Accademia Art Gallery


Accademia Venice, Italy

If you only make time for one museum in Venice, make it the Accademia. The collections cover the giants of Venetian painting from the 13th to the 18th centuries, and are housed in the gallery space of Venice's Accademia della Belle Arte (Academy of Fine Arts), established in 1750 in the former Scuola della Carità chapter house and convent attached to the (reconsecrated) Santa Mariadella Carità church.

Since this is, technically, an art school (its second director was late baroque master of the swirling-heavenly-clouds ceiling fresco, Giambattista Tiepolo), and since chronologically is how they've long taught art, that means your visit to the galleries starts off in the 14th century with the likes of Paolo Veneziano's Coronation of the Virgin altarpiece, continues through Giorgione's weirdly lit The Tempest, and Giovanni Bellini's many Madonna and Child, and ends with Carpaccio's intricate Cycle of St. Ursula and Titian's late Pietà.

Tintoretto's The Stealing of St. Mark commemorates the Venetian merchants who, in 828, spirited the body of the famed saint and Evangelist away from Alexandria during an era when acquiring bona fide saints was vouge for relic hunters and Italy's hyper-competitive maritime capitals competed to see who could steal the best saint then build a cathedral around his bones.

(In 1087 Bari, in Apulia, countered by nicking the 4th century Turkish bishop St. Nicola di Myra, a.k.a. St. Nicholas, a.k.a. Santa Claus. In 1206, Amalfi entered the fray by taking home the bones of St. Andrew after the Sack of Constantinople.)

The Tintoretto painting is, obviously, a bit fanciful, depicting the long-dead saint as a fresh, rather muscular corpse being borne in the arms of the Venetian thieves—er, "borrowers." The real story is a bit grislier.

According to legend, the merchants smuggled the Evangelist's remains in a barrel of pickled pig parts—cleverly banking on the fact that Muslim proscription against even touching pork would help them slip through inspections. (check out the mosaics on Saint Marks Church to see another example of the story)

Here's another fun art anecdote at the Accademia: When Paolo Veronese unveiled his enormous painting The Lord's Last Supper in 1573, it was shocking not only for its size (at 42 feet long, one of the largest canvases of the 16th century), but also for its rather racy depiction of our Lord and Savior and his buddies. The artist had portrayed this holiest of moments as a rousing, drunken banquet that resembled paintings of Roman orgies.

The rising puritanism of the Inquisition had a conniption, and the church promptly charged the painter with irreverence—and threatened to indict him on the very serious charge of heresy. Veronese quickly re-titled the work Feast in the House of Levi—a scene that still had Jesus in it, but a Jesus surrounded by secular guests who were free to engage in acts of gluttony—and the mollified censors let it pass.

Tips for visiting the Accademia Galleries

Combined ticket?

Check to see if they have reintroduced the combined "3 Museums" admission ticket for €11 covering the Accademia (normally €6.50), Ca' d'Oro (€5), and the OrientalArt Museum in Ca' Pesaro (€5.50). That third one is only of minor interest, but the other two are top sights, and the combo ticket saves you even if you just visit those two—consider the Asian art a freebie bonus. (If you're booking ahead of time, as explained to the left, you can specify this ticket). This was suspended in late 2010, but may resurface.

  • Planning your day: It'll take you a good 90 minutes to three hours to peruse this vast collection of masterpieces by color-obsessed Venetian artists. Note: The last entry to the museum is at 6:30pm (1:15pm on Mondays).
  • Book ahead: Fire regulations mean they limit the number of visitors inside, which can sometimes translate into long waits to get in—especially in summer when you can might wait in line for anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes. That makes it well worth the €1 fee to reserve your entry time, either by calling the main number (above to the right) or via the official website
  • They'll force you to check your daypack—officially only if is it's more than 10x30x15 cm (4x12x6 inches), but in my experience they flag anything larger than a small purse—and charge you €0.50 for this "service."
  • European citizens under 18 and over 65 get in free; those age 18–25 at half-price.
  • Audio tours are available for €5; two can save by sharing a tour (with two headsets) for €7.

Accademia Bridge in Venice Italy


The Ponte dell'Accademia is one of only four bridges in Venice, Italy, to span the Grand Canal. It crosses near the southern end of the canal, and is named for the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia, which from 1807 to 2004 was housed in the Scuola della Carità together with the Gallerie dell'Accademia, which is still there. The bridge links the sestiere of Dorsoduro and San Marco.

First suggested as early as 1488, a bridge was not constructed until 1854. Given the movements in Art at the time a Futurist style of by a pro Nationalist artist.  The original steel structure, designed by Alfred Neville, was demolished and replaced by a wooden bridge designed by Eugenio Miozzi and opened in 1933, despite widespread hopes for a stone bridge. The second bridge, in a dangerous condition, was razed and replaced by the present bridge, of identical construction, in 1985. As of 2011, a replacement bridge is under discussion. Lovers attach padlocks (" love locks") to the metal hand rails of the bridge, but the Venice authorities have attempted to crack down on this.

Basilica di San Giovanni e Paolo in Venice Italy


The Basilica di San Giovanni e Paolo, known in the Venetian dialect as San Zanipolo, is a church in Venice, northern Italy. One of the largest churches in the city, it has the status of a minor basilica. After the 15th century the funeral services of all of Venice's doges were held here, and twenty-five doges are buried in the church.


A huge brick edifice built in the Italian Gothic style, it is the principal Dominican church of Venice, and as such was built for preaching to large congregations. It is dedicated to John and Paul, not the Biblical Apostles of the same names, but two obscure martyrs of the Early Christian church in Rome, whose names were recorded in the 3rd century but whose legend is of a later date. In 1246, Doge Jacopo Tiepolo donated some swampland to the Dominicans after dreaming of a flock of white doves flying over it. The first church was demolished in 1333, when the current church was begun. It was not completed until 1430. The vast interior contains many funerary monuments and paintings, as well as the Madonna della Pace, a miraculous Byzantine statue situated in its own chapel in the south aisle, and a foot of St Catherine of Siena, the church's chief relic. San Giovanni e Paolo is a parish church of the Vicariate of San Marco-Castello. Other churches of the parish are San Lazzaro dei Mendicanti, the Ospedaletto and the Beata Vergine Addolorata. The Renaissance Equestrian Statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni (1483), by Andrea del Verrocchio, is located next to the church. The belltower has 3 bells in D major.

Notable artists

  • Giovanni Bellini (SS Vincent Ferrer, Christopher and Sebastian in the south aisle)
  • Bartolomeo Bon (the great west doorway)
  • Cima da Conegliano or Giovanni Martini da Udine (Coronation of the Virgin in the south transept)
  • Piero di Niccolò Lamberti and Giovanni di Martino (tomb of Doge Tommaso Mocenigo in the north aisle)
  • Gregorio Lazzarini (sala S. Tommaso)
  • Pietro Lombardo (tombs of Doge Pietro Mocenigo on the west wall and Doges Pasquale Malipiero and Nicolo Marcello in the north aisle; tomb of Alvise Diedo in the south aisle)
  • Tullio Lombardo ( and Alessandro Leopardo?) (tomb of Doge Andrea Vendramin on the north wall of the choir)
  • Lorenzo Lotto (St Antonine in the south transept)
  • Rocco Marconi (Christ between SS Peter and Andrew in the south transept)
  • Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (St Dominic in Glory on the ceiling of the Capella di San Domenico)
  • Alvise Tagliapietra, reliefs in the Chapel of the Rosary
  • Veronese (The Assumption, The Annunciation and The Adoration of the Magi on the ceiling of the Capella del Rosario; The Adoration of the Shepherds in the Capella del Rosario). The famous The Feast in the House of Levi, painted for the refectory, is now in the Accademia Gallery.
  • Alessandro Vittoria (St Jerome in the north aisle)
  • Alvise Vivarini (Christ carrying the Cross in the sacristy)
  • Bartolomeo Vivarini (Three Saints in the north aisle)
  • The Capella del Rosario (Chapel of the Rosary), built in 1582 to commemorate the victory of Lepanto, contained paintings by Tintoretto, Palma the Younger, Titian and Giovanni Bellini, among others, but they were destroyed in a fire in 1867 attributed to anti-Catholic arsonists.

Funerary monuments
After the 15th century the funeral services of all of Venice's doges were held in San Giovanni e Paolo. Twenty-five doges are buried in the church, including:

  • Jacopo Tiepolo (d. 1249)
  • Reniero Zeno (d. 1268)
  • Lorenzo Tiepolo (d. 1275)
  • Giovanni Dolfin (d. 1361)
  • Marco Cornaro (d. 1368)
  • Michele Morosini (d. 1382)
  • Antonio Venier (d. 1400)
  • Michele Steno (d. 1413)
  • Tommaso Mocenigo (d. 1423)
  • Pasquale Malipiero (d. 1462)
  • Nicolo Marcello (d. 1474)
  • Pietro Mocenigo (d. 1476)
  • Andrea Vendramin (d. 1478)
  • Giovanni Mocenigo (d. 1485)
  • Leonardo Loredan (d. 1521)
  • Alvise I Mocenigo (d. 1577)
  • Sebastiano Venier (d. 1578)
  • BertucciValiero (d. 1658)
  • SilvestroValiero (d. 1700)
  • Other people buried in the church include:
  • Orazio Baglioni (d. 1617), general
  • Gentile Bellini (d. 1507), artist
  • Giovanni Bellini (d. 1516), artist
  • Gianbattista Bonzi (d. 1508), senator
  • Bartolomeo Bragadin (poet)
  • Marco Antonio Bragadin (d.1571), general, flayed alive by the Turks - the tomb contains only his skin
  • Jacopo Cavalli (d. 1384), general
  • Alvise Diedo, commander-in-chief
  • Marco Giustiniani (d. 1346), sea captain
  • Pompeo Giustiniani (d. 1616), condottiere
  • Palma the Younger (d. 1628), artist
  • Vettor Pisani (d. 1380), admiral
  • Niccolò Orsini, (d. 1510), commander-in-chief
  • Leonardo da Prato (d.1511), condottiere
  • Alvise Trevisan (d. 1528)
  • Edward Windsor, 3rd Baron Windsor (d. 1574)

Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice Italy


Frari Church Venice, Italy

The Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venetians usually just call this famous church "I Frari." That's because it was built by the Frari (Venetian dialect for frati, or "brothers") of the Franciscan order. Built in the 13th/14th–century Gothic style (and rebuilt in the middle 1400s), the church is plain and cavernous in the style typical of the simple Franciscans but does house two Titian masterpieces (which are actually in short supply here in the master's hometown). The more striking of the two is the Assumption of the Virgin, over the main altar, glowing with gold and painted in 1518. In his Madonna di Ca' Pesaro, on the left aisle, Titian's wife posed for the figure of Mary, then died soon afterward in childbirth.

The church's other masterworks are Giovanni Bellini's 1488 Madonna and Child triptych, in the sacristy (take the door on the right as you face the altar), and the only work by Donatello in Venice, a very human-looking painted wood St. John the Baptist in the chapel just to the right of the main altar. In the centre of the church, the carved marble rood screen and 124 elaborate wooden stalls of the Monk's Choir beyond are both late 15th century.

The large and stylish tombs of two famous Venetians are also here. Just inside the door to the left is a monumental pyramid honouring the Italian sculptor Canova, who died in 1822 after leading the neoclassical revolution in art (his mummified heart is preserved in a porphyry urn).  Ironically, this tomb design was adapted, by Canova's students, from a monument the sculptor had intended for Titian (who died in 1576 during a plague), located right across the nave. However, the great painter's memorial—also designed by Canova's pupils—ended up instead as a classical-style archway topped by the winged lion of St. Mark.


  • Planning your day: Visiting the church only takes about 20 minutes, but it makes for a cool and relaxing respite from the jostle and crowds of Venetian alleys and famous sights, so you might want to just sit and relax on a pew.
  • In the summer high season, volunteers sometimes offer free tours in English; check ahead of time.
  • Go ahead and buy the €10 Chorus Pass rather than pay the separate, €3 admission (visit just three more churches—of the 16 covered—and it'll pay for itself).
  • Take a tour: If you want a guide along to explain what you're seeing.

 Frari Church Venice, Italy


  • Giovanni Bellini, Madonna and Child with Ss. Nicholas of Bari, Peter, Mark and Benedict, the sacristy altarpiece
  • Giambattista Pittoni, Hagar in the desert, Oil on Canvas, sacristy
  • Bartolomeo Bon's workshop, figures of the Virgin and St. Francis on the west front
  • Antonio and Paolo Bregno, tomb of Doge Francesco Foscari in the chancel (attributed; may actually be by Niccolò di Giovanni Fiorentino)
  • Lorenzo Bregno
    • tomb of Benedetto Pésaro above the sacristy door
    • tomb of Alvise Pasqualino on the west wall
  • Girolamo Campagna, statuettes of St. Anthony of Padua and St. Agnes on the water stoups in the nave
  • Marco Cozzi, choir stalls in ritual choir
  • Donatello, figure of St. John the Baptist in the first south choir chapel, Donatello's first documented work in Venice
  • Tullio Lombardo, tomb of Pietro Bernardo on the west wall (attributed; may actually be by Giovanni Buora)
  • Antonio Rizzo, tomb of Doge Niccolò Tron in the chancel
  • Jacopo Sansovino, damaged figure of St. John the Baptist on the font in the Corner Chapel

Works of Art by Titian

  • Assumption, the altarpiece of the high altar and the largest altarpiece in Venice
  • Pesaro Madonna on the north wall of the nave
  • Paolo Veneziano, Doge Francesco Dandolo and His Wife Presented to the Virgin by Ss. Francis and Elizabeth in the sacristy
  • Alessandro Vittoria
  • figure of The Risen Christ on the west front
  • figure of St. Jerome on the south wall of the nave
  • Alvise Vivarini, St. Ambrose and other Saints in the north transept chapel, his last work
  • Bartolomeo Vivarini
  • St. Mark Enthroned in the Capella Corner in the north transept
  • Madonna and Child with Saints, altarpiece in the third south choir chapel

Burial monuments in the Frari, originally designed by Canova for the tomb of Titian

  • Francesco Barbaro (1390–1454) (humanist and senator)
  • Pietro Bernardo (d. 1538) (senator)
  • Antonio Canova (only his heart is buried here; the tomb, realised by his disciples, is based on the drawing of Canova himself for an unrealised tomb for Titian)
  • Federico Corner
  • Doge Francesco Dandolo (in the chapter house)
  • Doge Francesco Foscari (d. 1457)
  • Jacopo Marcello
  • Claudio Monteverdi (one of the greatest composers of the 17th Century)
  • Beato Pacifico (founder of the current church)
  • Alvise Pasqualino (d. 1528) (Procurator of Venice)
  • Benedetto Pésaro (d. 1503) (general)
  • Doge Giovanni Pesaro
  • Bishop Jacopo Pésaro (d. 1547)
  • Paolo Savelli ( condottiere) (the first Venetian monument to include an equestrian statue)
  • Titian (d. 1576) ( Renaissance painter)
  • Melchiorre Trevisan (d. 1500) (general)
  • Doge Niccolò Tron

Bike Touring Route Padova to Venice | Bike Touring the Veneto Region


Regional bike route from the city of Padova along the Brenta Canal and on to Mestre.  There is no bike path at the moment across the bridge to Venice but they are currently building one.  The route takes you through several interesting places with plenty of places to stop and visit. 


  • DISTANCE: 40 km
  • START POINT: Padova Train Station
  • END POINT: Mestre Train Station
  • ELEVATION GAIN: 0 meters

Today the route follows the waterways out of the city to reach the town of Stra and the Riveria del Benta.  The Brenta Canal was the primary trade route out of the Venice Republic.  Later as trade flow reduced many of the aristocratic families built lavish homes along the waterway.  The villa Pisani in Stra is the starting point and as you ride through Dolo, Mira and finally to Malcontenta there is a rich culture of architecture.  This section of the adventure ends in the last mainland city prior to reaching Venice, Mestre.  At Mestre enjoy the old square and then either take the train into Venice or ride across to 'Liberty Bridge'. (Overnight Venice)

Bike Route Padova to Venice


Bike Route Padova to Venice


Bike Route Padova to Venice


Bike Route Padova to Venice

Ca d'Oro (Palazzo Santa Sofia) in Venice


Ca' d'Oro (correctly Palazzo Santa Sofia) is a palace on the Grand Canal in Venice, northern Italy. One of the older palaces in the city, it is known as Ca' d'Oro ("golden house") due to the gilt and polychrome external decorations which once adorned its walls.


The palace was built between 1428 and 1430 for the Contarini family, who provided Venice with eight Doges between 1043 and 1676. The architects of the Ca d'Oro were Giovanni Bon and his son Bartolomeo Bon. Following the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797, the palace changed ownership several times. One 19th century owner, the ballet dancer Marie Taglioni, removed (in what today can be considered an act of vandalism) the Gothic stairway from the inner courtyard and also destroyed the ornate balconies overlooking the court. In 1894, the palace was acquired by its last owner, baron Giorgio Franchetti; throughout his lifetime, he amassed an important art collection and personally oversaw its extensive restoration, including the reconstruction of the stairway and the Cosmatesque courtyard with ancient marbles. In 1916, Franchetti bequeathed the Ca' d'Oro to the Italian State. It is now open to the public as a gallery.


