Gothic, Renaissance, and baroque elements compete for the eye’s attention in the courtyard of the Doge’s Palace, which dates to the 14th century. You can appreciate the palace’s architecture from the lagoon and the Piazza San Marco, but visit the interior for the best introduction to the city’s history. The rooms are decorated with frescoes and marble carvings—all representations of mercantile wealth under the Doge, the Venetian republic’s supreme authority though the 1790s. The museum, council chambers, and prisons lend insight into historic Venice’s unique style of government.
San Marco 1, 39/041-27-15911. This appeared in the March/April 2013 issue.