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Key Info

Piazza San Marco, 1

Price & Hours

Free
24/7 daily

Details

Free, Sightseeing Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 5.0Atmosphere

Centuries ago, the Bridge of Sighs, which connects the Doge's Palace to dungeons, was used to transport prisoners from the courtroom to the prisons. Legend has it that the Bridge of Sighs, or Ponte dei Sospiriin Italian, was named for the sighs prisoners like Giacomo Casanova would utter as they took one last look at the outside world through the bridge's windows as they made their way to prison for good. On a much lighter note, Venetian lore says if two lovers kiss on a gondola under the bridge, they'll be granted eternal bliss.  

Recent travelers offer mixed reviews on the Bridge of Sighs. Those who enjoyed it appreciated the details of the architecture and unique placement of the bridge, saying it was a nice photo op, especially while the gondolas passed underneath it. Those who weren't as smitten noted its lack of accessibility as the main drawback, saying that merely looking at the bridge was underwhelming. Other disgruntled visitors pointed out that amount of tourists, combined with the small amount of viewing space, made the bridge barely visible. For a better viewing experience, consider tagging along on one of the best Venice tours.

You'll find the bridge on the eastern edge of San Marco. It is free to access 24/7. If you're planning to see the palace, you'll get a chance to see the bridge during your visit.

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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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