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Venice - 200 Things To Do and See
Ruth L. Edenbaum
This is not a complete list of things to do and see in Venice, but is merely a list of some of what is readily available, especially to those who choose to spend more than two or three days there. These are some of my favorite things in Venice. Items are organized by neighborhood (sestieri).
Venice seen from the Campanile in San Marco
1. The Doge's Palace. Take the regular tour, or walk through it with an Audio Guide or Guide Book.
2. The Doge's Palace. Take the Secret Itinerary Tour, see rooms that are off limits to other tours.
3. Basilica San Marco. Inside, outside, the Treasury, the Loggia, the Pala D'oro, and the Baptistery.
4. The Campanile. Look down on the onion domes, and all of Venice. There is an elevator to the top although when you descend again you exit through a different door than the one through which you entered; important if you are planning on meeting someone after your visit to the top. If you are there when the bells ring you may find it a glorious or a rather painful experience, depending on how sensitive your ears are. Warning: Unless you like looking like Marilyn Monroe in the famous scene from The Seven Year itch, never wear a full skirt to the top of any campanile.
5. La Zecca - the mint - now the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana. When not open for exhibitions, it may be seen by special arrangement with the Director. In addition to ancient books and maps there is a Titian fresco, ceiling medallions and paintings by the leading Venetian artists.
6. The Piazzetta dei Leoncini. Next to the Basilica San Marco.
7. The Piazzetta. Do not walk between the columns of The Lion of San Marco and San Teodoro, complete with crocodile, very bad karma. It was once the place for public executions.
8. Libreria Sansoviniana. Opposite the Doge's Palace. Built by Sansovino and topped with statues.
9. Museo Correr. Allow lots of time for the regular collection and any special exhibits.
10. Museo Archeologico. Enter through the Correr.
11. Florian's or Quadri's. Caffes on Piazza San Marco where you can spend more for an espresso or a glass of wine than you ever dreamed possible, but you can sit in the Piazza for as long as you like and watch the people and the pigeons and listen to the music. According to legend, before leaving Venice, Casanova, after escaping from prison, made a stop at Florian's for a farewell drink. If he risked his freedom for a last visit, you might want to spend a few euro on a first visit.
12. The Clock Tower. In recent visits it has looked more like the Eiffel Tower or the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but someday it may be fixed.
13. Bucino Orseolo. Just outside the Piazza where there is a gondola parking lot.
14. La Fenice. There are at least two English speaking tours a day. If you are really lucky and can spring for it, try to see an opera, ballet or concert there. It is possibly the most beautiful theater in the world.
15. Campo San Fantin. An old square enclosed on one side by La Fenice and on the others by the Church of San Fantin and the Scuola di San Fantin. There are Istrian stone wellheads dating from the 15th century.
16. Chiesa San Fantin. Most notable for the 1563 marble choir chancel.
17. Scuola di San Fantin. The former headquarters of a religious fraternity whose chief task was to accompany those sentenced to death to their executions. This Scuola had two other names: Scuola dei Picai (he gallowbirds) and Della Buona Morte (the good death). The building, which can be entered on the left side, has two halls: Aula Magna with a wooden ceiling made of 13 panels by Palma il Giovane in 1600 is on the ground floor; upstairs is the Sala Tommaseo which has two works by Zanchi on the ceiling.
18. Calle Larga XXII Marzo. Venice's Madison Avenue.
19. Santa Maria Zobenigo - aka Santa Maria del Giglio - Santa Maria of the Lily. The carvings on the facade feature the Barbaro family who paid for the church. Reliefs around the base show towns won in battles or which the family ruled.
20. The Frezzeria. Once the place to go for your arrows, now another area in which you can shop or window shop 'til you drop.
21. Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo. A winding external staircase will give you another view of Venice from on high. Great collection of well heads in the courtyard.
22. Campo Manin. There is a huge monument to Daniel Manin, the leader of the 1848 against Austrian rule.
23. Harry's Bar. If you must - and many do feel it is a must - but I don't. To give credit where credit is due, it is the original, the first, Harry's Bar.
24. San Moise. Described by Ruskin as the clumsiest church in Venice. How can you resist?
25. Campo Santo Stefano. Fun to see on any day, it houses a huge Christmas market during December.
26. Santo Stefano. Deconsecrated six times because of acts of murder and violence that took place within its walls. It has a ship's keel ceiling and a well tilted campanile.
