Find Things To Do In Venice, Italy
Shopping, Dining And Sightseeing At Your Fingertips
Whether you're interested in shopping, dining, or nightlife, all are central to Aqua Palace Hotel. Located in the heart of Venice’s historic center in the Castello quarter, between St. Mark's Square and the Rialto Bridge with its picturesque market, our 4-star boutique hotel offers easy access to Venice, Italy attractions like the Venice Theater, the museums of Ca’ Rezzonico and Cà Pesaro, the exhibition spaces of Palazzo Grassi, the romantic bank of the Zattere, the Lido for the prestigious International Film Festival, and the Gardens for the interesting Biennale. The Castello quarter is a place wrapped in the ambience of the past, with quiet corners and suggestive streets with small bacari inns to try the classic Venetian cicheti with a good glass of wine. The island of San Pietro di Castello, the Arsenale shipyards, the Gardens, Via Garibaldi and the Greci Church complete the portrait of one of Venice's most authentic quarters. A few minutes away from the Aqua Palace Hotel, with a gorgeous view of the north side of the Lagoon, the vaporettos transport visitors from the Fondamenta Nuove to the glass shops of Murano, the colorful houses of Burano - a Venice attraction famous for its laces - and Torcello, for an extraordinary and unforgettable tour of the Lagoon Islands. The Lido Islands are three miles northeast. Within two miles are San Servolo, Certosa, and Giorgio Islands. The hotel is within a mile of the Telecom Future Centre and Biennale Exhibition Area and 12 miles from the Porto Marghera Industrial Area. Venice’s Marco Polo Airport is six miles away. The hotel is within two miles of Piazzale Roma Car Terminal, Venice Santa Lucia Train Station, Venice Port and Tronchetto Parking Terminal. What are you waiting for? Take a look at our luxurious guest rooms and start planning a Venice, Italy vacation!
L.E. Hotels Top Ten Things to do in Venice, Italy
Saint Mark's Basilica
St. Mark's Basilica majestically symbolizes the lagoon and enshrines the city's history. Possession of the saint's relics enabled the Republic to establish its authority, from 828 onward, over Grado and Aquileia. In 1063, under Doge Domenico Contarini, it was decided to rebuild the church on the same Greek cross plan as the previous one. In 1096 it was finished, but the decorative work continued until the beginning of the 19th century. The model had been furnished by the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople (536-46) with five domes covering the crossing and each of the arms, supported by large piers linked by arches. The light was thus directed towards the center of the basilica, leaving the side aisles in comparative shadow.
Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale di Venezia) is a gothic palace in Venice. The palace was the residence of the Doge of Venice. Its two most visible façades look towards the Venetian Lagoon and St Mark's Square. The current palace was largely constructed from 1309 to 1324. Giovanni and Bartolomeo Bon created the Porta della Carta in 1442, a monumental late gothic gate which leads to a central courtyard. The palace was badly damaged by fire in 1574 and rebuilt to respect the original Gothic style, despite the submission of a neo-classical alternative design by Palladio. There are some classical features — for example, since the 16th century, the palace has been linked to the prison by the Bridge of Sighs. In addition to being the ducal residence, the palace housed political institutions of the Republic of Venice until the Napoleonic occupation of the city. Venice was ruled by an aristocratic elite, but there was a facility for citizens to submit written complaints at what was known as the Bussola Chamber.
The monumental estate of the Accademia Galleries is located in the prestigious center of the Scuola Grande of Santa Maria della Carità, one of the most ancient lay fraternal orders of the city. The Church of Santa Maria and the monastery of the Canonici Lateranensi, built by Andrea Palladio, are integral parts of the Accademia. A very rich collection of Venetian, Byzantine and Gothic 14th century paintings, works from artists of the Renaissance, Bellini, Carpaccio, Giorgione, Veronese, Tintoretto and Tiziano as well as later artists Gianbattista Tiepolo, Vedutisti, Canaletto, Guardi, Bellotto and Longhi are exhibited. These artists ultimately influenced the history of European painting.
The Venetian Arsenal
The Venetian Arsenal (Arsenale di Venezia) was consisted of state owned shipyards, armories and a naval depot of munitions and storage facilities clustered together in Venice. It was the largest industrial complex in Europe prior to the Industrial Revolution, spanning an area of about 110 acres. In 1104 when Venice was a republic, a gated community of three thousand laborers and shipbuilders regularly worked in a number of shipyards within the Arsenal, building ships that sailed from the city's port. With high walls shielding the Arsenal from public view, prefabricated ship parts would then be assembled as a ship in a day. Through its ship building activities, the Arsenal produced Venice's maritime trading vessels, which generated much of the city's economic wealth and power, lasting until the fall of the republic to Napoleon in 1797. Significant parts of the Arsenal were destroyed under Napoleonic rule, and later rebuilt to enable the Arsenal's present use as a naval base. It is located in the Castello district of Venice where it remains state owned to this day. It is also used as a research center, an exhibition venue during the Venice Biennale and is home to a historic boat preservation center.
