Stretching up 99 metres high, St Mark’s Campanile is the tallest structure in Venice, being the bell tower of St Mark’s Basilica.
It is one of the most recognisable symbols of the region, splattered on many of Venice’s postcards and tourist advertisements. Many heads to this tower for a chance to see the best view in the area.
The History of St. Mark’s Campanile
The original building was created in the 9th century on the Roman building foundations. It was said that St. Mark’s Belltower was once used as a watchtower. But due to numerous fires caused by lightning, the structure collapse in 1902. However, it was decided in 1912 that the new bell tower should be a replica of the original, fitting it in with the ancient basilica and neighbouring buildings. Located on the top of the Bell Tower is both the symbol of St. Mark, a winged lion, as well as la Giustizia or Justice, which represents Venice.
The Bells of the Tower
St. Mark’s Bell Tower is home to five bells on its top section, each one put here for different reasons. The biggest bell was once the Marangoni, the main bell which announced the beginning and end of the working day. The Trottiera bell was said to have announced council meetings, whereas the Mezza Terza bell announced the Senate meetings. The Nona bell was to signal midday. And lastly, the smallest bell, known as the Renghiera, was used to announce executions.
How to see the Bell Tower
The bell tower is famously known for having the best views of Venice. With visitors continually visiting the building to climb up the 323 steps to reach the top. Here you can see a number of extraordinary sights from afar, such as the Campanile, the main canals, and the bustling St. Marks Square below. Tickets must be purchased before entering the tower, with many bookings online a day before to grab the ‘skip the line’ tickets, making sure the guests don’t have to wait an excruciating amount of time during the busy hours of the day. Tickets range from 8 to 15 euro, depending on your age and the bonus features you choose to purchase. The tower is open from 9 am until 6 pm, letting you enjoy watching the sunset just before the tower closes its doors for the night. Letting you marvel at the picturesque region of Venice as it is glowing in the pink light of the sunset.