10 Famous Buildings In Venice, Italy

famous buildings in venice
Contributing Writer
| 4 min read

The name for Venice comes from the Veneti people who inhabited the area as early as the 10th century BC. Venice is built on a lagoon and much of the city is covered as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. With over 118 islands encompassing the area of Venice, the city is linked by its various pathways, canals, and rivers. Venice is an iconic city the world over, everyone has seen pictures of its famous canals and renaissance era artworks and buildings. But there are several buildings and landmarks around the town that you shouldn’t miss, and because Venice is a relatively small city, much of it can be seen in a day or two. Explore the oldest buildings in Venice that will leave you in awe. First things first, secure your retreat at one of the best hostels and boat rentals in the city. Read below to learn about some of the most famous buildings in Venice, Italy.

1. Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user MarkusMark used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo is a small palace (or palazzo) that is best known for its interesting spiral staircase known as the Scala Contarini del Bovolo (or “the snail”). This famous Venice building was designed in the 15th century as a home for the affluent Contrarini Family and it has since been featured in Orson Welle’s rendition of Shakespeare’s “Othello” in multiple scenes. As of 2016, it’s been made available to the public to visit, and the top of the staircase offers a great view of the city.

Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo

Address: Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo

Website: Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo

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2. St. Mark's Basilica

2017-05-07 St Mark's Basilica
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Maksym Kozlenko used under CC BY-SA 4.0

St. Mark’s Basilica is one of Venice’s most visited locations and for good reason. This famous landmark in Venie is located in the Piazza San Marco and is known for its opulent design and gold mosaics which are symbolic of the city’s wealth and power during the Renaissance period. Because of its lavish design, the church has been known as the “Church of Gold”

St Mark's Basilica

Address: Piazza San Marco, 328, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy

Website: St Mark’s Basilica

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3. Ca' Pesaro

Ca' Pesaro, Venice
Source: Photo by Flickr user Dimitris Kamaras used under CC BY 2.0

The large Baroque marble facade is hard to miss when you’re on a tour along the grand canal of Venice. The Ca’ Pesaro was designed in the mid-17th century and today it is one of 11 museums found in Venice. The building was built for the wealthy Pesaro family but the main architect passed during its completion. The building currently houses works of art from the 19th and 20th century as well as contains a section of graphic art.

Ca' Pesaro

Address: Santa Croce, 2076, 30135 Venezia VE, Italy

Website: Ca’ Pesaro

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4. Punta della Dogana

Venezia-punta della dogana
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user [Unknown] used under CC BY 2.0

Punta della Dogana is located between the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal at the tip of an island. This building is grand and, much like other buildings in Venice, it too is very opulent and thus hard to miss. The area was used for docking boats in the 15th century and it was used as the customs building. Now, Punta della Dogana is one of Venice’s local art museums and with its large white domes and lavish design, it is surely hard to miss.

Punta della Dogana

Address: Dorsoduro, 2, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy

Website: Punta della Dogana

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5. Palazzo Fortuny

Venezia, palazzo fortuny 01
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sailko used under CC BY 3.0

Palazzo Fortuny is located in the San Marco area of Venice and is another one of Venice’s beautiful art museums. The place is the former studio of Spanish fashion designer Mariano Fortuny who lived there from 1902. The museum is largely dedicated to Fortuny and guests can find paintings, fabrics and even Fortuny’s own lamps on the first floor as well as a little bit of history on the Palazzo.

Palazzo Fortuny

Address: San Marco, 3958, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy

Website: Palazzo Fortuny

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6. Ca' Rezzonico

Ca' Rezzonico (Venice)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Didier Descouens used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Ca’ Rezzonico is another one of Venice’s old opulent buildings that now houses a museum. The building was designed in the 18th-century Venetian style Baroque architecture which can be observed from its outside facade as well as its interior designs. Visitors typically arrive at the museum via the Grand Canal so pulling up to it offers a great view of the white facade. In its current form, the Ca’ Rezzonico is a museum dedicated to 18th-century Venice.

Ca' Rezzonico

Address: Dorsoduro, 3136, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy

Website: Ca’ Rezzonico

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7. Doge's Palace

 Doges Palace in Venice
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Andrew Balet used under CC BY 3.0

No, this is not the home of the popular Doge meme but it is actually one of the most iconic landmarks in Venice. The palace is built in Venetian Gothic style and the former residence of the Supreme Authority of the Former Venetian Republic. The building was established in 1340 and the oldest part of the building overlooks the lagoon with 14th-century sculptures adorning the corners of the palace. From 1923 the palace was established as a museum. Nowadays, it is one of the most famous things in Venice.

Doge's Palace

Address: Piazza San Marco, 1, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy

Website: Doge’s Palace

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8. Carta Gate

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Carta Gate is probably one of the lesser known landmarks around Venice, though it is not as grand as some of the others, it is just as ornate and decorative in design as many of them. The Carta Gate is the main entrance way between St Mark’s Basilica and Doge Palace. The gate was built in the 14th century and can be easily missed if you’re not on the lookout for it, so make sure to be looking out for this elegant piece of Gothic art.

Carta Gate

Address: Piazza San Marco, 1, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy

Website: Carta Gate

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9. Ca' Vendramin Calergi

Ca' Vendramin Calergi
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Didier Descouens used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Ca’ Vendramin Calergi was built in 1509 and the palace is three stories high. It can be accessed from the Grand Canal via a gondola ride, which is also one of the most romantic things to do in Venice. The building is beautiful and the facade certainly stands out among the other designs in Venice. But where the building really stands out is the fact that over the years, it has been home to many prominent people, the most popular of whom was composer Richard Wagner who died there. The building houses a Wagner museum which is open on Saturdays via appointment. Currently, the Ca’ Vendramin Calergi houses Venice Casino.

Ca' Vendramin Calergi

Address: Cannaregio, 2040, 30121 Venezia VE, Italy

Website: Ca’ Vendramin Calergi

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10. Scuola Grande di San Marco

Scuola Grande di San Marco
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Utente:Adriano used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Scuola Grande di San Marco was built in 1260 to act as a home of one of the six sodalities of Venice. It also happens to face one of the largest squares in Venice, the Campo San Giovanni e Paolo, so you can observe the beautiful building and take in the sights around the square. The home is very emblematic of Venetian Renaissance style or architecture, and it has a very beautiful and ornate facade.

Scuola Grande di San Marco

Address: Campo dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, 6777, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy

Website: Scuola Grande di San Marco

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Opulent and Ornate

The buildings and monuments in Venice are all full of history and all full of life and character, even after hundreds of years since they were built. You can’t go anywhere in Venice without walking past something historic or culturally important. Make the most of your time in Venice by checking out the best GetYourGuide tours to join and street food markets to visit.

Frequently asked questions about famous buildings in Venice

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Alex is a Canadian university graduate with degrees in English literature and History. He was born in Montreal and when he's not traveling he enjoys movies, video games, playing the drums and...Read more

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