Culture Lover's Guide to Venice

While strolling around Venice is a worthwhile pastime, the city is teeming with excellent museums any culture lover will appreciate. From architectural masterpieces to modern art and a historic theater, here are the top cultural sites in Venice.

Accademia Gallery — Venice's best art museum
The large collection of art found here includes works by Titian, Tintoretto, Mantegna, Bosch, Bellini, and Veronese. Leonardo da Vinci's famous sketch Vitruvian Man is also sometimes on display. Skip-the-line tickets and tours are available.

St. Mark's Basilica — a church full of onion domes and golden mosaics
The centerpiece of Venice is its gorgeous basilica, dating from the ninth century and dedicated to the city's patron saint. The main area is free to enter, but a guided tour can provide much-needed context for what you're seeing.

Peggy Guggenheim Collection — an impressive modern art museum
Peggy Guggenheim lived in this palace on the Grand Canal until her death, and the art on display comes largely from what was her private collection. Featured artists include Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky, Jackson Pollock, and Max Ernst, Guggenheim's husband. Art lovers can opt for a private after-hours visit to avoid crowds.

Doge's Palace — the historic seat of the Venetian Republic
The rulers of Venice, the doges, lived in and governed from this large palace next to St. Mark's Basilica for many years. A tour of the palace offers a glimpse at what life might have been like inside the ornately decorated rooms, with some tours also including a visit to the city's infamous prisons by way of the Bridge of Sighs.

Teatro La Fenice — a famous opera house
This jewel box of an opera house was originally built in 1792, but burned down twice afterwards. True to the name La Fenice, meaning the Phoenix, the theater was rebuilt each time and still hosts performances of opera, ballet, and the orchestra. Guided tours are offered most days.
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