27. Museo Fortuny. There is a small permanent collection of fabrics, clothing, and lamp shades made from the pleated silks and velvets, for which Mariano Fortuny is most famous, and frequent special exhibits.
28. Campo San Maurizio. Has an Antiques Market shortly before Christmas and interesting buildings all year round.
29. Chiesa San Maurizio. Houses the collection of antique musical instruments that once were in the Chiesa San Bartolomeo near the Rialto.
30. The Mercerie. A shopping thoroughfare that links the Rialto with San Marco. The actual name changes five times along the way; just follow the signs even though they sometimes tell you San Marco is both to the right and the left.
31. San Salvatore. Begun in 1508, the facade was added in by Sardi in 1663. Inside you will find the tomb of Caterina Cornaro, the Queen of Cypress and two Titians.
32. Campo San Bartolomeo. The church, until recently used for concerts, has been re-consecrated. The campo, which leads to the Rialto Bridge, is as busy as people throng around a statue of Carlo Goldoni, exploring the market stalls that are often there.
33. Ponte dei Baretteri. The Hatmakers Bridge has six different calles that lead directly off the bridge; the most from any one bridge in Venice.
34. Chiesa San Zulian. In the Mercerie, has beautifully gilded woodwork. The central panel of the frescoed ceiling was painted by Palma il Giovane in 1585 and portrays the Apotheosis of San Zulian (Guiliano).
35. Palazzo Grassi. Built in the eighteenth century, until recently owned by Fiat, used for special art exhibitions. Recently sold it may be closed for awhile, but if you get to go inside, be sure to notice not just the exhibits on the walls, but the ceiling and floors, which are spectacular. There is a magnificent marble staircase leading to the Piano Nobile.
36. San Giorgio di Maggiore. A lovely Palladian church with a campanile, reached by elevator in the rear left of the church, from which you can look out over the Giudecca and back towards Venice. You can reach it by taking the #82 vaporetto from San Zaccaria.
37. Giardinetti Reali. The Royal Gardens were created by Napoleon to improve his view from the Procuratie. There are better gardens in Venice, but this is a convenient place to wait for someone who needs the WC (public toilet) just a bit further along the promenade.
38. The Bridge of Sighs. Viewed from the Ponte Paglia.
39. The Bridge of Sighs. Viewed from the Ponte Canonica at sunset. There are always lots of gondolas in the rio and nice wide balustrades on which you can steady a camera.
40. Santi Giovanni e Paolo. A rival of the Frari for Venice's greatest Gothic church.
41. Campo Santa Maria Formosa. The church itself has both a land and water entrance. There is a wonderfully grotesque stone face at the foot of the campanile that was added in 1688. The campo has several unusually beautiful houses and a market.
42. Scuola Grande di San Marco. Designed by Lombardi with a colored marble facade and a pillared hall, the Scuola became the main civic hospital of Venice.
43. Santa Maria dei Dereletti aka the Ospedaletto. Formerly a charitable institution to care for the sick and elderly and to educate orphans and abandoned girls primarily in music. The Sala della Musica contains Guarana frescoes and can be visited on request.
44. Fondazione Querini Stampalia. A 16th century palazzo and art collection; also a library.
45. Statue of Colleoni. In front of the Scuola Grande di San Marco. Colleoni left his fortune to the Republic on the condition that his statue be placed in front of San Marco. Since a statue in the Piazza would have broken a long standing precedent, the Senate took advantage of Colleoni's imprecise wording and placed him in front of the Scuola.
46. The Arsenale. Used to be the ship building center of Venice. Now much of it is closed off, but you can still walk around and, if there is an exhibit in the Corderia, the old rope factory, you can see some of the inside. There are also several wonderful stone lions near the 16th century crenellated towers.
47. Scuola San Giorgio degli Schiavone. You can OD on Carpaccio's both downstairs and upstairs where time seems to have stood still.
48. San Giorgio dei Greci. The Greek Church with a dramatically tilting campanile and a matroneo in which the women sat separated from the men.
49. Scuola di San Nicolo dei Greci. An icon museum.
50. San Giovanni in Bragora. A Gothic church in a lovely and tranquil campo.
51. San Zaccaria. A blend of Gothic and Renaissance, it houses a beautiful Bellini and has an adjoining building that often has free art exhibits.