The principal façade of Ca' d'Oro facing onto the Grand Canal is built in the Bon's Venetian floral Gothic style. Other nearby buildings in this style are Palazzo Barbaro and the Palazzo Giustinian. This linear style favoured by the Venetian architects was not totally superseded by the Baroque one until the end of the 16th century. On the ground floor, a recessed colonnaded loggia gives access to the entrance hall (portego de mezo) directly from the canal. Above this colonnade is the enclosed balcony of the principal salon on the piano nobile. The columns and arches of this balcony have capitals which in turn support a row of quatrefoil windows; above this balcony is another enclosed balcony or loggia of a similar yet lighter design. The palace has (like other similar buildings in Venice) a small inner courtyard.

Ca Vendramin Calergi Palace in Venice


Ca' Vendramin Calergi is a palace on the Grand Canal in the sestiere (quarter) of Cannaregio in Venice, northern Italy. Other names by which it is known include: Palazzo Vendramin Calergi, Palazzo Loredan Vendramin Calergi, and Palazzo Loredan Griman Calergi Vendramin. The architecturally distinguished building was the home of many prominent people through history, and is remembered as the place where composer Richard Wagner died. Currently, it is home to the Venice Casino (Casinò di Venezia) and the Wagner Museum (Museo Wagner).


Ca' Vendramin Calergi was designed in the late 15th century by Mauro Codussi, architect of Chiesa di San Zaccaria and other noteworthy churches and private residences in Venice. Construction began in 1481 and was finished after his death by the Bottega dei Lombardo in 1509. The twenty-eight-year period it took to complete construction is considered short based on the technology available at that time. The spacious Renaissance-style palace stands three-stories high with direct access to the Grand Canal available by gondolas. The beauty and balance of the building's façade are exceptional. Classically inspired columns divide each level facing the canal. Two pairs of tall French doors divided by a single column topped by arches and a trefoil window rest above the doors on the piano nobile and upper levels. Opulent paintings, sculptures, and architectural details originally filled the building's interior. Baroque master Mattia Bortoloni decorated the ceilings of many rooms. The palace is locally known by the nickname "Non Nobis Domine" ("Not unto us, O Lord"),"Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake." Psalm 115:1 KJV which is engraved in the stone under a ground-floor window. Andrea Loredan, a connoisseur of the fine arts, commissioned the palace, which was paid for by the doge, Leonardo Loredan.

In 1581, the Loredan family suffered financial difficulties and sold it for 50,000 ducats to Julius, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, who had deep affection for Venice. However, the duke kept it only two years before selling it to Guglielmo I Gonzaga, Marquis of Mantua, who then sold it to Vittore Calergi, a Venetian noble from Heraklion on the island of Crete. Calergi greatly expanded the building in 1614 with a large addition by architect Vincenzo Scamozzi called the "White Wing" which included windows overlooking a garden courtyard. (The addition was demolished in 1659 and rebuilt the following year.) In 1739, the palace was inherited through marriage by the Vendramins, a powerful patrician family of merchants, bankers, religious leaders, and politicians, who owned it for more than a century. In 1844, Marie-Caroline de Bourbon-Sicile, Duchess of Berry, and her second husband, Ettore Carlo Lucchesi-Palli, Duke della Grazia, purchased Ca' Vendramin Calergi from the last member of the Vendramin family line. In the turmoil of the Risorgimento, they were forced to sell the palace to Caroline's grandson, Henry (Enrico), Count de' Bardi, and many of its fine works of art were auctioned in Paris. Count de' Bardi and his wife Infanta Adelgundes and the related Dukes of Grazia maintained the home and hosted many famous names of the day. In 1937, the last of the Grazia nobles, Count Lucchesi-Palli, sold it to Giuseppe Volpi, Count of Misurata, who remodeled the living quarters and turned it into a Center for Electromagnetic and Electrical Phenomena. The City Council of Venice purchased Ca' Vendramin Calergi in 1946. Since 1959, it has been the winter home to the celebrated Venice Casino (Casinò di Venezia). Portale, downloaded 2 December 2008. Ca', downloaded 5 December 2008

Wagner Museum

German composer Richard Wagner stayed in Venice six times between 1858 and his death. He arrived in Italy on his final trip not long after performances of his opera Parsifal premiered at the second Bayreuth Festival. He rented the entire piano nobile (mezzanine) level of the Ca' Vendramin Calergi from Count de' Bardi before his departure and arrived on 16 September 1882 with his wife Cosima Liszt, four children (Daniela von Bülow, Isolde, Eva and Siegfried Wagner) and household servants. Wagner died of a heart attack in the palace on 13 February 1883 at age 69. A memorial plaque on a brick wall adjacent to the building is inscribed with a tribute by novelist and poet Gabriele d'Annunzio that reads: Inquesto palagio /l'ultimo spiro di Riccardo Wagner / odono le animeperpetuarsi come la marea / chelambe i marmi"In this palace / the souls hear / the last breath of Richard Wagner / perpetuating itself like the tide / which washes the marble beneath".

Campo San Barnaba in Venice Italy


Campo San Barnaba is a campo (square) in Venice, northern Italy. The neighborhood's church, the San Barnaba, was featured in numerous films including Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where it served as the exterior to the library.

The church of San Barnaba is a small Neoclassic-style church in district of Dorsoduro in Venice, It is located in Campo San Barnaba. It is dedicated to the Apostle Saint Barnabas.


A church at the site was built in the ninth century, but destroyed by fire in 1105. Rebuilt in 1350, it was reconstructed in present form in 1776. Cenni By Marcantonio Grimani. Using designs of Lorenzo Boschetti. To the left of the church was the entrance to the Casin dei Nobili (Casino of the Aristocracy), which was an active gaming house in the 18th century. Turismo, church entry. The church is presently deconsecrated and used for exhibits.

Campo San Polo in Venice


The Campo San Polo is the largest campo in Venice, Italy and the second largest Venetian public square after the Piazza San Marco. It is located in the Sestieri San Polo. Originally dedicated to grazing and agriculture, in 1493 it was entirely paved, a well (one of the few fountains to be found in Venice) being placed in the middle. It was subsequently used as the scene of many a bullfight, mass sermons and masked balls. After the 17th century the poor's market was moved here from Piazza San Marco. It remains to this day one of the most popular Carnival venues and is also used for open air concerts and screenings during the Venice Film Festival. Lorenzino de' Medici was assassinated here in 1548. Facing the church are the following buildings:

  • Church of San Polo
  • Palazzo Tiepolo
  • Palazzo Soranzo
  • Palazzo Donà
  • Palazzo Corner Mocenigo

Cannaregio District in the City of Venice


Cannaregio is the northernmost of the six historic sestieri (districts) of Venice. It is the second largest sestiere by land area and the largest by population, with 13,169 people as of 2007. Isola di San Michele, the historic cemetery island, is associated with the district.


The Cannaregio Canal, which was the main route into the city until the construction of a railway link to the mainland, gave the district its name (Canal Regio is Italian for Royal Canal). Development began in the eleventh century as the area was drained and parallel canals were dredged. Although elegant palazzos were built facing the Grand Canal, the area grew primarily with working class housing and manufacturing. Beginning in 1516, Jews were restricted to living in the Venetian Ghetto. It was enclosed by guarded gates and no one was allowed to leave from sunset to dawn. However, Jews held successful positions in the city such as merchants, physicians, money lenders, and other trades. Restrictions on daily Jewish life continued for more than 270 years, until Napoleon Bonaparte conquered the Venetian Republic in 1797. He removed the gates and gave all residents the freedom to live where they chose. In the 19th century, civil engineers built a street named Strada Nuova through Cannaregio, and a railway bridge and road bridge were constructed to connect Venice directly to Mestre. Today, the areas of the district along the Grand Canal from the train station to the Rialto Bridge are packed with tourists, but the rest of Cannaregio is residential and relatively peaceful, with morning markets, neighborhood shops, and small cafés.



See: List of Churches in Cannaregio

Carnival of Venice in Italy


venezia masks

The Carnival of Venice is an annual festival, held in Venice, Italy. The Carnival ends with the Christian celebration of Lent, forty days before Easter on Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Tuesday or Mardi Gras), the day before Ash Wednesday. The festival is famed for its elaborate masks.

History of the venice carnival

It is said that the Carnival of Venice was started from a victory of the " Serenissima Repubblica" against the Patriarch of Aquileia, Ulrico di Treven in the year 1162. In the honor of this victory, the people started to dance and make reunions in San Marco Square. Apparently, this festival started on that period and became official in the Renaissance.Danilo Reato, Storia del carnevale di Venezia, Venezia, Assessoratoalla Cultura della Provincia di Venezia, 1988. In the seventeenth century, the baroque carnival was a way to save the prestigious image of Venice in the world. It was very famous during the eighteenth century. It encouraged licence and pleasure, but it was also used to protect Venetians against the anguish for present time and future.

However, under the rule of the King of Austria, the festival was outlawed entirely in 1797 and the use of masks became strictly forbidden. It reappeared gradually in the nineteenth century, but only for short periods and above all for private feasts, where it became an occasion for artistic creations. After a long absence, the Carnival returned to operate in 1979. The Italian government decided to bring back the history and culture of Venice, and sought to use the traditional Carnival as the centerpiece of its efforts. The redevelopment of the masks began as the pursuit of some Venetian college students for the tourist trade. Today, approximately 3 million visitors come to Venice every year for the Carnival. One of the most important events is the contest for la maschera più bella ("the most beautiful mask") placed at the last weekend of the Carnival and judged by a panel of international costume and fashion designers.

Carnival masks

Masks have always been an important feature of the Venetian carnival. Traditionally people were allowed to wear them between the festival of Santo Stefano ( St. Stephen's Day, December 26) and the start of the carnival season at midnight of Shrove Tuesday. As masks were also allowed on Ascension and from October 5 to Christmas, people could spend a large portion of the year in disguise. Maskmakers (mascherari) enjoyed a special position in society, with their own laws and their own guild. Venetian masks can be made of leather, porcelain or using the original glass technique. The original masks were rather simple in design, decoration, and often had a symbolic and practical function. Nowadays, most of them are made with the application of gesso and gold leaf and are all hand-painted using natural feathers and gems to decorate.


There is little evidence explaining the motive for the earliest mask wearing in Venice. One scholar argues that covering the face in public was a uniquely Venetian response to one of the most rigid class hierarchies in European history. The first documented sources mentioning the use of masks in Venice can be found as far back as the 13th century. The Great Council made it a crime to throw scented eggs. The document decrees that masked persons were forbidden to gamble. Another law in 1339 forbade Venetians from wearing vulgar disguises and visiting convents while masked. The law also prohibited painting one's face, or wearing false beards or wigs. Near the end of the Republic, the wearing of the masks in daily life was severely restricted. By the 18th century, it was limited only to about three months from December 26. The masks were traditionally worn with decorative beads matching in colour.

Types of masks

Several distinct styles of mask are worn in the Venice Carnival, some with identifying names. People with different occupations wore different masks.


The bauta (sometimes referred as baùtta) is a mask, today often heavily gilded though originally simple stark white, which is designed to comfortably cover the entire face; this traditional grotesque piece of art was characterized by the inclusion of an over-prominent nose, a thick supraorbital ridge, a projecting "chin line", and no mouth. The mask's beak-like chin is designed to enable the wearer to talk, eat, and drink without having to remove it, thereby preserving the wearer's anonymity. The bauta was often accompanied by a red or black cape and a tricorn. In the 18th century, together with a black cape called a "tabarro", the bauta had become a standardized society mask and disguise regulated by the Venetian government.Ignatio Toscani: Die venezianische Gesellschaftsmaske. Ein Versuch zur Deutung ihrer Ausformung, ihrer Entstehungsgründe und ihrer Funktion. Diss. Saarbrücken 1970. It was obligatory to wear it at certain political decision-making events when all citizens were required to act anonymously as peers. Only citizens (i.e., men) had the right to use the bauta. Its role was similar to the anonymizing processes invented to guarantee general, direct, free, equal and secret ballots in modern democracies. Also, the bearing of weapons along with the mask was specifically prohibited by law and enforceable by the Venetian police. Given this history and its grotesque design elements, the bauta was usually worn by men, but many paintings done in the 18th century also depict women wearing this mask and tricorn hat. and The Apple Seller by Pietro Longhi are two examples of this from the 1750s.


The Columbina (also known as Columbine and as aColumbino) is a half-mask, only covering the wearer's eyes, nose, and upper cheeks. It is often highly decorated with gold, silver, crystals and feathers. It is held up to the face by a baton or is tied with ribbon as with most other Venetian masks. The Columbina mask is named after a stock character in the Commedia dell'arte: Columbina was a maidservent and soubrette who was an adored part of the Italian theatre for generations. It is said it was designed for an actress because she did not wish to have her beautiful face covered completely. In fact, the Columbina is entirely a modern creation. There are no historic paintings depicting its use on the stage or in social life. While both men and women now wear this mask, it began as a woman's analog to the bauta.

Medico dellapeste (The Plague Doctor)

The Medico dellapeste, with its long beak, is one of the most bizarre and recognisable of the Venetian masks, though it did not start out as carnival mask at all but as a method of preventing the spread of disease. The striking design originates from 17th-century French physician Charles de Lorme who adopted the mask together with other sanitary precautions while treating plague victims. The mask is often white, consisting of a hollow beak and round eyeholes covered with crystal discs, creating a bespectacled effect. Its use as a carnival mask is entirely a modern convention, and today these masks are often much more decorative. The plague doctors who followed De Lorme's example wore the usual black hat and long black cloak as well as the mask, white gloves and a stick (so as to be able to move patients without having to come into physical contact with them). They hoped these precautions would prevent them contracting the disease. Those who wear the plague doctor mask often also wear the associated clothing of the plague doctor. The popularity of the Medico della peste among carnival celebrants can be seen as a memento mori.

Moretta / Servetta muta

The moretta (meaning dark one lady) or servetta muta (meaning mute servant woman) was a small strapless black velvet oval mask with wide eyeholes and no lips or mouth worn by patrician women. It derived from the visard mask invented in France in the sixteenth century, but differed in not having a hole to speak through. The mask was only just large enough to conceal a woman's identity and was held in place by the wearer biting on a button or bit (the women wearing this mask were unable to speak, hence muta) and was sometimes finished off with a veil. by Pietro Longhi depicts this mask in use in 1751. It fell into disuse about 1760.

Volto (Larva)

The volto (Italian for face) or larva (meaning ghost in Latin) is the iconic modern Venetian mask: it is often stark white though also frequently gilded and decorated, and is commonly worn with a tricorn and cloak. It is secured in the back with a ribbon. Unlike themoretta muta, the volto covers the entire face including the whole of the chin and extending back to just before the ears and upwards to the top of the forehead; also unlike themoretta muta, it depicts simple facial features like the nose and lips. Unlike the bauta, the volto cannot be worn while eating and drinking because the coverage of the chin and cheeks is too complete (although the jaw on some original commedia masks was hinged, this is not acommedia mask and so is never hinged—the mouth is always completely closed).


Another classic character from the Italian stage, Pantalone, meaning he who wears the pants or father figure in Italian, is usually represented as a sad old man with an oversized nose like the beak of a crow with high brows and slanted eyes (meant to signify intelligence on the stage). Like other commedia masks, Pantalone is also a half mask.

Arlecchino, meaning harlequin in Italian, is a zanni character of the commedia. He is meant to be a kind of "noble savage", devoid of reason and full of emotion, a peasant, a servant, even a slave. His originally wooden and later leather half-mask painted black depicts him as having a short, blunt, ape-like nose, a set of wide, round, arching eyebrows, a rounded beard, and always a "bump" upon his forehead meant to signify a devil's horn. He is a theatrical counterpoint to and often servant of Pantalone, and the two characters often appeared together on the stage.


The Zanni character is another classic of the stage. His mask is a half mask in leather, showing him with low forehead, bulging eyebrows and a long nose with a reverse curve towards the end. It is said that the longer his nose, the more stupid he is. The low forehead is also seen as a sign of stupidity.

Castello District in Venice Italy


Castello is the largest of the six sestieri of Venice, Italy. From the thirteenth century onward, the district grew around a naval dockyard on what was originally the Isole Gemini, although there had been, since at least the 8th-century, small settlements of the islands of San Pietro di Castello (for which the sestiere is named). This island was also called Isolad'Olivolo. The land in the district was dominated by Arsenale, then the largest naval complex in Europe, and by the monasteries in the north of the quarter. Napoleon closed the Arsenal and planned what are now the Bienniale Gardens, and still more recently the island of Sant'Elena has been created, and land drained at other extremities of the quarter.



Chiesa degli Scalzi in Venice


Santa Maria di Nazareth is a Roman Catholic Carmelite church also called Church of the Scalzi (Chiesa degli Scalzi) being the seat in Venice of the Discalced Carmelites religious order (Scalzi in Italian means "barefoot"). It is located in the sestiere of Cannaregio, near Venezia Santa Lucia railway station. It was built in the mid 17th century to the designs of Baldassarre Longhena and completed in the last decades of that century. The Rococo facade, financed by the aristocrat Gerolamo Cavazza, was erected by Giuseppe Sardi, from 1672 to 1680. The four statues in the first order, the statue of the Virgin and Child, and the statues of Saint Catherine of Siena and St Thomas Aquinas are sculpted by Bernardo Falconi.


