Top 5 Must Do's in Venice

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Venice lives up to its reputation as one of the most romantic and enchanting cities in all of Europe. Blessed with world famous canals, stunning architecture and a rich history, it is a definite must see while touring Italy. Here are five attractions you should visit during your stay in Venice.

1. The Rialto Bridge - Although this particular spot on the Grand Canal spanned multiple bridges over the past 800 years, the current Rialto Bridge in place dates all the way back to 1591. Made of white stone and outfitted with a large portico in the center, this breathtaking bit of craftsmanship has become an iconic image in Venice. Adding to its charm is the row of delightful shops lining both entry ramps.

2. Doge's Palace - As the one time home to the Doge of Venice, the aptly titled Doge's Palace remains a popular tourist attraction. This impressive edifice merges a seamless mixture of neo-classical and gothic architecture. Secure a guided tour so that you may better explore the Golden Staircase, the salons, as well as the 16th century prisons and the famed Bridge of Sighs.

3. St. Mark's Square, St. Mark's Basilica and St. Mark's Campanile - On the grounds of the glorious St. Mark's Square you will find St. Mark's Basilica and St. Mark's Campanile. St. Mark's Square has often been named Italy's most magnificent public urban space and piazza. The plaza sits lined with charming cafes, historic buildings and a swarm of pigeons you have to see to believe. Meanwhile the ornate basilica boasts marble columns, mosaic ceilings and bronze statues. Comprised of lovely red brick, St. Mark's Campanile sits unattached from the basilica. Climb to the top of this famous Venetian bell tower for remarkable views of the city.

4. Jewish Ghetto of Venice - Although Venice's Jewish ghetto is usually not part of many tourists’ itineraries, it certainly should be. Amble your way through the winding streets of this fascinating district filled with a host of Jewish shops, restaurants and bakeries. The ghetto is best explored any day except Saturday when many of the businesses are closed due to worship.

5. A Gondola Ride - So what if it seems like a tourist trap? A gondola ride across Venice's beloved canals is an essential experience while in town. Although the water buses are the cheapest way to traverse the canals, they lack the intimacy and grace of the gondolas. A romantic gondola ride remains the ideal way to end your Italian vacation.

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