Of all the incredible locations to visit across the globe, there’s a reason (or numerous reasons) Venice continually appears on people’s lists of must-visit places.
The appropriately nicknamed “floating city” is a marvel of Italian ingenuity, and continues to impress millions of tourists year on year.
Freewheel Holidays offers several cycling holidays in which you can visit the legendary Italian city, including the Venice to Mantova Bike & Barge holiday, where you can enjoy the thrill of travelling by both land and water!
So, if you’re planning a trip to the former Republic of Venice (that’s right – it used to be its own country!) here are a few suggestions of things to see and do on your travels:
St Mark’s Basilica
One of the most visually striking structures in all of Europe, St Mark’s Basilica stands as a prime example of religious architecture and has produced its own unique look and feel thanks to a combination of structural influences including Byzantine, Gothic, Islamic and others.
Dating back to the early eleven-hundreds, it is one of the most well-preserved and recognisable churches in the world and stands to this day as the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice.
Everything from its design and contents to its reverence in the local community has earned the cathedral the title of ‘Chiesa d’Oro’ or ‘Church of Gold.’ This is primarily thanks to the over-the-top golden mosaics which cover a large portion of the interior ceiling, made from classic gold glass.
One of the most beautiful buildings in the world, found in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. A match made in heaven!
More of a river than a canal, Venice’s Grand Canal (or Canale Grande) is a true sight to behold.
If you find yourself exploring the city, its sheer size is almost unavoidable as the canal stretches all the way from one end of the city to the other in one long snake-shaped slope.
Because of this it acts as one of the most essential waterways in Venice, helping people, goods and boats move up and down the city on a regular basis and has done for centuries.
Walking along the banks of the canal gives you a real glimpse into the past, as many of the buildings overlooking the water date back hundreds of years and makes for ideal exploration territory.
St Mark’s Square
We’ve already spoken about St Mark’s Basilica, but St Mark’s Square as a whole offer such a bigger experience.
The square is an especially wide open space when compared to the rest of the city, which is mostly comprised of tight alleys and buildings.
It has played host to many notable events over the years, including the 976 AD rebellion and the invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1797. Napoleon famously referred to the square as “the drawing room of Europe” but the legitimacy of this statement is disputed. Although, this does offer a good idea of how influential the area was seen to be at the time.
Nowadays, you’ll often find thousands of people per hour visiting the square, enjoying the sunshine and admiring the classical surroundings as they plan the rest of their Venetian adventure.
A regular favourite among new and returning tourists thanks to its impressive appearance and romantic setting, the Rialto Bridge is the oldest of the four major bridges in Venice.
While it has been taken down and rebuilt several times, the current structure was finally completed in 1591 in stone, whereas in previous incarnations the bridge had been made of wood.
With an unmistakable arch at the centre offering sensational views up and down the Grand Canal, it is one of the most photographed locations in the city.
At night, the bridge is lit up and becomes a glowing beacon of pure, angelic white and is without question one of the most picturesque sights in all of Italy.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, Venice Lido offers tourists and locals a place to escape when peace and tranquillity are the orders of the day.
An entirely separate island, the Lido is well known for the elongated stretch of beach in stark contrast to the rest of the city and resembles more of a beach holiday destination rather than a city break.
It’s so popular, in fact, that the Venice Film Festival is held here every single year in the hot sun!
Not only this, but for those still yearning for a hint of city life, the Lido is also home to numerous café’s and shops to enjoy at your leisure.
If you’d like to explore any of the above, or are interested in setting out on a cycling holiday to Venice soon, hit the link here.