The Top Five Museums in Venice

Highlights you can’t just miss

The Accademia Gallery

The biggest collection of venetian art masterpieces

The Gallery, once a church and convent, is home to the most extensive collection of Venetian art in existence. The works in the Accademia provide the rare opportunity to see how Venetian art evolved from the 14th to 18th centuries.

Highlights: Paolo Veneziano’s Coronation of Mary Carpaccio’s alterpiece the Crucifixion and Apotheosis of the 10,000 Martyrs of Mt. Ararat Mantegna’s St. George Bellini’s Madonna Enthroned with Child, Saints and Angels Giorgione’s Tempest Veronese’s Supper in the House of Levi One of Titian’s last works a Pietà Tiepolo’s Presentation of Mary at the Temple

Campo della Carità, Dorsoduro 1050, Venice 

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm; Saturday, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm; Also closed January 1, May 1 andDecember 25

The Correr Museum

A precious collection in St. Mark’s Square, Venice.

Teodoro Correr was a proud Venetian patriot, and an ardent collector who donated his collection to the city of Venice in 1830.

That provided the core for this little jewel of a museum, seldom visited, in Piazza San Marco. Housed here are sculpted works by Antonio Canova (1757-1822), who was much in demand in his day, an architectural library, a coin collection, and portraits of important Venetian personages.

What’s highly interesting are the paintings, which include works by Bellini, Antonella da Messina, Cosmè Tura, Carpaccio, Gentile da Fabriano … among others.

The Doge’s Palace

Venice’s iconic Palazzo Ducale

Piazza San Marco, 1 Venice 

One of the top must-see landmarks on any tour of Venice is the Doge’s Palace – or, Palazzo Ducale in Italian.

The Doge’s Palace was originally built on the Malamocco island nearby. In the 800s, the Doge Angelo Partecipazio decided to transfer the building to the island of Venice, at which point the Doge’s Palace was constructed along the water’s edge by St Mark’s Square. Alas, this building was completely destroyed by fire just a couple of centuries later. Another built in its place in the 1100s was then radically altered when a restructuring of the government required adjustments to the building.

The current structure of the Doge’s Palace just by Venice’s St Mark’s Square dates back to around 1340.

The Doge’s Palace served not only as the residence of the Doge but also to accommodate official institutions. To this end, in the 1600s the famous Bridge of Sighs was constructed to link the Palazzo Ducale to an adjacent prison.

Until the Napoleonic takeover of Venice in 1797, the Doge’s Palace remained as the seat of the Doge of Venice, head of the Republic of Venice. At this point in time however, Venice fell into the hands of the French and then the Austrians. It was only in 1866 that Venice returned to Italy.

Throughout this turbulent period in Venice’s history, the Doge’s Palace served various uses including for official political and cultural offices and even a library, Biblioteca Marciana.

At the end of the 1800s, the building was in desperate need of some TLC. The government undertook great restoration works before in 1923, allowing the Doge’s Palace to be turned into a must-see Venice museum.  

Its unique history has seen the façade bear the marks of several architectural influences, including Byzantine-Venetian, Classical, Gothic and Renaissance styles. Indeed today, the Doge’s Palace is one of Venice’s most iconic images.

Although not officially a museum, the Doge’s Palace is home to some breathtaking sculptures, paintings and frescoes. All of this in addition to the majesticbeauty of the palace itself, official residence to the Doge (mayor) of Venice and seat of the region’s government in the centuries during which Venice was one of Europe’s most important cities. 

Highlights:     

  • Tintoretto’s Paradise (one of the world’s largest oil paintings) along with several of his frescoes    
  • Veronese’s Rape of Europa    
  • The Apotheosis of Venice    
  • Sansovino’s enormous sculptures Mars and Venus    
  • A Palladio fresco decorates the ceiling of one of the grand halls    
  • The Doge’s private living quarters and the regal state rooms 
  • Opening Hours: Daily 9:00 am – 7:00 pm (April – October); Daily 9 am- 5:30 pm  (November – March); Also closed January 1, May 1 and  December 25

The Guggenheim Collection

Calle S. Cristoforo, Dorsoduro 701 Venice

Although we don’t usually associate Venice with modern art, Peggy Guggenheim’s villa Palazzo Venier dei Leoni  houses her vast collection of 20th century art,  among Europe’s most important collections of its kind, including a large sculpture garden. 

Highlights:

  • Picasso’s The Poet (in the picture)    
  • Duchamp’s Sad Young Man on a Train    
  • Kandinsky’s Landscape with Red Spots No. 2    
  • Klee’s Magic Garden    
  • Giacometti’s sculpture Woman Walking    
  • Works by Dalì, Chagall and Mondrian 

Opening Hours: Wednesday – Monday, 10:00 am- 6:00 pm; Closed Tuesdays; Open on national holidays. Closed December 25. 

The museum is located in the heart of what was Europe’s first Jewish Ghetto, formed in 1516 when the Doge forced the city’s Jews to live in what was the cannon foundry area. The museum itself has a mediocre collection of Jewish religious silverware but its real attraction is that it is the only point of departure for tours of the ghetto and its synagogues.

Opening Hours: Sunday- Thursday 10:00 – 7:00 pm; Friday 10.00 – 5:00 pm; Saturday Closed. Tours of the Ghetto and synagogues depart from the museum every hour between 10.30 am & 4.30 pm.

Also closed on Jewish Holidays, Dec. 25, Jan. 1 and May 1

 

 

 

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