Campanile di San Marco

A view of Piazza San Marco from the top of the Campanile di San Marco, Venice
A view of Piazza San Marco from the top of the Campanile di San Marco. (Photo by Dysanovic)

A ride up the bell tower on St. Mark's Square

The campanile (bell tower) of St. Mark's in Venice.
The campanile (bell tower) of St. Mark's in Venice.
The spectacular views from St. Mark's bell tower are still worth it—even if the admission fee to ride the elevator to the top to has grown ludicrously steep. (I'm sorry, but €8 for a bell tower is ridiculous, even if ther is an elevator; most towns in Italy charge a token €1 or €2.)

From the narrow balcony around the Istrian-stone bell-tower at the top, you'll be able to admire the multiple domes and spires of the cathedral's rooftop along with a glorious sweep across Piazza San Marco, the city of Venice, the Grand Canal, and the busy Bacino San Marco basin.

Why the Venice belltower is only about 100 years old

At 9:52 on the morning of July 14, 1902, Venice's overly tall campanile—the bell tower that had stood since the 12th century, a bit apart from St. Mark's Cathedral, and that had served Galileo as a perch during his 1609 experiments with telescopes—gave up on its own structural integrity and simply crumbled in on itself without warning.

The original Campanile di San Marco crumbling in 1902.
A lovely (but, sadly, fake) photo montage depicting the original Campanile di San Marco crumbling in 1902.
Within seconds, it went from a graceful 323-foot spire to a pile of debris.

Since no city in Italy is worth its salt without a dome or tower or some other high, panoramic spot that requires a laborious, wheezing climb, Venice quickly built a new campanile that looked just like the old one.

The entire world contributed money to its exacting reconstruction, which was finished in less than decade.

There were, however, two major differences:

  1. This new, 1912 edition is a lot more architecturally sound.
  2. This time, they included an elevator.

Tips & links

Details

Campanile di San Marco
Piazza San Marco
Vaporetto: San Zaccaria, San Marco-Giardinetti, or San Marco-Vallaresso
tel. +39-041-522-4064
Open daily:
July–Sept 9am–9pm
Easter–June and Oct 9am–7pm
Nov–Easter 9am–3:45pm

www.basilicasanmarco.it

Adm

How long does the bell tower take?

Planning your day:You can "do" the campanile in 30 minutes or less, depending on how long you want to stay up there staring at the city panorama. Add another 30 minutes for standing in line in the height of summer.. Venice itineraries

Nearby sights, dining, hotels

Sights nearby
★★★ Piazza San Marco
★★★ St. Marks' Basilica
★★★ Doge's Palace
★★★ Grand Canal
Museo Civico Correr
Bacino Orseolo (gondola parking lot)

Where to eat nearby
★★★ Bistrot de Venise (meal)
Da Aciugheta (meal/pizza)
★★ Osteria a la Campana (light meal)
★★ Vino Vino (light meal)
Rosticceria Teatro Goldoni (light meal/snack)

Hotels nearby
Hotel Danieli (splurge)
Hotel ai do Mori (moderate)
Hotel Violino d'Oro (moderate)

» More hotels in San Marco from Venere.com
» More hotels in San Marco from Booking.com

Venice links & resources

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Details
Campanile di San Marco
Piazza San Marco
Vaporetto: San Zaccaria, San Marco-Giardinetti, or San Marco-Vallaresso
tel. +39-041-522-4064
Open daily:
July–Sept 9am–9pm
Easter–June and Oct 9am–7pm
Nov–Easter 9:30am–3:45pm

www.basilicasanmarco.it

Adm
Nearby
Sights nearby
★★★ Piazza San Marco
★★★ St. Marks' Basilica
★★★ Doge's Palace
★★★ Grand Canal
Museo Civico Correr
Bacino Orseolo (gondola parking lot)

Where to eat nearby
★★★ Bistrot de Venise (meal)
Da Aciugheta (meal/pizza)
★★ Osteria a la Campana (light meal)
★★ Vino Vino (light meal)
Rosticceria Teatro Goldoni (light meal/snack)

Hotels nearby
Hotel Danieli (splurge)
Hotel ai do Mori (moderate)
Hotel Violino d'Oro (moderate)

» More hotels in San Marco from Venere.com
» More hotels in San Marco from Booking.com


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