The first chapel to the right has a statue of St John of the Cross, attributed to Falconi. The statues of Faith, Hope, and Charity are by Tommaso Rues. The third chapel on the left has a statue of St Sebastian (1669) with bronze bas-reliefs also attributed to Falconi. The vault of the church nave once housed a major fresco by Giambattista Tiepolo depicting the Translation of the House of Loreto. Tiepolo had previously worked in the church, decorating the vaults of the chapel of St Teresa in 1727-1730 and chapel of Crucifix in 1732-33. He had also painted a Virgin of Mount Carmel for the Carmelite church of St Aponal; thus was well known to the order. Thus in 1743, Tiepolo arranged to work alongside Gerolamo Mengozzi Colonna, who providedquadratura for 1500 ducats; Tiepolo painted a daring vision of the flying House, transported by angels, which repels falling winged figures of heresey and falsehood (completed in 1745). The frescoes were destroyed by an Austrian bombardment from the mainland during October 24, 1915. From 1929 to 1933, Ettore Tito painted canvases and frescoes to repair the damage. The remains of the fragments of Tiepolo's work are now in the Gallerie dell'Accademia. Tiepolo, pages 295-301. Canvases by Tiepolo such as Apotheosis of St. Teresa and Christ at Gesthemane (1732) are displayed prominently in the church. The altar was completed by Giuseppe Pozzo. Other works of art include a St Theresa in Extasis (1697) by Heinrich Meyring and a Crucifixion by Giovanni MariaMorlaiter. The ashes of Ludovico Manin, the last Doge of Venice, are entombed here.

Chiesa di San Polo in Venice


The Chiesa di San Polo is a Catholic church in Venice, dedicated to the Apostle Paul. It gives its name to the San Polo sestiere of the city. The current Gothic church dates from the 15th century, but a church has stood on the site since the 9th century and the south doorway, possibly by Bartolomeo Bon, survives from this church. The campanile, standing detached from the church, was built in 1362. The interior has a ship's keel roof and was restored in 1804 by Davide Rossi. On the left wall near the entrance is a Last Supper by Jacopo Tintoretto, while the first altarpiece on the left, is attributed to his studio. Other walls have canvases by Paolo Piazza (St Silvester baptizes Emperor Constantine and St Paul Preaching; by Jacopo Guarana (Sacred Heart). The altar of the apsidal chapel on the left has a Marriage of the Virgin by Paolo Veronese. The presbytery has canvases by Palma il Giovane including St Peter and the Keys, the St Paul at Tarsus, and a Temptation of St Anthony Abbot). Next to the altar are two bronze statues by Alessandro Vittoria:St Paul and St Anthony Abbot. Among the ceiling paintings are a Glory of Angels and Resurrection by Giandomenico Tiepolo. His father, Giambattista is thought to be the author of Virgin appears to St John Nepomuk, commissioned by the King of Poland, August III.

Other Works of Art in Church

  • Giambattista Tiepolo (Virgin appearing to a Saint on the north wall of the nave)
  • Gian Domenico Tiepolo (Stations of the Cross, Glory of Angels and Resurrection in the Oratory of the Crucifix)
  • Veronese ( Marriage of the Virgin in the north apse chapel)

Church of San Sebastiano in Venice, Italy


The Chiesa di San Sebastiano is a 16th-century Roman Catholic church located in the Dorsoduro sestiere of the Italian city of Venice. Particularly notable for its cycle of paintings by the artist Paolo Veronese, the church also houses paintings by Tintoretto and Titian. The church is also a member of the Chorus Association of Venetian churches. It stands on the Campo di San Sebastiano by the Rio di San Basilio, close to the Giudecca Canal. It is one of the five votive churches in Venice, each one built after the passing of a plague through the city. Following construction, the church was dedicated to a saint associated with the disease; in this case St. Sebastian.


San Sebastiano is located on the site of a former hospice which was founded by the confraternity of Gerolimine fathers in 1393. Close to the hospice was an Oratory, built in 1396, and dedicated to Santa Maria Full of Grace and Justice. This was later expanded, and in 1468, was converted into a church dedicated to Saint Sebastian the martyr who was one of the chief patrons against plague and pestilence in Europe. The church is therefore regarded as one of the great Plague-Churches of Venice, built to temper divine punishment, as the plague was viewed in the Middle Ages. Starting in 1506, a number of alterations, including restructuring and enlargement overseen by the architect Antonio Abbondi (known as Scarpagnino), gave the church its current appearance. The expansion was completed in 1548, and the church was finally consecrated in 1562. It has a single-nave layout designed on a Latin cross. It has an atrium, above which is a raised choir, and culminates in an apsidal presbytery under a cupola. The architectural style of the church is Renaissance. A restoration project was undertaken in 1867.


San Sebastiano has a plain façade containing, on the pediment's apex, the figure of St. Sebastian wounded by arrows. Close to the door are small figures of St. Sebastian and St. Jerome, the two saints most closely associated with the church.


Following a commission by Brother Bernardo Torlioni, the Verona-born painter Paolo Veronese spent three periods between 1555 and 1570 decorating various parts of the interior of San Sebastiano. This included paintings, ceiling canvases and frescoes on the nave and altar walls. Veronese also decorated parts of the sacristy, the choir, as well as completing the organ decorations and a large altar piece. The nave's sectioned ceiling contains three paintings depicting episodes from the Book of Esther which Veronese completed in 1556. The paintings behind the choir depict the life of St Sebastian to whom the church is dedicated. The organ doors and frontal contain three pieces: The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple; The Washing of Sacrificial Animals in the Temple; and The Nativity. Veronese also painted an Assumption of the Virgin in the cupola but this was destroyed in the 18th century. The painting standing behind the high altar was the last work completed by Veronese in the church. It is a scene depicting Madonna in Glory with St. Sebastian and other Saints and was completed in 1570. The painting is enclosed in a multi-coloured marble frame of the artist's own design which was commissioned by a Venetian noblewoman, Lise Querini, in 1559. The conception and execution of the painting by Veronese would have coincided with the final sessions of the Council of Trent which published a series of decrees in 1564. These condemned Protestant iconoclasm and renewed earlier emphasis on the inspirational value (namely through scenes of martyrdom) of saints' images. Following his decades of work within the church, on his death, Veronese was entombed there in 1588. The tomb is located to the left of the presbytery. Other notable works found in the church include Titian's St. Nicolas (1563) and works by Paris Bordone, Jacopo Sansovino, Palma il Giovane and Alessandro Vittoria. In the sacristy there are works by Jacopo Tintoretto and Bonifacio de' Pitati.

Church of Santa Maria della Salute in Venice Italy


Santa Maria della Salute, commonly known simply as the Salute, is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica located in the Dorsoduro sestiere of the Italian city of Venice. It stands on a narrow finger of land between the Grand Canal and the Bacino di San Marco making the church visible when entering the Piazza San Marco from the water. The Salute is part of the parish of the Gesuati and is the most recent of the so-called plague-churches. In 1630, Venice experienced an unusually devastating outbreak of the plague. As a votive offering for the city's deliverance from the pestilence, the Republic of Venice vowed to build and dedicate a church to Our Lady of Health (or of Deliverance, ). The church was designed in the then fashionable baroque style by Baldassare Longhena, who studied under the architect Vincenzo Scamozzi. Construction began in 1631. Most of the objects of art housed in the church bear references to the Black Death. The dome of the Salute was an important addition to the Venice skyline and soon became emblematic of the city, inspiring artists like Canaletto, J. M. W. Turner, John Singer Sargent and Francesco Guardi.


Beginning in the summer of 1630, a wave of the plague assaulted Venice, and until 1631 killed nearly a third of the population. In the city, 46,000 people died whilst in the lagoons the number was far higher, some 94,000. Repeated displays of the sacrament, as well as prayers and processions to churches dedicated to San Rocco and San Lorenzo Giustiniani had failed to stem the epidemic. Echoing the architectural response to a prior assault of the plague (1575–76), when Palladio was asked to design the Redentore church, the Venetian Senate on October 22, 1630, decreed that a new church would be built. It was not to be dedicated to a mere "plague" or patron saint, but to the Virgin Mary, who for many reasons was thought to be a protector of the Republic. It was also decided that the Senate would visit the church each year. On November 21 the Feast of the Presentation of the Virgin, known as the Festa della Madonna della Salute, the city's officials parade from San Marco to the Salute for a service in gratitude for deliverance from the plague is celebrated. This involved crossing the Grand Canal on a specially constructed pontoon bridge and is still a major event in Venice. The desire to create a suitable monument at a place that allows for easy processional access from Piazza San Marco led senators to select the present site from among eight potential locations. The location was chosen partially due to its relationship to San Giorgio, San Marco, and Il Redentore, with which it forms an arc. The Salute, emblematic of the city's piety, stands adjacent to the rusticated single story customs house or Dogana da Mar, the emblem of its maritime commerce, and near the civic center of the city. A dispute with the patriarch, owner of the church and seminary at the site, was resolved, and razing of some of the buildings began by 1631. Likely, the diplomat Paolo Sarpi and Doge Nicolo Contarini shared the intent to link the church to an order less closely associated with the patriarchate, and ultimately the Somascan Fathers, an order founded near Bergamo by a Venetian nobleman Jerome Emiliani, were invited to administer the church.

A competition was held to design the building. Of the eleven submissions (including designs by Alessandro Varotari, Matteo Ignoli, and Berteo Belli), only two were chosen for the final round. The architect Baldassare Longhena was selected to design the new church. It was finally completed in 1681, the year before Longhena's death. The other design to make it to the final round was by Antonio Smeraldi (il Fracao) and Zambattista Rubertini. Of the proposals still extant, Belli's and Smeraldi's original plans were conventional counter-reformation linear churches, resembling Palladio's Redentore and San Giorgio Maggiore, while Varotari's was a sketchy geometrical abstraction. Longhena's proposal was a concrete architectural plan, detailing the structure and costs. He wrote: Later in a memorandum, he wrote: "Firstly, it is a virgin work, never before seen, curious, worthy and beautiful, made in the form of a round monument that has never been seen, nor ever before invented, neither altogether, nor in part, in other churches in this most serene city, just as my competitor (il Fracao) has done for his own advantage, being poor in invention." The Salute, while novel in many ways, still shows the influence of Palladian classicism and the domes of Venice. The Venetian Senate voted 66 in favor, 29 against with 2 abstentions to authorize the designs of the 26 year old Longhena. While Longhena saw the structure as crown-like, the decorative circular building makes it seem more like a reliquary, a ciborium, and embroidered inverted chalice that shelters the city's piety.

Cicchetti The Perfect Snack in Venice


Venice Italy, Cicchetti of Venice

Cicchetti are Venetian tapas—finger foods such as calamari rings, speared fried olives, potato croquettes, and grilled polenta squares, traditionally washed down with an ombra (shadow), a small glass of wine.

Pronounced “chee-KET-eeh,”cicchetti are Venice’s answer to Milan’s aperitivo and to Spain’s tapas. They’re small plates of food, usually nibbled over glasses of wine and among friends in the evening or at lunchtime. Served at bàcari (“BAH-car-eeh”), small, local bars hidden all over Venice, they’re also cheap, ranging from about €1 to €3. What’s on offer depends on the place; some bàcari lean toward fried offerings, while others specialize in fresh fish, meats, cheeses… the list goes on.

Try it as a pre-dinner snack, or make a whole meal out of it by ordering several plates. We like the idea of a cicchetti “crawl” ourselves. Especially because your meal of cicchetti probably comes cheaper, better, and in a more local atmosphere than food in most restaurants in Venice!

Venice Italy, Food of Venice
Some tips on your Cicchetti Search:

First, for an evening cicchetti crawl, make sure you start early (at about 6pm), since many bàcari close at 8pm or 9pm. Of course, if you’re just getting used to the Italian tradition of eating at 8 or 9pm, then the early closing will not be bad, you will still have time to sit down for a meal later.

Second, if you’re someone who can’t stand crowds or the possibility of having to wait in line and/or stand while eating, then be prepared to sacrifice or at least seek out bàcari that are off the beaten path. Bàcari are where Venetians come to socialize and relax, and some of the more popular places, including those listed below, can get quite packed; which adds to your people-watching potential, but can be a little frustrating if you were hoping for a quiet, tranquil dinner!

Just to get you started, here are some of Venice’s most-loved places to find delicious cicchetti:

  • Ca’ d’Oro/Alla Vedova- Calle del Pistor, Cannaregio 3912. One of the most famous bàcari in Venice, this one’s both away from the city’s crowds and on the cheap (€1) end of things, ideal if you’re on a budget. Don’t miss the polpette, meatballs made of pork.
  • La Cantina - Calle San Felice, 3689. A stone’s throw from Alla Vedova, La Cantina features inventive dishes, using fresh ingredients like beef tongue or fresh ricotta. A local favorite.

 This isn't just a popular area for tourists... it has some of the best bàcari in town!

  • All’Arco - Calle Arco, San Polo 436. Another one of Venice’s most-loved spots, All’Arco, near the Ponte Rialto, is packed at lunchtime with shoppers from the local fish market. Everything from calamari to liver to shrimp is on offer, and if it’s available, don’t miss the hot sandwich of boiled beef sausage and mustard.
  • Do Mori - Sestiere San Polo 429, Calle dei Do Mori. Myth has it that Casanova frequented this bàcaro, also near the Rialto Bridge. Even if he didn’t, it’s still thought to be the oldest in Venice, dating back to 1462. Ask for the “francobollo” (postage stamp)—a tiny sandwich with various fillings, it’s the house specialty.
  • Do Spade - Calle delle Do Spade, 19 S. Polo 860. Another bàcaro dating back to the 15th century, Do Spade has lots of seafood on offer, as well as a variety of vegetable and cheese spreads.
  • Cantinone–già Schiavi -Ponte San Trovaso, Dorsoduro 992. This family-run bàcaro, located across from a gondola workshop, boasts raw fish, meats, more than 30 wines available by the glass, and much more. Crowded with Venetians in the evening!
  • Al Ponte - Calle Larga Giacinto Gallina. One of the cheapest bàcari—and, therefore, places to eat—in all of Venice, Al Ponte has pasta and fish plates and a welcoming atmosphere.
  • Banco Giro - Campo San Giacometto, San Polo 122. A Grand Canal view, a variety of cheeses, fish, and wine, and a lively atmosphere. What’s not to like?

Hope you enjoy one of these great treats in Venice along with a 'umbra of wine'.

Daily Life in Venice, Italy


Venice is one of Italy's top travel cities and a beautiful, romantic destination with many attractions. Its small, traffic-free streets along the winding canals make for great walking. You'll find many magnificent churches and palaces, lively squares, and interesting shops. Venice is a wonderful adventure and part of history that must be visited. You just have to learn how to avoid the crowds and know when to cut left or right from the standard sightseeing agenda and get to know the real Venice, not the souvenir stands and long museum lines.

Venice actually consists of 117 bodies of land connected by more than 400 bridges over its 150 canals. The Grand Canal is like main street, cutting through the center of the city. Venice is in on northeast coast of Italy. It is protected from the Adriatic Sea by a strip of land called the Lido. The region around Venice is called the Veneto region.

Since it's near the sea, Venice has moderate weather although there can be rain nearly year-round. Summers are humid and winters can be foggy and wet. To avoid the large crowds, spring and fall are the best seasons to visit. Venice experiences flooding or aqua alta about 60 days a year, October through early January (more). For more weather details, average daily temperatures and rainfall month by month, see: Venice Italy Weather.

Venice, Italy Travel Tips Before You Go

Venice as a city of stone built on the marshy mudflats of the lagoon is a feat of engineering and determination that legends and myths are based on. Venezia is made up of over 100 islands; some are full of Gothic Palazzi, a labyrinth of ancient alleys, and some are small sand bars in the lagoon connected by canals filled with boats and gondolas, this amazing place is a tourist attraction but at one time it was one of the greatest powers in the Western world, "La Serenissima"

The City of Venice (Venezia)
Capital of the Veneto
The city limits of the city includes 55,000 ha of land and water
It has about 65,000 full time residents (in 1953 there were 173,000)
Over 10 million people visit the city each year

Using the Venice Transportation Systems 

Getting into Venice - The best way to arrive in Venice is by train at the Santa Lucia Train Station on the northwestern edge of the city. The bus terminal and parking garages are nearby but across the Grand Canal in Piazzale Roma. Venice has a small airport, the Marco Polo airport. From the airport you can take a bus or boat (see Venice Airport Transportation). There are also ferries to and from Greece and Dubrovnik. From EUR 27,50 p.P. Direct bus to Venice.

Getting Around in Venice - The main public transport in Venice are the vaporetti, boats that ply the principal waterways. The #1 goes along the Grand Canal from the train station and makes many stops, so its a good way to cruise the main canal and get a good overview of the city. There are also more expensive water taxis and gondolas. See vaporetto information and fares for more about Venice's public transportation on the water.

Gondolas are a romantic form of transportation but today they're used mainly by tourists and can be costly. Here are Tips for Taking a Gondola Ride in Venice.

