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Campanile di San Marco (St Mark's Campanile), Venice

Campanile di San Marco (St Mark's Campanile), Venice

The city’s tallest bell tower was originally constructed in the 12th century, as a combined lighthouse and belfry, and was continuously modified up until the 16th century, when the golden angel was installed on its summit. Back in the day, each of the five bells here had a distinct function: the largest bell tolled the start and the end of a working day; another bell rang midday; two other bells either proclaimed a session of the Senate or called members of the Grand Council to the meetings; while the smallest of the bells gave notice of a forthcoming execution.

It was at the top of this belfry that Galileo Galilei famously demonstrated his telescope to the Venetian Doge on 21 August 1609 – the event commemorated by a plaque at the tower's observation deck. Still, the most dramatic event associated with the Campanile took place on 14 July 1902, when the tower fell down shortly after giving a sound of warning to the leisurely coffee drinkers at piazza below, sending them run for their lives!

The Venetians put the Campanile back “where it was and how it was”, and the tower is now safe to climb to the very top. Unlike other belfries where you have to brave a narrow, steep spiral set of stairs to reach the top, the Venetian one has an elevator so you can easily get a pigeon’s eye view just for a fee.

Standing 99 meters high, the Campanile is the tallest structure in Venice; an ideal vantage point for observing the cupolas of the San Marco basilica and further afield, including the surrounding lagoon. Sometimes in the evening, the view is so clear that one can literally see for miles away! But even if you don't reach the top, standing at the base of this historic belfry and staring up at its summit can be just as exciting an experience.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Venice, Italy within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Campanile di San Marco (St Mark's Campanile) on Map

Sight Name: Campanile di San Marco (St Mark's Campanile)
Sight Location: Venice, Italy
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Venice, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Venice

Create Your Own Walk in Venice

Creating your own self-guided walk in Venice is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Piazza San Marco Walking Tour

Piazza San Marco Walking Tour

Piazza San Marco is the main square in Venice. This is a place that enriched the cultural, social and economic life of Venice in the course of its history. The square is the host of the famous Venice landmarks such as the Doge's Palace, Basilica San Marco and the Procuratie. This self guided walk shows you the best known places around this historic square.

Getting to Sight #1. The first...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.6 Km or 0.4 Miles
Around Rialto Bridge 2

Around Rialto Bridge 2

The Rialto area first appeared in documents dating back to the 9th century. It was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1514; the only structure left standing was the church of San Giacomo di Rialto. Today Rialto is a busy shopping district with a daily vegetable and fish market, several historic sights, plus a wide variety of shopping and dining options. Part 2 of the Rialto Bridge walk takes...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles
Lido Island Walking Tour

Lido Island Walking Tour

Lido is the largest island of Venice city. It is long, but not wide at all, very different from the circular form of the main city. Lido island is known for its very popular hotel where a movie was made and some other secrets that make this island interesting. Ready to explore? Put on your walking shoes!

Getting to Sight #1. The first tour stop (Hotel Des Bains) can be reached by: Water Bus:...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
San Marco Souvenir Shops

San Marco Souvenir Shops

Venice excels in artisanal shops. Venetian lace, hand-blown glassware, velvety textiles the color of the lagoon, marbled paper, butter-soft leather, and papier-mâché masks – all these items have a long history in the city, and discerning visitors travel to Venice yearly to invest in these and other items from the impressive range of unique local boutiques. Many of them are found in the San...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
San Marco District Walking Tour

San Marco District Walking Tour

San Marco is one of the six districts of Venice, set in the very heart of the city. It is known primarily as the home of the eponymous Piazza San Marco (St. Mark's Square) and other notable locations, such as Saint Mark's Basilica, the Doge's Palace, Harry's Bar, the Palazzo Dandolo, San Moisè, the La Fenice Theatre, the Palazzo Grassi and several churches. Once the seat of...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Religious Edifices Walking Tour

Religious Edifices Walking Tour

A country like Italy, especially a city like Venice, has a lot of sacred sites. It would be a pity not to take a look at some of the wonderful buildings built by humans in the name of the Lord. Glorious artists, architects and their disciples have given their lives and talent for our pleasure for centuries. Follow this self guided walk to visit some of the most significant religious edifices in...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles

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