San Marco

The center of Venice is the San Marco district, much of which is very touristy today

Here you'll find the gorgeous, pigeon-filed and café-lined Piazza San Marco (St. Mark's Square), with its Cathedral of St. Mark and Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace).

The extension of Piazza San Marco that runs along the Palazzo Ducale to the Grand Canal is called Piazzetta San Marco.

The San Marco district is home to hundreds of souvenir shops, the priciest hotels, the world-renowned (and recently burned down, but now rebuilt) La Fenice opera house, and many (generally expensive) restaurants.

Sights in San Marco

★★★
The mosaics of the transept (Photo by amberapparently)
Free
St. Mark's Basilica
Venice: San Marco

The gloriously mosaicked Basilica di San Marco

 
★★★
The Palazzo Ducale facade (Photo by Michael aus Halle)
Doge's Palace
Venice: San Marco

The gothic Palazzo Ducale with its Renaissance art and hidden rooms

 
★★★
 (Photo by Pedro Szekely)
Free
Grand Canal
Venice: Dorsoduro

Cruising the Canale Grande (Grand Canal), the watery main street of Venice, Italy

 
★☆☆
The Campanile di San Marco at night (Photo by A L E S S I O)
Campanile di San Marco
Venice: San Marco

A ride up St. Mark's Bell Tower

 
☆☆☆
 (Photo )
Museo Civico Correr
Venice: San Marco

The history of Venice, in paintings

 
★★★
St. Mark's Square (Photo by Kayla Sawyer)
Free
Piazza San Marco
Venice: San Marco

The pigeon-filled St. Mark's Square

 
★☆☆
 (Photo by Miomir Magdevski)
Free
Ponte di Rialto
Venice: San Marco

The Rialto Bridge, most famous and loveliest span across Venice's Grand Canal, and the market that extends from its foot into San Polo

 
☆☆☆
The clock on St. Mark's clock tower tells both the time and the position of the sun relative to the signs of the Zodiac (Photo © Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY 2.5)
Torre dell'Orologio
Venice: San Marco

The Clock Tower on Piazza San Marco

 
☆☆☆
 (Photo by BKP)
Free
Bacino Orseolo
Venice: San Marco

The gondola parking lot just off Piazza San Marco

 
☆☆☆
 (Photo by trolvag)
Free
Giardinetti Reali
Venice: San Marco

The former Royal Gardens of Venice, just off Piazza San Marco

 

Experiences in San Marco

★★★
A gondola on the Grand Canal near the Rialto Bridge (Photo by Adam Smok)
Gondolas
Venice: Dorsoduro

A gondola ride is the one Venetian tourist trap everyone falls into willingly

 
★★★
The inquisition room (Photo courtesy of ItalyGuides)
Free

A tour that gets you—quite literally—behind the scenes, into the rooms and chambers hidden behind those lavishly decorated walls where the actual governing of the Venetian Republic happened

 
★★☆
 (Photo by Benh LIEU SONG)
Teatro La Fenice
Venice: San Marco

The Venice opera house

 
★★★
An interactive installation in the Arsenale at the 2005 Venice Biennale art show (Photo © Reid Bramblett)
Biennale
Venice: San Marco

Every two years, Venice hosts the world's biggest and greatest exhibition of modern and contemporary art

 
★☆☆
 (Photo courtesy of Veneziatiamo)
Le Mercerie
Venice: San Marco

The Street of the Merchants

 

Lodgings in San Marco

★★☆
A room (Photo )
Violino d'Oro
Venice: San Marco

A budget boutique hotel in San Marco

 
★★☆
A room (Photo )
Ai Do Mori
Venice: San Marco

Reasonable rates, friendly owner, and tiny rooms just a few yards off St. Mark's Square

