sights / Architecture

Campanile information

Venice , Italy
Piazza San Marco
Getting there
Ferry: San Marco
More information
admission €8
Opening hours
9am-9pm Jul-Sep, to 7pm Apr-Jun & Oct, 9.30am-3.45pm Nov-Mar
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The basilica’s 99m-tall tower has been rebuilt twice since its initial construction in AD 888, and Galileo Galilei found it handy for testing his telescope in 1609. Critics called Bartolomeo Bon’s 16th-century tower redesign ungainly, but when this version suddenly collapsed in 1902, Venetians rebuilt the tower as it was, brick by brick.

Visitors head to the tower top for 360-degree lagoon views and close encounters with the Marangona, the booming bronze bell that could be heard in the Arsenale shipyards (bring earplugs on the hour). Sansovino's classical marble loggia at the base of the Campanile is decidedly secular, showcasing bronzes of pagan dieties Minerva, Apollo and Mercury, plus Peace.