52. The Cloister of Sant' Apollonia. The only Romanesque building in Venice, was once the home of Benedictine monks. Today you may walk around the cloister and admire the Lapidario Marciana, a collection of stone architectural fragments many containing inscriptions.
53. Museo Diocesano d'Arte Sacra. On the upper floor of the Cloister of Sant'Apollonia, the permanent collection houses sacred art such as painting, statues, crucifixes. There are frequent special exhibits.
54. San Francesco della Vigna - a 13th church with a cloister, built on a vineyard bequeathed to the Franciscans in 1253. The facade was added by Palladio. The church holds many wonderful paintings including a Bellini and a Veronese.
55. The Riva degli Schiavone. One of the best views in Venice. Lots of hotels, restaurants, artists and kiosks. If you do not like the scene on the Riva look up and out over the water towards San Giorgio.
56. La Pieta. Vivaldi's church. They often have concerts there, but don't sit in the pews, they are extremely uncomfortable, grab one of the red canvas chairs.
57. Museo Storico Navale. The Naval Museum.
58. Via Garibaldi. Created by Napoleon. Lots of interesting shops and restaurants, an entrance to the Giardini and the house of the explorer John Cabot.
59. San Pietro in Castello. The Cathedral of Venice until 1807 when San Marco claimed the title; you walk down the Via Garibaldi and cross the bridge to this ancient church on its own little island surrounded by fishermen's homes and nets.
60. The Giardini Pubblici and the Biennale Pavilions. Lovely gardens filled with statues and benches and a pergola that in the spring is covered by wisteria. There are two children's playgrounds and the Biennale Buildings which occasionally, even in winter, have an art exhibit or two.
61.The Riva dei Sette Martiri. Walk or sit along the water and watch the different boats as they travel from on island to another.
62. La Donna Partigiana. A monument to the women who were killed fighting in World War II. This large bronze statue lies submerged except for low tide when it can be seen lying on the steps.
63. The Church of Sant' Elena. A pretty Gothic Church, with a cloister, founded in the 13th century and nearly destroyed by an earth quake in the 1970s. It has been rebuilt in a combination of Gothic and modern styles.
64. Squero Canaletto. Run by Thom Price, the only American gondola builder, is open for tours for a fee and by prearrangement.
65. Chiesa San Lio. The first altar on the right wall holds an ancient Byzantine Madonna and Child. There is a Titian on the first altar on the left wall, and the ceiling is by Tiepolo. There is often a flower market in the campo.
66. Santa Maria della Fava. Has a lovely interior with statues by Torretto, who taught Canova, and an early Tiepolo.
67. San Lorenzo. Although this church has been deconsecrated and closed for renovation for years, it was reputedly the burial place of Marco Polo. This is hard to prove since the sarcophagus which was said to hold his remains has been lost since 1592, when the church was rebuilt. In the 1980s restorers came across foundations of two earlier churches one dating from 850 AD and restoration work has continued ever since. The best part of finding this church is that across from it is the Questura in which Guido Brunetti works, a must see for all Donna Leon fans (mystery novels set in Venice).
68. The Ghetto. Tours of the Ghetto and the Scuole - synagogues - are available through the Jewish Museum.
69. The Jewish Museum. An interesting collection of Jewish memorabilia and occasionally other special exhibits.
70. Ca D'Oro. A magnificent building with an interesting art collection belonging to Giorgio Franchetti as well as a separate ceramic collection. It is a wonderful feeling to walk on the two loggia and look out on the Grand Canal.
71. Santa Maria dei Miracoli. A jewel box of a church from the early Renaissance - popular for weddings.
72. Fondamente Nuove. This street runs along the northern lagoon for about half a mile; you can see San Michele and on a good day the Dolomites.
73. Gesuiti. Not to be confused with the Gesuati in Dorsoduro, a huge Baroque Church with an opulent interior and Titan's Martyrdom of St. Lawrence.
74. Madonna dell'Orto. The name was changed from San Cristoforo to Madonna del Orto after a statue of the Madonna and child was found in a neighboring garden. The terra cotta facade is decorated with statues and there is a 15th century bell tower topped by an onion dome. Jacopo Tintoretto is buried here and many of his paintings hang on the walls.
75. San Alvise. "Alvise" is the Venetian dialect form of Louis. This 14th century church was built by a member of the Venier family who had a special devotion to St. Louis, the Bishop of Toulouse. The interior is decorated with paintings by Tiepolo, and the nave contains an early example of a barco (a hanging choir supported by columns that enabled nuns to enter directly from their convent).
