The Best Places In Venice – The Piazza San Marco And La Fenice Districts
The Campo hosts two churches, the Eleventh Century Church of San Vidal, first rebuilt after a fire only twenty years after its initial construction and the Thirteenth Century Church of San Stefano whose vestry houses paintings by Tintoretto. In the nearby Campo Santa Maria del Giglio you will find the ancient Church of Santa Maria Zobenigo, initiated in the early Tenth Century and rebuilt hundreds of years later. This is one of the most beautiful Baroque buildings in all Venice.
The relatively small Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo was built in 1499. Bovolo is the Venetian word for a snail-shell. You’ll love its winding stairs, even though they are not attributed to the palace architect and may not be accessible to the public. The Palazzo Grassi on the Grand Canal dates back to the mid-Eighteenth Century. Unlike many other Venetian palaces, this joint had no ground floor merchant stalls. I guess the Grassis didn’t need the money. The Palazzo is now an art gallery boasting a 600-seat outdoor theater.
Only four bridges cross the Grand Canal. One is the Ponte dell’Accademia, first proposed in the mid-Fifteenth Century and then actually built a mere four centuries later. This steel bridge was subsquently replaced by a wooden one, even though I would have guessed vice versa. L’Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia located south of the Grand Canal was founded in 1750 by the Venetian Senate to be Venice’s school of painting, sculpture, and architecture.
Its gallery displays the most extraordinary collection of Venetian art in the world, starting with Fourteenth Century works. Nearby you’ll find the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Italy’s most important museum in Italy for European and American art of the first half of the Twentieth Century. Good old Peggy used to hang her hat here. The Sixteenth Century Palazzo Cini hosts the Collezione Cini, another great private art collection that became public.