Venice is universally considered the most beautiful city in the world


Venice has more than 270.000 inhabitants and is the capital of Veneto Region and Veneto Province in north-east Italy. It was also historically an independent nation and the capital of the Serenissima Venetian Republic for more than a thousand years and known because of this as the "Serenissima".

​Venice is world-famous for its canals it is built on an archipelago of 118 islands formed by about 150 canals in a shallow lagoon. The islands on which the city is built are connected by about 400 bridges. In the old centre, the canals serve the function of roads, and every form of transport is on water or on foot. Venice is universally considered to be the most beautiful city in the world because of this unusual urban design and its inestimable artistic heritage; it is included in the heritage of humanity projects protected by UNESCO and has the highest number of visitors of any Italian city, many of whom are foreign tourists.

Piazza San Marco

Because of its unusual construction of canals and bridges it is a fascinating city to discover on foot or by  water buses(vaporetti) or gondola.

 The heart of the city is Piazza San Marco, the only square worthy of the name in Venice. The others are called "campi" (fields) or "campielli". The magnificent Basilica di San Marco, the cathedral of Venice, the most famous of the city's churches and one of the best known examples of Byzantine architecture, is in the centre of the square. It is covered by gilded Byzantine mosaics illustrating the story of Venice, together with wonderful bas-reliefs representing the months of the year.

Doge's Palace

The impressive gothic style Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace), characterized by the use of arcading in the lower stories and its multicoloured marble exterior, is to be found next to the Basilica: united to it by  the marvellous Porta della Carta, built by Giovanni and Bartolomeo Bon as the monumental entrance to the palace in 1438.It is now the exit of the Palazzo Ducale Museum the entrance is on the side facing the lagoon. The Sala del Maggior Consiglio (Grand Council chamber) was for centuries the largest seat of government in the world.


Hall of the Great Council

The Piombi (The Lead) was an ancient prison adjacent to the Doge's Palace. It owes its name to the fact that it was covered with slabs of lead. In winter, these slabs let the cold pass and they acted as a catalyst in the summer heat, imposing harsh conditions for inmates. In 1755 Casanova made a famous escape from the prison, which still stands today. It is separated from the Palace by the famous Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs).

Rialto Bridge

Another symbol of the city is the Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge), one of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice. Built in 1591 it is the oldest bridge across the canal and probably the most famous in the city.  It was the only bridge (and thus the only way of crossing the Grand Canal by foot) until 1854.

Other important Venetian monuments are:

• The Arsenale di Venezia (Arsenal), a shipyard and naval depot that played a leading role in Venetian empire-building - it was one of the most important areas of Venice, lying in the Castello district (sestiere).
• The Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute (Basilica of St Mary of Health/Salvation), commonly known simply as the Salute, a famous church in Venice, visible as one enters the Piazza San Marco from the water.
• The Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, usually just called the Frari, one of the greatest churches of Venice, the first church here was completed in 1338, but work began almost immediately on its much larger replacement, the current church, which took over a century to build. The campanile, the second tallest in the city after that of San Marco, was completed in 1396.
• The Venetian Ghetto, this was the area of Venice in which Jews were compelled to live under the Venetian Republic. It is from its name in the Venetian language, that the word "ghetto", used in many languages, is derived. Today, the Ghetto is still a centre of Jewish life in the City of Venice. 

The International Gallery of Modern Art is situated in Ca' Pesaro, the most important baroque Venetian palace on the Grande Canal, in the district (sestiere) of Santa Croce, near Campo San Stae.
There are famous masterpieces in the collection: Klimt’s Giuditta II; Bonnard’s The bathing woman, Chagall’s The Rabbi, and works of Kandinsky, Klee, Rouault, Matisse, Grosz, Moore, Morandi, De Chirico, Boccioni and others.

Sestiere Santa Croce, 2076
Palazzo Pesaro a San Stae - 30135 Venezia

Tel. 041 721127

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The Doge’s Palace, a symbol and Gothic masterpiece of Venice, is to be found in the famous Piazza San Marco. Ancient seat of the Doges and of the Venetian courts of law, it is now the Civic Museum.

Piazza San Marco


The Museum of Oriental Art is situated in Ca' Pesaro in the district (sestiere) of Santa Croce, near Campo San Stae.
It has a notable collection of works of oriental art (about 30.000), originally consisting of works collected by Enrico di Borbone, conte di Bardi, during his travels in the Far East between 1887 and 1889. The collection, after various misadventures, was donated to the Italian state.

Sestiere Santa Croce, 2076
Palazzo Pesaro a San Stae - 30135 Venezia

Tel. 041 5200345

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The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is a small museum along the Grand Canal, part of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.
Principally the personal art collection of Peggy Guggenheim (1898-1979), former wife of the artist Max Ernst and niece of the magnate Solomon R. Guggenheim, this is the most important museum in Italy for European and American art of the first half of the 20th Century, housed in what was once the private house of Peggy Guggenheim.

Palazzo Venier dei Leoni Dorsoduro, 701 Venezia

Tel. 39 041 2405 411

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