76. Campo dei Mori. The Palazzo Mastelli recognizable by its bas relief of a camel and the stone figures of the brothers who were silk traders.
77. Tintoretto's House. Decorated with a fourth figure of an oriental merchant wearing a large turbans; the house faces the Rio della Sensa.
78. Chiesa San Marziale. Ceiling frescoes by Ricci and Tintoretto's last work - a painting of the saint for whom the church is named.
79. Marco Polo's House. Although it is doubtful either Prima del Milion or Secondo del Milion actually housed the Polo family, it is still fun to track them down.
80. Palazzo Labia. Magnificient frescoes by Tiepolo show Cleopatra dressed as a 16th century Venetian noblewoman can be seen by attending a concert or by appointment-usually only one afternoon a week.
81. The Scalzi Church. Formerly known as Santa Maria di Nazareth. This church of the barefoot friars has a huge Baroque interior with a modern ceiling (1934) replacing the Tiepolo ceiling destroyed by the Austrian bombardment of October 24, 1915. It boasts the only facade in all of Venice made entirely of Carrara marble. The ashes of Ludovico Manin, the last Doge of Venice,are preserved here.
82. Rio Terra Lista di Spagna. Tourist heaven or hell depending on your point of view. It was built in 1844 after the Rio di Sabboni was filled in.
83. Campo di San Geremia. One of the largest campos in Venice.
84. Church of San Geremia. Recently renovated. The Cappella di Santa Lucia contains the relics of Santa Lucia, a martyr from Siracusa.
85. Church of San Marcuola. First built in the 9th century, it has an unfinished facade similar to San Pantalon. Inside there is a Last Supper by Jacobo Tintoretto.
86. The Casino. Housed in the Palazzo Vendramin Calgeri on the Grand Canal, you can enter for a nominal fee. The land entrance can be reached by walking back and to your right from San Marcuola. The casino no longer moves to the Lido in summer, but remains open in Venice all year round.
87. The Wagner Museum. The rooms in which Wagner lived prior to and at his death have been made into a small museum. Guided tours are offered on Saturday mornings-you must reserve ahead of time.
88. Fondaco dei Tedeschi. Now the main post office with fabulous arches piled upon arches and a great wellhead in the center.
89. Ponte dei Tre Archi. Built in 1688, this is the only bridge with a three arch structure in Venice. The parapets were added later. You can walk across it or sail under it on one of the little black and white motoscafi that use the Cannaregio Canal.
90. Teatro Malibran. Named for the opera singer, Maria Malibran. Recently renovated and reopened.
91. Strada Nuova. Since 1871, this route has linked the railway station with the Rialto between Santa Fosca and Campo Ss. Apostoli. It is lined with Palazzos which overlook the Grand Canal and all sorts of shops and restaurants.
92. Campo Ss. Apostoli. A major crossroads with calles radiating from it like spokes on a wheel leading to the northern area of the sestiere. There are churches, hotels, small shops, restaurants, bars, and Palazzos to explore.
93. The Church of Ss. Apostoli. The church, which was rebuilt in 1575 has a 15th century chapel with remarkable carvings, a Tiepolo altar piece and fragments of rare 14th century Byzantine style frescoes.
94. San Giobbe. One of the few churches in Venice with an Old Testament name. The ceiling is the sole example of Della Robbia art in Venice. The tomb before the high altar is said to be that of Otello.
95. Campiello de Remer. Mostly easily seen from a vaporetto on the Grand Canal, this tiny square is enclosed by the remains of the Palazzo Lion-Morosini, with a restored external stairway, mullioned windows with basket arches and a Byzantine well head.
96. Oratorio dei Crociferi. In the 13th century this was a hospital for returning Crusaders; it then became a charitable home for old people with a chapel decorated by Palma Il GIovane. Damaged terribly by the floods of 1966, the chapel was restored and is now open from April-October.
San Polo/Santa Croce
97. The Rialto Markets. The original areas of the different markets can be seen in the street signs. The earlier you get there the better.
98. The Rialto Bridge. The Rialto area was the first area to be settled. The name means high banks although it does flood easily now. The bridge was built between 1588 and 1591, after several earlier bridges had collapsed. Until 1854, when the Accademia bridge was built, it was the only place you could cross the Grand Canal on foot.
