The centerpiece of all Venice attractions is, without doubt, St. Mark’s sumptuous Basilica. It almost feels a crime against humanity that for years it served only as a personal church for the Doge of Venice. Not until 1807, with the end of the Venice Republic did it become the city’s Cathedral. Now though, it can be enjoyed by all and makes for top sightseeing in Venice. The grandeur of the Basilica’s five Byzantine domes, sparkling mosaic portals and colored columns is biblical and stops you dead in your tracks. In the jewelry box that is Venice, St. Mark’s Basilica is the diamond that shines the brightest. Inside is a feast for the eyes, a veritable treasure trove of visual delights. More mosaics adorn the ceilings and walls, a glory of shimmering splendor, and then, of course, there is the presbytery, crypt and treasury (with all the loot collected from the Crusades).
If you want to cross the Bridge of Sighs, then a visit to the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale in Italian) should rank high on your “what to do in Venice” itinerary. Sitting in St. Mark’s square, but facing out to the canal means that when you catch sight of the Doge’s Palace from afar, it looks as if it’s floating on water. This sets the tone for a truly remarkable and significant building. The Palace was once the residence of the Doge (leader) of Venice and was the political and administrative seat of the Republic. With stunning views overlooking the lagoon, the building is decorated with 14th-century statues and is definitely one of the top sights in Venice. Inside you can get lost exploring the state and institutional rooms, prisons and armory. However, it is when you climb the Golden Staircase and peek in the rooms at the top of the palace that things get seriously impressive.
Venice consists of more than 100 islands all built on the waters of the Adriatic Sea. The barrier Island of Lido means that the rest of Venice is well protected from the tides of the Adriatic turning the waterways, for which the city is known, into a gondolier’s paradise. There are plenty of things to see in Venice. But, gliding through the network of narrow canals that flow through the city is the best way to enjoy all of its unique buildings and bridges. Of all the fun things to do in Venice, a gondola ride takes top spot and what’s more, it is a quintessential Venice experience. Can you imagine coming home after a trip to the watery city and not having gone for a spin in a gondola? Of course, you can’t! And, just think, If you’re on a romantic trip and lucky enough, your gondolier might just serenade you.
If you’re wondering what to do in Venice, then the Casanova Museum opened its doors on the 2nd of April this year. It’s the first museum, not only in Italy, but the world dedicated entirely to the extraordinary man. Casanova was champion seducer and a libertine rumored to have bedded over 120 women. He was also a poet and philosopher, and published books on mathematics, an actor, a priest and even a spy. Casanova lived life ten times over, he traveled an estimated 40,000 miles across Europe and met Catherine the Great. Now, for the first time, in his hometown, Casanova’s life will be displayed across six room. You can go beyond the myth of the man and explore his literature, documents, clothing and everyday objects. The exhibition is immersive, mixing virtual experiences with interactive exhibits and also provides an insight into Venice at the time.