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St. Mark's Campanile - Venice

St. Mark’s Campanile in Venice

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Located on St. Mark’s square, St. Mark’s Campanile has been watching over Venice since the 9th century. Follow the guide!

💡 The Captain’s tip 💡

🧐 Want to know more about the history of Venice? Captain Ulysses highly recommends this free guided tour of the city. It’s up to you to choose how much you wish to tip the tour guide!

 💤 Looking for a hotel in Venice? Be sure to check out the Captain’s article: Where to stay in Venice? Advice & recommendations

🏛 Planning your trip to Venice? Be sure to check out Captain Ulysses’ complete article on what to see and do in the city: a Guide to Venice

👶 Planning a family adventure to Venice? Discover all of the Captain’s top tips in the article: Exploring Venice with the Kids: Family-Friendly Activities.

Brief history of St Mark’s Campanile

The first version of St. Mark’s Campanile

In 888, the construction of the first watchtower began on the foundations of a Roman building. But in 1080, the building collapsed. Captain Doge of Venice, Domenico Selvio, therefore decided to build a new watchtower a few metres away, where St. Mark’s Campanile stands today.

Completed in the 12th century, the tower was 98.5 metres high — the highest building in the city of Venice — and was both the city’s lighthouse and watchtower. lighthouse and watchtower.

Damaged in a fire in 1489 and then again in 1511, St. Mark’s Campanile underwent multiple transformations in the centuries following its construction. In the 16th century, it took on its current appearance although it had to be restored repeatedly because of fires, until it was equipped in 1776 with a lightning rod.

Galileo and St. Mark’s Campanile

In the 16th century, Galileo used St. Mark’s Campanile for the observations based on which he designed his astronomical telescope. Admission is free for even demonstrated his telescope publicly at the top of the tower.

The collapse of st. Mark’s Campanile

In 1902, cracks began to appear on the campanile and local authorities defined a security perimeter around the tower. On July 14th 1902, at 10 a.m., St. Mark’s Campanile collapsed. Miraculously, no victim was to be deplored (except for the cat of the caretaker…) St. Mark’s Basilica, located but a few metres away, did not suffer any damage.

The new St. Mark’s Campanile

On the same night of the accident, the City Council of Venice endorsed the construction of a new bell tower identical to the previous one. Work began less than a year later and the new bell tower was completed in March 1912, almost 10 years after the collapse of the previous one. Venetians nicknamed the new building “com’era dov’era” (as it was, where it was).

Fun fact:

There are 3 replicas of St. Mark’s Campanile throughout the world:

  • one in Las Vegas, built in the 1990s
  • one at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida
  • one in Manila, Philippines
St. Mark's Campanile Venice

Visiting St. Mark’s Campanile

The exterior of St. Mark’s Campanile

If you are afraid of heights, better to simply admire the campanile from St. Mark’s Square!

Square in shape,St. Mark’s Campanile is 98 metres high and 12 metres wide. The base of the tower, which is 50 metres high, is surmounted by an open space in which the bells of the watchtower are situated. Then comes a section decorated with lions and allegories of Venice, and finally the spire, topped with golden weather vane representing Angel Gabriel.

St. Mark’s Campanile counts 5 bells in total, each of which plays a very specific role:

  • The Marangona heralds the beginning and end of the working day
  • The Nona rings noon
  • The Trotteria announces a meeting of the Great Council
  • The Mezza Terza announces a session of the Senate
  • The Malefico announces an execution
St. Mark's Campanile - Venice

The view from the top of St. Mark’s Campanile

An elevator leads to an observatory located at the top of St. Mark’s Campanile. From there, the view on the “Serenissima” (Venice) is absolutely stunning! On a clear day, it is even possible to distinguish some islands in the Venetian lagoon, including Murano.


Getting to St. Mark’s Campanile

St. Mark’s Campanile is located on St. Mark’s Square, a stone’s throw from St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace.

The nearest vaporetto stops are San Zaccaria and San Marco. They are served by lines 1, 2, 41, 42, 51, 52, N and LN.

👉 Book your vaporetto + bus pass

Opening times

St. Mark’s Campanile is open every day, but opening times depend vary throughout the year:

  • From April 16th to October 31st, St. Mark’s Campanile is open from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • From November 1st to March 31st, St. Mark’s Campanile is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • From April 1st to April 15th, St. Mark’s Campanile is open from 9am to 5pm.


To ascend the St. Mark’s Bell Tower, a full-price ticket will cost you 8€, while a reduced-price ticket for students and others will cost 4€.

👉 Skip the lines: book your tickets and visits in Venice!

👉 Looking for the perfect place to stay in Venice?


👉 Looking for tips and recommendations? Here are all of Captain Ulysses’ suggestions!

🛏️ Accommodation: Booking

🎟️ Activities: GetYourGuide | Tiqets

⛵ Cruises: GetYourGuide

🎫 Citypass: Venice City Pass | Venice Museum Pass | Chorus Pass (churches)

🚐 Airport transfers: bus | vaporetto | water taxi

🚌 Local transport: Public Transport Pass

✈️ Getting to Venice: Skyscanner | Omio


Ștefan Jurcă

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