99. San Giacomo di Rialto. The first church to stand on this spot was built in the 5th century making it the oldest church in Venice. It has the original Gothic portico and a 24 hour clock on the Facade.
100. Gobbo. The hunchback statue.
101. The Garlic Lady. You will know her when you see her. Though she is short and stubby, if you are a garlic lover you'll think she looks good enough to eat.
102. Campo San Polo. Lorenzo di Medici was assassinated here.
103. The Church of San Polo. Houses the 14 paintings of the stations of the Cross by Giandomenico Tiepolo and a campanile with delightfully ghoulish figures at eye level.
104. Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari. A huge Gothic Church with a museum's worth of art inside including Titian's Assumption of the Virgin hanging over the high altar - the spot for which it was originally painted. There are gorgeous tombs, fossils to be found in the floor, a magnificently carved monks choir and free concerts offered several times a year. At Christmas the Nativity Scene is an entire village with moving parts and lighting effects.
105. Scuola Grande di San Rocco. You can OD on the Tintorettos. If you go to a concert here, you can visit the upstairs rooms as part of the deal.
106. The Church of San Rocco. Contains Tintoretto's paintings depicting scenes from the life of San Rocco.
107. Church of Sant' Aponal. Founded in the 11th century, rebuilt in the 15th and now deconsecrated, you can still admire the Gothic reliefs on the facade.
108. Carampane. The one time red light district takes its name from houses owned by the Rampane family. You can walk across the Ponte delle Tette, so called because it was surrounded by bordellos and the prostitutes would lean out of the windows with their breasts exposed to attract customers. It is a quiet residential neighborhood now, but a little imagination can work magic.
109. San Nicolo da Tolentino. Although the church has been under renovation for years, the great white columns are worth a look.
110. San Giacomo dell'Orio. A church made from a mlange of styles: a keel roof and columns from the Gothic era, Byzantine columns and a campanile from the 13th century, and Renaissance apses.
111. Fondaco dei Turchi. Now the natural history museum recently renovated with dazzling white arches on the Grand Canal.
112. San Stae. Built in 1709 and magnificently restored in 1977.
113. Ca' Moncenigo. A museum of fabrics and clothing from the 17th and 18th century.
114. Ca' Pesaro. 58 years in the building, and recently restored, it houses the Museum of Modern Art and also the Museum of Oriental Art.
115. Casa di Carlo Goldoni. The home of the Venetian playwright. In addition to seeing his house there is a puppet theater and wonderful displays of marionettes.
116. Scuola dei Caligheri. The scuola of the shoe makers often hosts free art exhibits.
117. Calle Stretta. The narrowest calle in Venice.
118. Ponte Storto. One of several "twisted" bridges in Venice.
115.Campiello Abrizzi. Between the ground floor windows of no. 1491, there is a piece of an Austrian shell embedded in the wall with a plaque denouncing "this fragment of barbarism."
119. Papadopoli Gardens. A pleasant and secluded park near the Piazzale Roma.
120. San Giovanni Elemosinario. Originally built between the 9th and 10th centuries. This small church tucked away behind a frescoed archway is almost completely hidden by vendors stalls on the Ruga Vecchio San Giovanni. It has been beautifully restored but would be worth seeing just because it is so difficult to find.
121. San Silvestro. There are old arches and columns in the wall at the vaporetto stop and a lovely fresco on the ceiling of one of the sottoportegos under which you pass as you walk up from the water. The church itself has a stone bas relief on the campanile.
122. Maria Mater Domini. A Renaissance church with a recently restored interior. It is set in a campo lined with lovely palazzos.
123. Scuola dei Battiloro e Tiraoro. The goldsmiths guild build it 1771, often has free exhibits.
124. San Giovanni Decollato. A delightfully gruesome name - St. John the Beheaded. The interior of the restored 11th century church has the remains of 12-13th century Byzantine frescoes.
125. Riva di Biasio. A pretty fondamenta that runs along the Grand Canal and offers stunning views of the Cannaregio Canal and San Geremia. Some say the name Biasio comes from Biagio, a 16th century Venetian sausage maker, and former inhabitant of the area who was tortured and killed for the crime of killing children and stewing them for dinner.
126. San Cassiano. Little remains of the 10th century church because it has been renovated so many times. The 13th century campanile is intact, and the church contains two Tintorettos.
127. San Simeon Piccolo. Its distinctive copper dome is one of the first things you see on exiting the train station which is directly opposite it on the Grand Canal. It has been under renovation for years.
