If you’re spending a holiday discovering the sights of the Veneto region, one of the must-see destinations is of course Venice! From Camping Village Garden Paradiso, you can easily reach the city by taking a ferry from Punta Sabbioni.
Founded some 1,500 years ago on the islands of the Venetian Lagoon, Venice developed in a way quite unlike any other Italian or European city. Through trade with the East, the Venetians were able to build one of the greatest economic powers of the Renaissance and filled their city with thousands of works of art, housed today in churches, palaces, schools and galleries.
Among the monumental churches, the best-known and richest in spiritual history is the famous Basilica di San Marco (St Mark’s Basilica), which overlooks the square of the same name. The two majestic Gothic basilicas of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari and Santi Giovanni e Paolo are also worth seeing – due to the quantity of works of art they contain, they are considered veritable “museum churches”.
Venice’s Renaissance churches include San Zaccaria, with its majestic interior covered with famous paintings, and Santa Maria dei Miracoli, a small but precious gem. By contrast, Santa Maria della Salute, reflected in the waters of the Grand Canal, is the ultimate expression of Venetian baroque style. Don’t miss the two churches of San Giorgio Maggiore and Santissimo Redentore, two neoclassical masterpieces created by the genius of Andrea Palladio.
Among the public buildings in Venice, the Doge’s Palace, with its rich collections of art and history, the Ca’ d’Oro, a Gothic palace that you can admire from the Grand Canal, and the Renaissance Ca’ Vendramin Calergi, now home to the Municipal Casino, are well worth a visit.
The Scuola Grande di San Rocco, which once looked after the sick and plague victims, is now a museum that houses the most complete collection of works by Jacopo Tintoretto. The Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista and the Scuola Grande di San Marco, meanwhile, are of particular interest for their architecture.
If you have time, it’s also worth visiting the Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni, which features numerous paintings by Vittore Carpaccio.
On your trip to Venice, you can’t miss the National Archaeological Museum in St Mark’s Square: with its collection of Greek and Roman statues, Roman frescoes, Greek and Etruscan ceramics, Egyptian mummies, coins, small sculptures and other artefacts, it’s a must for history enthusiasts.
You can also visit the Correr Museum, which houses maps, coins, doges’ costumes, ceramics, carved ivories, weapons, uniforms and numerous Venetian paintings from the Renaissance to the 19th century. The Doge’s Palace, meanwhile, houses the Museo dell’Opera, whose purpose is to conserve the palace itself, with its valuable decorations and collections of paintings, sculptures, weapons and antiques.
Finally, the Museo del Settecento Veneziano (Museum of 18th-century Venice) in Ca’ Rezzonico houses splendid works by Pietro and Alessandro Longhi, Piazzetta, Gianbattista and Giandomenico Tiepolo, Rosalba Carriera, and Francesco and Gianantonio Guardi.
The famous Gallerie dell’Accademia feature a rich collection of paintings by the Venetian school, from its origins to the 18th century. The Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna (International Gallery of Modern Art) in Ca’ Pesaro, which offers an interesting overview of modern Venetian and Italian art from the 19th and early 20th centuries, is also well worth a visit.
Art lovers will also appreciate the Galleria Franchetti, located in the Ca’ d’Oro, which houses works by Mantegna, Bellini, Carpaccio and Titian, as well as sculptures, ceramics and bronzes.
Don’t miss the Peggy Guggenheim Collection: this gallery is located in Ca’ Venier dei Leoni and features one of the most important collections of contemporary works of art in Italy and the world. To end on a high note, pay a visit to the Pinacoteca Querini Stampalia in the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, where you can admire numerous Venetian paintings from the 15th to 18th centuries.
The atmosphere in Venice is, as everyone knows, truly unique: besides the palaces, churches and museums, there is so much more to experience and admire, even off the usual tourist routes. For example, we recommend a visit to a Venetian squero – traditional shipyards where rowing boats are built, including the iconic gondolas. Or a stroll to the ancient Tessitura Luigi Bevilacqua in Santa Croce – founded in 1875, it still produces world-famous fine fabrics.
Have you always dreamt of taking a gondola ride? Then do as the Venetians do: cross the Grand Canal aboard the gondola ferry, for just €2! Even though it’s a short crossing and these particular boats are designed to accommodate more people than traditional gondolas, it’s still an unforgettable experience.
Now, where should you stop for a well-deserved break? If you’re travelling with children, take them to enjoy a delicious ice cream at Nico alle Zattere – this historic ice-cream parlour will delight the grown-ups’ palates too! At apéritif time, try the Cantina Schiavi – an osteria and wine bar with a genuinely traditional ambience, where you can taste classic Venetian “cicheti” and drink good wine.