The centre of the 'Serenissima', as the inhabitants of Venice lovingly call their city, is the Piazza San Marco, a square that Napoleon referred to as, 'The Drawing Room of Europe'. It is the city's most visited square and is surrounded by numerous buildings and arcades.
The Bridge of Sighs connects the Doges Palace with the city's former prison, the legendary lead chambers, in which Casanova was imprisoned and from where he made his spectacular escape.
The magnificent Palazzo Ducale was the residence of the Doge. In 1341, the Palace of Palaces was completed, the military symbol of Venetian power. Built as a palace chapel for Venice's Doge, the city's largest and most famous church, the Basilica Di San Marco is also known as the 'Golden Basilica' due to its outstanding opulence. Almost 2500 granite and marble columns support the walls of this Byzantine-style building that contains five domes and halls. The main and side facades are decorated with sculptures that illustrate various tales of the city.
Over 4,000 m square of golden mosaics form, after Sicily's Monreale Cathedral, the second largest mosaic surface in the world. Gothic marble statues and mosaics in Byzantine style decorate the fašades and in between are wonderful Moorish elements that indicate the Venetians' attraction to foreign influences. This harmonic connection of styles created a building that is unique in occidental architecture.
The Carnevale Di Venezia has a long tradition and the amazing masked spectacle that takes place around the Piazza San Marco attracts countless tourists from around the world. The perfect setting for the perfect carnival!
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.