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Venice > Sightseeing > St. Mark's Basin

St. Mark's Basin by the Numbers

View of St. Mark's Basin, Dorsoduro, and and Giudecca

Climb to the top of the Campanile di San Marco, and you'll get a great view across the water. Here, the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal merge into St. Mark's Basin. Our photo above will help you identify some of the major landmarks within viewing or boating distance of the Bacino di San Marco:

1. La Giudecca. This island was settled later than the urban core of Venice. It was dotted by vacation homes of the wealthy, monasteries, orchards, and farms until, in the 19th Century, it evolved into a working-class residential and factory district. You'll stay here if you're booked into the fashionable and expensive Hotel Cipriani or, at the other end of the price range, the Venice Youth Hostel.

2. Il Redentore. Palladio's great church celebrates the deliverance of Venice from a plague in 1577. Today, more than 400 years later, the church is still the focus of a quasi-religious celebration that ends with a barrage of fireworks.

3. Dogana di Mare. Ships used to stop at this customs house to declare their cargos and pay duties to the Venetian Republic.

4. Santa Maria della Salute. Like the Redentore, this massive 17th Century Church was built to thank God for ending a plague epidemic.

5. Stazione Marittima. Cruise ships and car/passenger ferries load and unload at the these docks near the junction of the Canale della Giudecca and the Canale di Fusina.

6. San Marco vaporetto platforms. See our "San Marco by the numbers" article for details on these waterbus stations.

7. Giardini ex Reali. The city's former royal gardens open onto the waterfront through an iron gate. Until a few years ago, you'd often see dozens of stray cats taking their leisure on the paths and park benches. (Today, the cats are living in a shelter on the Lido.)

8. Procuratie Nuove. St. Mark's Square (a.k.a. the Piazza San Marco) lies in front of this building, just below the area shown by the photo.

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About the author:

Durant Imboden photo.Durant Imboden has written about Venice, Italy since 1996. He covered Venice and European travel at for 4-1/2 years before launching Europe for Visitors (including Venice for Visitors) with Cheryl Imboden in 2001.

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