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Travel and Tourism Information
Venezia's ancient name was La Serenissima; this unique city stands upon a series of islands in a lagoon at the northern end of the Adriatic Sea. Two of the city’s main monuments are the Basilica di S.Marco and the Palazzo Ducale overlooking Piazza S.Marco.
The S.Marco Basilica, was built in Romanesque-Byzantine style in the 10th century, to house the body of the Evangelist St Mark. It has five cupolas and a facade which features five portals decorated with marbles and mosaics; a terrace dividing it into two halves. On the terrace stand Four Horses of gilded copper (copies, as the originals are now preserved inside), a gift sent from Constantinople to Doge Enrico Dandolo in 1204. The imposing interior hosts many beautiful paintings and sculptures. Don't miss a visit to the Golden Altar, the Pala d'Oro and to St. Marks Treasure.The Bell Tower of the Basilica once was a lighthouse for ships; at the foot of the tower there is a 16th century loggia by J. Sansovino.
The Palazzo Ducale was the residence of the Doge and also the seat for the administration of justice. You may visit the rooms of the Doges' private apartment and the halls, decorated by Veronese, Tintoretto and other great Renaissance artists. Also visit the Bridge of Sighs, the Ponte dei Sospiri, at one end of the Palazzo Ducale. On this bridge, prisoners about to enter jail on the other side would stop to enjoy one last glimpse of the beautiful city.
The city’s most important thoroughfare is the Canal Grande, lined with fine Gothic and Renaissance palazzi and crossed by two bridges, the Ponte di Rialto and the wooden Ponte dell’Accademia. Important attractions in Venice are: the Cà d'Oro, Cà Pesaro - the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Cà Rezzonico - Museum of the Venetian Settecento; the Arsenale area and the old Jewish Quarter, the Ghetto; Campo San Polo, the largest square in Venice with Palazzo Soranzo and Palazzo Maffetti Tiepolo; the Museo Civico Correr.
The Galleria dell’Accademia displays hundreds of Venetian paintings dating from between the 14th and 18th centuries. The Collezione Peggy Guggenheim exhibits international 20th-century art including works by Picasso, Giacometti and Ernst.
Interesting churches to visit are: S.Maria Gloriosa dei Frari ( works by Titian, Monuments to Canova and to Titian), Santa Maria Formosa, S.Zaccaria (founded in the 9th century then rebuilt in Renaissance times), S Stefano, S.Rocco (works from Tintoretto), S.Maria della Salute( huge, baroque Basilica at the beginning of the Canal Grande with works by Titian, Tintoretto and Luca Giordano), Basilica dei SS.Giovanni e Paolo, also called San Zanipolo, S.Giorgio Maggiore, Madonna dell'Orto, S.Maria dei Miracoli (a Renaissance masterpiece in 15th century Tuscan Classical style and Venetian colouring; polychrome facade, coffered ceiling)
The Zattere area is the large wharf on the Canale della Giudecca, on the southern side of Dorsoduro. Lined with cafès, ideal for pleasant walks. The Arsenale was founded in the 1100s, then enlarged between the 14th and 16th centuries, becoming the largest shipyard in the world. Today a military zone. Riva degli Schiavoni is a famous, over 500 mt long promenade area.
The Lido is a natural barrier between Venice and the open sea, 12 km of sand. Famous for its many hotels with glorious past and the International Film Festival.