What to see in Venice – Part Three: Doge’s Palace
San Marco Square – you can’t go to Venice and miss this central square. From the square you visit the main attractions of Venice:
3 – The Doge’s Palace – The beautiful Gothic palace in Venice is a must see.
The Doge Palace that you see today was constructed in the 14th century with some reconstruction after a fire in 1577. The palace was not only the ducal residence but also held political meetings and institutions of the Republic of Venice.
The prisons are right next to the palace, separated by a canal. You can visit a small portion of the prison cells by walking on the bridge that connects the palace to the prison. This bridge was built in the 16th century and was named by Lord Byron “the Bridge of Sighs.” It was Byron who suggested that the prisoners sighed as they crossed the bridge and entered their cells and left their freedom behind.
– Fun Fact – Legend states that if you kiss under the “Bridge of Sighs” at sunset while riding in a gondola you will be granted everlasting love (insert scene from “A Little Romance;” if you haven’t seen the movie you should!).
Tip for seeing the Doge Palace – A visit to the museum takes at least a couple of hours. I recommend you make your visit in the late afternoon as the museum is open until 7pm in the summer (open until 5pm in the winter). Tickets are about 16 Euros. The ticket office closes an hour before the Palazzo closes.