 
★★☆
A room (Photo courtesy of the hotel)
Locanda Fiorita
Venice: San Marco

A Venetian palazzo getaway

 
★★★
A room (Photo courtesy of the hotel)
€€€
Gritti Palace
Venice: San Marco

Live like a Doge at the posh Hotel Gritti Palace

 
★★★
A room (Photo courtesy of the hotel)
€€€
Hotel Danieli
Venice: San Marco

One of the most classic and posh hotels in Venice, overlooking the Bacino di San Marco

 
★★★
Why, yes, that is the facade of St. Mark's right outside the window of your Deluxe double room (Photo courtesy of the hotel)
€€€

Five sumptuous apartments and double rooms right on Piazza San Marco with views of St. Mark's Cathedral facade mere yards away

 
★★★
 (Photo courtesy of the apartment)
€€€
Casa Marco Polo Apartment
Venice: San Marco

Watch gondolas float by your private canal dock from this long, low, beamed flat sleeping 4 near the Rialto Bridge

 
★☆☆
 (Photo courtesy of the residence)
€€
Residence La Fenice
Venice: San Marco

Serviced flats and suites in a 19C townhouse near La Fenice opera house

 
★☆☆
 (Photo courtesy of the hotel)
€€

Serviced apartments just a few blocks W of Piazza San Marco

 
★☆☆
 (Photo )
€€

Modern one–, two–, and three-bedroom flats under wood beams near the Rialto Bridge in San Marco

 

Dining in San Marco

★★☆
A true local's joint (yet right on the tourist main drag) (Photo by Michael-GVA)
€€
La Campana
Venice: San Marco

A locals' trattoria hidden in plain sight in the heart of the Venice tourist zone

 
★★☆
The garden patio (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)
€€
Vino Vino
Venice: San Marco

A Venetian wine bar with light meals, 350 vintages, and continuous hours from 11:30am to 11:30pm

 
★★☆
Sala del Senato (Photo by S.A.C.R.A. srl)
€€
Caffè Florian
Venice: San Marco

The glorious 18C cafe favored by Casanova

 
★★★
 (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)
€€€
Bistrot de Venise
Venice: San Marco

A restaurant serving an intriguing combo of Italian Renaissance recipes and French cuisine

 
★☆☆
Pizza margherita (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)
€€
Da Aciugheta
Venice: San Marco

A wine bar / restaurant / pizzeria near the action in Venice

 
★☆☆
 (Photo by Kitty W.)
€€
Caffè Chioggia
Venice: San Marco

Bacino views and live music across from the Doge's Palace

 
★☆☆
 (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)
€€€
Caffè Quadri
Venice: San Marco

A classic San Marco cafe with a fine restaurant upstairs

 
☆☆☆
The classic tavola calda counter (Photo by Tadashi N.)

Cheap and fast cafeteria food

 

Planning

Informazioni turistiche (tourist information) (Photo Public Domain)
Venice tourist info
Venice: San Marco

Where to find tourism information offices and kiosks in Venice

 
Useful Italian phrases

Useful Italian for rail travel

English (inglese) Italian (italiano)  Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
...train station la ferroviaria [or] la stazione lah fair-o-vee-YAR-ree-yah [or] lah stat-zee-YO-nay
ticket un biglietto oon beel-YET-toh
first class prima classe PREE-mah CLAH-say
second class seconda classe say-CONE-dah CLAH-say
one way solo andata SO-low ahn-DAHT-tah
round trip (return) andata e ritorno ahn-DAH-tah ay ree-TOUR-noh
Just the supplement Soltanto il supplemento soul-TAHN-toh eel sou-play-MEN-toh
Just a seat reservation Soltanto una prenotazione soal-TAHN-toh oo-nah pray-no-tah-tsee-YOH-nay
I have a Eurailpass Ho il Eurailpass oh eel YOO-rail-pahs
sleeping couchette una cucetta oo-nah koo-CHET-tah
berth in a sleeping car un posto nel vagone letto oon POH-sto nell vah-GOAN-nay LET-toh
track binario been-AR-ree-yoh
train treno TRE-no
car (carriage) carozza ka-RO-tza
seat posto PO-sto
departures partenze par-TEN-zay
arrivals arrivi ah-REE-vee
information informazione in-for-ma-tzee-OH-nay
left luggage deposito bagagli day-PO-zee-toh ba-GAHL-yee
     
punch your ticket timbrare il biglietto teem-BRA-ray eel beel-YET-toh
Is this the right platform for the Rome train? E questo il binario per il treno à Roma? ay KWAY-sto eel been-AR-ree-yo pair eel TRE-no ah RO-ma? 
delayed in retardo een ree-TAR-do
strike sciopero SHO-pair-oh
     
