Tour of Venice: Piazza San Marco, Doge’s Palace, and More

19

Jun

You can view all posts from my trip to Italy here

I have finally made it through all my photos from Venice! If you missed last week’s post, I had the first part of my tour of Venice, and while all the views are pretty incredible (how many other cities sit on canals?), I honestly didn’t love Venice. The city catered to tourists way more than the other cities we visited in Italy, and the crowds made me feel claustrophobic around Piazza San Marco and the Doge’s Palace. And this was during the shoulder season, so I can’t imagine how crowded it gets during the actual tourist season!

That being said, I did love taking tons of photos of all the beautiful views! (Though I did have to be patient and wait my turn to get a good photo in the most crowded parts). Picking up from last week’s post on my tour of Venice, my friends and I had a leisurely morning stroll through the streets of Venice until we got to Piazza San Marco. 

Canals in Venice

Instead of taking a (very expensive gondola ride), you should try Row Venice! I really loved our experience with them, and you actually get to learn how to row a historic batellina boat!

Canals in Venice

Gondolas in venice

Art in Venice

Gelato in Venice

The gelato was a little more expensive in Venice than everywhere else we went, but it was still delicious!

Gondolas in Venice

Piazza di San Marco

di San Marco

The Basilica San Marco was beautiful! We didn’t get to go inside the basilica or the Doge’s Palace, but even the views outside were pretty incredible! The Piazza San Marco was very crowded and I was wary of pick pockets (thankfully nothing happened), so we tried to take a few photos and then move on. 

Piazza di San Marco

Piazza di San Marco

Piazza di San Marco

Basilica di San Marco

Piazza di San Marco

Doge's Palace

The Doge’s Palace

Piazza di San Marco

Basilica di San Marco

Isn’t the artwork incredible??

Basilica di San Marco

Basilica di San Marco

Basilica di San Marco

Doge's Palace

Piazza di San Marco

Doge's Palace

Piazza di San Marco

Beautiful building in Venice

Piazza San Marco

Piazza San Marco

Piazza San Marco

The Bridge of Sighs

The Bridge of Sighs is a famous bridge in Venice where convicts would cross and sigh as they got their last glimpse of Venice before going to prison

The Bridge of Sighs

Venice

Piazza San Marco

Piazza San Marco

Piazza San Marco

Venice

Bridge in Venice

Boat race in Venice

We got to see a boat race! Our rower Elena from Row Venice had told us that she would be racing, but we didn’t see her

Boat race in Venice

Canal in Venice

Canal in Venice

Cathedral in Venice

Since I went to Venice with some college friends who were art majors, we went to the Damien Hirst “Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable” exhibit. I will say, I have never seen anything like it before. I prefer classic art like impressionism so I wasn’t the best audience for this exhibit, but if you like modern art, you should check out this exhibit. 

There’s a background to the exhibit that a reviewer sums up best: “There is a very involved story behind the exhibition: a freed 1st-century slave named Cif Amotan II amassed a fortune, built an incredible collection of art and artifacts, and then lost it all when the ship ferrying it—with the Greek name Apistos, or Unbelievable, hence the show’s name: “Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable”—to a private museum sank under the sea. Some works in the exhibition, Hirst claims, have been dredged up from the deep, and they are adorned with the barnacles, patination, and coral growth to prove it. Others are exhibition copies—enlargements or renderings of works that have been damaged in some way.”

So Damien Hirst created these pieces of art and created the barnacles and everything, and then put them in the ocean and recorded how they “discovered” them in the ocean. I was a little disappointed how they didn’t have much of the video on display because I was more interested in how they got these GIANT pieces of art in and out of the ocean. And since these statues are so massive, they’re split up into two different exhibits, but one ticket will get you into both. 

Damien Hirst exhibit Venice

Damien Hirst exhibit Venice

Damien Hirst exhibit Venice

Damien Hirst exhibit Venice

This can give you a feel for how MASSIVE these statues are

Damien Hirst exhibit Venice

Venice canal

Damien Hirst exhibit Venice

Damien Hirst exhibit Venice

Venice canal

After the first exhibit, we wandered around a bit and over to the second exhibit. I would definitely suggest using Google Maps because it was a little hard to find. 

Piazza San Marco

Cathedral in Venice

Cathedral in Venice

Canal in Venice

View of Venice

Venice

We got to the second exhibit, and I honestly thought the building itself was more impressive than the statues (I can’t help it, I just love old buildings!). The second exhibit also had fewer pieces than the first, so if you only have time for one, I would suggest going to the first. Unless you’re obsessed with old, beautiful buildings like me.

Damien Hirst exhibit Venice

Damien Hirst exhibit Venice

Can I get that floor in my apartment??

Damien Hirst exhibit Venice

Damien Hirst exhibit Venice

This statue was MASSIVE! It was three stories tall, without the head

Tower in Venice

Canal in Venice

Rialto Bridge

I had a closer view of the Rialto Bridge on the last post, and it was just as pretty further away

Lasagna in Venice

I mentioned in my last post how disappointed I was about the food in Venice. I’ve honestly had better “Italian” food at Olive Garden. BUT, Hostaria da Noni restored my faith in finding good food in Venice! Every single dish we had was delicious, especially the chocolate cake! The waitress was also very friendly and helpful. But it is a pretty small restaurant, so it might be hard to get a table if you have a large party. Even having four people was a bit of a squeeze. 

