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bdj Dec 28th, 2009 10:45 PM

St. Mark's Basilica: The Bell Tower
There are many references to the three paid admission entities within St. Mark's Basilica but very little written about the Bell Tower which appears to have an admission of €8.

If anyone has visited the Bell Tower the lowdown on what that entails would be greatly appreciated.

bdj Dec 28th, 2009 10:51 PM

Please disregard the "Ireland" tag as I was too quick to click the submit and obviously meant "Italy".

Bert4545 Dec 29th, 2009 01:13 AM

"There are many references to the three paid admission entities within St. Mark's Basilica but very little written about the Bell Tower which appears to have an admission of €8."
I don't really understand your question, bdj. In St Mark's you pay relatively small sums to see the Treasury, the Pala d'Oro, and the gallery (where the original horses are). The campanile is separate. It usually entails queueing for quite a while (unless you get there very early, or go late). You go up in a lift [elevator], and you can stay up there for as long as you wish - at least until you've heard the bells. It is usually remarked that you cannot see a single rio from the top of the campanile. All you can see is a lot of red tiled roofs, a few other campaniles and so on. Another option is to go up the campanile of San Giorgio Maggiore, which is much cheaper, usually no queues, and a wonderful view of Venice - the Doges' Palace etc.

bdj Dec 29th, 2009 02:09 AM

Got ya'...the bell tower is not connected to St. Mark's Basilica, it's a seperate entity/entrance. A better option would be the campanile of San Giorgio. Is this what you are saying? Thanks, bdj.

Travelnut Dec 29th, 2009 03:50 AM

I haven't been up any other tower in Venice but the Campanile, but I loved it. The bells are just over your head and very loud - the view is 360* and delightful. And for once, an elevator instead of a twisty scary turning stairwell.

Note, you can (at least we did in 2007) reserve your entry into the Basilica and go directly to front of line and show the guard your confirmation.

tarquin Dec 29th, 2009 04:04 AM

The view from San Giorgio Maggiore is magnificent, Venice is laid out before you. There were no queues last May and it's fun to ride over to the island on the vaporetto pass you will no doubt have purchased!!! I am always eager to spend as little time as possible in the San Marco area as it is where the crowds congregate.

kja Dec 30th, 2009 09:07 AM

I agree with Travelnut - the views from Saint Mark's Campanile were stunning. And it is fascinating to realize that one really can not see (or at least I could not see) any of Venice's canals from the campanile.

ellenem Dec 30th, 2009 09:14 AM

The campanile (bell tower) of San Marco is next to the basilica, right in Piazza San Marco on the main island. Because of its location at the center of things, it offers magnificent views of the rooftops of the basilica, Doge's palace, the main island of Venice, and the lagoon.

The campanile of San Giorgio Maggiore, is on San Giorgio Maggiore, a small island across from San Marco. It offers magnificent views, but not the "over the rooftops" effect you would get from the campanile of San Marco.

elaine Dec 30th, 2009 11:41 AM

"The view from San Giorgio Maggiore is magnificent, Venice is laid out before you." Agreed!

If you want a magnificent view of the Piazza, pay the extra bit to go up to the Loggia of the Basilica. Not only will you see the original four horses from Constantinople (inside) but you can get up close and personal with the horses (copies) on the outside on the Loggia. And, an unforgettable view of the Piazza.

michele_d Dec 30th, 2009 11:48 AM

Hi bdj,
The Campanile was closed when we were in Venice in October...something about reinforcing the foundation...Venice is sinking you know! Looked like a major undertaking.

elaine Dec 30th, 2009 01:17 PM

good point, there was indeed scaffolding all around it--I was last there in October as well.

Zerlina Dec 30th, 2009 02:44 PM

They are reinforcing the foundation of the campanile, but when it was started in February 2008, the consortium in charge
of the work announced that access to Sansovino's Loggetta and the campanile would *not* be interrupted during the 2.5 years it was expected to take.

elaine Dec 30th, 2009 04:30 PM

I wonder if the work will take as long as the Clock Tower did, which was a VERY long time.

Bert4545 Jan 4th, 2010 01:52 AM

I'm not "dissing" the campanile of San Marco, but I do think the view from San Giorgio is more beautiful. You can look all around from San Marco's, and mostly you see a sea of red tiles. However, the views of the Basilica and the Torre d'Orologio are unbeatable. The view from San Giorgio's is quite dull for 270º (mostly sea with some small islands), but the views of the Doges' Palace, the Riva, the Salute and Giudecca more than make up for it. Do both!!

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