By Candee Wilson
If you're planning a trip to Italy, you need to include Venice on your itinerary. It is a magical place considered to be one of the most romantic cities in the world. Venice can't be seen in a few hours. Do yourself a favor and allow a minimum of two days to explore and visit these must-see sites:
1. Basilica di San Marco (often referred to as St. Mark's Cathedral) - With architecture that blends the styles of East and West, it is one of the greatest buildings in Europe. The carvings, mosaics, bronzes and art are a feast for the eyes. Because there is so much to see, it is best to take a guided tour of the Basilica to make sure you see the most important features.
2. Palazzo Ducale (The Doge's Palace) - This was the official residence of each doge (ruler) of Venice. They lived in luxury befitting a king. Don't miss the torture chamber where suspects were hung by their wrists from a cord in the middle of the room. If the prisoner didn't die during interrogation, they were led away to the prison across the Bridge of Sighs, the last place they could see the outside world.
3. Accademia - Next to the Ufizzi Gallery in Florence and the Vatican Museum in Rome, Accademia contains one of the finest art collections in Italy. The collection spans five centuries and provides a complete spectrum of the Venetian school.
4. Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari - A vast Gothic church, the main attractions are two of the finest pieces of art in all of Italy. Titian's Assumption of the Virgin glows while it draws they eye heavenward. Bellini's Madonna and Child, from a distance, looks like a statue. Up close, it is one of Venice's most beautiful paintings.
5. Peggy Guggenheim Museum - Venice is hardly the place you would expect to find a museum of modern art, but the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is not to be missed. Picasso, Pollack, Chagall, Mondrian, Miro, Dali, Klee and others of the modern art movement are all represented here.
6. Rialto and the Rialto Bridge - Most people think only of the Rialto Bridge, not realizing that it leads to the Rialto, the heart of Venice's commercial district. Here you'll find the Erberia, fruit, vegetable and fish markets. It's a bustling place where locals meet up with tourists.
7. The Grand Canal - You can't walk the full length of Venice's main waterway, but a guided boat tour is well worth the approximately $50 per person.
8. Murano - The center of Venetian glassmaking, Murano is a cluster of small islands connected by bridges. The Vetrario Museum houses a collection of antique pieces from when Murano was the principal glass-producing in all of Europe.
9. Burano - The most colorful of the lagoon islands, Burano is a delight for the photographer. The island is densely populated, and its waterways are fringed with brightly painted houses. It is also where you'll find the traditional Venetian lace and linen stalls. Open air trattorias serve freshly-caught fish.
10.Carnevale (Carnival) - Carnival in Venice typically takes place in February. The actual dates change each year because this is a religious holiday Beginning 10 days before Lent and ending on Shrove Tuesday. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that takes planning well in advance, as much as one year. If you don't like crowds, this is not for you, but the masks, the costumes, the revelry is a feast for the senses.
Candee Lynn Wilson is a self-proclaimed Italophile who vacations in Italy at every opportunity. You'll discover more reasons to make Italy your first European destination at http://www.vacations-in-italy.com.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Candee_Wilson
Search Amazon.com for Vino Con Vista Travel Books