Elegant, inimitable, exciting and romantic, precious: this is Venice, the gem on any tour of Italy where churches, palazzi, ancient bridges, monuments and piazzas confirm its artistic and cultural vitality. All has testified to and continues to testify to the long history of the city.
Venice – LagoonVenice’s beating heart is Piazza San Marco, Europe’s most elegant living room, which is surrounded by works of indisputable mastery and prestige: the imposing Campanile Bell Tower, and the Basilica with its five portals and decorations in marble and mosaics hinting at the pomp and extravagance of the interior; the Palazzo Ducale, symbol of the various golden temples of La Serenissima (“The Most Serene Republic of Venice”)); the Moors’ Tower, famously known as the Clock Tower, given the highly-evolved engineering that for centuries has marked the time for Venice; and the Ala Napoleonica housing the Museo Correr.
Several historic cafes yield onto the piazza. Not to be overlooked is the marvelous Caffè Florian: opened in 1720, it is the oldest cafe in Italy. The elegant interiors are remarkable for their use of stucco, their paintings and mirrors. And among the illustrious clientele that sat at Florian’s tables throughout the centuries, Giacomo Casanova, Lord Byron, Ugo Foscolo and Gabriele d’Annunzio must be mentioned.
Not far from Piazza San Marco lies Campo Santo Stefano and the same-named church.