Venice’s Clock Tower

by Stefania Vida
Venice's Clock Tower

A map of this venue follows

For centuries, the Venetians’ days have been marked by the chimes of its famous clock tower, a glorious masterpiece of engineering, offering a 360-degree view over the city.

Have you been standing in line for hours waiting to visit the terraces of St. Mark’s Basilica? Does the idea of climbing to the top of the Bell Tower to get a bird’s eye view of the city make you feel dizzy? Well, you can always visit the Clock Tower, where the chiming of the bells marks history! Here are a few tips before beginning your tour. Choose a clear day, carry as few bags as possible (the stairway leading to the top is rather narrow) and, finally, since the meeting point for your guided tour (by reservation only) is the ticket office of the Correr Museum, purchase a combined ticket which offers also access to the Correr Museum, the Archaeological Museum, the Monumental Rooms of the Marciana Library and, if you feel like it, the Ducal Palace. The tour starts from what was originally the home of the keeper of the Clock Tower, where  you can admire its complicated mechanism close-up. The tower was built in 1497 and the clock mechanism still keeps perfect time. On the roof are two large bronze figures, known as ‘Moors’.

Not only hours

Mechanism of the Clock Tower
Mechanism of the Clock Tower, photo credits Svida Where Italia

In addition to the hours and the days, the Clock Tower’s blue and gold face is engraved with zodiac signs and lunar phases. When the tower was first built, and the Moors struck the hour, wooden statues of the three Magi, led by an Angel, emerged from a door of the loggia on the second floor. Following an in-depth renovation, the device that drove the procession of the Magi was restored and, today, the statues emerge from side panels annually on Epiphany and the Feast of the Ascension.

Vaporetto lines:
line 2 and 10 (San Marco Giardinetti DX stop).

GPS: 45.43477, 12.33899
Find it on Google maps

Piazza San Marco

Access upon reservation only.

Guided tours in English: Mon-Wed 10am and 11am; Thurs and Sat 2pm and 3pm.

Guided tours in French: Mon-Tue-Wed 2pm and 3pm; Thurs-Fri-Sat-Sun 10am and 11am

Read other top-in-town destinations

Official website:

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