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Aim, Focus, Shoot - The HyPyC blog
Iconic Landmakrs - St. Marks Campanile, Venice

Iconic Landmarks – St. Marks Campanile

Venice is one of the most visited cities in Italy and is a hugely popular tourist destination. Thousands of visitors flock to this beautiful series of islands every week to admire the canals, history and stunning architecture.

St. Marks Campanile, Venice

In April 2017, Lauren and I spent a fantastic long weekend in Venice and saw much of what the city had to offer – we kissed on the Rialto bridge, enjoyed a water taxi along the Grand Canal, and marvelled at the beautiful artwork inside St. Marks Basilica. We also climbed (well it was a lift actually) to the top of St. Marks Campanile and saw Venice from above – this was one of my favourite attractions and I would recommend it to anyone.

Looking down onto the streets and canals of Venice

St. Marks square is undoubtedly one of the main sites in Venice and it is easy to see why – this immense open space is home to St. Marks Basilica, Doge's Palace and St. Marks Campanile; each of which are grand buildings full of history and significance. The Campanile towers over the surrounding buildings and can be seen from practically anywhere in the city. For a small price, it is possible to take a lift to the top of the tower and be greeted with panoramic views of Venice.

The beautiful Campanile at Sunset

History - Standing at 98.6m high, it is the tallest structure in Venice and was originally constructed between 887-912. During the Renaissance, the tower assumed its iconic shape and design that is featured today. Despite this, the actual structure that stands today was a recreation built in 1902 - this was due to the original collapsing from structural damage and instabilities. Money was raised and it was decided that the tower should be rebuilt exactly as it was, but with improvements to its strength and foundations.

Statue at the base of the Bell Tower Looking across to the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute Info boards showing different landmarks Looking down onto the basin and Doge's Palace Narrow streets and tiled roofs of Venice Beautiful views from the top of the Campanile

Entry/Prices - The queue for the Campanile can be found outside the front entrance (it usually runs parallel to the queue for the Cathedral) – tickets are purchased inside the tower so you literally have to queue and wait. We would advise visiting the tower early in the morning to avoid the longer queues – we waited for approximately 25-30 minutes but queues can last for 50 minutes plus during peak times. Listed below is some general info about entry fees and opening times (correct at the time of publishing – April 2017):

  • Opening Times – 9:00am – 7:00pm
  • Entry Fee - €8.00 (Adult), €4.00 (Children)
  • Average Queuing Time – 40 minutes

Once you are inside the entrance hall there is a ticket booth where you can buy your entry ticket and an audio guide if you wish. There is then a small queue for the lift which takes groups of 7-8 up at a time.

One of the 8 large bells at the top of the tower

The top - The lift ride took approximately 30 seconds (I counted on the way back down) and once we were out on the top we could immediately feel the cold and wind – I would advise taking a jacket! Above us we could see the 8 original cast iron bells that thankfully didn't ring whilst we were up there! Be prepared to be patient as there will be many people standing at the Windows taking selfies and admiring the views – don't rush them or make them feel pressured – you would not want the same to happen to you after all.

Looking down at the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore

There is no better view in Venice than at the top of St. Marks Campanile – it was absolutely breathtaking! At each open window there was something different to see – the rooftop and domes of the Cathedral, the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, the Grand Canal full of Gondolas and water taxis – it was all enthralling. The rooftops of the many buildings created a beautiful collage of terracotta and the thousands of people beneath us looked tiny. Furthermore we could see across to Lido and the surrounding islands.

The impressive domes of St. Marks Basilica

Whenever I visit a city, if there is a tall tower with a view I always try and get to the top of it - this was undoubtedly one of the highlights of our trip and the views and the architecture that the building offered were well worth the entry fee and the queue. St. Marks Campanile will stay in my mind for a long time and I was thoroughly pleased with the photos we took, and the fun experience we had.

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