The heart of Venice is the beautiful Piazza San Marco, the stylish living room of Europe, surrounded by works of unquestionable value: the imposing Campanile and Basilica with its five portals and decorations of marble and mosaics that anticipate the glitz and the richness of the interior; The Doge's Palace , the symbol of the golden days of the Venetian Republic; the Moorish Tower, better known as the Clock Tower, the engineering masterpiece that has been marking the time for centuries in Venice; the Napoleonic area, where the Correr Museum finds its own place.
Several historic cafes enrich the famous square. Do not miss the wonderful Caffè Florian opened in 1720, it is the oldest cafe in Italy. The interiors are elegant, with their paintings and mirrors ... Among the distinguished guests who have sat at its tables , there are also Giacomo Casanova , Lord Byron, Ugo Foscolo, Gabriele d' Annunzio.
Not far from Piazza San Marco, it is located in Campo Santo Stefano , with the homonymous church. The "fields" of Venice are these historic squares often embellished in the center with fine monuments and dominated by the imposing and beautiful religious buildings, from which they take their name. The streets , however, here are called calli ( the singular is " calle") run between two continuous rows of buildings. The Venetians say that the best way to learn about their wonderful city is to take a street and walk always looking up in the sky, looking at everything . With no maps, no guide and without fear of getting lost because, by magic , you will always end up in ... Piazza San Marco !
From Piazza San Marco, crossing the famous Ponte de' Sospiri, where you can enjoy a wonderful view over the lagoon, you arrive in the Castello district, with its architectural and artistic masterpieces , where there are the churches of Santa Maria dei Miracoli, San Zaccaria and the church of San Giovanni in Bragora, considered by many one of the most beautiful in the city. While you keep walking , do not skip a visit to the Arsenale, for centuries the largest in the world, built in the 12th century and then expanded thanks to the great political and commercial development of Venice, now the headquarters of the Biennale of Art and Architecture. The Venice International Film Festival is held , however, in the historic Palazzo del Cinema on the Lido.
From Piazza San Marco is visible the island of San Giorgio Maggiore and the tall bell tower that rises from the monumental complex, a masterpiece of great architects, including the famous architect Andrea Palladio. A true open-air museum that can be seen sailing through the Grand Canal, the main "road" of the city, which starts at Punta della Dogana , the old port of Venice , with its characteristic triangular shape. There are four bridges that cross the canal: the Accademia bridge, the Rialto Bridge (the oldest and the most famous) , the Scalzi Bridge and the bridge of the Constitution. Punta della Dogana, the Venice area where the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal apart, is home to some buildings, including the complex of the Dogana da Mar , which together with the Palazzo Grassi (both headquarters of François Pinault Foundation) are centers of excellence for contemporary art in Italy and in the world .
Do not miss it the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, also, at the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, a prestigious collection of 20th century art pieces. Other important astonishing museums: the Gallerie dell'Accademia, hosted by the majestic complex of the Great School of Charity, which also includes the homonymous church and monastery , and Ca ' Rezzonico, one of the most beautiful Renaissance palaces, headquarters of the Museum of the art pieces in the 18th Century in Venice. In the western part of the city, there are, also, the districts of Cannaregio, Castello, Dorsoduro, San Marco, San Polo and Santa Croce, with some of the most famous squares of Venice, 'framed' by beautiful religious buildings and palaces.
Around Venice, a string of islands: Burano, famous for its production of laces; Murano, for its glass; Pellestrina, characterized by sand dunes and tall reeds; Torcello, one of the oldest human settlements in the area.
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