Unless you take a helicopter ride over Venice, and rumour has it that HeliAir Venice don't operate the flights any more, there are really only two places to get an overview of this magnificent, quirky and largely 'low rise' city.
St Marks Campanile
The tower in St Marks Square is, at just over 98 metres, the tallest campanile or bell tower in Venice. An elevator will take you to the viewing platform for a magnificent view over the Venice rooftops. On a good day, you may even be able to see the Alps.
Try to choose a time of day when the queues are at their smallest. Not an easy feat in Venice during the busy summer months.
San Giorgio Maggiore
Although the campanile at San Giorgio Maggiore is not as tall as St Marks, the view over the centre of Venice towards St Marks Square is spectacular.
The queues are usually shorter, or non existent when we went and the atmosphere of the island is much more laid back and chilled out which is fitting given the island is the home of the local Benedictine Order.
Access to the viewing platform is by elevator. Access to the island is by vaporetto line 2 from the San Zaccaria stop near St Marks Square.