As many people will already know, Venice is introducing new restrictions which will stop large cruise vessels from sailing into the heart of the city. These new changes will come into full effect this November, which doesn’t leave much time to book Venice cruises to this wonderful and unique city.
Venice cruises are the ideal way to experience the city. Venice is an ancient and fascinating metropolis, where a labyrinth of narrow canals meanders through the city, connecting the various historically important landmarks and structures, and allowing tourists to navigate the city by gondola which provides the ultimate Venice cruises experience. Hundreds of years of history have forged the Venetian landscape, creating one of the most spectacular cities in the world. This blog will discuss some of the city’s most famous and significant landmark that every tourist should attempt to see on Venice cruises across the Mediterranean.
Piazza San Marco
Piazza San Marco, known as St Mark’s Square in English, is the tremendous centrepiece of Venice. This imposing square is considered to be the religious, political and social heart of the city, once described as the ‘drawing room of Europe’. St Mark’s Square is home to a number of dramatic landmarks, including St Mark’s Basilica and the Clock Tower and for this reason it is a sightseeing hotspot and can get very busy during tourist seasons.
St Mark’s Basilica
Situated on St Mark’s Square, St Mark’s Basilica is one of most iconic sightseeing opportunities on Venice cruises. The original church was constructed around the 10th century AD but only became the city’s cathedral centuries later in 1807. St Mark’s is treasured as a beautiful example of Italo-Byzantine architecture and is connected to the impressive Doge’s Palace. The Basilica is currently open to public, but guests should be aware that there are strict dress codes in place inside, due to the sacred nature of the building.
One of Venice’s largest and most famous landmarks is the stunning Doge’s Palace, which boasts distinctive Venetian Gothic style architecture and is connected to St Mark’s Basilica. Centuries ago, the palace was the home of the Doge of Venice, the supreme ruler of the city, but in 1923 was opened as a museum. It is open to the public and attracts over a million visitors every year. The palace is made up of several impressive buildings and different sections, including a 16th century courtyard, the Museo dell’Opera, the Institutional Chambers and an old prison. The famous Bridge of Sighs connects the Doge’s Palace to the neighbouring prison building.
The Bridge of Sighs
The world-famous Bridge of Sighs is a bridge that links the interrogation rooms of the Doge’s Palace to the New Prison, over the Rio di Palazzo canal. The overpass was designed by Antoni Contino and constructed in 1602 from limestone, featuring windows with stone bars. The bridge was given its name by Lord Byron during the 19th century. He gave it this name as it was used to transport convicts to their cells and Lord Byron believed that prisoners would let out a sigh as they got their very last view of the beauty of Venice before being carted off to prison. As romantic as this tale may be, it is probably untrue, as convicts would not have been able to see through the stone bar windows very well – if at all – when being transported across.
Venice’s Grand Canal is the city’s main waterway, often buzzing with water buses and gondolas transporting both tourists and locals around the area. One end of the Grand Canal leads to a lagoon close to the Santa Lucia station and the other comes out at St Mark’s Basin, stretching over 3800 metres in length with an average depth of around 5 metres. More than 170 different buildings line the edges of this majestic waterway, most of which were constructed between the 13th and 18th century. This makes the Venice’s Grand Canal one of the best places from which to observe the city’s rich culture and heritage whilst on Venice cruises.