Campanile di San Marco#5 in Best Things To Do in Venice
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This particular bell tower was constructed in the early 20th century, as a replica of the 16th-century original. The original structure provided the optimal setting for Galileo Galilei's presentation of the telescope; it also served as a stage for tight rope walkers who would humor the doge with their feats during the Flight of the Angel celebration. Today's campanile is used for sightseers desiring a Venetian panorama – though one with few canal views; oddly, since most of the canals are obscured from its 325-foot height.
Most visitors say the attraction is well worth your time and makes for a great photo. To avoid crowds, travelers say it's best to go early in the morning or later in the evening.
The price for touring the campanile (without skipping the line or arriving at a designated time) is 8 euros, or about $9.30. Booking your tickets online will allow you to skip the lines and visit the campanile at an appointed time (recommended by past visitors): The cost is 13 euros ($15.30) for adults and 9 euros ($10.60) for kids, ages 6 to 18. This service is only available from April through October. Because the bell tower is only accessible via an elevator, it’s not recommended for those who struggle with claustrophobia.
Hours vary by season: From November to March, it's open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; from mid-April to late October, it's open from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visitors should keep in mind that it's closed for about a week in mid-January for maintenance. For more information, visit the campanile page on the Basilica di San Marco's website.
More Best Things To Do in Venice
#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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