is a three-arched bridge while the Ponte delle Guglie, which is located on the Cannaregio, is known as the bridge of spires.

Museums, Festivals and Shopping

In addition to Venice?s beautiful churches, museums boasting elaborate collections are abundant. The Museo Storico Navale. As the name suggests this is Venice?s naval museum. Visitors can admire both replicas of splendid ships as well as the real thing. Those who are interested in the craftsmanship that goes into making gondolas should visit the Squero di San Trovaso, which is one of the city?s oldest gondola workshops. Art lovers flock to the Galleria dell? Accademia, Venice?s premier art museum. Celebrated artists such as Tintoretto and Veronese are represented here. Venice is also home to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. History and fashion enthusiasts alike will enjoy the Center of the History of Costume, which educates the public about how upper class 18th century society lived and dressed. Venice is also a city that thrives on festivals. Every other year the city hosts The Venice Biennale, a tradition that dates back to 1895. During this festival, lovers of modern art pour into the city to admire the latest creations that the art world has to offer. Venice is also famous the world over for it?s Venetian glass. Acquiring a piece of original hand-blown glass is a must while visiting Venice. Pauly & Co. is the best glass shop in the city. A trip to the Campanile Di San Marco, the city?s famous bell tower is also a must do. There is no other view of Venice quite as extraordinary as the one viewed from the top of the tower. In addition to tours of churches, museum visits and gondola rides, Venice has some excellent shopping with the Piazza San Marco being the most exclusive place to shop. Delicious dining opportunities are abundant and Italian wine is plentiful, ensuring that even the most discerning palate will be delighted.

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