Where to Stay:

Start your hotel search by looking at our list of Top Rated Venice Hotels. San Marco neighborhood, near Saint Mark's Square, is the most popular area for tourists. If you want to stay there, check these top-rated San Marco hotels. Or if you're looking for luxury, check these top Venice Luxury Hotels.
Venice's Neighborhoods:

The city is divided into six areas or "sestiere". The Cannaregio is near the station. Also on the same side of the Grand Canal are San Marco and Castello. Santa Croce is across the Grand Canal from the train station and San Polo and the Dorsoduro are across the canal from St. Mark's.. Each sestiere was administered by a procurator and his staff.

Other islands of the Venetian Lagoon do not form part of any of the sestieri, having historically enjoyed a considerable degree of autonomy. Each sestiere has its own house numbering system. Each house has a unique number in the district, from one to several thousand, generally numbered from one corner of the area to another, but not usually in a readily understandable manner.

The 6 sestieri  (districts) are divided, by over 160 canals and connected by more than 400 bridge

Tourist Information:

Tourist office central office is located at Sestiere Castello, 5050 Fondamenta San Lorenzo (tel. 041-5298700), there are other smaller offices at the train station Santa Lucia, Piazzale Roma and the Vaporetto stop San Marco Giardinetti. The train station tourist office is almost always very crowded but has lots of information and can help with hotel reservations. Most staff speak at least some English.


Helpful Numbers:

  • Emergency
  • Ambulance: 118
  • Carabinieri: 112
  • Polizia:·113
  • Lost and Found: 041-2722273 (Monday through Friday 0730 - 1030/12.30-1600, Sat. 0730 - 1400)

Internet Sites:

Venezia on Line: (Offical tourist site)

Major Special Events

February-March: Carnevale, Su e zo per ponti (a fun walk or run over the bridges of Venice, usually the last Sunday in March)
April-June: Festa di San Marco (25 Apr), La Sensa (when the city marries the sea), Vogalonga (the Sunday before the Sensa, a 30 km regatta on the Laguna), Le Biennale (June to November, arts display of architecture (even years) Contemporary Art (odd years), music and theater (every year)
July: Festa del Redentore (third weekend of July),
August: Venice Film Festival (last week of August and first week of September)
September: Regata storica (historical regatta on the first Sunday of September
October: Maratona di Venezia (during the last weekend of the month)
November: Festa della Madonnadella Salute (21 Nov)

Finding your way around:

Venice is a maze of alley's, canals, and bridges and it is easy to get lost. The street numbers are not always in order, and there are repeated street names in different districts (Sestieri), so you must remember first the district then the address.
Key words to help you stay orientated
- house
Calle - street that originated on land
Campiello - small square
Campo - large square or open area
Corte - courtyard, usually attracted to a sottoportico
Crosera - intersection of streets
Fondamento - street along one of the main canals of the lagoon
Rio - a small canal within the city structures
Rio Terrà - a street within the city at at one time was a waterway
Riva - street along one of the important main canals of the lagoon
Ruga - same as a calle
Sottoportego - a cover street

Hours of the Day

Churches - in general Monday thru Saturday 10:00-18:00, Sunday 13:00 - 17:00, you are not supposed to visit during services, but you can participate in services.
Museums - Hours vary
Restaurants - in general 12:00 - 15:00 and then 19:00 - 22:30
Post Office - San Marco 5554, salizzada Fondacodei Tedeschi, Monday through Saturday 08:30 - 12:30
Shops - 09:00 - 13:00/15:30 - 19:30


Exploring the Venice Province, Italy

Dorsoduro District in Venice, Italy


Dorsoduro is one of the six sestieri of Venice, in northern Italy. Dorsoduro includes the highest land areas of the city and also Giudecca island and Isola Sacca Fisola. Its name derives from the Italian for "hard ridge", due to its comparatively high, stable land.

The original heart of the area was the Giudecca Canal, along which buildings were constructed from the sixth century. By the eleventh century, settlement had spread across to the Grand Canal, while later religious buildings including the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute and the Zattere quay are now its main landmarks. In the nineteenth century the Accademia was set up in Dorsoduro and the Ponte dell'Accademia linked it to the San Marco district, making it an expensive area, popular with foreign residents. The western quarter end and the Giudecca, became industrialised around this time.

Attractions on the main islands include the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the Palazzo Dario, San Trovaso, San Pantalon, San Nicolò da Tolentino, the Ospedale Giustinian, the Church of San Sebastiano, the Palazzo Ariani, the Palazzo Zenobio, the Church of Santa Maria del Carmelo, Scuola Grande dei Carmini, Campo Santa Margherita, Ca' Foscari, Ca' Rezzonico, Le Zitelle, and Campo San Barnaba.



Foods to Try in Venice


Next time you are bike touring in the Venice and the Veneto there are a few foods you should try.

Venice Italy, Food

Venice's seafood: delicious!

If you’re heading to Italy’s Veneto region anytime soon (say, for the Mid Mountains Bike Tour or the Giro Venice and Veneto), there’s something very important you need to know: what to eat.

In and around Venice, here are the foods you just can’t miss!

A twist on Venice's sardee in saor

Sardee in saor. One of our favorite Venetian dishes, this delicious antipasto features sweet-and-sour sardines with onions, pine nuts and raisins. Sounds odd, tastes amazing.

Risi e bisi. A Venetian dish of rice and peas, somewhere between a risotto and a soup. So traditional, it used to be offered to the Doge every St. Mark’s Feast Day.

Pasta e fasioi. In Italian, this would be “pasta e fagioli,” or pasta and beans. But this is the Venetian version… so you just have to order it in Venetian dialect!

Scampi alla veneziana. Venetian shrimp that have been boiled and are served with a simple dressing of olive oil and lemon juice.

Venice, Italy, Food
Vermicelli with squid ink, a Venetian specialty Caparossoi a scota deo. Large, plump clams, cooked with lemon and pepper. They’re so good, people can’t resist reaching for them as soon as they’re on the table, even when they’re hot… hence “a scota deo” – finger burners!

Risotto or vermicelli al nero di seppia. Risotto or vermicelli (long, thin noodles) with black squid ink, popular in Venice.
Bigoi in salsa. Spaghetti in a sauce of sardines or anchovies.

Scampetti con polenta. Little shrimps with polenta, a dish made out of boiled cornmeal.

Carpaccio. Raw meat, sliced thin, with a sauce made out of mayo, mustard, cream, and tomato. Invented by the famous Harry’s Bar in Venice.

Venice Italy, Food PolentaBacala mantecato. Cod, crushed with parsley and olive oil.

Fritole venessiane. Fritters, made of everything from cornflour to pumpkin. Popular around Carnevale.

Pincia. A pastry with eggs, sugar and raisins.

Gondola Rides in Venice


Venice Italy, gondola rides

Long, sleek, black, slightly crooked, looking like a cross between a canoe and a coffin, the single oar worked by a professional gondolier. the Venetian gondola, has been a primary form of transportation in Venice from the 12th century until motorized boats came into the canals in the late 20th. And touristy or not, your visit to Venice isn't complete until you take one of these time honoured water taxis for a spin.

Technically the gondola is a mode of transportation, and technically you might find a gondolier willing to ferry you from point A to point B, but in practice these most famous of Venetian boats operate as supremely overpriced tourist mini-cruises, not as a viable means of public transportation. There are gondola-like boats that do serve as public transport; they're called traghetti, detailed below.

How much does a gondola ride cost?

The official rates if you're using a gondola as a taxi are €80 ($104) for up to 6 people for a 40-minute ride; additional 20 minute increments cost €40 ($52). As soon as the clock strikes 7pm, the price jacks up to €100 ($130) for 40 minutes, €50 ($65) each additional 20 minutes. Travel Tip:  Check with the tourist office for the current offical rates, if they have a paper with these rates posted that this with you.  If you show this paper to the provider they are less likely to over charge you.  Remember the saying in Italy is that if it goes it goes, if you are willing to pay more they will gladly take your money.

How long should a gondola ride last?

The average gondola ride lasts 40 minutes. Make absolutely sure you agree upon the price and the duration of the trip before you step into the boat, write it down, and go by your watch (strangely, the gondoliers' often run fast).

Venice's gondolas and gondoliers are regulated by the Ente Gondola (tel. +39-041-528-5075;, so call if you have any questions or complaints.

Bacino Orseolo — The gondola parking lot

If you want to see the biggest gondola parking lot in Venice, it's surprisingly easy to find but surprisingly often missed. This magic spot is called the Bacino Orseolo, a small basin or wide spot in the canal where dozens of boats bounce gently in the water. It is located just north of the northwest corner of Piazza San Marco, encaved in the curving yellow walls of the Best Western Hotel Cavalletto. Travel Tip: some of the best views are from the hotel's red-awninged windows).

What is a Traghetto

Want to ride in a gondola while in Venice without paying more than $100? Look for any street named Calle del Traghetto leading toward the Grand Canal (marked by a yellow sign with the black gondola symbol) and hop aboard a traghetto (ferry skiff). These oversized gondolas rowed by two gondolier cross the Grand Canal at eight intermediate points not covered by the Grand Canal's four bridges. The fare is a bargain €0.50 (60¢) for locals and 2 euro for tourist, which you hand to the gondolier when boarding. You then ride standing up if there are more than 5 or 6 persons. Travel tip: The ride only lasts five or six minutes, but it's a thoroughly Venetian way of getting around and way cheaper than a tourist gondola.  Be aware that there does not seem to be on defined business hours, after 17:00 and normally during reposo  they are not working. 

Be a gondolier for the day — Gondola rowing lessons

Ever wanted to take the stick and learn how to steer a gondola around the canals of Venice? Several tour services teach you do just that: spend the afternoon taking gondola driving lessons. (Or at least Venetian-style rowing lessons.)

The easiest to use is Row Venice (tel. +39-345-241-5266,, which will teach you the Voga Veneta, the traditional Venetian rowing style, in an open, canoe-like boat called a sandolo (think of it as the gondola's less stylish cousin). Lessons last two hours and cost €50 (or €40 per person for two).

If only a full-fledged gondola will do, ArtViva tours (tel. +39-055-264-5033; offers a two-hour "Learn to be a Gondolier" tour for €80 (min. 1 person, max. 4; tours at 9am, 11am, 2pm, and 4pm Mon–Sat).

You can also try contacting the local canoeing club Canottieri Giudecca (tel. 041-528-7409,, which claims to offer lessons for just €6 per hour.

If you are curious how gondolas are made, Casanova/Oltrex (tel. +39-041-524-2828 , offers a two-hour tour that visits a working squero (gondola workshop). Their office and meeting point is a cubby-hole office in the base of the Hotel Daniele on Riva degli Schiavoni, just off Piazza San Marco.

Travel Tips

  • Planning your day: Gondola rides last 40 minutes, unless you pay for overtime.
  • You can get a cheaper ride by sharing the boat with other tourists.
  • Remember: evening rides are more romantic, but cost a premium. Those wanting to save will want to take their gondola ride before 7pm.
  • All gondoliers will want to row you in a big circle back to where you boarded. If you want to end up elsewhere, insist upon it—firmly but politely.

Grand Canal (Canal Grande) in Venice Italy


The Grand Canal (Italian: Canal Grande) is a canal in Venice, Italy. It forms one of the major water-traffic corridors in the city. Public transport is provided by water buses and private water taxis, and many tourists explore parts of the canal by gondola. At one end, the canal leads into the Venetian lagoon near the Santa Lucia railway station and the other end leads into Saint Mark Basin; in between, it makes a large reverse-S shape through the central districts (sestieri) of Venice. It is 3,800 m long, 30–90 m wide, with an average depth of five meters (16.5 ft).

The banks of the Grand Canal are lined with more than 170 buildings, most of which date from the 13th to the 18th century, and demonstrate the welfare and art created by the Republic of Venice. The noble Venetian families faced huge expenses to show off their richness in suitable palazzos; this contest reveals the citizens’ pride and the deep bond with the lagoon. Amongst the many are the Palazzi Barbaro, Ca' Rezzonico, Ca' d'Oro, Palazzo Dario, Ca' Foscari, Palazzo Barbarigo and to Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, housing the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. The churches along the canal include the basilica of Santa Maria della Salute. Centuries-old traditions, such as the Historical Regatta, are perpetuated every year along the Canal. Because most of the city's traffic goes along the Canal rather than across it, only one bridge crossed the canal until the 19th century, the Rialto Bridge. There are currently three more bridges, the Ponte degli Scalzi, the Ponte dell'Accademia, and the recent, controversial Pontedella Costituzione, designed by Santiago Calatrava, connecting the train station to Piazzale Roma, one of the few places in Venice where buses and cars can enter. As was usual in the past, people can still take a ferry ride across the canal at several points by standing up on the deck of a simple gondola called a traghetto, although this service is less common than even a decade ago. Most of the palaces emerge from water without pavement. Consequently, one can only tour past the fronts of the buildings on the grand canal by boat.

History and Art of the Grand Canal

The Grand Canal probably follows the course of an ancient river(possibly a branch of the Brenta) flowing into the lagoon. Adriatic Veneti groups already lived beside the formerly-named "Rio Businiacus" before the Roman age. They lived in stilt houses and on fishing and commerce (mainly salt). Under the rule of the Roman empire and later of the Byzantine empire the lagoon became populated and important, and in the early 9th century the doge moved his seat from Malamocco to the safer "Rivoaltus". Increasing trade followed the doge and found in the deep Grand Canal a safe and ship accessible canal-port. Drainage reveals that the city became more compact over time: at that time the Canal was wider and flowed between small, tide-subjected islands connected by wooden bridges.

"Fondaco" houses

Along the Canal, the number of "fondaco" houses increased, buildings combining the warehouse and the merchant's residence. A portico (the curia) covers the bank and facilitates the ships' unloading. From the portico a corridor flanked by storerooms reaches a posterior courtyard. Similarly, on the first floor a loggia as large as the portico illuminates the hall into which open the merchant's rooms. The façade is thereby divided into an airy central part and two more solid sides. A low mezzanine with offices divides the two floors. The fondaco house often had two lateral defensive towers (torreselle), as in the Fondaco dei Turchi (13th century, heavily restored in the 19th). With the German warehouse, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi (which is also situated on the Grand Canal), it reflects the high number of foreign merchants working in Venice, where the republic supplied them with storerooms and lodging and simultaneously controlled their trading activity. More public buildings were built along the Canal at Rialto: palaces for commercial and financial Benches ( Palazzo dei Camerlenghi and Palazzo dei Dieci Savi, rebuilt after 1514 fire) and a mint. In 1181 Nicolò Barattieri constructed a pontoon bridge connecting Rialto to Mercerie area, which was later replaced by a wooden bridge with shops on it. Warehouses for flour and salt were more peripheral.

The Venetian-Byzantine style

From the Byzantine empire, goods arrived together with sculptures, friezes, columns and capitals to decorate the fondaco houses of patrician families. The Byzantine art merged with previous elements resulting in a Venetian-Byzantine style; in architecture it was characterized by large loggias with round or elongated arches and by polychrome marbles abundance. Along the Grand Canal, these elements are well preserved in Ca' Farsetti, Ca' Loredan (both municipal seats) and Ca' da Mosto, all dating back to the 12th or 13th century. During this period Rialto had an intense building development, determining the conformation of the Canal and surrounding areas. As a matter of fact, in Venice building materials are precious and foundations are usually kept: in the subsequent restorations, existing elements will be used again, mixing the Venetian-Byzantine and the new styles ( Ca' Sagredo, Palazzo Bembo). Polychromy, three-partitioned façades, loggias, diffuse openings and rooms disposition formed a particular architectural taste that continued in the future. The Fourth Crusade, with the loot obtained from the sack of Constantinople (1204), and other historical situations, gave Venice an Eastern influence until the late 14th century.

Venetian Gothic

Venetian Gothic architecture found favor quite late, as a splendid flamboyant Gothic ("gotico fiorito") beginning with the southern façade of the Doge's Palace. The verticality and the illumination characterizing the Gothic style are found in the porticos and loggias of fondaco houses: columns get thinner, elongated arches are replaced by pointed or ogee or lobed ones. Porticos rise gently intertwining and drawing open marbles in quatrefoils or similar figures. Façades were plastered in brilliant colors. The open marble fascias, often referred as " laces", quickly diffused along the Grand Canal. Among the 15th-century palaces still showing the original appearance are Ca' d'Oro, Palazzo Bernardo, Ca' Foscari (now housing the University of Venice), Palazzo Pisani Moretta, Palazzi Barbaro, Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti.


By the start of the 15th century, Renaissance architecture motifs appear in such buildings as the Palazzo Dario and the Palazzo Corner Spinelli; the latter was designed by Mauro Codussi, pioneer of this style in Venice. Ca' Vendramin Calergi, another of his projects (now hosting the Casino), reveals a completed transition: the numerous and large windows with open marbles are round-arched and have columns in the three classical orders. Classical architecture is more evident in Jacopo Sansovino's projects, who arrived from Rome in 1527. Along the Canal he designed Palazzo Corner and Palazzo Dolfin Manin, known for grandiosity, for the horizontal layout of the white façades and for the development around a central courtyard. Other Renaissance buildings are Palazzo Papadopoli and Palazzo Grimani di San Luca. Several palaces of this period had façades with frescoes by painters such as Il Pordenone, Tintoretto, Paolo Veronese, all of them unfortunately lost. Particularly noteworthy were the frescoes by Veronese and Zelotti on Ca Cappello, overlooking the Grand Canal at the intersection with the Rio de S. Polo.