Mon-Sat Feriali fair-ee-YAHL-ee
Sun & holidays Festivi feh-STEE-vee
Daily Giornaliere joor-nahl-ee-YAIR-eh
City / Train station names
English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Main station
Rome Roma Termini
Florence Firenze Santa Maria Novella
Venice Venezia Santa Lucia
Milan Milano Centrale
Genoa Genova Porta Principe
Naples Napoli Centrale
Leghorn Livorno Centrale
Turin Torino Porta Nuova

Useful Italian for air travel

English (inglese) Italian  (italiano)   Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
Where is... Dov'é doh-VAY
the airport l'aeroporto LAHW-ro-port-oh
the airplane l'aereo LAIR-reh-oh
terminal terminal TEAR-me-nahl
flight volo VOH-lo
gate uscita d'imbarco oo-SHEE-tah deem-BARK-oh
to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
keep going straight sempre diritto SEM-pray dee-REE-toh
departures partenze par-TEN-zay
arrivals arrivi ah-REE-vee
delayed in ritardo een ree-TAR-doh
on time in orario een oh-RAH-ree-yo
early in avanti een ah-VAHN-tee
boarding imbarco eem-BARK-o
connecting flight la coincidenza la ko-een-chee-DEN-za
check-in accettazione ah-chet-ta-zee-YO-nee
immigration controllo passaporti cone-TRO-lo pah-sa-POR-tee
security check controllo di sicurezza kohn-TRO-lo dee see-kur-AY-tzah
customs dogana do-GA-na
shuttle la navetta lah na-VET-tah
boarding pass carta d'imbarco kart-ta deem-BARK-o
baggage claim ritiro bagagli ree-TEER-oh bah-GA-lyee
carry-on luggage bagaglio à mano bah-GA-lyo ah MA_no
checked luggage bagalio bah-GA-lyo

Useful Italian for car travel

English (inglese) Italian  (italiano)  Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
car automobile ow-toh-MO-bee-lay
scooter/motorboke un motorino oon mo-tair-EE-no
gas station stazione di servizio stah-zee-YO-nay dee sair-VEE-tzee-yo
gas benzina ben-ZEE-nah
diesel gasolio [or] diesel gah-ZOH-lee-oh [or] DEE-zell
Fill it up, please al pieno, per favore ahl pee-YAY-noh, pair fa-VOHR-ray
Where is... Dov'é doh-VAY
...the highway l'autostrada lout-oh-STRA-dah
...the state highway la statale [written "SS"] lah sta-TAHL-eh
...the road for Rome la strada per Roma lah STRA-dah pair RO-mah
to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
keep going straight sempre diritto SEM-pray dee-REE-toh
to cross attraversare ah-tra-vair-SAR-ay
toll pedaggio peh-DA-jo
parking parcheggio par-KEH-jo
road map carta stradale kar-ta stra-DA-lay
where can I pay the fine? dove posso pagare la multa DOH-veh Po-so pag-GAR-ray la MOOL-tah


Typical road signs / terms » more

English (anglais) French (français) 
Stop Stop
Exit  Uscita
Staffic light Semaforo
One-way Senso unico
Dead-end Strada senza uscita
Parking prohibited No parcheggio or parcheggio proibito
Pedestrian zone Area pedonale
Limited Traffic Zone (you pay to drive in) ZTL or Zona Traffico Limitato