128. Campo dei Meloni. There are some nice shops and restaurants here, but the main point of interest is that the campo is also a bridge - the only bridge in Venice that is a campo and vice versa.
129. San Pantalon. Feaures a ceiling of over 40 scenes. They ran out of money and never put the marble on the outside.
130. San Giovanni Evangelista. The Church is rarely open, but the Scuola often hosts concerts and you get to look at everything as part of the ticket price.
131. Ponte dei Pugni. One of two "fighting" bridges in Venice where fist fights took place with competitors having to keep their feet in the foot prints on the bridge. The one who did not fall in the water won.
132. San Barnaba. The campo in which Katharine Hepburn fell in to the canal in the movie "Summertime".
133. The floating vegetable and fruit barge. It is moored in San Barnaba.
134. Ca Rezzonico. A Baroque Palace that is the home of the Museum of 18th century Venice. Robert Browning died in this palazzo owned by his son, Pen, on 12/12/1889.
135. Campo Santa Margherita. My favorite campo in Venice. There is a small fish market and a produce market, interesting shops, bars, gelaterias, at least two good lunch restaurants (Due Torre, and Pier Dickens Inn which is also open evenings), and local people going about their business. You can sit under a tree or in the sun or at a table with a coffee or glass of wine and watch children playing, grandmothers gossiping and dogs chasing the pigeons.
136. Santa Maria dei Carmini. Contains some interesting paintings and gilded wood decorations in the nave. From the campo in front you can walk back towards the Giudecca Canal and enjoy a view of Palazzo Zenobio, now an Armenian college.
137. Scuola Grande dei Carmini. A Tiepolo ceiling awaits you up a massive marble staircase.
138. San Sebastiano. The Veronese ceiling tells the story of Esther.
139. Angelo Raffaele. The church made famous in the books Miss Garnett's Angel.
140. San Nicolo dei Medicoli. A 12th century church restored by the Venice in Peril fund.
141. Zattere. From the word meaning "rafts," this long flat stretch of quay lies along the Giudecca Canal. It begins at the Punta della Dogana near the salt warehouses, many of which are now used by different rowing clubs, and runs down to San Basilio.
142. Squero di San Trovaso. One of a very few squero (gondola workshops) left in Venice. This one looks like a Swiss chalet.
143. San Trovaso. Built in 1590 with two identical facades; one for a land entrance and one on the canal so that the rival factions of the Castellani and Nicoletti could enter and leave separately.
144. Santa Maria della Visitazione. Overshadowed by its neighbor the Gesuati, this small church is truly charming. There is a bocca di leone on the facade; this one was used for complaints about the condition of the streets.
145. Gesuati. A major landmark of the Zattere. You can cut across to Accademia by turning down the calle just past the church. Don't confuse it with the Gesuiti which is on the other side of Venice.
146. Accademia. The fine arts museum of Venice.
147. The Cini Collection. The collection of Count Vittorio Cini is open sporadically. It includes paintings, sculptures, porcelain and china, miniatures, ivories, and furniture.
148. Campo San Vio. In between the Accademia and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, this small campo offers benches from which you can watch the Grand Canal and the Anglican Church of St. George (which is open for services on Sundays).
149. Peggy Guggenheim Collection. More than 200 paintings and sculptures make up the permanent collection and there are often special exhibits. Also a good spot for anyone who is homesick and wants to hear bright young Americans talking English.
150. Santa Maria della Salute. A beautiful Baroque church. One of the major landmarks of Venice. Don't just go in but take the time to walk all around it. There are free organ concerts most Saturday afternoons around 4:00.
151. Dogana di mare. Standing at the entrance to the Grand Canal, this was the customs house for those arriving by sea. Unfortunately it has been several years since visitors have been able walk out to the very tip of the promontory. On the corner tower there are bronze Atlases supporting a golden ball which is topped by a figure of La Fortuna.
152. Gli Incurabili. Built in 1522 in response to the spread of syphilis, it eventually took in lepers and those suffering from other diseases. There is a head with a sweetly sad expression over one door for those who did not recover, and a smiling head over a second door for the few who did.
153. The Cini Foundation. Open on weekends for tours. You must reserve ahead of time. You can visit the monks quarters, the grounds and the amphitheater.