Venetian Baroque

In 1582, Alessandro Vittoria began the construction of Palazzo Balbi (now housing the Government of Veneto), in which Baroque elements can be recognized: fashioned cornices, broken pediments, ornamental motifs. The major Baroque architect in Venice was Baldassarre Longhena. In 1631 he began to build the magnificent Santa Maria della Salute basilica, one of the most beautiful churches in Venice and a symbol of Grand Canal. The classical layout of the façade features decorations and by many statues, the latter crowning also the refined volutes surrounding the major dome. Longhena later designed two majestic palaces like Ca' Pesaro and Ca' Rezzonico (with many carvings and chiaroscuro effects) and Santa Maria di Nazareth church (Chiesa degli Scalzi). For various reasons the great architect did not see any of these buildings finished, and the designs for all but Santa Maria della Salute were modified after his death. Longhena's themes recur in the two older façades of Palazzo Labia, containing a famous fresco cycle by Giambattista Tiepolo. In the Longhenian school grew Domenico Rossi ( San Stae's façade, Ca' Corner della Regina) and Giorgio Massari, who later completed Ca' Rezzonico. The 16th and 17th centuries mark the beginning of the Republic's decline, but nevertheless they saw the highest building activity on the Grand Canal. This can be partially explained by the increasing number of families (like the Labia) becoming patrician by the payment of an enormous sum to the Republic, which was then facing financial difficulties. Once these families had achieved this new status, they built themselves with impressive residences on the Canal, often inducing other families to renew theirs.

Neoclassical architecture

Neoclassical architectures along the Canal date to 18th century: during the first half was built San Simeone Piccolo, with an impressive corinthian portico, central plan and a high copper-covered dome ending in a cupola shaped as a temple. Date to the second half Massari's Palazzo Grassi.

Modern era

After the fall of the Republic 1797, construction of housing in Venice was suspended, as symbolized by the unfinished San Marcuola and Palazzo Venier dei Leoni (housing the Peggy Guggenheim Collection). Patrician families lost their desire of self-exaltation and many of them died out. Several historical palaces were pulled down, but most of them survived and good restorations have saved their 18th century appearance. The most important are publicly owned and host institutions and museums. Religious buildings underwent the consequences of religious orders suppression decreed by Napoleon in the Kingdom of Italy period. Many churches and monasteries were deprived of furnishings and works of art, changed their function (like Santa Maria della Carità complex, now housing the Gallerie dell'Accademia) or were demolished. The Santa Croce complex, for which the Sestiere was named, was situated in Papadopoli Gardens area; Santa Lucia complex (partially designed by Palladio) was razed to the ground to build Santa Lucia Station. The Kingdom of Italy accession restored serenity in the city and stimulated construction along the Grand Canal respecting its beauty, often reproduced in Gothic Revival architectures like the Pescaria at Rialto.

Gulf of Venice


gulf venezia

The Gulf of Venice is a gulf that borders modern-day Italy, Slovenia and Croatia, and is at the north of the Adriatic Sea between the delta of the Po river in northern Italy and the Istria peninsula in Croatia. On average the gulf is 34 meters deep. It is the home of the popular destination island Albarella. The Tagliamento, Piave, Adige, Isonzo, Dragonja, and Brenta rivers run in to it. Major cities that lie on it are Venice, Trieste, Koper, Chioggia and Pula.


In antiquity the gulf was southern terminus of Amber Road. The Gulf of Venice gets its name from when the Venetian Republic was at the height of its power, at this time the Venetian Republic encompassed most of the northern Adriatic Sea.

House of Carlo Goldoni in Venice


The House of Carlo Goldoni, or in Italian, Casa di Carlo Goldoni is a small palace, that served as the residence of the Italian playwright Carlo Goldoni. Located in San Polo, Venice, it is now a museum and library of theater studies.


The small Gothic style palace is located on Calledei Nomboli 2793. Originally property of the Rizzi family. The palace passed on till it was bought in the 17th century by the grandfather of Carlo Goldoni. The House of Carlo Goldoni and Library of Theatre Studies (Casa di Goldoni e Biblioteca di Studi Teatrali) a museum managed by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia which exhibits collections on Goldoni's life and works, as well as artefacts relating to Venetian theatre

How to Get Around in Venice (Venezia)


vaporetto getting around in venice

Traveling to and from Venezia (Venice) and getting around the city is just like traveling in any major tourist area. There are less expensive ways and very expensive ways to get over to the city, so you have plenty options based on your budget, how long you want to wait, and how many bags you plan on lugging around. To plan your trip you just need to understand your options and then make your plan.


Venice (Marco Polo)Airport is located just 12km (seven miles) from Venice, Marco Polo airport is the main hub of European and national flights to the Veneto region. It is easily accessible by land or water, and when occasionally blighted by fog, planes land at nearby airports in Treviso or Verona. Marco Polo is one of the busiest airports in Italy.


Treviso Airportthe divert airport for Venice in case of bad weather conditions is Treviso, also there are some national airlines that utilize the Treviso Airport, but fares are posted as Venice, so look at your ticket well or you could exit the airport wondering where you ended up at. The most convenient way to get from Treviso airport (S. Guiseppe) to Venice (Pzzle. Roma) is to take the ATVO bus which has a time schedule organized to accommodate flights arriving and departing. You will arrive in Venice at Piazzale Roma, from where you can walk or take a water-bus into the heart of the city.


The most romantic way to arrive in Venice (weather permitting) is by boat, and there are plenty of motor boats (motoscafo) in Venice. From the airportAlaguna offers a water-bus service for (€17 standard fare), and the ride takes about 1 hour, this no longer than the bus or taxi, and the approach to St Mark’s Square, from the water, is fantastic. The Alilaguna water bus service (telephone number: (041) 523 5775; fax number: (041) 522 939; e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) departs hourly 0615-0010 and takes one hour, tickets can be bought in the arrival area just to the left of the gate area as you exit. Water taxis (telephone number: (041) 541 5084) are quicker and cost effective if you have a group, costs start around €120 for up to 4 persons with 1 bag each (surcharge for additional bags will be charged), be sure and confirm the cost prior to boarding and they should give you a receipt, if not do not give a tip (see tipping below)

A cheaper alternative is by land, on the ATVO airbus, these are generally the blue colored buses (telephone number: (041) 541 5180) to Piazzale Roma, which departs every 20 minutes 0835-2330 and costs €3 (journey time is approx 20 minutes).

Cheaper still is the ACTV orange colored public buses (telephone number: (041) 528 7886) public bus 5 should be the bus number you are looking for, which costs just €1 and departs every 30 minutes 0525-2125 (journey time is approx 30 minutes to Piazzale Roma).

Car taxis to Piazzale Roma wait outside the arrivals hall and cost approximately €30-40 a car not persons, again confirm cost prior to getting in and they should give you a receipt. (telephone number: (041) 936 222).


Venice is visited by strolling·through the streets, over the bridges, and sitting in small piazzas having a caffe or wine while·figuring out where to go next.  But if you want to see a lot and have little time, you can use the water buses called vaporetti and operated by Azienda ConsorzialeTransporti Venezia– ACTV (telephone number: (041) 528 7886).·Tickets cost €7.50 for trips that include the Grand Canal and €3.50 for those that do not. There is also a 24-hour pass which is available for €17.50 and a good value three-day ticket priced at €32, both passes allow the visitor to travel on all vaporetto lines including the Grand Canal and islands. Tickets and passes are available for purchase at most landing stations and selected news paper stands and should be punched in the yellow machine before boarding. Failure to provide a valid stamped ticket when requested results in a €50 fine, plus the full value of the ticket. Tickets are also valid for ACTV road buses, which operate to Piazzale Roma from Mestre and the airport. ACTV operates a 24-hour service but not on all routes.

Traghetti (public ferries) are traditionally used by locals to cross the Grand Canal because there are only three main bridges that cross the Grand Canal, the fourth by the Train station is the newest and does not really count. The traghetti is an open hull gondola, that you stand up in and are rolled across the canal. A quick journey and not always a calm ride (if you are a nervous type and have poor swimming abilities this may not be the best option for you). The trip costs you 50 cents euro for locals and 2 euro for tourist, the ride is over in about 4 minutes.

Water taxis in Venice are perhaps the most expensive taxi service in Europe, and there is a minimum set charge of around €30, a brief trip along the Grand Canal will cost in the region of €70-80 and on top of this there are surcharges for extra passengers, (over the standard four), luggage and travelling by night. Water Taxis (telephone number: (041) 541 5084) can be ordered by telephone but will have a minimum of €20 on the clock when they arrive. Co-operative San Marco (telephone number: (041) 523 5775) also operates a water taxi service. Stands are located at the train station, Piazzale Roma, Rialto, San Marco and the Lido. Official water taxis have a black registration number on a yellow background. Visitors are advised to stay away from illegal operators.

Car Taxis operate between Piazzale Roma and the mainland only. Since hailing a taxi can prove difficult, visitors find it easier to call for a pickup from a reputable company, such as Radio Taxi (telephone number: (041) 523 7774), which around 15 euro for short trips, like from Piazzale Roma to Mestre Train Station. Visitors should beware of unlicensed taxis without the usual sign or meter.

Tipping has become expected for both land and water taxis, but not necessary, I advise only to tip if the people actually help you with the bags, are friendly, and give you a receipt. Do not be foolish and give a big tip for nothing, Italians and most Europeans do not tip at all and if they do it is only to round up to the nearest 5 euro.


The Venetian equivalent of the limousine is the gondola. For the ultimate travelling experience, there is nothing like gliding under the Bridge of Sighs, leaning back in plush red velvet seats and listening to the gentle slap of water against the crumbling palazzi walls.Gondola Rides in Venice

Island of Giudecca in Venice Italy


Giudecca is an island in the Venetian Lagoon, in northern Italy. It is part of the sestiere of Dorsoduro and is a locality of the comune of Venice.Giudecca lies immediately south of the central islands of Venice, from which it is separated by the Giudecca Canal. San Giorgio Maggiore lies off its eastern tip.


Giudecca was known in ancient times as the Spinalunga (meaning "Long Thorn"). The name Giudecca may represent a corruption of the Latin "Judaica" ("Judaean") and so may be translated as " the Jewry": a number of towns in Southern Italy and Sicily have Jewish quarters named Giudecca or Judeca. However, the original Venetian Ghetto was in Cannaregio, in the north of the city, and there is no evidence, but for the name, of Jews ever having lived in Giudecca. Furthermore, the term "Giudecca" was not used to denote the Jewish quarters of towns in northern Italy. Giudecca was historically an area of large palaces with gardens, the island became an industrial area in the early 20th century with shipyards and factories, in addition to a film studio. Much of the industry went into decline after World War II, but it is now once more regarded as a quiet residential area of largely working-class housing with some chic apartments and exclusive houses. It is known for its long dock and its churches, including the Palladio-designed Il Redentore. The island was the home of a huge flour mill, the Molino Stucky, which has been converted into a luxury hotel and apartment complex. At the other end of Giudecca is the famous five-star Cipriani hotel with large private gardens and salt-water pool.

Island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice Italy


San Giorgio Maggiore is one of the islands of Venice, northern Italy, lying east of the Giudecca and south of the main island group. The isle is surrounded by Canale della Grazia, Canale della Giudecca, Saint Mark Basin, Canale di San Marco and the southern lagoon. It forms part of the San Marco sestiere. File:Districts venice - sangiorgio maggiore.png|San Giorgio Maggiore within Venice.


San Giorgio Maggiore was probably occupied in the Roman period; after the foundation of Venice it was called Insula Memmia after the Memmo family who owned it. By 829 it had a church consecrated to St George; thus it was designated as San Giorgio Maggiore to be distinguished from San Giorgio in Alga. The San Giorgio Monastery was established in 982, when the Benedictine monk, Giovanni Morosini, a member of an important noble family of Venice, asked the doge Tribuno Memmo to donate the whole island for a monastery.  Morosini drained the island's marshes next to the church to get the ground for building, and founded the Monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore, and became its first abbot. San Giorgio is now best known for the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, designed by Palladio and begun in 1566. The belltower has a ring of 9 bells in C#. In the early 19th century, after the Republic fell, the monastery was almost suppressed and the island became a free port with a new harbour built in 1812. It became the home of Venice's artillery.


San Giorgio Maggiore is now the headquarters of the Cini Foundation arts centre, known for its library and is also home to the Teatro Verde open-air theatre.

Island of San Michele in Venice, Italy


San Michele is an island in the Venetian Lagoon, outside the city of Venice. It is associated with the sestiere of Cannaregio, from which it lies a short distance northeast.


Along with neighbouring San Cristoforo della Pace, the island was a popular place for local travellers and fishermen to land. Mauro Codussi's Chiesa di San Michele in Isola of 1469, the first Renaissance church in Venice, and a monastery lie on the island, which also served for a time as a prison. San Cristoforo was selected to become a cemetery in 1807, designed by Gian Antonio Selva, when under French occupation it was decreed that burial on the mainland (or on the main Venetian islands) was unsanitary. The canal that separated the two islands was filled in during 1836, and subsequently the larger island became known as San Michele. Bodies were carried to the island on special funeral gondolas. Among those buried there are Igor Stravinsky, Joseph Brodsky, Jean Schlumberger, Christian Doppler, Frederick Rolfe, Horatio Brown, Sergei Diaghilev, Ezra Pound, Luigi Nono, Catherine Bagration, Franco Basaglia, Zoran Mušič, Helenio Herrera, Emilio Vedova, and Salvador de Iturbide y Marzán. The cemetery is still in use today.

The cemetery contains 7 war graves from World War I of officers and seaman of the British merchant and Royal Navy.  Aspasia Manos was initially interred at the cemetery of Isola di San Michele. Her remains were later transferred to the Royal Cemetery Plot in the park of Tatoi Palace. Other attractions include the Cappella Emiliana chapel.

Island of San Pietro di Castello in Venice Italy


San Pietro di Castello (formerly Olivolo island) is an island in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy, forming part of the Castello sestiere. It is linked to the main islands of Venice by two bridges.

The island was the site of a castle from at least the 6th century, and it is from this that the island and the sestiere are named. In the seventh century, it became the seat of the Bishop of Olivolo, later renamed Bishop of Castello. When Castello was merged into the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice it remained the seat of that archdiocese until 1807. The Church of San Pietro was the seat from the ninth century, while other attractions on the island include a campanile with a ring of bells in C, and the greenery of the Campo San Pietro.

Jewish Ghetto in Venice, Italy


Venice Ghetto

The Venetian Ghetto was the area of Venice in which Jews were compelled to live under the Venetian Republic. It is from its name in Italian ("ghetto"), that the English word " ghetto" is derived: in the Venetian language it was named "ghèto". The Venetian Ghetto (incidentally, the first Ghetto) was instituted in 1516, though political restrictions on Jewish rights and residences existed before that date.

The English term "ghetto" is an Italian loanword, which actually comes from the Venetian word "ghèto", slag, and was used in this sense in a reference to a foundry where slag was stored located on the same island as the area of Jewish confinement.

The Ghetto is an area of the Cannaregio sestiere of Venice, divided into the Ghetto Nuovo ("New Ghetto"), and the adjacent Ghetto Vecchio ("Old Ghetto"). These names of the ghetto sections are misleading, as they refer to an older and newer site at the time of their use by the foundries: in terms of Jewish residence, the Ghetto Nuovo is actually older than the Ghetto Vecchio.

Though it was home to a large number of Jews, the population living in the Venetian Ghetto never assimilated to form a distinct, "Venetian Jewish" ethnicity. Four of the five synagogues were clearly divided according to ethnic identity: separate synagogues existed for the German (the Scuola Grande Tedesca), Italian (the Scuola Italiana), Spanish and Portuguese (the Scuola Spagnola), and Levantine Sephardi communities (The Scola Levantina). The fifth, the Scuola Canton, was a private synagogue for the 4 families who funded its construction. One was the Fano family. Today, there are also populations of Ashkenazic Jews in Venice, mainly Lubavitchers who operate one of two kosher food stores, a yeshiva, and the aforementioned Chabad synagogue. Languages historically spoken in the confines of the Ghetto include Venetian, Italian, Judeo-Spanish, Judeo-Arabic, French, and German. In addition, Hebrew was traditionally (and still is) used on signage, inscriptions, and for official purposes such as wedding contracts (as well as, of course, in religious services). Today, English is widely used in the shops and the Museum because of the large number of English-speaking tourists.

Today, the Ghetto is still a center of Jewish life in the city. The Jewish Community of Venice, Jewish that counts 500 people, is still culturally very active. Every year, there is an international conference on Hebrew Studies, with particular reference to the history and culture of the Veneto. Other conferences, exhibitions and seminars are held throughout the course of the year. The temples not only serve as places of worship but also provide lessons on the sacred texts and the Talmud for both children and adults, along with courses in Modern Hebrew, while other social facilities include a kindergarten, an old people's home, A guest house, The Kosher House Giardino dei Melograni, a Kosher Restaurant "Hostaria del Ghetto" and a bakery. Along with its architectural and artistic monuments, the community also boasts a Museum of Jewish Art, the Renato Maestro Library and Archive and the new Info Point inside the Midrash Leon da Modena. In the Ghetto area there is also a yeshiva, several Judaica shops, and a Chabad synagogue run by Chabad of Venice. Chabad Although only around 300 of Venice's roughly 1,000 Jews still live in the Ghetto, many return there during the day for religious services in the two synagogues which are still used, the other three are only used for guided tours, offered by the Jewish Community Museum.

