Highlights of Venice

13th July 2018

While the Adriatic branch of the Mediterranean is home to some of the world’s most impressive towns and cities, it goes without saying that Venice is the jewel in the crown. Its links to the sea have made it a popular cruise destination in recent years, however this is all now set to change following the decision made by the Italian government to implement a ban on larger ships traversing the Grand Canal. This will mean that all vessels over 100,000 gross tonnes will have to dock outside the city centre and make their way in via other means.

The Star Clippers ships are much smaller than most other cruise ships, with the Royal Clipper in particular weighing just 5,000 gross tonnes. The traditional sails of the Star Clippers vessels will enable them to fit right in among the Venetian gondolas and other sailing vessels. Upon you arrival, you will be inundated with landmarks to see and places to visit and so, without further ado, we outline some of the most impressive sites to keep an eye open for during your visit.

Doge’s Palace

Doge's Palace

Also known as the Palazzo Ducale, Doge’s Palace is a significant Italian landmark that dates back to the 14th century and reflects Venetian Gothic heritage. As the name suggests, it was the residence of the Doge of Venice, which once ruled over the Republic of Venice. This vast and impressive landmark was originally built as a castle between the 10th and 11th centuries, before becoming Doge Ziani’s Palace in the 12th century and taking its current shape 200 years later. It remains a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and a tour of this magnificent building will enable you to admire features including Casanova’s jail and the 500-year-old roof structure.

Bell Tower of St. Mark

Bell Tower of St. Mark

Towering over the city of Venice, the bell tower of St Mark’s Campanile is one of the most recognisable symbols of the city. It stands 98.6 metres tall in a corner of St Mark’s Square, with a structure that comprises primarily of red brick. This is topped by the belfry, which houses five bells, and a golden weathervane sits at the very tip of the tower. Throughout history, each of the five bells performed a different purpose. The Renghiera bell would be used to announce executions, while the ringing of the Mezza Terza proclaimed a session of the senate. The largest bell, the Marangona, would ring to mark the beginning and ending of each working day. It is possible to climb the tower and enjoy the mesmerising views over the city below.

Rialto Bridge

Rialto Bridge

The Rialto Bridge is arguably one of the most iconic landmarks of Venice and is one of the oldest canal-crossing bridges in the city. Originally built as a wooden bridge in the 12th century, it connects the districts of San Marco and San Polo. It was later replaced by a stone bridge, designed by architect Antonio da Ponte in the early 16th century. Whether crossing this bridge by foot or enjoying a gondola ride underneath it, it has become one of the most popular tourist sites in Venice and an absolute must-visit landmark.


Venice is one of the many destinations you can visit on a selected Eastern Mediterranean sailing with Star Clippers. There are also opportunities to visit other popular destinations throughout the Adriatic including Dubrovnik, Kotor and a range of stunning Croatian islands.

For more information, contact the friendly Star Clippers sales team via the freephone number above or chat to an advisor online.

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