Lasagna in Venice

Pork dish in Venice

Chocolate cake in Venice

My next posts will be on the islands of Murano and Burano, which I enjoyed more than Venice, even though it rained most of the time. Stay tuned for lots more photos! 🙂 

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Tour of Venice: Piazza San Marco, Doge’s Palace, and More

VIEW THE COMMENTS

  1. Corinne says:

    I saw an author at the Philly Museum of Art who had a book about why Venice is, essentially, being killed by tourism/greed. So I was really curious to read your post. I think your comment of claustrophobia speaks to his thoughts. Regardless, your photos are spectacular!

  2. I was in Venice during the peak season some years ago and it disappointed me a bit. I love Venice with its beauty, but I didn’t get that feeling that I was expecting. It was way too crowded and they were mostly tourists (didn’t see any Italians). The canals and bridges are gorgeous, but I feel like I would try the city when it’s more quite, so that I could get that romantic feel to it. Maybe I’m just ranting, but anyways Italy is beautiful! I love the Garda lake and the small town called Desenzano. Very cute!

    Now I’m heading to Rome and I’m very excited about it!

    http://nouw.com/ladolcemusica

    • Julia says:

      I hope you have a nice time in Rome! I agree, I thought Venice was pretty, but it was so overrun with tourists!

  3. Beth Jarrett says:

    Your photos are incredible! Venice is on my bucket list and I hope to get there in the next year or two.

  4. Teresa says:

    Fabulous collection of photos! Venice is just so photogenic! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  5. Kay says:

    What beautiful pictures. I would really like to go to Venice one day. I’ve lived in Europe the past 8 years and my cowboy brother has never been to visit. He told me the only place he’s really interested in seeing is “that town in Italy where the streets are made of water”. 😀

  6. Cassandra says:

    These photos of Venice look beautiful! I’ve never been, but my dad and sister have. They said it was nice, but there were definitely other parts of Italy that they enjoyed more and weren’t as crowded or touristy.

    I guess I’ll have to make my way there to see for myself!

  7. Thank you for taking me back to Venice, I love the city! Your photos are beautiful. Cannot wait to read your posts on Burano and Murano!

  8. Claire says:

    I’ve only been to Venice once, back when I was about 13 years old. It was so cloudy and grey when I was there so I really want to go back and see the beauty of it, like in some of these photos! I feel like there’s so much to see in Italy, I could never get bored! 🙂

  9. Kristen says:

    I’ve only spent a few hours in Venice so I missed out a lot. The architecture looks really cool. Sorry about the food – it seemed so touristy when I was there so that might contribute

  10. Venice, my absolute favorite city. I’m so jealous you got to see the boat races – i hear that’s a fantastic local festival.

  11. Such a bummer that you didn’t like the food there (but also very good to know – helps save a little $ knowing in advance!) – I totally would’ve lived off the gelato lol The photos are stunning -my fave is the one with the bridge over the canal with the building covered in bright green vines!

  12. Cristina says:

    Your pictures are stunning. Venice seems such a beautiful, special city but I think I’d feel the same like you did. The city might be extremely beautiful but those crowds can really ruin the atmosphere. That’s why I’m not sure I wanna visit this city. Ever since I was a child, I couldn’t stand crowds, they give me headaches and make me feel, like you, claustrophobic.

    I recently read an article that said that it’s stupid to say “this place is too touristy” if you’re a tourist yourself. But I disagree. Crowds, both locals and tourists, can ruin the atmosphere and make you feel bad – for me at least.

    • Julia says:

      Thank you! Yes, crowds and me do not get along! If you go, I would suggest going during the winter to avoid the tourists.

  13. Joanna says:

    I have just returned from Venice myself and oh my, it was such an expensive experience. I loved the city and its views but it was much too crowded. I agree that Murano (I haven’t been to Burano) is much more quiet and beautiful. Regarding food, I really enjoyed having the chichetti at some wine bars – much better than the food at the restaurants.

  14. Catherine says:

    Your photos of Venice are beautiful and it’s always refreshing to read an honest post. So sad to see how tourism has damaged Venice…

  15. Lia says:

    Gorgeous photos! It’s been YEARS since I was in Venice. Venice was one of the first places I ever visited abroad! This really makes me want to go back and explore it again!

  16. Kelly says:

    Thanks so much for your honest opinion about Venice and I am so sad that the food was not that great. Well, good to know for when I visit Italy. I’ll make sure to keep my time there brief. Also love the fun fact about the bridge of sighs and the photos are truly stunning. A beautiful city even if it wasn’t your favorite.

  17. Megan says:

    Photos are gorgeous!!! Italy looks amazing to me, but I have heard that Venice is quite overrated. The buildings looks absolutely stunning though!

  18. Taylor says:

    You have such beautiful photos! I’ve fallen in love with Venice all over again and am now daydreaming of roaming those streets again!

  19. Great photos! Haven’t been there since I was 21 but maybe need to get back.

  20. Bianca says:

    Beautiful shots! Looks like you had amazing weather when visited. When I was there last November it was so cold and foggy. Venice is beautiful any weather. Would have loved to visit those exhibitions. I suppose another trip to Venice is in order for more galleries and museums that I missed out on.

  21. I really enjoyed these pictures. I want to visit Venice, I will be prepared for the crowds though. I guess its popularity makes it so touristy.
    http://www.thevagabondwayfarer.com

  22. Eric says:

    Great photos, as always! Not that I’ve been to a million places in Europe, but I agree that Venice was my least favorite. It was also filthy when I was there. Lots of trash in the canals too.

  23. Belle says:

    Venice is such an amazing place! I would love to visit this place in the future with my family. Such a lovely post!

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

  24. Tonya says:

    Julia, your pictures are beautiful of Venice!

  25. Andrea says:

    Beautiful images! I love Venice so much. 🙂

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