Le Zitelle Church in Venice Italy


Le Zitelle (officially Santa Maria della Presentazione) is a church in the Dorsoduro District of Venice, Italy. It is part of a former complex which gave shelter to young maidens ("zitelle" in Italian) who had no dowry, and is located in the easternmost part of the Giudecca island. Generally attributed to Andrea Palladio, the original design dates to 1579-1580 and the construction to 1586. Its housing edifice surrounds the church in a horseshoe shape, with a court behind the apse.

The façade has two orders, surmounted by a tympanum and flanked by two small bell towers. The church has a large dome with a lantern. The interior is on the central plan. It houses works by Aliense, Leandro Bassano and Palma il Giovane. The attribution to Andrea Palladio is not without controversy. The Centro points to a lack of contemporary documents and drawings confirming Palladio's involvement with the project and the fact that construction only started in 1581, one year after Palladio's death. They consider: "... The church is now only open on Sundays, and the Bauer Hotel has acquired the former convent and converted it into a 50-room luxury hotel - The Palladio.

Lido di Venezia, Venice Italy


The Lido — or Venice Lido (Lido di Venezia) — is an long sandbar in Venice, northern Italy; it is home to about 20,000 residents. The Venice Film Festival takes place at the Lido every September.


The island is home to three settlements. The Lido itself, in the north, is home to the Film Festival, the Grand Hotel des Bains, the Venice Casino and the Grand Hotel Excelsior. Malamocco, in the centre, was the first and, for a long time, the only settlement. It was at one time home to the Doge of Venice. Alberoni at the southern end is home to the golf course. Frequent public buses run the length of the island along the main street. At least half the Adriatic side of the island is a sandy beach, much of it belonging to the various hotels that house the summer tourists. These include the renowned Excelsior and the Des Bains, setting for Thomas Mann's classic novel Death in Venice, currently undergoing major renovation. These beaches are private, though towards the northern and southern ends of the island there are two enormous public beaches. The Adriatic Sea is fairly clean and warm, ideal for children, with only the occasional jellyfish to disturb swimming. The heart of the island is the Gran Viale Santa Maria Elisabetta, a wide street approximately 700 m long that leads from the lagoon and vaporetto (water bus) stop on one side across to the sea on the other. It houses hotels, shops, and tourist-centric restaurants. Venezia Lido, a public airport suitable for smaller aircraft, is found on the NE end of Lido di Venezia. It has a 1000 m grass runway.


In 1177, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and Pope Alexander III signed the Treaty of Venice here following Frederick's defeat at the Battle of Legnano in 1176. In 1202, at the beginning of the Fourth Crusade, it was used as a camp by tens of thousands of crusaders, who were blockaded there by the Venetians when they could not pay for the Venetian ships they needed for transport. In 1857, the first sea bathing facility was set up. This was the first time that anything like it had been seen in Europe and soon, the lido became "The Lido", a byword for a beach resort. The Lido's success and the fascination of Venice nearby made the Lido famous worldwide. Lido was also famous for its brothels in the first half of the 20th century. Major beach facilities, hotels and private summer villas have remained the heart of an island that is still known as the "Golden Island". In the 1960s, the improving post-war Italian economy created a real-estate boom in the island, and many Venetians moved to Lido to benefit from its modern infrastructure.

Lion of Saint Mark, Venice Italy


lion st mark

The Lion of Saint Mark, representing the evangelist St Mark, pictured in the form of a winged lion, is the symbol of the city of Venice and formerly of the Republic of Venice. It appears also in both merchant and military naval flags of the Italian Republic. The Lion of Saint Mark is also the symbol of the award of the Venice Film Festival, the " Golden Lion", and of the insurance company Assicurazioni Generali. Other elements often included in depictions of the lion include a halo over his head, a book, and a sword in its paws.

The Venetian lion appears in two distinct forms. One is as a winged animal resting on water, to symbolise dominance over the seas, holding St. Mark’s Gospel under a front paw. You can see these mighty animals all round the Mediterranean, usually on top of a classical stone column.  The other form is known as the lion “in moleca”, in the form of a crab. Here the lion is depicted full-faced with its wings circled around the head resembling the claws of a crustacean. It is emerging from water, so that the lion “in moleca” is associated with the lagoon and the city, whereas the standing winged lion is thought to be more associated with Venetian territory around the Mediterranean.

Venetian tradition states that when St. Mark was traveling through Europe, he arrived at a lagoon in Venice, where an angel appeared to him and said "Pax tibi Marce, evangelista meus. Hic requiescet corpus tuum." (May Peace be with you, Mark, my evangelist. Here your body will rest.) This (possibly apocryphal) tradition was used as justification by Rustico da Torcello and Bon da Malamocco in 828 for stealing the remains of St. Mark from his grave in Alexandria, and moving them to Venice, where they were eventually interred in the Basilica of St. Mark.


St Mark, represented as a lion, is a typical Christian iconography derived from the prophetic visions contained in the verse of the Apocalypse of St John 4:7. The lion is one of the four living creatures described in the book as a place around the throne of the Almighty and they are chosen as symbols of the four evangelists. These "beings" were previously described by the prophet Ezekiel. "Behold, I send my messenger ahead of you, he will prepare your way." The voice of the one who cries in the wilderness: "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths." (Gospel according to Mark 1:1–3) The lion also symbolizes the power of the Evangelist's word, the wings symbolize the spiritual elevation, while the halo is the traditional Christian symbol of holiness. However, the lion symbols express also the significance of majesty and power (drawn especially from the upward feline tail), while the book expresses the concepts of wisdom and peace and the halo gives an image of religious piety. There are many symbolic interpretations with the possible combination of sword and book:

  • An open book is a symbol of the state's sovereignty (many depictions are of doges kneeling before such representation);
  • A closed book, however, is considered as a symbol of a delegated sovereignty, and hence the public courts;
  • An open book (and the sword on the ground is not visible) is popularly considered as a symbol of peace for the state of Venice, but this is not corroborated by any historical source;
  • A closed book and a drawn sword are popular but mistakenly considered as a symbol of the state in war;
  • Finally, an open book and a sword are considered as a symbol of public justice.

However, these interpretations are not universally accepted as the Republic of Venice (Serenissima) never codified its symbols. Rare, but are presented, are also depictions of the lion without a book or a sword and sometimes without the halo (especially in a representation of a statue). In some depictions the lion rests his front paws on the ground, often in cities with rivers or in ones close to water, indicating the Venetian balanced power on land and sea.

Madonna dell'Orto Church in Venice


Madonna dell Orto Venice

The Madonna dell'Orto is a church in Venice, Italy, in the sestiere of Cannaregio.


The church was erected by the now-defunct religious order the " Humiliati" in the mid-14th century, under the direction of Tiberio da Parma, who is buried in the interior. It was initially dedicated to St. Christopher, patron saint of travellers, but its popular name suggesting consecration to Holy Virgin comes from the following century, when an allegedly miraculous statue of the Madonna, commissioned for the Church of S. Maria Formosa but rejected, was brought to the Church from the nearby orchard ( in Italian) where it had languished. The church lay on weak foundations and in 1399 a restoration project was financed by the city's Maggior Consiglio. The Humiliati, due to their "depraved customs", were ousted in 1462 and the Madonna dell'Orto was assigned to the of Canons Regular of San Giorgio in Alga. The latter order was suppressed in 1668, and the following year the Church and convent annexed were handed over to Cistercians of Lombardy. In 1787 the church came under public administration. Restoration was begun under Austrian rule in the 1840s and finished in 1869, by when Venice had become part of the unified Kingdom of Italy.



The façade, built in 1460–1464, has sloping sides and is in brickwork, divided in three parts by two pilasters strips. The two side sections have quadruple mullioned windows, while the central has a large rose window. The portal is surmounted by a pointed arch with white stone decorations portraying, on the summit, St. Christopher, the Madonna and the Archangel Gabriel by Nicolò di Giovanni Fiorentino and Antonio Rizzo. Under is a tympanum, in porphyry, supported by circular pilaster strips. The whole is included into a porch with Corinthian columns. The upper central section is decorated by small arches and bas-reliefs with geometrical motifs. The upper sides have instead twelve niches each, containing statues of the Apostles. Five other Gothic niches are in the central section, with 18th-century statues representing Prudence, Charity, Faith, Hope and Temperance, taken from the demolished church of Santo Stefano.


The interior has a nave and two aisles, with double-framed pointed arches supported by Greek marble columns. The transept is absent, while in the rear is a pentagonal apse decorated by paintings by Jacobo Robusti, known as Tintoretto, who is buried here. The organ over the entrance was built in 1878, and is one of the most powerful in Venice. At an altar to the south/right of the main entrance is St. John Baptist and Saints by Cima da Conegliano, and in the fourth chapel on the North/left facing the main altar, the Contarini Chapel, there is a notable St. Agnes by Tintoretto. The Renaissance Valier Chapel once housed a small Madonna with Child by Giovanni Bellini (1481), stolen in 1993. Other works by Tintoretto in the church include a Presentation in the Temple (South aisle, close to the East end), Adoration of the Golden Calf, Last Judgement (both in the apse, either side of the main altar) and the Four Cardinal Virtues (in the upper storey of the apse, behind the altar), all from 1562 to 1564.


  • Altarpiece of St John Baptist with Saints Peter, Mark, Jerome, and Paul, by Cima da Conegliano.
  • St Christopher Martyr, copy of original by Cima da ConeglianoOriginalSt Christopher Martyr by Cima (1480–1548) now in Gallerie dell'Accademia
  • Altar of Immaculate conception: built in 1593 to accommodate miraculous statue now in Cappella San Mauro
  • Monument to Gerolamo Cavazza by Giuseppe Sardi (1624–1699)
  • Martrydom of St Lorenzo by Daniel van den Dyck.
  • Presentation of Virgin at Temple (1550–1553), Tintoretto.

St Mauro Chapel:

  • St Leonardo Murialdo (1983) Ernani Costantini
  • Miraculous Madonna, Giovanni De Santi, 14th century
  • Pieta, copy of work by SavoldoOriginal Pieta by Savoldo (1480–1548) now in Vienna
  • Madonna with Child and St Mauro abbott, Antonio Molinari.


  • Canvas with Madonna with Child and Saints attributed to school of Paris Bourdon

Apse Chapel Right

  • Tomb of Tintoretto, bust by Napoleone Martinuzzi
  • Saints Augustine and Jerome, Girolamo Santacroce


  • The Last Judgement (1563, right), Tintoretto
  • Idolatry of Golden Calf (1563, latosinistro), Tintoretto
  • St. Peter’s Vision of the Cross (1550–1553) Left, Tintoretto.
  • Above: Cardinal virtues: Justice and Temperance, half-dome of apse: Decollation of St Paul (1550–1553), right side of apse, Tintoretto
  • Above: Cardinal virtues: Prudence and Strength, Tintoretto
  • Annunciation (1590), Jacopo Palma il Giovane, from church of Santa Maria Nuova of Vicenza
  • Above: Faith, Pietro Ricchi
  • Left of main Nave
  • St Lorenzo Giustiniani and Saints, altarpiece copy of Il Pordenone original.
  • St George and the Dragon by Matteo Ponzone
  • Flagellation of Christ, Matteo Ponzone
  • God the Father in Glory (c. 1590) Domenico Tintoretto
  • Madonna with Child and Saints, School of Titian
  • Contarini Chapel:
  • Miracle of St Agnes (1575), Tintoretto
  • Funereal Monument of Contarini Family
  • Morosini Chapel:
  • Birth of Jesus Domenico Tintoretto
  • Angels bearing incense, Domenico Tintoretto
  • Crucifixion, Jacopo Palma il Giovane from church of St Ternita
  • Vendramin Chapel:
  • Arcangel Raphael and Tobias 1530) Titian, now in sacristy of San Marziale
  • Painting of St Vincent with saints Domenic, Lorenzo Giustiniani, Elena and Pope Eugenius IV by Jacopo Palma the Elder.Figures of Saint Helena and St Domenic inserted during restoration in 1867 by Placido Fabris
  • Valier Chapel:
  • Madonna with Child (1480) Giovanni Bellini (stolen 1993).

Bell tower

The bell tower, in brickwork, was finished in 1503. It has a square plan, with pilasters strips on the sides leading to the cell with circular mullioned windows. Four semicircular tympani divided the cell from the upper cylindrical tambour with an onion dome in Eastern style. On the sides are four statues of Evangelists of Pietro Lombardo's school; on the summit is a statue of the Redeemer, in white marble. The old bells, the largest being from 1424, were replaced in 1883.

On the table in Venice, Italy


Venice Italy, Foods of Venice

A Venetian meal has many courses, and it can take a few hours to work your way through them all. But do not be fooled, yes Italians actually eat such massive full meals, to be accompanied by good wine and lively conversation, but to honor a special occasion or holiday.  Otherwise the majority of Italians eats great food just one or two courses at a sitting.

What you might find on a typical Venetian menu.

Antipasto (appetizer)

Start with an antipasto (appetizer), which in Venice means seafood.

Frutti di mare are "fruits of the sea" and include a plethora of shellfish, crustaceans, and tentacled sea critters.

Useful Italian

  • table for two - tavola per due
  • I would like - vorrei
  • this - questo
  • fizzy water - acqua gassata
  • still water - acqua non gassata
  • red wine - vino rosso
  • white wine - vino bianco
  • beer - birra
  • check, please - il conto per favore
  • is service included? - é incluso il servizio

Another archetypal Venetian starter is sarde in saor, sardines prepared with a sweet-and-sour sauce and often served with grilled slices of polenta (a distant, wetter, denser cousin to cornbread).

Primo (first course)

Your primo (first course) could be a soup (try the zuppa di cozze mussels soup); a rice (risotto alle seppie, stained with squid ink, is popular, but it's beat out by risi e bisi, a creamy blend of rice and fresh peas, sometimes with bacon); or a pasta—perhaps spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams), or spaghetti al pomodoro (spaghetti in a plain tomato sauce) being the most common.

Secondo (main course)

Your secondo (main course) should take advantage of the setting and be fish. Most is priced by weight, grilled or otherwise simply prepared, and served on a bed of bitter red radicchio lettuce.

Popular secondi listed in guide books and by travel writes include anguille in umido (eels stewed with tomatoes, garlic, and white wine) and the local, non-seafood staple fegato alla Veneziana (tender calf's liver cooked down with onions). However, this is not eaten that often by locals except perhaps on special occasion, I know lots of Italians who have never eaten these dishes. 

Dolci (desserts)

Finish with a selection of formaggi (cheeses) or a dolce (dessert)—might I suggest the ever-popular tiramisù (espresso-soaked lady fingers layered with sweetened, creamy mascarpone cheese and dusted with cocoa).

Vino (wine)

Italy is famed for its wines, and the Veneto region around Venice produces some great ones, including the white Soave, and reds Bardolino and Valpolicello. The best table wines in the region tend to be the whites. There are no wine producers on the Islands of Venice.

Some recommended restaurants in Venice

Quick Bites or Snacks in Venice

The quintessential quick bite in Venice is the cicchetti (canapés and finger foods) at any bar or bacaro.

Venice also has Italy's standard great take-out venues: the tavola calda (prepared hot dishes sold by weight) and rosticceria (same thing plus roast chickens). Most bars sell tramezzini, which are like giant tea sandwiches with the crusts cut off, filled with tuna, ham and cheese, tomatoes and mozzarella, etc.

Do not get pizza slices to take away in Venice; you'll get the wrong impression of Italian pizza, which only gets good from Rome on south. You can get decent pizza at the sit-down pizzerie recommended to the left.

For picnic supplies, visit any succession of alimentari (grocery stores), forno (bakeries), and frutti vendolo (fruit and vegetable stand)—the most evocative on a vegetable barge floating on the Rio San Barnaba canal in Dorsoduro.

Suggested Places to Eat In San Marco

Bistrot de Venise [meal] - A restaurant serving an intriguing combo of Italian Renaissance recipes and French cuisine...

Osteria La Campana [meal] - It just says "Osteria" in the window, and from the door you can see only the bar. The wood-paneled dining room next-door has curtains in the windows as if to keep the tourists who wash up and down the busy street just a few blocks from St. Mark's Square from discovering this budget eatery buzzing with Venetian dialect...

Vino Vino [quick] - A Venetian wine bar with light meals, 350 vintages, and continuous hours 11:30am–11:30pm...

Rosticceria Teatro Goldoni [quick] - This joint behind plate glass windows near the Rialto may look modern, but it's been around since 1950, and really goes far above and beyond the call for a rosticceria (a sort of cafeteria with excellent pre-prepared dishes) with a vast array of choices and plenty of seating...

Rosticceria San Bartolomeo [quick] - A modern, popular, business-like tavola calda (a cafeteria-like joint) near the Rialto Bridge offering ready-made hot dishes and pizza with no cover charge right in the heart of the action...

Suggested Places to Eat In Cannaregio

Trattoria Cea [meal] - You can sit on straw-bottom chairs inside to listen to the radio and play elbow-hockey with the local workmen who pack the place at lunchtime, or snag one of the four metal tables with plastic chairs out front, ranged around an ancient marble well-head under an arbor thick with leafy vines...

