St Mark’s Square
The colonnades, the bell tower, the column topped by a winged lion… it doesn’t get much more iconic than St Mark’s Square. This is the heart of Old Venice. Get there early to soak up the magic in total peace – just you and the square’s most famous residents, the pigeons. Then grab a quick macchiato from a nearby café and scale the Campanile bell tower for prime panoramas.
Every doge has his day. Just ask ordinary Venetians, who were ruled by the Doges of Venice for eleven centuries. This picture-postcard palace is the fruit of Venice’s staggering wealth during the Renaissance. It’s a Venetian Gothic masterpiece stuffed with stunning stonework and handsome halls, leaving visiting dignitaries agog since the 14th century. Not to be missed.
The Bridge of Sighs
Whoever said that Sighs doesn’t matter had clearly never been to Venice. This bridge is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks – a covered passageway wrought in gleaming Istrian limestone, hovering over the canal below. For one of Venice’s top romantic experiences, drift underneath on a gondola. Legend has it that a kiss with your beau at sunset will bring everlasting love.
You’re guaranteed a gold-standard evening in this extravagant auditorium. All manner of symphonies, dance and opera take place in a space of pure, unadulterated ostentation. As the red curtains part for a matinee performance, watch the light emanating from the gilded chandeliers dims and hear the bustle as the actors taking centre stage. Let the show begin!
Artisans, politicians, courtesans and “Casanovas” throughout history have lived, breathed and craved it – and now it’s your turn. Its waterways tell an epic story of a city founded on merchant trade and artistic patronage. Climb aboard a gondola, hold your lover tight and be bewitched by Venice