Things to Do in Venice - page 3
Burano is an island in the Venetian lagoon famous for its colorful houses and intricately woven handmade lace. Traditional handmade lace is not as common as it once was, but you can still see women in the squares of Burano making lace by hand the old-fashioned way, and you can explore the island’s lace tradition at the Museo del Merletto, the Lace Museum.
Located on the sparsely populated island of Torcello in the Venetian Lagoon, the Church of Santa Maria Assunta (I Gesuiti) is one of the oldest structures in Venice. Originally constructed in the 7th century, what you see now is mostly renovations from the 11th and 12th centuries in the Byzantine style featuring an impressive array of mosaics.
Discover a 700-year history of artistic glassmaking at the Museo del Vetro (Museum of Glass), located on the island of Murano, just north of Venice. Master craftsmen still create exquisite pieces of glass art on the island today, and the museum, housed in a 15th-century palace, showcases the world’s largest collection of Venetian glass.
Palazzo Querini Stampalia is one of Venice’s few noble palaces open to the public. Here you can tour the 18th-century ducal apartments as well as view the extensive collection of fine art—including works by Giovanni Bellini, Pietro Longhi, and Tiepolo—at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia (Querini Stampalia Foundation).
A showstopper of a church, Santa Maria del Giglio (known locally as Santa Maria Zobenigo after the Venetian family who founded the original chapel) has one of the most ornate baroque facades in Venice. The church also houses works by Peter Paul Rubens and Tintoretto and boasts an ornate, cherub-covered baptistery.
A nod to Venice’s rich classical musical heritage, the small but fascinating Music Museum (Museo della Musica) is one of the city’s little-known gems. Housed in the beautifully restored church of Chiesa di San Maurizio, the museum explores the art of violin making and the preservation of rare musical instruments.
The Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista is a confraternity of the church of San Giovanni Evangelista. This was an association of lay people dedicated to Christian beliefs and linked with the church. It was originally established in the church of San Aponal in 1261, making it the oldest of the six Great Schools of the former Republic of Venice, but it 1307 it was moved. The Scuola became famous in 1369 when the confraternity's Guardian Grande received the Relic of the Cross as a present. Many artists depicted this relic in paintings at the time.
During the 19th century, the Austrian government threatened to take the Scuola's beautiful marble floor. The Venetians organized to raise enough money to buy the building, saving it from being picked apart. They donated it to the world of art, and today it is an art museum where visitors can view its Hall of Columns, Monumental Staircase, the atrium, a variety of marble, and the works of art that decorate the walls.
The Doge’s Palace is one of the most famous sights in Venice, but many don’t know that it is home to a secret attic prison known as the Piombi. A warren of corridors tucked under the palace roof, it once housed impenetrable prison cells and today is a fascinating hidden corner of Venice accessible only by private tour.
Venice may look like it hasn't changed in hundreds of years, but wander behind St. Mark's Square and you'll find evidence to the contrary – the Hard Rock Cafe Venice.
This is the smallest Hard Rock Cafe in Europe, and it's located inside an historic Venetian building. One side of the restaurant overlooks a canal and what is typically a large gathering of gondolas – it's near one of the main pick-up points for visitors who want a gondola ride.
It's the place to go in Venice if you're craving classic American food and the only place to get those signature Hard Rock Cafe souvenirs. There's also a “Rock Shop” at the Rialto Bridge, if you just want to go shopping without eating at the restaurant.
At the heart of Venice, the San Gallo Theater (Teatro San Gallo) sits in a 13th century courtyard just beside Piazza San Marco. The theater is home to the show Venezia, which tells the history of the city of Venice through comedy, music, and drama. The lighthearted show uses multimedia to share more than 1500 years of Venetian history and tradition. It is an entertaining way to learn about the city and its role in world culture. And with over 2,000 performances, it is now the longest running show in all of Italy.
Though the theater itself was constructed in the 19th century, many features and characteristics of the original palazzo remain. Its interior is classically designed in rich reds and golds. The theater has been updated with a modern stage and sound system, so that visitors may learn the history of Venice with the help of the latest technology.
More Things to Do in Venice
Venice is a patchwork of many islands in the Venetian Lagoon (Laguna Veneta), an enclosed bay on the Adriatic Sea that covers 212 square miles (549 square kilometers). After visiting the main Venetian islands, take a boat trip across the shallow lagoon to the outlying islands of Burano, Murano, and Torcello.
Venice is defined by water, but that’s no reason to jump into the canal. To find water you can jump into, head to the Aqualandia water park on the mainland spit of Lido di Jesolo. Designed to resemble a Caribbean island retreat, the palm-lined Aqualandia features adventurous water slides, sandy beaches for sport and relaxation, enormous pools, a bungee-jump tower and copious lounge chairs.
In addition to the slides and pools, unique experiences at Aqualandia include dance lessons, an ‘aquagym,’ the on-site nightclub and the numerous live shows. Truly a family friendly venue, Aqualandia offers something to amuse all age groups and certainly provides a break from Italy’s usual tourist trail.
A family-friendly water park located an hour outside Venice, Aquafollie has pools, waterslides, and games for kids, plus high-adrenaline attractions such as the Kamikaze slide for thrill seekers. Adults appreciate the umbrella-dotted relaxation area, and parents of the youngest guests can spend time at the nursery pool.
Inspired by the life and works of Antonio Vivaldi, the San Marco Chamber Orchestra (Virtuosi di Venezia) was formed in 2002 to pay tribute to this great Italian baroque musical composer. The chamber orchestra performs Vivaldi works at Ateneo of San Basso.
The modest Italian Gothic exterior of Venice’s Frari Church (Basilica dei Frari) belies the wealth of Italian Renaissance masterpieces inside. Titian’sAssumption of the Virgin (1518) altarpiece is especially notable, its innovative emotional figures and bright colors marking the start of Venice’s High Renaissance.
One of the busiest cruise ports in Europe, the Venice Cruise Port (Terminal Crociere Venezia) is a popular stop for many European cruise liners. Most ships dock at the Stazione Marittima near the Piazzale Roma transport hub in the Venetian Lagoon, with passengers opting to explore charming Venice on guided tours and convenient shore excursions.
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