Brek [quick/light meal] - A high-end cafeteria near the train station...

Suggested Places to Eat In Dorsoduro

Trattoria Ai Cugnai [meal] - Delicious food at the homey trattoria of the three sisters...

Enoteca Cantinone Già Schiavi [snack] - Enoteca Cantinone Già Schiavi offers not only a broad selection of €1 cicchetti and inexpensive glasses of vino under a beamed ceiling, but also a few dozen wines under €10 a bottle...

Suggested Places to Eat In Castello

Ristorante Corte Sconta [meal] - This trendy, trattoria popular with writers, artists, and gourmands for the past quarter century has a high-quality, all-seafood menu...

Trattoria Da Remigio [meal] - Famous for its straightforward renditions of Adriatic classics, this spot bucks the current Venetian trends by continuing to offer exquisite food and excellent, genuinely friendly service at reasonable prices...

Trattoria Pizzeria Da Aciugheta [meal] - A long block north of the chic Riva degli Schiavoni hotels lies one of Venice's best wine bars, expanded to include an elbow-to-elbow trattoria/pizzeria in back...

Suggested Places to Eat In San Polo

Cantina Do Mori [snack] - This is the Venetian cicchetti wine bar you've been dreaming about: old school and ancient, all wooden accents and crowds of locals...

Cantina Do Spade [meal/quick] - A 600-year-old trattoria with a back room where Casanova once wined and dined his romantic conquests (it has a back door so that the famed lothario could slip out should any husbands show up)...

Vini Da Pinto [meal] - How fresh is the fish? You could lob a clam shell from your outdoor table and hit the guy who sold it to the chef that morning—the Mercato del Rialto, Venice's main fish market, sprawls under a brick-and-marble Gothic loggia a few feet away...

Trattoria alla Madonna [meal] - Cuisine and chaos at a old-school trattoria...

Pizzeria Da Sandro [meal] - Da Sandro is a good choice if you’re looking for an inexpensive pizza-and-beer meal (which, believe it or not, is hard to come by in Venice). The pizzas are crisp, delicious, and so large they hang over the edges of the plates...

Suggested Places to Eat In Santa Croce

Pizzeria Ae Oche [meal] - More than ninety types of pizza and an odd Americana theme at a real local's joint...

Tips About Eating in Venice

  • Venice eats early: Well, by Italian standards at at least. In much of Italy, dinner doesn't get going until 8:30 or 9pm. In Venice, most show up for the meal at 7pm or 7:30pm, and dinner is wrapping up by 10pm. Venice goes to bed early.
  • Bread and Cover: There's an unavoidable charge called pane e coperto ("bread and cover") of about €1 to €5 that's added onto your bill at just about all Venetian restaurants. This is not a scam. This is standard in Italy.
  • Avoid places with photos of food posted on the menus.  There are usally places that serve freezer foods.

Ospedale della Pieta in Venice Italy


The Ospedale della Pietà was a convent, orphanage, and music school in Venice. Like other Venetianospedali, the Pietà was established (in a location remote from the Riva degli Schiavoni) as a hotel for Crusaders. As the Crusades abated, it changed by degrees into a charitable institution for orphans and abandoned girls. Infants could be left at the Pietà via the scaffetta, a window only large enough to admit infants. Not all infants were female, nor were they necessarily orphans. Through the seventeenth century all four of the surviving ospedali gained increasing attention through the performances of sacred music by their figlie di coro. Formal rules for the training of figlie were carefully drafted and periodically revised. Many of these concerts were given for select audiences consisting of important visitors. As the institution became celebrated, it sometimes received infants related (not always legitimately) to members of the nobility. In the later decades of the Venetian Republic, which collapsed in 1797, it also accepted adolescent music students whose fees were paid by sponsoring foreign courts or dignitaries.

The Pietà produced many virtuose and at least two composers-- Anna Bon and Vincenta Da Ponte. The life of successful figlie was much coveted. Some were given lavish gifts by admirers, and many were offered periods of vacation in villas on the Italian mainland. Most remained their entire lives, though as the Venetian economy declined in the eighteenth century, some left to make (usually advantageous) marriages. In this instance, the institution provided a future bride with a small dowry. Each Hospital had an orchestra of at least thirty to forty elements, all females (La Pietà's orchestra counted up to sixty) and competed with each other by hiring the best musicians in the city, promoting high quality concerts, and through such activities provided countless commissions for violin and other instruments makers to provide for the maintenance and repair of such instruments. These artisans were named "liuter del loco".

The office of "liuter del loco" guaranteed a constant flow of income: curating the instruments of an entire orchestra was a burdensome activity which required the work of more than one person; instruments had to be picked up, continuously repaired because of breakage and ungluing from use, and sometimes instruments had to be built. The responsible violin maker also had to supply strings for the entire orchestra, keep an accounting book detailing all operations, and issue semi-annual or annual invoices. These invoices, or ‘policies’ as they were called at the time, were handwritten by the appointed violin maker and had to be approved by the "maestre del coro" or the maestro di cappella – who would usually be granted a discount – before being paid by the hospital administration. These ‘policies’ are not only a precious source of information for the study of an author (luthier) and his work, but they are also a valid tool to gather more information on the musical practice of the "sonadori" (players) of the time. There is also much information that can be gleaned from their organological study.

The composer Antonio Vivaldi was appointed a violin teacher in 1703 and served in various roles through 1715, and again from 1723 to 1740. Much of Vivaldi's sacred vocal and instrumental music was written for performance at the Pietà. The conservatory of the Pietà hospital was the only hospital to remain active until approximately 1830. All the other hospitals completely closed their musical activity during the first years of the nineteenth century. From an instrument inventoryPio Stefano book dated 1790 we learn that during that year the Pietà hospital had still “four violins with used bows, four cellos, seventeen violins, two marine trumpets, six small violas, two viola d’amore, two mandolines, two lutes, one theorbo, four hunting horns with accessories, two psalteries with harmonic box, two cymbals, three flutes, two big cymbals with spinets, six spinets. Jean-Jacques Rousseau's account of 1770 conveys his impressions but has been over-generalized as a description of the institution over an entire century. After describing how the performers were hidden behind metal grilles, he related in his Confessions (1770): I have not an idea of anything so voluptuous and affecting as this music; the richness of the art, the exquisite taste of the vocal part, the excellence of the voices, the justness of the execution, everything in these delightful concerts concurs to produce an impression which certainly is not the mode, but from which I am of opinion no heart is secure. He goes on to the musicians.

The original building (shown above) is currently a hotel-restaurant complex (the Metropole). The nearby church of the Pietà was completed in 1761, two decades after the death of Antonio Vivaldi. The facade of the church was only completed in the early 20th century. An early childhood education center is still housed in the rear of the building complex behind the church. Most of this complex was donated to the Ospedale in the 1720s, enabling it to expand its activities. Some of Vivaldi's premiere pupils, such as Anna Maria del Violino, were given individual rooms in these newly acquired buildings. It is possible that in the salon of one of them the famous concert for "i conti del Nord", celebrated in Guardi's painting link, took place on January 22, 1782. (Guardi's painting is mistitled is "The Dinner and Ball in the Teatro San Benedetto").

Composers who held posts at the Ospedale della Pietà

  • Andrea Bernasconi
  • Bonaventura Furlanetto
  • Francesco Gasparini
  • Alvise Grani
  • Antonio Gualtieri
  • Gaetano Latilla
  • Antonio Martinelli
  • Fulgenso Perotti
  • Giovanni Porta
  • Johann Rosenmüller
  • Giuseppe Sarti
  • Giacomo Filippo Spada
  • Antonio Vandini
  • Antonio Vivaldi

Palace Ca Foscari in Venice


Ca' Foscari, the palace of the Foscari family, is a Gothic building on the waterfront of the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. Built for the doge Francesco Foscari in 1453 and designed by the architect Bartolomeo Bon, it is now the main seat of Ca' Foscari University of Venice. The palace is located on the widest bend of the Grand Canal. Here, during the annual Regata Storica (Historical Regatta, held on the first Sunday in September, a floating wooden structure known as La Machina is placed (from this structure the Venetian authorities watch at the race); this also the site of the finishing line is set and venue for prize-giving.


Previously a Byzantine palace, known as the "House with the two Towers", stood on the site; this was bought by the Republic of Venice in 1429 from Bernardo Giustinian, to be the residence of the vice-captain of the Republic, Gianfrancesco Gonzaga. The palace consisted of two towers flanking a lower, central block and was used for entertaining illustrious guests of the Republic, including kings and diplomats. In 1439, the palace was given to another captain, Francesco Sforza. However, In 1447, Francesco Sforza betrayed the Republic and was deprived of the residence. In 1453 the Republic of Venice regained possession of the palace and sold it by auction to the Doge of the time, Francesco Foscari; he had the palace demolished and rebuilt in late Venetian gothic style; the building was chosen by the doge for its position on the Grand Canal. Foscari immediately set about rebuilding the palace in a manner befitting his status: he moved the site of the new palace forward on to the bank of the Grand Canal.

Buying and rebuilding the palace for himself meant for the doge affirming his political and military role: he actually represented the continuity of the military successes of that period, lasted 30 years, and was the promoter of the Venetian expansion on mainland. The huge new palace could hardly have been finished when Foscari was disgraced in 1457 and retired to his new home until his death. In 1574 king Henry III of France was housed in the second floor of the building. The most recent restoration of Ca' Foscari and Ca' Giustinian (the palace adjacent to Ca' Foscari) was commissioned in 2004, aiming to fulfill the new requirements of safety and practicality. Work lasted from January 2004 until the summer of 2006. Presently the palace is the headquarters of the Ca', which has made accessible to the public some of the most beautiful halls, such as the "Aula Baratto" and the "Aula Berengo". In 2013, thanks to a series of important technical measures for energy efficiency and thanks to the adoption of stringent environmental management practices put in place by the Ca' Foscari University, the building obtains the LEED certificate for sustainability, thus becoming the oldest.

Palazzo Ca Rezzonico in Venice


Ca' Rezzonico is a palazzo on the Grand Canal in Venice. Today, it is a public museum dedicated to 18th-century Venice and one of the 11 venues managed by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia.


Ca' Rezzonico stands on the right bank of the canal, at the point where it is joined by the Rio di San Barnaba. The site was previously occupied by two houses belonging to the Bon family, one of Venice's patrician families. In 1649 the head of the family, Filippo Bon decided to build a large palazzo on the site. For this purpose he employed Baldassarre Longhena, the greatest proponent of Venetian Baroque, a style slowly replacing the Renaissance and Palladian architectural style of such palazzi as (its near neighbour) Palazzo Balbi and Palazzo Grimani built over 100 years previously. However, neither architect nor client was to see the completion of the Palazzo Bon: Longhena died in 1682, and Filippo Bon suffered a financial collapse. The design was for a three-story marble façade facing the canal. The ground floor rusticated, containing a central recessed portico of three bays without a pediment, symmetrically flanked by windows in two bays. Above this the piano nobile of seven bays of arched windows, separated by pilasters, above this the "second piano nobile" was near identical, and above this a mezzanine floor of low oval windows. The slight projection of the two tiers of balconies to the piano nobili accentuate the baroque decoration and design of the building. The palazzo today follows this form, although it was not finished until 1756 by the architect Giorgio Massari, who had been brought in to oversee the completion of the project by the new owners - the Rezzonico Family. Massari however, seems to have adhered to the original plans of Longhena, with the addition of some concepts of his own which reflected the change in architecture between the palazzo's conception and its completion 100 years later.

The Rezzonico family

The unfinished palazzo had been bought from the impoverished Bon family by Giambattista Rezzonico. His family, like their friends at the Palazzo Labia, had bought their noble Venetian status in the mid-17th century following a war with Turkey, when the Venetian state coffers were depleted. Hence the mere rich, as opposed to the wealthy aristocracy, could make a large donation to the Serene Republic, thus purchasing patents of nobility and having their names inscribed in the Libro d'Oro (the " Golden Book"). A Canaletto painting of the early 18th century shows only the ground floor and first piano nobile completed, and a temporary roof protecting the structure from the elements. The completion of the palazzo symbolised the completion of the Rezzonico's upward social journey. The pinnacle of the Rezzonico's power and the Palazzo's grandeur came in 1758, when Carlo, son of Giambattista Rezzonico, was elected Pope as Clement XIII, the same year Ludovico Rezzonico married Faustina Savorgnan in Venice. Ludovico later became the procurator of St. Mark's Basilica. By 1810 the family had died out, leaving only their palazzo to preserve the Rezzonico name.


In 1758, the newly completed palazzo was enhanced further, by the addition of frescos to the ceilings of the state rooms on the piano nobile overlooking the rio di San Barnaba. The artists selected for this task were Jacopo Guarana, Gaspare Diziani and most importantly Giambattista Tiepolo. These frescos remaining today are among the finest preserved in Venice. The Palazzo's principal rooms are arranged on the 1st piano nobile; on all floors the famous canal facade is only three rooms wide. On each side of the building a suite of four state rooms lead from the grand canal facade to the largest room in the palazzo - the magnificent ballroom at the rear. This room, created by Massari, is of double height. The walls are decorated in trompe l'oeil by the Lombard Pietro Visconti. The images are of an architectural nature, which create the feeling that the large room is even more massive than it is. The ceiling, painted by Giovanni Battista Crosato, depicts Apollo riding his carriage between Europe, Asia, Africa and The Americas. The Ballroom and following state rooms are reached by the vast staircase of honour, its marble balustrades decorated with statuary by Giusto Le Court. Le Court the leading sculptor in Venice in the late 17th century worked closely on many projects with the first architect Longhena, which suggests the regal importance the ballroom and staircase give to the palazzo was one of the intentions of the patrician Bon family rather than the 'arriviste' Rezzonicos. The piano nobile also contains such rooms as the Chapel, and the beautifully frescoed Nuptial Allegory Room decorated to celebrate the 1758 marriage of Ludovico Rezzonico. The ceiling has a trompe l'oeil depiction of the groom and his bride ferried by Apollo's chariot. . The frescoes in the adjoining room continues the celebration of the happy union. This room and the Palazzo Labia ballroom house major ceiling frescoes "in situ" by Tiepolo in Venice. At the centre of the rectangular palazzo is a small courtyard decorated with sculptures and a small fountain; the court is overlooked by the colonnaded balcony of the piano nobile. The ground floor resembles a mere expansion of the vaulted portego - a hall which links the canal entrance to the land entrance at the rear.

Ca' Rezzonico in the 19th century

In the early years of the 19th century, the palazzo was to become Jesuit College, however through complicated inheritance it finally came into the hands of the Pindemonte-Giovanelli family. In 1832, the family sold the entire furnishings and collections of the palazzo. Only the frescos remained in situ. In 1837, Ca' Rezzonico was acquired by Count Ladislao Zelinsky, he in turn let the palazzo to a succession of aristocratic tenants. In the 1880s, it became the home of the painter Robert Barrett Browning, whose father Robert Browning, the poet, died in his apartment on the mezzanine floor in 1889. At this time, the American portrait painter John Singer Sargent also had a studio in the palazzo. In 1906, Browning ignoring an offer from the German Emperor Wilhelm II sold the building to Count Lionello von Hierschel de Minerbi instead. The extravagant, art loving de Minerbi (who refurnished the palazzo with objets d'art, sometimes in questionable taste) lived lavishly at the palazzo until 1935 when, like his predecessors the Bon family, the money ran out.

Ca' Rezzonico today

American songwriter and composer Cole Porter rented Ca' Rezzonico for $4,000 a month in the 1920s. Porter engaged 50 gondoliers to act as footmen and employed a troupe of high-rope walkers to "perform in a blaze of coloured lights". In 1935, after lengthy negotiations, Ca' Rezzonico was acquired by City Council of Venice to display the vast collections of 18th-century Venetian art, which lack of space prevented its display in the Correr Museum. Thus, today the palazzo is more sumptously furnished than ever before. Further paintings by Tiepolo have been added, including an entire frescoed ceiling, depicting 'The Allegory of Merit', which was rescued from Palazzo Barbarigo, now in the throne room. The Throne Room was originally described as a bridal chambers of the Rezzonico family; today it is of all the reconstructed chambers perhaps the most remarkable, consisting chiefly of articles pertaining to the Venetian patrician family of Barbarigo. One of the most remarkable items in the room after the ceiling, is a picture frame. This ornate gilt frame celebrates with putti, shields and other allegories the glories of the illustrious family of Barbarigo. It was originally given to Pietro Barbarigo whose portrait it surrounds. The room is named for the ornate gilt chair or throne by rococo sculptor Antonio Corradini. T

wo very similar chairs were included in the sale at Mentmore Towers in the 1970s, rather than serving as the thrones of monarchs, they were often used by high-ranking priests in the many churches of the city during the interminable masses. In addition to the throne room, a Chinese style salon from the palazzo of the Calbo-Crotta family and many more entire rooms have been salvaged from decaying Venetian palazzi. Numerous paintings by such artists as Pietro Longhi, Francesco Guardi, Giambattista Pittoni and Giandomenico Tiepolo can be found in the Palazzo. In addition to collections of antique furniture, there is also a fine collection of Venetian glass, showing that the skills of the 18th century masters at Murano were probably superior to those on the island today. Ca' Rezzonico opened as a public museum on 25 April 1936. Today, it is one of the finest museums in Venice; this is largely because of its unique character, where objects designed for great palazzi are displayed in a palazzo, thus, the contents and the container harmonise in a way not possible in a purpose built museum.