154. Tramontin Squero. Will open for visitors by prearrangement.
155. Campiello Barbaro. From this tiny campiello you can get a close back door view of the mysterious Palazzo Dario.
156. Abbazzia San Gregorio. The Abbey of San Gregory, now deconsecrated, until recently used for the restoration. There is a cloister, now part of a private house and a 1342 triple apse. You can walk behind it from La Salute or ride past on the vaporetto and try to catch a glimpse of the interior from the water side.
157. Giudecca Canal. It is worth a trip across the Giudecca Canal just to enjoy the panorama of Venice from across the water.
158. Redentore. Palladio's great church. A complete change from the more ornate churches in much of Venice. On the third weekend in July, Venetians still make a bridge of boats and walk across the canal to commemorate the annual visit by the Doge in thanksgiving for the end of the plague of 1576.
159. Le Zitelle. Another Palladian Church, this one is rarely open except for Sunday mass.
160. Sacca Fisola. A largely residential area of apartment buildings. Walk back away from the Giudecca Canal and you will find a pretty canal with small boats, a bridge to a recreation center with an indoor swimming pool, and an unparalleled view of the dreaded Port of Maghera.
Other Sights and Activities
161. Hotel Cipriani. You can ride out to the hotel in their launch just to walk around the grounds or enjoy drinks or, if your budget allows it, lunch or dinner.
162. San Lazzaro degli Armeni. There is one boat a day from the Riva delgi Schiavone to this island of the Armenian monks. One will meet the boat and give you a tour of the grounds, the rectory, and the museum and library, which are truly amazing. An absolute must for Byron aficionados since the poet spent many hours here teaching himself Armenian.
163. San Michele. The cemetery island. Diaghilev, Igor Stravinsky and his wife, Joseph Brodsky, and Ezra Pound are among the more famous buried here. There are also many wonderful tombstones some with amusing and other with heartbreaking inscriptions.
164. San Michele in Isola. The earliest Renaissance Church in Venice, built by Codussi in the latter part of the 15th century.
165.The Monastery. Founded by Camaldolensian monks in the 13th century, it is now occupied by Franciscan friars who will occasionally show, on request, the monks choir, the chapter house and the monastery itself, which houses Tiepolo's St. Margherita of Cortona.
166. The Lido
167. Rent a bicycle or a pedal car and explore on your own.
168. The Jewish Cemetery on the Lido. One tour a week on Sunday afternoons; make reservations through the museum. Tours are usually only given May through November.
169. San Nicolo-La Sensa. The celebration in which Venice renews her "marriage to the sea," is held in the waters across from the church. The church itself was founded by Benedictine monks in the 11th century. Today it has 17th century architecture and a fresco by Pellegrini on the counter-facade, and, in the apse, a carved walnut choir featuring scenes from the life of Saint Nicholas.
170. Lungomare Marconi. The Grand Hotel des Bain, made famous by Thomas Mann in Death in Venice, and the Excelsior Hotel, with its Moorish architecture that even includes a minaret, are just two of the many hotels along the Lungomare Marconi which runs along the resort area.
171. Le Grand Viale. This shop lined boulevard runs from the vaporetto landing to the beaches. It has many buildings that will delight lovers of Art Nouveau and Art Deco such as the Hungaria Hotel with its tiled facade and nymphs, and the Villa Monplaisir stunning with its 1906 design.
172. The beaches. Most of the beaches belong to club that are part of the resort hotels, but you can take a bus or pedal a bike down Le Grand Viale. You will come to the public beaches which are quite nice.
173. The Venice Film Festival. Held in early September on the Lido. Some events have reasonably priced tickets, others do not. A good time to visit the Lido or avoid it completely depending on your personal feelings about crowds, paparazzi, and a somewhat circusy atmosphere.
Torcello - where it all began
174. Santa Maria Assunta. Byzantine cathedral, dates from 824. The counter-facade has glorious mosaics of The Last Judgment dating from the 12th and 13th century.
175. Church of Santa Fosca. Built around 1100.
176. Attila's throne. A large stone chair probably used by Roman tribunes.
177. Devil's Bridge. A steeply arched bridge in the "old" style with no railing, sides or balustrades.
178. Gardens at Locanda Cipriani. Have a Bellini and admire your surroundings.
179. Burano. Walk around and admire the beautifully colored houses and their fantastic reflections in the canal.
180. Scuola dei merletti. Lace museum.
181. Piazza Baldassare Galuppi. Named for the composer and surrounded by shops and kiosks selling lace.
182. Church of San Martino. Built in the 16th century with an 18th century bell tower, and a Crucifixion painted by G.B. Tiepolo.
