Venice is one of Italy's must-see cities and its attractions are one-of-a-kind. Here are some of the top things to do and see that you shouldn't miss on a visit to Venice. See also Free Things to do in Venice.
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Venice's largest piazza, Saint Mark's Square, is the city's main meeting place. Lined with cafes, shops, and a number of museums, here is the place to get a glimpse of the Venice's glorious architecture and the sea.
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During the 1,000-year reign of the Republic of Venice, its headquarters – and the residence of its leader, the Doge - were at the Doge's Palace, now a museum. Get a glimpse of the rooms occupied by Venice's executive, legislative, and judicial branches, as well as go on the Secret Itineraries Tour, which includes access to torture chambers, prisons, and the Bridge of Sighs.
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Basilica San Marco
This superb example of Byzantine architecture next to the Doge's Palace is dedicated to Venice's patron and is Venice's main basilica. Treasures inside Saint Mark's Basilica include glistening Byzantine mosaics and paintings by leading Venetian artists.
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The leading place to see Venetian art from the 14th to 18th centuries is the Galleria dell'Accademia. Its collection of works by Paolo Veneziano, Tiepolo, and Titian make it one of the top museums in Venice.
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Venice's best-known festival is Carnevale – Carnival – which sees several weeks of celebrations in which Venetians dress in period dress, masks, and other finery. The festival, which typically occurs in February, is always packed with entertainment, food, and thousands of costumed revelers.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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The Biennale, an arts, film, and dance festival occurring every year in odd-numbered years since 1895 is synonymous with Venice. There is also a Biennale of Architecture and Theatre, which occurs every other year in even-numbered years. Thus, each year in Venice holds an opportunity to mingle with the brightest stars in the world of the contemporary arts.
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A great way to experience the unique culture and history of Venice is by taking a guided tour or class. Choose one of these tours, ranging from food to sights, or activities such as mask-making, cooking, or rowing on your visit to Venice.