When you are looking at St. Mark's Square in Venice, the most apparent building in the square is St. Mark's Campanile (or bell tower). It is tall, slightly crooked, and a beautiful red color and stands out amongst the white and creme colored buildings.
How to Get There:
If you are traveling by vaporetto, you can get off at any of the San Marco stops. If you are planning on walking, follow the yellow signs to San Marco. (Check out our post here
for more details about getting around Venice.) Once you get to the square you will easily be able to see which building is the bell tower.
The entrance to the Campanile is on the side of the tower that faces St. Mark's Basilica
. You will enter the doors and buy your tickets. From there, you will stand in a very small line area and wait for the elevator to get to the top of the bell tower. The elevator only takes 12-15 people up at once, but the line does move pretty fast.
What You Will See:
If you are lucky enough to time your visit on the half hour, you will be able to hear the bells ring at the top of the tower. We just happened to go up during the time the bells were ringing. It was such an amazing experience that we highly suggest that you go up while the bells are ringing. It is extremely loud though so if you have little kids, you might want to bring ear plugs for them.
At the top of the tower you have amazing 360 degree views of the city. It was amazing to me to see how big Venice seemed from up there. It was also neat, and kind of sad, to see how many of the other bell towers and other buildings around Venice are severely leaning to one side due to the unstable foundation of the city.
As you look out around the city, there are plaques that go with the Venice Panorama app that give you information about what you are looking at. It is a paid app and we did not know about it or download it before we were at the top of the tower, so we can't vouch for how well it works. It is a cool idea and we did wish we knew more of what we were looking at. If any of you have used it we would love to hear your experience with it!
Visiting St. Mark's Campanile was one of my favorite things we did in Venice. It offers amazing, unique views of Venice. If you make it to the top on or around the half hour, you will be in for a treat of listening to the bells ring. Even though it is extremely noisy, it is such a unique experience and we highly recommend it. Visiting the bell tower is high on our list of Venice must do's and is totally worth the 8 euro price tag.
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Labels: Europe, Historical, International Travel, Italy, Venice