Top things to do

Top Choice Cathedral in San Marco

Basilica di San Marco

With a profusion of domes and over 8000 sq metres of luminous mosaics, Venice's cathedral is an unforgettable sight. It was founded in the 9th century to house the corpse of St Mark after wily Venetian merchants smu…
Top Choice Museum in San Marco

Palazzo Ducale

Holding pride of place on the waterfront, this pretty Gothic confection is an unlikely setting for the political and administrative seat of a great republic, but an exquisitely Venetian one. Beyond its dainty colonn…
Top Choice Opera in San Marco

La Fenice

One of Italy's top opera houses, La Fenice stages a rich roster of opera, ballet and classical music. The cheapest seats are in the boxes at the top, nearest the stage. The view is extremely restricted, but you will…
Top Choice Museum in San Marco

Museo Correr

Napoleon pulled down an ancient church to build his royal digs over Piazza San Marco and then filled them with the riches of the doges while taking some of Venice's finest heirlooms to France as trophies. When Austr…
Top Choice Theatre in San Marco

La Fenice

Once its dominion over the high seas ended, Venice discovered the power of the high Cs, opening La Fenice in 1792. Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini staged operas here, Verdi premiered Rigoletto and La Traviata, and in…
Top Choice Cafe in San Marco

Caffè Florian

The oldest still-operating cafe in Europe and one of the first to welcome women, Florian maintains rituals (if not prices) established in 1720: besuited waiters serve cappuccino on silver trays, lovers canoodle on p…
Top Choice Cocktail Bar in San Marco

Bar Longhi

The Gritti's beautiful Bar Longhi may be hellishly expensive, but if you consider the room – with its Fortuny fabrics, intarsia marble bar, 18th-century mirrors and million-dollar Piero Longhi paintings – its signat…
Top Choice Modern Italian in San Marco

Ristorante Quadri

When it comes to Venetian glamour, nothing beats this historic Michelin-starred restaurant overlooking Piazza San Marco. A small swarm of servers greets you as you're shown to your table in a room decked out with si…
Top Choice Italian in San Marco

Ai Mercanti

With its pumpkin-coloured walls, gleaming golden fixtures and jet-black tables and chairs, Ai Mercanti effortlessly conjures up a romantic mood. No wonder dates whisper over glasses of wine from the vast selection b…
Top Choice Venetian in San Marco

Bistrot de Venise

Indulge in some culinary time travel at this fine-dining bistro where they've revived the recipes of Renaissance chef Bartolomeo Scappi. Dine like a doge in the red-and-gilt dining room on braised duck with wild app…