Venice: A city to Discover

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Piazza San Marco

Piazza San Marco is the first place that comes to mind. Before the arrival of the relics of San Marco and the consequent construction of the Basilica, this area was a large vegetable garden, and it is still the only large space in Venice that has the privilege of being able to be called a “square”, while all the others areas with this characteristic are called “fields”. The Venetians care a lot about this palace because it is the guardian of their history and the protagonist of many important events for the city of Venice.


Ducal Palace

Constant and faithful presence of the city of Venice, the style of the Doge’s Palace has undergone many variations, dictated by the long series of terrible fires that have determined significant changes over the years. The political importance of the Palace, which welcomed the Doges of the history of the Republic of Venice, was also emphasized by Napoleon Bonaparte when, in 1797, he made it the centre of his administration, after having conquered the city.


Grand Canal

The Venetians call it “Canalazzo” but it is not a derogatory name, it is only their way of identifying the Grand Canal. The Grand Canal crosses Venice for 4 kilometers dividing the historic city centre into two parts.
Much older than the city itself, the canal has an inverted S-shape and in some places it even reaches 5 meters deep. If you want to observe and admire the city from a different point of view, join the tour on the Grand Canal, which starts from the Santa Lucia railway station to Piazza San Marco to offer you a wonderful scenery.
The buildings that overlook the Grand Canal are all facing the waterway! We recommend that you enjoy them to the fullest on one of the city’s famous gondolas.


Il Ponte dei Sospiri and Il Ponte di Rialto

It is not easy to count them one by one, because there are 354 bridges in Venice! The Venetians have been able to transform a need into a distinctive note of the city: Venice is characteristic precisely for all these “half moons” that meet along the canals. The most famous, perhaps, is that of the “Sighs”. It seems that the sighs that give the bridge its name are those of the condemned who were taken to nearby prisons and, looking at the city for the last time, let themselves be overcome by despair. The one of “sighs” contends for fame with the Rialto Bridge, which makes a fine show of itself on the Grand Canal. In 1593 the Rialto Bridge replaced the ancient bridge made with wooden boats that allowed the passage to the very popular Rialto market. Today the bridge, covered by arches, is crowded with tourists and vendors, one of the most famous photographic points in the world.


The Accademia Galleries

The Accademia Galleries house the richest collection of Venetian paintings, from the fourteenth century Byzantine and Gothic to Renaissance artists. Some names can immediately clarify the quantity and quality of the works: Bellini, Carpaccio, Giorgione, Veronese, Tintoretto and Tiziano, Tiepolo and the great eighteenth-century landscape painters Canaletto, Guardi, Bellotto, Longhi. The museum also houses one of Leonardo da Vinci’s strongest pieces, the Vitruvian Man. website


The Peggy Gugenheim Collection

Is the most prestigious Italian collection dedicated to European and American art of the first half of the 1900s. In this museum you will find the masterpieces of the most important and fascinating artists of the period: Pollock, de Chirico, Picasso, Kandinsky, Brancusi and Duchamp.
Peggy has spent her life having the sole objective of creating a museum that would enhance the works of the avant-garde from all over the world. His passion was not stopped even by the outbreak of the Second World War: in the years of the conflict, in fact, the Guggenheim continued to travel around Europe, regardless of the dangers, in search of the works that it intended to include in its prestigious collection. The strong personality of Peggy Guggenheim has allowed her artists to undoubtedly become the best-known representatives of American Abstract Expressionism. website


Scuolari San Rocco

Tintoretto put all his mastery into painting the Sala dell’Albergo of the Scuola di San Rocco: this cycle of works is considered by all to be the Sistine Chapel of Venice. The Scuola Grande di San Rocco was the seat of a brotherhood of wealthy Venetians dedicated to charitable works and takes its name from the body of San Rocco, kept here. In 1564 the Confraternity entrusted Tintoretto with the task of decorating the School. In 24 years, the artist and his pupils created a cycle of large canvases in the Sala Terrena and in that of the Hotel. The works tell biblical episodes and the life of Christ in an exceptional pictorial journey, which almost stuns for the size and number of the painted works. website

Some unusual things to do in Venice


Hidden Gardens and Vegetable Gardens

The districts where the greatest number of hidden gardens are found are Castello and Cannaregio. Here are some of the secret gardens of Venice that deserve to be discovered: the Garden of the Old School of Mercy; the Gardens of the Church of San Francesco della Vigna; the Ca ‘Morosini Garden.

Bizarre Doors that tell a story

Enter the alleys behind the Rialto, look for the street number 456 which corresponds to the barrel door: the lower part, wider than the rest, was used to roll the wooden barrels inside the building. To see one of the few wheels of innocents left throughout Europe, however, you have to head towards Calle della Pietà, towards the former monastery and the Church of the Pietà, now part of the Metropole Hotel.
In this door the mechanism of the wheel is still visible, where parents could leave the child who could not or would not have grown up.

The oldest Ghetto in the World

Did you know that the first and oldest ghetto in the world is located in Venice? A charming neighborhood, where the buildings are higher than in the other areas of the lagoon, the restaurants offer kosher cuisine, the shop windows of the pastry shops sell delicious Jewish sweets (such as Volpe which is located in Calle del Ghetto Vecchio).
To visit: the Jewish Museum of Venice, in Campo del Ghetto Nuovo; the five synagogues (they look like ordinary houses, but looking at the windows one realizes that they are the Jewish Schole); the Israelite Cemetery outside the city, on the island of Venice Lido near S. Nicolò.

Tour of “Bacari” in Ombre and Cicchetti

An intoxicating and enjoyable experience through the traditional taverns of Venice where you drink the “ombre” of wine (glasses of wine, usually red) accompanied by cicchetti, small canapés that accompany this rustic aperitif.
Some locals create a real partnership, organizing the so-called bacari tours: a journey in stages from one tavern to another sipping wine and picking meatballs, fried fish and sandwiches (Examples: All’arco, Ca’ d’Oro alla Vedova).

Interesting Bookshops

Going around Venice, in search of the most beautiful and interesting bookshops in the city, could be an alternative and curious way to visit it. Here we want to mention one above all, which has actually entered the list of the most beautiful bookstores in the world.
This is the Acqua Alta bookshop that you can find in Calle Lunga Santa Maria: stacks of books directly on the canal, incredible colors and lots and lots of atmosphere. website

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