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Top 10 free things to see in Venice

You have to pay to see the pavilions in Venice’s Biennale of Architecture, which opened on Saturday. But there are many other stunning works of art around the city that you can enjoy for free

The island of San Giorgio has the ultimate views in Venice – looking out over the the Doges Palace and the Grand Canal – and the landmark church, designed in 1555 by Andrea Palladio, is a must-see. There is no charge to go inside the chiesa, whose rather stark interior has two important works by Tintoretto – L’Ultima Cena and Il Cader della Manna – as well as paintings by Carpaccio and Palma. There is a lift that takes you up to the top of the bell tower for €5 that has none of the long queues choking St Mark’s campanile (which costs €8), and, frankly, the panorama is far more impressive from San Giorgio. The church’s monastery and gardens belong to the Cini Foundation, which organises free exhibitions in Le Stanze del Vetro, and, for the duration of the Biennale, there is a stunning installation of gold pillars by the vaporetto stop by German architect Heinz Mack.
Open daily from 9.30am-6.30pm. Vaporetto: San Giorgio

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