St Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace

door venezia europe travel hotel entryway columns basilica
venezia europe travel hotel entryway columns basilica light pink marble doge palace
venezia europe travel hotel entryway columns basilica light pink marble church doge palace
venezia europe travel hotel entryway columns basilica light pink marble doge palace
venezia europe travel hotel entryway columns basilica light pink marble doge palace
venezia europe travel hotel entryway columns basilica light pink marble doge palace
venezia europe travel hotel entryway columns basilica light pink marble doge palace
venezia europe travel hotel entryway columns basilica light pink marble church basilica
venezia europe travel hotel entryway columns basilica light pink marble doge palace basilica
venezia europe travel hotel entryway columns basilica light pink marble doge palace
venezia europe travel hotel entryway columns basilica light pink marble doge palace
venezia europe travel hotel entryway columns basilica light pink marble doge palace
venezia europe travel oar gondola canal lagoon house pink water boat ride

(some fun snaps using an old lens on my full frame camera. hence, the funky boarders)

 

Piazza Saint Marco is the central public square in Venice and where you’ll find St Mark’s basilica and the Doge’s palace. Most of ancient Venice’s important buildings and monuments are located in this main area, including the library, mint, clock tower and entryway to the lagoon on the square’s south side.

I had already been to Venice before on an prior trip to Italy but the Doge’s palace is always a favorite. The palace is built in the Venetian gothic style and highly distinctive with its endless pink and white marble columns. Here, the Doge not only received visitors and held formal court but also lived with his family. The museum tour guides you through the impressive antechambers and formal reception halls as well as the dungeon. There are also some secret passageways, if you look closely!

I always found the role of the Doge interesting, because its not what exactly what it seems. ‘Doge’ translates to Duke but the Doge of Venice was the elected chief of state of the Republic of Venice and the symbolic leader of the city.

When the old Doge died, a new one was chosen from among the ranks of noblemen in the hundred worth families. The ancient Venetian government was well designed as a system of checks and balances, and so in accordance with his lifelong term, the Doge’s power was extremely limited and more symbolic in nature. Hey- sounds like a great job to me: limited responsibility with the perk of a nice pad!

Another must see while in Italy is the Vatican City in Rome. St. Peter’s Square is a more grandiose version of St. Marks and is best visited with a guided tour.

Finally, make sure you make time for a trip to Florence and then take a day trip to Pisa. One of my favorite places in Italy to visit is Cinque Terre – that’s a must as well! If you have more time, combine a trip to Italy with France!

 

 

Visiting Italy – Trip Planning Checklist

There’s so much to see and do in Italy that you can visit again and again and still discover new sights. I recommend concentrating on the big 4 cities (Rome, Venice, Milan & Florence) if it’s your first time and then coming back to explore either Northern Italy or Southern Italy in more depth.

Go | Flight prices from the US to Italy are highly seasonal. You can set a fare alert here to be notified of discounts. Every fall & winter, I’ve seen great deals to Milan (usually with Emirates).

Travel Tips | A convenient way to explore Italy is via high speed train. You can search train schedules and book online here. Buy your tickets in advance to save on fares. Make sure to validate your ticket on the platform!

It also helps to speak a little Italian. Brush up on your Italian language skills with Rosetta Stone. You can take 10% off with promo code CJBT10.

Stay | Book hotels in advance to save, or check here for last minute deals. Many hotels in Italy are older so don’t be surprised if even 5 star accommodation feels slightly dated. Opt for a room with a view instead of breakfast, as Italians don’t eat breakfast in the same way Americans do and you’ll probably be disappointed with their offering.

Alternatively, groups or budget travelers can check out Airbnb

Protect | Lastly, be sure to visit Italy with travel insurance. Whether you get injured and need to be hospitalized, your phone gets stolen, or a flight delay leaves you with nothing but the clothes on your back, travel insurance will help when you need it most. A rail strike occurred during our trip, unexpectedly shutting down transportation for an entire day. Get a quote for your Italy trip here.

 

 You Might Also Enjoy: 

 

Italy Vacation Planning Articles

The First Timer's Guide to Italy: A Classic Itinerary

THIS is the Best Time to Visit Italy

What to Wear in Italy: A Packing Checklist

 

Northern Italy

The Most Beautiful Places in Northern Italy (that are still a secret!)

Headed to Northern Italy? Here's the Perfect 7 Day Itinerary

Exploring Bologna: Travel Guide

Quick Guides to: Bologna Day Trips & The Best Bologna Restaurants

Visiting Parma: The Center of Parma Ham & Cheese

7 Reasons to Explore Medieval Bergamo

Visiting Ravenna's Mosaics

 

Cinque Terre

Plan Your Trip: Travel Guide & Which Village to Stay

A Blissful 3 Day Itinerary

Quick Guides: The Best RestaurantsPopular Hiking Trails

Inspiration: Photo Diary of the 5 Villages

 

The Italian Lakes

Exploring Lake Como: Travel Guide & Where to Stay

Quick Guides to: Varenna, Bellagio & Villa del Babianello

Visiting Lake Maggiore

Quick Guides to: Isola Bella & Villa Taranto

Discovering Hidden Lake Orta

 

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[…] St. Marks’ Square […]

[…] tourist attractions of Venezia aren’t as many as you’d think.  There are the big ones of St Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace, but the real attractions are the city “streets” themselves.  While touring St Mark’s […]

[…] tourist attractions of Venezia aren’t as many as you’d think.  There are the big ones of St. Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace, but the real attractions are the city “streets” themselves.  While touring St Mark’s and […]

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