Burano is an island in the Venetian Lagoon and should more correctly be called an archipelago of islands. It lies near Torcello at the northern end of the Lagoon, and is known for its lacework. Burano is located 7 kilometers from Venice, a short 40 minute trip by Venetian motorboats (vaporetti). The island is linked to Mazzorbo by a bridge. The current population of Burano is about 4,000. Burano is also known for its small, brightly painted houses, popular with artists. Other attractions include the Church of San Martino with a campanile, the Oratorio di Santa Barbara and the Museum and School of Lacemaking. The colors of the houses follow a specific system originating from the golden age of its development. If homeowners wish to paint their houses, they must send a request to the government, who will respond by making notice of the certain colors permitted for that lot. This practice has resulted in the myriad of warm, pastel colors that characterize the island today.
Murano is a series of islands linked by bridges in the Venetian Lagoon. It lies about a mile north of Venice and measures about a mile across with a population of just over 5,000. It is famous for its glass making, particularly lampworking. Murano’s reputation as a center for glassmaking was born when the Venetian Republic, fearing fire and destruction to the city’s mostly wood buildings, ordered glassmakers to move their foundries to Murano in 1291. Murano glass is still interwoven with Venetian glass. Murano's glassmakers were soon the island’s most prominent citizens. Murano’s glassmakers held a monopoly on quality glassmaking for centuries, developing or refining many technologies including crystalline glass, enameled glass (smalto), glass with threads of gold (aventurine), multicolored glass (millefiori), milk glass (lattimo), and imitation gemstones made of glass. Today, the artisans of Murano are still employing these centuries-old techniques. Murano is home to the Glass Museum in the Palazzo Giustinian, which details the history of glassmaking.
Torcello is a quiet and sparsely populated island at the northern end of the Venetian Lagoon. It once held the largest population of the Republic of Venice. After the downfall of the Roman Empire, Torcello was one of the first lagoon islands to be successively populated by the Veneti who fled the mainland to take shelter from the recurring barbarian invasions. Torcello benefitted from and maintained close cultural and trading ties with Constantinople, after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. It rapidly grew in importance as a political and trading center and in the 10th century, it had a population of at least 10,000 people and was much more powerful than Venice. Thanks to the lagoon’s salt marshes, the salines became Torcello’s economic backbone and its harbor developed quickly into an important re-export market in the profitable east-west-trade, which was largely controlled by Byzantium during that period. Unfortunately, the lagoon around the island of Torcello gradually became a swamp from the 12th century onward and Torcello’s heyday came to an end. Navigation was impossible and the growing swamps seriously aggravated the malaria situation. The population slowly abandoned the worthless island and left for Murano, Burano or Venice. It now has a population of around 20 people.
St Mark's Campanile (Campanile di San Marco in Italian)
St Mark's Campanile (Campanile di San Marco) is the bell tower of St Mark's Basilica in Venice, located in the piazza of the same name. It is one of the most recognizable symbols of the city. The tower is 323 feet tall and stands alone in a corner of St Mark's Square, near the front of the Basilica. It has a simple form with an arched belfry, housing five bells. The belfry is topped by a cube, alternate faces of which show walking lions and the female representation of Venice (la Giustizia: Justice). The tower is capped by a pyramidal spire, at the top of which sits a golden weathervane in the form of the archangel Gabriel. The campanile reached its present form in 1514. As it stands today, however, the tower is a reconstruction, completed in 1912 after its collapse in 1902.
Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana
The Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana (National Library of St Mark's) is a library and Renaissance building in Venice and is one of the earliest surviving public manuscript depositories in the country, holding one of the greatest classical text collections in the world. The library is named after St. Mark, the patron saint of Venice. The building was constructed from 1537 to 1553, with work on frescoes and other decorations continuing until 1560. The designer, Sansovino, died in 1570, but in 1588, Vincenzo Scamozzi undertook the construction of the additional five bays following Sansovino's design. Collections in the library include the manuscript collection assembled by Byzantine humanist, scholar, patron and collector, Cardinal Bessarion, who made a gift of his collection in 1468 of 750 codices in Latin and Greek, to which he added another 250 manuscripts and printed books constituting the first "public" library open to scholars in Venice. Like the British Library or the Library of Congress at later times, the Biblioteca Marciana profited from a law of 1603 that required that a copy be deposited in the Marciana of all books printed in Venice. The Marciana was enriched by the transfer in the late 18th century of the collections accumulated in several monasteries, such as SS Giovanni e Paolo in Venice and S. Giovanni di Verdara in Padua.