Venice the city is a museum - considered one of the most beautiful in the world, the sights and structures are awe-inspiring and a testament to Italy's rich culture and history. However for organized collections of Venetian art, check out some of these museums and follow some of these tips.
Doge’s Palace is an architectural masterpiece, a relic of a bygone society that now acts as its greatest exhibition. The palace is distinguished by its elaborate interior and exterior, with a spectacular 500-year-old roof structure, grand halls, and priceless paintings by Venetian masters such as Titian and Tintoretto.
This palatial Gothic structure is the former residence of Doge, a one-time ruler of Venice and served as the headquarters of the Venetian Republic. Since 1923 the Doge’s Palace has been a top Venetian museum.
Take the Secret Itineraries Guided Tour (€16) to walk around hidden passageways, prisons (including Casanova’s jail), an interrogation room, and the infamous Bridge of Sighs - built in 1600 from limestone, the bridge would lead prisoners from the examining rooms to their cells.
Also located in Piazza San Marco, Museo Civico Correr is dedicated to Venice’s civic history. The collection includes pieces donated by Venetian aristocrat Teodoro Correr, including paintings, drawings, copperplates, coins, seals, and classical antiquities. One particular exhibit at the Museum is a parade of fine, marble sculptures by Antonio Canova.
The Museum originally served as the Church of San Geminiano, and was later converted into a residence for the new sovereign, Napoleon; hence the creation of the Napoleonic Wing. The Venetian painter Giuseppe Borsato worked on the decoration of the interiors, producing a personal and very careful interpretation of the Empire style. The building has maintained many of the distinctive features of the Napoleonic and Hapsburg periods; Neo-Classical influence in architecture, decor, frescoes and furnishings make it an important record of the culture and style of a period. The Museum is a expression of the refinements of French taste with the traditions of Italian art.
Hours: April-October 10am-7pm; November-March 10am-5pm
Admission is included with that of Doge’s Palace.
Address: San Marco 52
How to Get There
Tel: +39041 2405211
Another large Gothic structure, Museo Fortuny was formally a palazzo, and later converted into an atelier of photography, stage-design, textile-design and painting by Mariano Fortuny. The building housed his eclectic work, artistic inspiration, and personal art collection, and was donated by his wife in 1956.
The Museum embodies the artist’s idiosyncrasies, combining ‘full’ spaces, e.g. the first floor salone overflowing with paintings, fabrics, and Fortuny’s famous lamps, with more ‘open’ spaces, like the light and space of the second floor. What is really unique about this Museum is the excellently intact library that integrates pieces by Fortuny with those of contemporary artists from very different backgrounds.
The Peggy Guggenheim Museum is among the most important museums in Italy for European and American art of the first half of the 20th century. The Museum offers a personal collection of modern art collected by American socialite, Peggy Guggenheim, located in her former home, Palazzo Venier die Leoni on the Grant Canal in Venice. She was married to modern artist Max Ernst, and funded a number of his contemporaries. Included in the galleries are a sculpture garden and works by Picasso, Kandinsky, Tanguy, Duchamp, Pollock, Dali, and Mondrian.
Hours: Closed Tuesdays. Wednesday - Monday 10am-6pm
Address: Palazzo Venier dei Leoni (Located on the Dorsoduro region of Venice, to the east of the Accademia bridge, on the southern side of the Grand Canal)
The Passes include prepaid entrance and allow you to skip the line at all sites.
San Marco Square Pass
This pass includes the Doge’s Palace, Museo Correr, Archaeological Museumsand the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana. This pass is ideal for the traveler who only has a day or two to spend in Venice. $35/per person
This pass is the best for the traveler who has more time to explore Venice’s treasures, giving access to 11 different museums in the city. The pass includes all of the San Marco Museums plus the Murano Glass Factory, Burano Lace Factory, Ca’Rezzonico, Palazzo Mocenigo, Carlo Goldini’s house, Ca’ Pesaro and the Museum of Natural History. $45/per person
Here is a map of the museums of St. Mark’s Square.
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