183. Mazzorbo. Linked to Burano by a foot bridge, this island is mainly gardens and orchards. The vaporetto to and from Burano do stop here for those who want to explore or visit the Romanesque-Gothic Santa Caterina, whose wobbly tower holds the original bell installed in 1318.
184. Murano. You can visit any of several glass factories; an enjoyable experience especially if you are not bothered by the hard sell that often comes at the end.
185. Museo Vetrario. The glass museum. The displays range from Roman glass that has somehow survived intact after many centuries and up to and including museum quality modern works of art.
186. Basilica dei Santa Maria e Donato.
187. Santo Pietro Martire. Don't let the nondescript facade deter you, there are several Bellinis and two Veroneses inside.
188. Take a traghetto across the Grand Canal. You can sit or stand, but if you stand make sure you walk as far back as you can and then turn around because the traghetto will turn as it starts its journey, so then you will be at the front.
189. Ride a vaporetto up or down the length of the Grand Canal.
190. Ride a #82 vaporetto from San Marco along the Giudecca Canal and then past Tronchetto back into the Grand Canal.
191. Take a #51 or #41 motoscafi through the Cannaregio Canal and around the back side of Venice along the Fondamente Nuove.
192. Visit a mask shop in which masks are actually made.
193. If you do not want to make the trip to Murano to see the major glass factories producing glass with blowers working in front of giant furnaces, there are shops in Venice where smaller works of art are made over open flames. I Vetri a Lume di Amadi on Calle Saoneri is one such place. There is another on Calle de Cristo between San Toma and the Frari. Other places are scattered around the city.
194. Drogheria Mascari. See spices bought and sold in bulk, dried nuts and fruits, teas, sweets of every sort and, in the back, an impressive collection of wines.
195. Take a gondola ride. See Venice from the perspective from which she was built to be seen.
196. Take a special walk just to notice, and perhaps photograph, all the different shrines on the walls of buildings, sottoportegos and calles. Some are simple, some a dilapidated and some are breathtaking. Many are lighted at night and it is generally thought that these lighted shrines were the first street lights. One of my favorites is near Campo San Aponal, at the entrance to a narrow calle, as you walk towards Campo San Polo. It reads, "Alessandro the Third, Supreme Pontiff, flying from the armies of Frederick the Emperor, coming to Venice, here reposed the first night and then conceded a perpetual plenary indulgence to whoever shall say a Pater Noster and Ave Maria in this place. Let it not be heavy for thee to say Hail Mother. The year is 1177 and by the charity of the devout it is lighted day and night as is seen." In over 800 years, I wonder how many prayers have been said in just that one spot?
197. Take another walk and notice all the bas reliefs on the sides of buildings and on walks. Many are religious in subject but others are coats of arms of ancient Venetian families and still others tell you that a certain calle or spot was the area in which shoes, fruit, meat or fish were sold. On the side of a building on Campo San Pantalon, there is a stone carving that outlines the rules pertaining to size and freshness for fish that were sold in the market.
198. Go on a lion hunt. Find your favorite lion among the many with or without wings in Venice. The Porta della Carta, the main entrance to the Doge's Palace, has 75 but there are lots of others to choose from such as: the one in the public gardens on which Minerva rides sidesaddle, the winged lion on the column in the Piazzetta, the porphyry lions in the Piazzetta de Leoncini, the two under the statue of Vittor Emmanuele on the Riva degli Schiavone, the one bearing Nordic runes outside of Arsenale, the one holding a basket of fruit. Just keep looking and counting.
199. Sit in a campo and have a gelato, a glass of wine or beer or an espresso or cappuccino and just absorb Venice.
200. GET LOST! Really! Turn down an unfamiliar calle, and find yourself at the edge of a rio, or at the entrance to a small courtyard, in front of a never-before-seen shop, or an out-of-the-way trattoria. There are wonders all over the city, and it is by getting lost that you will find your very own Venice.
Note from Ruth: This is by no means a complete list of things to do and see in Venice. There are dozens of churches, small museums and galleries, special campos, interesting calles and other wonders that I have not included in this list. I have not attempted to discuss restaurants, hotels or special Venetian celebrations such as Carnevale, La Sensa, the Vogalonga, the Regatta, and other festivities which only occur one a year.
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