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All the places of interest not to be missed in a one-day visit between Rialto and Piazza San Marco
As everyone knows, the monuments and places of interest in Venice are almost infinite and months would not be enough to visit them all. The question of what to see in Venice in one day arises spontaneously. In Venice in just 24 hours it is possible to visit some of the most emblematic places of its history, real must see. Cross the Rialto Bridge, the oldest in Venice, and visit its historic market, which is still active today. Go up to the panoramic terrace of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, walk through the arcades of Piazza San Marco up to the polychrome marbles of the Basilica of San Marco. This itinerary to visit Venice in one day will take you to the five places that have made the beauty of Venice famous over the centuries.
The five places of interest you absolutely must see in Venice in one day
The Rialto bridge
The Rialto Bridge is the oldest and most famous bridge to cross the Grand Canal
The Rialto bridge rises in the center of Venice and connects the banks of the San Polo district to those of San Marco. It takes its name from rivus altus (deep canal), the ancient name of the Grand Canal, which divided the two original nuclei of the city. The current bridge, inaugurated in 1591, was built to replace a wooden one whose maintenance was very expensive.
Many illustrious architects proposed their designs for the new bridge, including Jacopo Sansovino and Andrea Canova. However, it was Antonio Da Ponte’s project that won the competition as the only one to have a single large arch of 28 meters, useful for the passage of larger boats. On the ramps remained the double row of shops, already present on the wooden bridge, whose rents financed the maintenance of the bridge itself.
A curiosity: the side steps are lower than those in the center to facilitate the passage of goods that in Venice, today as then, travel on small carts. The Rialto bridge, made of resistant Istrian stone, rests on twelve thousand elm wood poles, which have ensured its stability for more than four centuries.
The Rialto Bridge can be reached in just over twenty minutes on foot from Piazzale Roma or the “Santa Lucia” train station. If you prefer to use the ferry, just choose lines 1 or 2 towards San Marco with the Rialto stop.
The historic market active since the 12th century in the heart of Venice
At the foot of the Rialto Bridge, on the shore of San Polo, we find the homonymous Market, the beating heart of the fish, fruit and vegetable trade in Venice for almost 900 years. In the market area there is in fact the Palazzo della Pescheria, a neo-Gothic structure built in 1907 and still used today for the sale of fresh fish. The capitals of the columns are decorated with fish, crabs, lobsters and fishing boats with baskets full of fresh fish. The bronze statue depicting St. Peter, patron saint of fishermen, observes traders and patrons from the outside corner of the loggia from above. Inside, however, you can still admire an ancient marble plaque with the minimum sizes for the sale of all types of fish. Once the life of the Venetians depended on the fauna of the lagoon, it was therefore essential to make the supply of fish sustainable for the good of the city. Near the market, numerous bàcari have been opened, the places between bars and taverns typical of Venice, where you can have an aperitif with a view of the market and the Grand Canal. The market is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 7.30 to 12.00, also on Saturdays.
The Fondaco dei Tedeschi and its terrace
To admire Venice from an unique perspective from the terrace of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi
The Fondaco dei Tedeschi, Fontego in Venetian, owes its name to the ancient function of the building as a warehouse for goods from Germany. The wealthy merchants of Nuremberg, Judenburg and Augsburg stored their goods here that arrived by sea to the city center. The current palace, built between 1505 and 1508, replaces the original Fontego, which was destroyed in a fire in 1505. At the time of the reconstruction, the two greatest Venetian painters, Giorgione and Tiziano, were asked to decorate the facade of the Fondaco with frescoes. The splendid frescoes were painted, but the typical humidity of the lagoon did not allow them to be preserved until today. In recent times the building was renovated by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas for the luxury group DFS, and now houses a luxury shopping center and a cultural center, under the name of T Fondaco. The panoramic roof terrace, accessible to all free of charge upon reservation at the following link, offers one of the most suggestive views of Venice. From this place, in fact, it is possible to admire the Rialto Bridge and the Grand Canal with its palaces, bell towers and churches, up to the domes of San Marco. On particularly clear days it will be possible to see, beyond the rooftops, the first peaks of the Dolomites, very close to the lagoon.
Moving from the Rialto area we can go into the heart of Venice, that is St. Mark’s Square and its Basilica, real must see for a visit to Venice in one day.
Piazza San Marco
What to see in Piazza San Marco: the only square in Venice
In front of the Basilica of San Marco extends 170 meters in length, Piazza San Marco, one of the most beautiful and best preserved squares in Europe. The square is surrounded on three sides by the procuratie, the ancient residences of the Procurators, senior officials of the Republic of Venice. The procuratie are divided between Old (north), new (south) and brand new, namely the wing built by Napoleon to close the square (west). Today the new and brand new procuratie houses the rooms of the Correr Museum of Neoclassical and Canovian art and access to the Marciana Library, an architectural masterpiece of the sixteenth century by Jacopo Sansovino. The majestic marble facade of the library can be admired in its beauty from the square, the opening onto the sea in front of the Doge’s Palace. If you want to take advantage of your day in Venice, you can buy the “square ticket”. The access ticket will allow you to visit the Doge’s Palace but also the Correr Museum, the Marciana Library and the National Archaeological Museum. Tickets can be purchased through the MyPass Venezia App, which can be downloaded for free from the Apple Store and Play Store. Under the arcades there is the Florian café, the oldest in the world, founded in 1720 by Floriano Francesconi. Among the Florian’s famous clients, one cannot fail to mention Casanova, who courted Venetian ladies among his tables, and writers such as Goethe, Foscolo, D’Annunzio and Hemingway. The Florian’s interiors are perfectly preserved: just enter to travel in time while sipping a good coffee or a delicious chocolate. On the Skyline Webcams you can see Piazza San Marco in real time thanks to a webcam positioned on the roof of the Hotel Concordia.
San Marco Basilica
The basilica of San Marco and its bell tower are the symbol of Venice par excellence
The most famous monument in Venice is the Basilica of San Marco, today the cathedral and seat of its Patriarch. The imposing building, built on sandy ground, extends in width so as to distribute its weight over a greater area, as often happens in Venice. The complex and layered decoration of the facade is the result of centuries of work and additions and dates back to the 13th century. Following trade and conquests, the Venetians brought a real treasure from the East to San Marco to add wealth and splendor to their basilica. These include the magnificent bronze horses from Constantinople that dominated the facade, now preserved in the basilica museum and replaced by copies. The interior of the basilica, in the shape of a Latin cross x, is richly decorated with mosaics with a gold background according to the Byzantine tradition, present in Venice throughout the Middle Ages. In front of the Basilica is the bell tower of San Marco, one of the highest in Italy with its 98 meters in height. After various damages over the centuries, the bell tower collapsed in 1902 following works for the construction of an elevator. In ten years it was rebuilt “as it was, where it was” in Piazza San Marco: it is in fact “the master of the house”, as the Venetians call him.
The MyPass Venice App can help you organize your visit to Venice in one day.
Venice takes weeks to visit every corner, heritage, monuments, to get lost in its streets, its fields, bridges and canals. For this reason, the MyPass Venice App can help you manage your time and your day in Venice. Thanks to the all-in-one system, it is possible to directly purchase tickets for local public transport (such as water buses, people mover to and from Tronchetto or transfers to and from the airport), access to the Piazzale Roma car park, best museums, parking and much more.