Top ChoiceCathedral in San Marco

Basilica di San Marco

Basilica di San Marco

With a profusion of domes and more than 8000 sq metres of luminous mosaics, Venice's cathedral is unforgettable. It was founded in the 9th century to house the corpse of St Mark after wily Venetian merchants...

Top ChoiceMuseum in San Marco

Palazzo Ducale

Palazzo Ducale

Holding pride of place on the waterfront, this pretty Gothic confection may be an unlikely setting for the political and administrative seat of a great republic, but it's an exquisitely Venetian one. Beyond its...

Top ChoiceArt in Castello

La Biennale di Venezia

La Biennale di Venezia

Europe’s premier arts showcase since 1907 is something of a misnomer: the Biennale is now actually held every year, but the spotlight alternates between art (odd-numbered years) and architecture (even-numbered...

Top ChoiceOpera in San Marco

Teatro La Fenice

One of Italy's top opera houses, La Fenice stages a rich roster of opera, ballet and classical music. The main opera season runs from January to July and September to October. The cheapest seats (€25) are in the...

Top ChoiceGallery in Dorsoduro

Gallerie dell'Accademia

Gallerie dell'Accademia

Venice's historic gallery traces the development of Venetian art from the 14th to 19th centuries, with works by all of the city's artistic superstars. The complex housing the collection maintained its serene...

Top ChoiceJewish Site in Cannaregio

The Ghetto

The Ghetto

In medieval times this part of Cannaregio housed a getto (foundry), but it was as the designated Jewish quarter from the 16th to 19th centuries that the word acquired a whole new meaning. In accordance with the...

Top ChoiceBasilica in Dorsoduro

Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

Baldassare Longhena's magnificent basilica is prominently positioned near the entrance to the Grand Canal, its white stones, exuberant statuary and high domes gleaming spectacularly under the sun. The church...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Dorsoduro

Ca' Rezzonico

Baroque dreams come true at this Baldassare Longhena–designed Grand Canal palazzo (mansion), where a marble staircase leads to a vast gilded ballroom and sumptuous salons filled with period furniture, paintings,...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Dorsoduro

Peggy Guggenheim Collection

After losing her father on the Titanic, heiress Peggy Guggenheim became one of the great collectors of the 20th century. Her palatial canalside home, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, showcases her stockpile of...

Top ChoiceMuseum in San Marco

Museo Correr

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...

Top ChoiceHistoric Building in San Polo & Santa Croce

Scuola Grande di San Rocco

Scuola Grande di San Rocco

Everyone wanted the commission to paint this building dedicated to St Roch, patron saint of the plague-stricken, so Tintoretto cheated: instead of producing sketches like rival Veronese, he gifted a splendid...

Top ChoiceChurch in Murano, Burano & the Northern Islands

Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta

Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta

Life choices are presented in no uncertain terms in the dazzling mosaics of the Assumption Basilica. Look ahead to a golden afterlife amid saints and a beatific Madonna and Child, or turn your back on them and...

Top ChoiceBasilica in Castello

Zanipolo

Commenced in 1333 but not finished until the 1430s, this vast church is similar in style and scope to the Franciscan Frari in San Polo, which was being raised at the same time. Both oversized structures feature...

Top ChoiceTheatre in San Marco

La Fenice

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...

Top ChoiceChurch in Cannaregio

Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Miracoli

This magnificent church was built between 1481 and 1489 to house Nicolò di Pietro's Madonna icon after the painting began to miraculously weep in its outdoor shrine. Aided by public fundraising, Pietro and Tullio...

Top ChoiceBasilica in San Polo & Santa Croce

I Frari

I Frari

A soaring Gothic church, the Friary's assets include marquetry choir stalls, Canova's pyramid mausoleum, Bellini's achingly sweet Madonna with Child triptych in the sacristy, and Longhena's creepy Doge Pesaro...

Top ChoiceChurch in Cannaregio

Chiesa della Madonna dell’Orto

This elegantly spare 1365 brick Gothic church remains one of Venice's best-kept secrets. It was the parish church of Venetian Renaissance painter Tintoretto (1518–94), who is buried in the chapel to the right of...

Top ChoiceMarket in San Polo & Santa Croce

Rialto Market

Rialto Market

Venice’s main market has been whetting appetites for seven centuries, with fruit and vegetable stands abutting the rather more pungent Pescaria. To see it at its best, arrive in the morning along with the...

Top ChoiceChurch in Murano, Burano & the Northern Islands

Basilica dei SS Maria e Donato

Fire-breathing is the unifying theme of Murano’s medieval church, with its astounding 12th-century gilded-glass apse mosaic of the Madonna made in Murano’s fornaci (furnaces) and the bones of a dragon hanging...

Top ChoiceIsland in Murano, Burano & the Northern Islands

Burano

Burano, with its cheery pastel-coloured houses, is renowned for its handmade lace, which once graced the decolletage and ruffs of European aristocracy. These days, with a couple of notable exceptions, much of the...