Not for the faint of heart, the Campinale bell tower’s soaring heights offer spectacular views of Venice and its lagoon. At over three hundred feet tall,

The Tower

this gargantuan structure definitely dominates the skyline of Venice from its perch at the corner of Piazza San Marco. Built to replace the lighthouse which collapsed in 1903, it has been a major tourist attraction since its completion.

So, of course, we needed to ride the elevator to the top like every good tourist should. Boy was it worth it. I was impressed with the Palazzo Madama’s tower, but it is nothing compared to the Campinale. With the wind whipping in your face, you can see all of Venice at once. You can even discern the famous fish shape of the city and its island. We all thoroughly enjoyed the view as we admired San Marco’s impressive domes and the beautiful figures of churches dispersed throughout the city. We even saw a Carnevale parade passing through the square from our top row seats.

However, the best part of this experience was the bells. Our group was lucky enough to be on top of Campinale at the turning of an hour, when the carillons chime the event. Though chime may not be the correct word, since when you are next to them while they toll it is more like an ear splitting bellow. For once in my mind I did not mind having only partial hearing in my left ear. While many people had to cover their auricles, I was fine and thoroughly able to revel in the spectacle. The strong and forceful tones which had marked the time in Venice for hundreds of years (they originated with the collapsed lighthouse) were now resounding in front of me. Fantastic.