Basic phrases in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) pro-nun-see-YAY-shun
thank you grazie GRAT-tzee-yay
please per favore pair fa-VOHR-ray
yes si see
no no no
Do you speak English? Parla Inglese? PAR-la een-GLAY-zay
I don't understand Non capisco non ka-PEESK-koh
I'm sorry Mi dispiace mee dees-pee-YAT-chay
How much is it? Quanto costa? KWAN-toh COST-ah
That's too much É troppo ay TROH-po
     
Good day Buon giorno bwohn JOUR-noh
Good evening Buona sera BWOH-nah SAIR-rah
Good night Buona notte BWOH-nah NOTE-tay
Goodbye Arrivederci ah-ree-vah-DAIR-chee
Excuse me (to get attention) Scusi SKOO-zee
Excuse me (to get past someone) Permesso pair-MEH-so
     
Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
...the bathroom il bagno eel BHAN-yoh
...train station la ferroviaria lah fair-o-vee-YAR-ree-yah
to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
information informazione in-for-ma-tzee-OH-nay

Days, months, and other calendar items in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
When is it open? Quando é aperto? KWAN-doh ay ah-PAIR-toh
When does it close? Quando si chiude? KWAN-doh see key-YOU-day
At what time... a che ora a kay O-rah
     
Yesterday ieri ee-YAIR-ee
Today oggi OH-jee
Tomorrow domani doh-MAHN-nee
Day after tomorrow dopo domani DOH-poh doh-MAHN-nee
     
a day un giorno oon je-YOR-no
Monday Lunedí loo-nay-DEE
Tuesday Martedí mar-tay-DEE
Wednesday Mercoledí mair-coh-lay-DEE
Thursday Giovedí jo-vay-DEE
Friday Venerdí ven-nair-DEE
Saturday Sabato SAH-baa-toh
Sunday Domenica doh-MEN-nee-ka
     
Mon-Sat Feriali fair-ee-YAHL-ee
Sun & holidays Festivi feh-STEE-vee
Daily Giornaliere joor-nahl-ee-YAIR-eh
     
a month una mese oon-ah MAY-zay
January gennaio jen-NAI-yo
February febbraio feh-BRI-yo
March marzo MAR-tzoh
April aprile ah-PREEL-ay
May maggio MAH-jee-oh
June giugno JEW-nyoh
July luglio LOO-lyoh
August agosto ah-GO-sto
September settembre set-TEM-bray
October ottobre oh-TOE-bray
November novembre no-VEM-bray
December dicembre de-CHEM-bray

Numbers in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
1 uno OO-no
2 due DOO-way
3 tre tray
4 quattro KWAH-troh
5 cinque CHEEN-kway
6 sei say
7 sette SET-tay
8 otto OH-toh
9 nove NO-vay
10 dieci dee-YAY-chee
11 undici OON-dee-chee
12 dodici DOH-dee-chee
13 tredici TRAY-dee-chee
14 quattordici kwa-TOR-dee-chee
15 quindici KWEEN-dee-chee
16 sedici SAY-dee-chee
17 diciasette dee-chee-ya-SET-tay
18 diciotto dee-CHO-toh
19 diciannove dee-chee-ya-NO-vay
20 venti VENT-tee
21* vent'uno* vent-OO-no
22* venti due* VENT-tee DOO-way
23* venti tre* VENT-tee TRAY
30 trenta TRAYN-tah
40 quaranta kwa-RAHN-tah
50 cinquanta cheen-KWAN-tah
60 sessanta say-SAHN-tah
70 settanta seh-TAHN-tah
80 ottanta oh-TAHN-tah
90 novanta no-VAHN-tah
100 cento CHEN-toh
1,000 mille MEEL-lay
5,000 cinque milla CHEEN-kway MEEL-lah
10,000 dieci milla dee-YAY-chee MEEL-lah


* You can use this formula for all Italian ten-place numbers—so 31 is trent'uno, 32 is trenta due, 33 is trenta tre, etc. Note that—like uno (one), otto (eight) also starts with a vowel—all "-8" numbers are also abbreviated (vent'otto, trent'otto, etc.).