Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari#10 in Best Things To Do in Venice
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The Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, sometimes referred to simply as Frari,is a gothic-style church that was finished in the 14th century. The exterior is minimal in comparison to Saint Mark's Basilica because the Franciscans who built it wanted the building to emulate their beliefs on living a life of poverty. The interior, however, is a different story. Inside, you'll see works by Titian, Bellini and Vivarini, among other famous artists, and all for a cheaper price than the city's Venetian art museums.
Recent visitors appreciated the minimal entrance fee, as well as the fact that it sits away from the frenzy of the Piazza San Marco. Others admired its intricate interiors, as well as its bevy of artworks, calling it a "must-see."
You'll find the church located in San Polo, about a 25-minute walk from St. Mark's Square (follow the signs toward Ferrovia-Piazzale Roma). If you're arriving via waterbus, you can take lines 1 or 2 to the San Tomà stop. The basilica is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is 3 euros (about $3.50) for adults and 1.50 euros (about $1.75) for students 29 and younger. You can also purchase an audio guide for an extra 2 euros at the entrance. The tour spans 30 minutes and is available in six languages. For more information, visit the basilica's website.
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#1 St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco)
This elaborate church sits on the popular piazza by the same name. The church was built in honor of St. Mark the evangelist, whose remains were stolen from their home in Alexandria, Egypt, and hidden in barrels of pork and cabbage leaves by a couple crafty Venetians, intent on bringing him to rest in Venice.
Crafted from many different styles of architecture, today its opulence shines from nearly every corner – from the four bronze horses that guard the entrance to thousands of square feet of mosaics to the Pala d'Oro. If you look closely at the church's center gable, you can see a statue of St. Mark along with Venice's emblem: a lion with wings.
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