The Doge’s Palace in Venice and its surroundings

St. Mark’s Basilica and St. Marks Plaza are a couple of the main landmarks of Venice

I have been showing you Venice through my camera lens in my previous posts – the streets, the canals, the food. But as with any city, Venice has its landmarks, the must-sees, the must-visits. It is up to us to decide what is really a must from our perspective. I am not a believer in the saying you can’t have been in Rome without seeing the Pope. We make our own experiences.

I was happy to wander around St. Marks Plaza and admire St. Marks Basilica from the outside. Entrance to all of these landmarks costs money, and we aren’t talking about a couple pounds. Venice can be quite cheap (if you decide to get pizza from the street stalls instead of eating in restaurants, and skip the museums, palazzos and churches/basilicas), but can also get very expensive if you are definitely interested in Art and History, like I do.

Enjoying a cheap slice of pizza with a great view.

And I am not even talking about the 80 to 100 euro gondola rides (80 during daytime and 100 in the evenings… romance it’s expensive it seems!). Venice boasts of amazing art museums and other attractions that could be a must if you are like me – one of them being the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace). Entrance for all of these attractions was between the 12 euros to 25 euros mark, with the Palazzo Ducale costing €25 per person. I did explore the whole of Venice on foot before deciding whether I should indulge in visiting this place. I walked around, I took in all that was surrounding the beautiful palace.

Detail of one of the entrances to the Basilica

With a façade that has been considered a Gothic masterpiece, The Doge’s Palace convinced me. It was for many centuries the governmental building of Venice. Built between the 10th and 11th centuries, it was initially thought of as a fort but then transformed into a magnificent palace. Facing the great Lagoon, this is a must-see and visit when in Venice – and the ticket includes entrance to the Correr Museum located nearby in the Plaza de San Marco. The famous Bridge of Sights is also located here – the name coming from the sights prisoners would proclaim when seeing the Lagoon for the last time before being taken into the cold and damp cells.

It was from the Palazzo Ducale that 120 doges (the Chiefs of State) directed and decided the future of Venice for over 1,000 years. And if this isn’t enough reason to convince you to pay what it may look like a pricey entrance, hopefully, my photos will shed some light on what you can find inside.

My advice – don’t leave the Palazzo Ducale for last. When buying an entrance, it will include a ticket to the Correr Museum, located not far from the Palazzo in St. Marks Square. While reviews for this museum are mixed (it is indeed a bit all over the place, since it has a bit of everything), it is absolutely beautiful. However, the ticket is only valid for the following day, so you won’t be able to visit both places on the same day. And I personally think it would be a shame to miss it.

What a feast to the eyes, wouldn’t you agree?

Love, Nic

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