The Big Six of Venice

All of Central Venice is one colossal sight, giving you a great time wandering the alleyways, monuments, museums and religious buildings. The historic centre of the city is made up of 118 islands, tied together by some 400 bridges to form an amalagamation divided into six large administrative districts. Here are six of Venice’s foremost attractions guaranteed to amaze tourists:

The Palazzo Ducale

This pink-and-white marble Gothic-Renaiisance residence and government center of the doges stands between the Basilica di San Marco and St. Mark’s Basin. It is one of Italy’s greatest civic structures built in the 15th century by Alesandro Sforza. The most famous painting display here is Piero della Francesca’s masterpiece, The Flagellation. Another highlight is the remarkable portrait of Federico and his son Guidobaldo.

The Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

More popular as the “Frari,” this Venetian Gothic Church is few walks away from San Marco. Filled with great art, among of the best work that can be seen here is Titian’s Assumption over the main altar – a masterpiece of soaring beauty depicting the ascension of the Madonna on a cloud puffed up by floating cherubs. (Source: Frommer’s Portable Venice).

Piazza San Marco

Tucked in the heart of Venice is the Piazza San Marco where St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace can be found. St. Mark’s is adorned with booty from every corner of the city’s once far-flung mercantile empire. Spanning the facade is a loggia, surmounted by replicas of the four famous St. Mark’s horses, the Triumphal Quadriga. The interior is a stunning wonderland of marble, alabaster, porphyry, and pillars. To arrange a tour inside the Piazza San Marco, call 041-5225205.

The Scuola Grande di San Rocco

One of the Venice’s most important scuole, it has a lively facade by Scarpagnino,and inside it contains one of the womders of Venice or rather, 54 wonders all painted by Tintoretto. The artist took more than 20 years to complete his dramatic works in this scuola. For tours, you may call 041-523-4864.

The Accademia

Many writers say that the glory that was Venice lives on in the Accademia, the grand cathedral of Venetian art, ablaze with light and colour. The collection is arranged chronologically, from the former refectory of the Scuola to 14th-century altarpieces by Paolo and Lorenzo Veneziano.

Santi Giovanni e Paolo

It is the richest monumental public space in Venice dominated by the huge brick church from which it gets its name. The square is overlooked by the most beautiful facade of any of the scuole grandi and one of the finest equestrian monumnets in the world. It was built by the Dominican order from the 13th to the 15th century where 25 doges are buried. It is second in size to the Basilica di San Marco and also home to a number of artistic treasures.

A row of cafe-bars and a perpetual gaggle of ball-playing kids keep the atmosphere lively. To visit this church, you may call 041-523-7510 or 041-235-5913.

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