Palazzo Dario in Venice, Italy


Palazzo Dario is a palace in Venice, northern Italy, situated on the Grand Canal of Venice at the mouth of the Rio delle Torreselle in the Dorsoduro sestiere (quarter) on the Campiello Barbaro. The palace was built in the floral Venetian Gothic style and was renovated with Renaissance features.Palazzo Dario, Venice. JC-R.Net


The palace was remodelled after 1486 by a follower of Pietro Lombardo for Giovanni Dario, Secretary to the Venetian Senate, diplomat, and merchant.Tiepolo, MF. 2002. "I Greci nella Cancelleria veneziana: Giovanni Dario", I Greci à Venezia: Atti del convegno internazionale di studio, 5–7 November 1998. Venice. 257-314. After Dario's death in 1494, it passed to his daughter, Marietta, who was married to Vincenzo Barbaro, the son of Giacomo Barbaro and owner of the neighboring Palazzo Barbaro. Marietta's sons received possession of the house in 1522. Before that time, the Senate rented it on occasion as a residence for Turkish diplomats.Marino Sanudo, in Diarii, XX:543, 540, for August 1515; XXII: 455, for August 1516; and XXIII:361 for December 1515.

Palazzo Dario resides on a small square, the Campiello Barbaro, named in honor of the patrician Barbaro family members who lived there. The square is shaded by trees and flanked by Palazzo Dario itself.  The palace was noted by the English art critic John Ruskin, who described its marble-encrusted oculi in great detail. The corner treatments of the palace has similarities to Palazzo Priuli a San Severo. The rear facade of the palace on the Campiello Barbaro has Gothic arches of the fifth order. A large project of renovation was undertaken at the end of the 19th century, when the palace belonged to the Countess de la Baume-Pluvinel, a French aristocrat and writer under the name of "Laurent Evrard". She was pleased to surround herself with French and Venetian writers, one of whom Henri de Régnier, is commemorated by an inscription on the garden wall, saying "In questa casa antica dei Dario, Henri de Regnier—poeta di Francia—venezianamente visse e scrisse—anni 1899-1901". The Countess is responsible for the staircase, the external chimneys, the majolica stoves, and the fine carvings (vaguely reminiscent of the Scuola di San Rocco) in the dining room on the second piano nobile, looking down to the garden, as well as a great deal of stabilization and replacement of marble on the facade. In 1908 the palace was the subject for a series of impressionist paintings by Claude Monet. Versions now reside in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago and the National Museum of Art of Wales. Venice, The building today is private property and not normally open to the public. However, an agreement between the current owner and the Venetian art museum, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, makes it available for special art exhibitions.

Palazzo Donà in Venice


The Palazzo Donà or Donà Brusa is a Venetian Gothic style palace located in Campo San Polo in the Sestiere of San Polo in Venice. The palace was originally built by the old aristocratic Donà family, originally from Aquileia. Three members of the family, Francesco, Leonardo, and Nicolo became Doges. The composer Giovanni Francesco Brusa, a collaborator with Carlo Goldoni, lived in the palace. The palace is now owned by the Signum Foundation, which sponsors exhibitions from Polish and foreign contemporary artists. Signum, website. There are at least three other Dona palaces in Venice, the Palazzo Donà della Madoneta on the Grand Canal, the Palazzo Donà-Ottobon in Fondamenta San Severo in Castello, and the Palazzo Donàdalle Rose in Cannaregio.

Palazzo Labia in Venice, Italy


Palazzo Labia is a baroque palace in Venice, Italy. Built in the 17th–18th century, it is one of the last great palazzi of Venice. Little known outside of Italy, it is most notable for the remarkable frescoed ballroom painted 1746–47 by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, with decorative works in trompe l'oeil by Gerolamo Mengozzi-Colonna. In a city often likened to a cardboard film set, the Palazzo is unusual by having not only a formal front along the Grand Canal, but also a visible and formal facade at its rear, and decorated side as well, along the Cannaregio Canal. In Venice, such design is very rare. The palazzo was designed by the architect Andrea Cominelli (by Alessandro Tremignon according to others), the principal facade is on the Cannaregio Canal; a lesser three bayed facade faces the Grand Canal. A later facade probably designed by Giorgio Massari is approached from the Campo San Geremia.

The Labia Family of Venice

The Labia family, who commissioned the palazzo, were originally Catalan and bought their way into nobility in 1646, hence considered arriviste by the old Venetian aristocracy. The wars with the Ottomans had depleted the coffers of the Republic of Venice which then sold inscriptions into nobility, thus giving political clout. It has been said that they compensated their lack of ancestors by a great display of wealth.Great Houses of Europe edited by Sacheverell Sitwell. Today the Palazzo Labia is the sole remaining example of this ostentation. It is the members of the Labia family of the mid 18th century to whom the palazzo owes its notability today, it was inhabited by two brothers with their wives, children and mother. The brothers Angelo Maria Labia and his brother Paolo Antonio Labia employed Tiepolo at the height of his powers to decorate the ballroom. Employing Tiepolo seems to have been the most remarkable thing the brothers ever achieved. Angelo Maria became an Abbé, merely in order to escape the political obligations of an aristocrat of the Republic. Curiously his holy employment did not prevent him marrying. His wife however was a commoner, which indicates an almost morganatic status to the marriage. Angelo's chief interests were constructing a marionette theatre, which concealed real singers behind its scenes. The marionettes often performed satirical plays which Angelo wrote himself. In later life he failed to endear himself to Venetian society by becoming an informer to the dreaded inquisition. His younger brother Paolo, married conventionally into the old Venetian aristocracy, a class prepared to accept the Labia's money and hospitality if not equality. Paolo too never assumed any public duties. It appears that it was their mother, Maria Labia, who was the intellectual driving force of the family, in her youth a great beauty, she was painted by Rosalba Carriera. The French traveller and social commentator Charles de Brosses reported that in old age she had a lively wit, flirtatious nature and possessed the finest collection of jewels in Europe. This collection was also portrayed in some of Tiepolo's work in the palazzo.


Two little-known architects, Tremignon and Cominelli, were commissioned to design the palazzo. The selection of two comparatively unknown architects is strange, considering the desire of the Labia family to make an impression on Venetian society. However, the placement of the site more than compensated for any risk involved in the selection of unknown architects. The site chosen for the palazzo was the junction of the Cannaregio Canal and the Grand Canal in the parish of San Geremia, in fact the church of San Geremia was the palazzo's immediate neighbour, its campanile seemingly incorporated into the palazzo. The Cannaregio Canal is one of the most important tributaries of the Grand Canal. While like many of the other larger palazzi in Venice the Palazzo Labia is rectangular in design built around an inner courtyard, the two architectsTremignon and Cominelli broke the architectural traditions of such architects as Longhena, by designing the facades of the Palazzo Labia to be more simple and less cluttered, than those of the earlier Venetian classical palazzi, while still maintaining a baroque richness achieved through the effect of light and shadow, a second break with Venetian architectural tradition was that the new palazzo had three facades, it was common practice in Venice for only the waterfront facade to have a richness of detail, while the rear elevations were often an evolved mismatch of asymmetrical windows and styles. The new palazzo's site being at the junction of two canals, and also bordering the Campo San Geremia provided the opportunity for three facades. Hence this attention to detail of the less obvious parts of the palazzo's exterior, away from its principal water front facade, was able to provide further evidence of the Labia's vast wealth. The facade facing the Campo San Geremia is of equal splendour to that on the Cannaregio. The Grand Canal facade is the smaller of the three, set back from thefondamenta itself and of only three bays. The palazzo is of five floors. The ground and first floors are both low, the first being rusticated, the next two floors the piano nobile and the secondo piano, have tall segmented windows separated by pilasters, the tall windows are fenced by balustraded balconettes. The fifth floor is a low mezzanine beneath the projecting hipped roof, here the small oval windows are divided by the heraldic eagles of the Labia family. The facade on the Campo San Geremia designed by Tremignon which hints at the more floral Venetian Gothic style contrasts to the more classical canal facades. However the Venetian Gothic is more of a subtle suggestion than defining style, the typical central recessed loggias of the pianonobili, typical features of the Venetian Gothic, are however glazed, and the roof line, unlike on the water fronts, is concealed by classical balustrading, but the repetition and placing of the fenestration continues the theme of the canal facades.


The double height palazzo ballroom (or Salone delle Feste) is entirely frescoed with scenes from the Romantic encounters of Marcus Antonius and Cleopatra. These frescoes were a collaboration between Tiepolo and Girolamo Mengozzi Colonna. The frescos are framed by architectural elements in trompe l'oeil, featuring doorways, windows and balconies.Through the illusionary elements we view the encounter of Anthony and the Egyptian Queen at a banquet, while from the painted balconies and upper windows members of Cleopatra's court seem to look down. It is though the models for these figures were members of the Labia's household. In the scene Cleopatra dissolves her priceless pearl in a goblet of wine, demonstrating to Anthony her wealth; Maria Labia would have seen this as a metaphor to her nouveau riche position in Venetian society. It is said Maria Labia herself was the model for Cleopatra, but no documentary evidence supports the claim. While Tiepolo's frescoes in the Ballroom are among his finest in Italy, they also display Tiepolo's shortcomings as an artist. He was totally uninterested in psychology a result of this, a debate continues today concerning the depiction (illustrated right) Marc Anthony and Cleopatra, is this the meeting or the parting of Marc Anthony and Cleopatra. Some experts claim they can detect a certain haughtiness in Cleopatra's pose which indicate some form of farewell is intended, but opinion is strongly divided. The remaining state rooms, built around the internal courtyard, pale in comparison to the ballroom, but this is purely because if inevitable comparison each is a masterpiece in its own right, the Green Damask Salone in addition to its sculpted fireplace of inlaid marble, contains huge frescoes, and a ceiling by Pompeo Batoni.

Palazzo Soranzo in Venice


The Palazzo Soranzo is composed of two adjacent Gothic palaces or palazzi, located facing Campo San Polo, in the sestiere San Polo of Venice, Italy. There is a distinct Palazzo Soranzo Piovene on the Grand Canal of Venice. Originally the facade of the palaces faced a canal, the Rio Sant'Antonio, which was paved over in 1761. Originally, small bridges provided access to the campo. The campo had been paved by 1493. The oldest part of the complex dates to the mid-1300s. The newer building, with the broad 8 adjacent windows in piano nobile, was erected in the 15th-century. It was once decorated with frescoes by Giorgione. The Soranzo family was a prominent Venetian noble family. One of the members, Giovanni Soranzo, was elected Doge in 1312 and served till 1328. He had been an admiral who defeated the Genoese at Kaffa in the Crimea. Most of the original paintings and removable decoration were sold over the centuries. The palace is now privately owned, and subdivided into apartments and offices.

Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy


The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is a modern art museum on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy, and is one of the most visited attractions in Venice. The museum was originally the home of the American heiress Peggy Guggenheim, who began displaying her private collection of artworks to the public seasonally in 1951. After her death in 1979, it passed to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which eventually opened the collection year-round. The collection is housed in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, an 18th-century palace, which was Guggenheim's home.

Ponte delle Guglie in the Cannaregio District of Venice


The Ponte delle Guglie is one of two bridges in Venice, Italy, to span the Cannaregio Canal. It lies near the western end of the canal, by the Venezia Santa Lucia railway station. An earlier wooden bridge was built in 1285. It was replaced by the current stone and brick bridge in 1580. It was restored in 1641 and 1677, and was totally rebuilt in 1823 at which time spires were added. Further restoration took place in 1987 with the addition of metal handrails, stone steps, and access for the disabled. The spires lie at each end of the bridge. A carved balustrade runs on either side of the walkway, and gargoyles decorate its arch. It is the only bridge in Venice adorned with spires from whence it takes its name ("Bridge of Spires"). For those arriving on foot from Piazzale Roma or the Venezia Santa Lucia railway station, the bridge leads into the area of the Venetian Ghetto and the Strada Nova that leads to Piazza San Marco. The bridge itself is located just before the point where the Cannaregio Canal flows into the Grand Canal, just inside the bend that leads to the Rialto Bridge.

Rialto Bridge in Venice Italy


The Rialto Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in Venice and one of Venice's top attractions. The first of only four bridges to span the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge is lined with shops and is a gateway to the Rialto Market. Prior to the building of the Rialto Bridge, in the late 16th century, a series of bridges occupied this, the narrowest point across the Grand Canal. Because this bridge was the only place to cross the Grand Canal on foot, it was imperative to construct a bridge that would hold up to heavy use and would also allow boats to pass underneath.

Beginning in 1524, artists and architects, including Sansovino, Palladio, and Michelangelo, began submitting blueprints for the new bridge. But no plan was chosen until 1588, when municipal architect Antonio da Ponte was awarded the commission. Interestingly, da Ponte was the uncle of Antonio Contino, architect of Venice's other unmistakable bridge , the 'The Bridge of Sighs'.

The Rialto Bridge is an elegant, arched stone bridge lined with arcades on each side. The central archway at its pinnacle, accessed via the wide stairs that rise from either side of the bridge, serves as a lookout perch. Under the arcades are numerous shops, many of which cater to the tourists who flock here to see this famous bridge and its views of the gondola-filled waterway of the Grand Canal.

When Veneziani refer to the Rialto they are not only speaking of the Bridge.  The Rialto is and has been for many centuries the financial and commercial centre of Venice. It is an area of the San Polo sestiere of Venice, Italy, also known for its markets and for the Rialto Bridge across the Grand Canal. The area was settled by the ninth century, when a small area in the middle of the Realtine Islands on either side of the Rio Businiacus was known as the Rivoaltus, or "high bank". Eventually the Businiacus became known as the Grand Canal, and the district the Rialto, referring only to the area on the left bank.

The Rialto became an important district in 1097, when Venice's market moved there, and in the following century a boat bridge was set up across the Grand Canal providing access to it. This was soon replaced by the Rialto Bridge. The bridge has since then become iconic, appearing for example in the seal of Rialto, California ("The Bridge City"). The market grew, both as a retail and as a wholesale market. Warehouses were built, including the famous Fondaco dei Tedeschi on the other side of the bridge. Meanwhile, shops selling luxury goods, banks and insurance agencies appeared and the city's tax offices were located in the area. The city's abattoir was also in the Rialto.

Most of the buildings in the Rialto were destroyed in a fire in 1514, the sole survivor being the church San Giacomo di Rialto, while the rest of the area was gradually rebuilt. The FabricheVechie dates from this period, while the Fabbriche Nuove is only slightly more recent, dating from 1553. The statue Il Gobbo di Rialto was also sculpted in the sixteenth century. The area is still a busy retail quarter, with the daily Erberia greengrocer market, and the fish market on the Campo della Pescheria. The Rialto is also mentioned in works of literature, notably in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, where Shylock asks "What news on the Rialto?" at the opening of Act 1, Scene III, and Solanio in Act 3 Scene I poses the same question. In Sonnets from the Portuguese Sonnet 19, Elizabeth Barrett Browning writes that "The soul's Rialto hath its merchandise...".

Saint Alvise Church in Venice


Sant'Alvise is a church in the sestiere of Cannaregio in Venice, northern Italy. According to tradition, it was built by Antonia Venier in 1338 and dedicated to St. Louis of Toulouse, and located next to an adjacent convent. The brick exterior and facade do not reflect the rich interior. It has a single nave, the current appearance dating from the 17th century restoration. The ceiling was entirely frescoed by Pietro Antonio Torri and Pietro Ricchi in the same period. To the right of the entrance are two canvases by Pietro della Vecchia depicting Theft of the body of St. Mark and The Saracens refuse to inspect the basket with the body of St. Mark, made as cartoons for mosaic decoration of St. Mark's Basilica. These are followed by a St. Louis consecrated bishop of Toulouse ( Louis of Toulouse) attributed to Pietro Damini. Further along the right wall and in the presbytery are three large works by Giambattista Tiepolo, in order: Christ Reaching the Calvary, the Coronation of Thorns, and the Flagellation. To the left of the entrance are small 15th-century tempera panels by Lazzaro Bastiani, depicting stories of Old Testament. It also contains a Portrait of a priest (1420) by Jacobello del Fiore. The first altar to the left has three statues attributed to Gianmaria Morlaiter. The last altar to the left has an Annunciation and Saints Augustine and Alvise by followers of Bonifacio de' Pitati. On the left wall of the presbytery is a Christ in the Garden by Angelo Trevisani.

Saint Elena Island in Venice Italy


Sant'Elena is an island of Venice. It lies at the eastern tip of the main island group and forms part of sestiere of Castello. The original island was separated by an arm of the Venetian Lagoon from Venice itself, and was centred on the Church of Sant'Elena and its monastery, originally built in the twelfth century and rebuilt in the 15th. The island has since been expanded to fill in the gap and is linked by Venice by three bridges. It includes the Rimembranze Park, a naval college and a football stadium, Stadio Pierluigi Penzo, in addition to residential areas and Venice Bienniale buildings. The belltower has a ring of 6 bells in B rung with the Veronese bellringing art.

San Canciano Church in Venice


The church of San Canciano or San Canziano is a small church in thesestiere or neighborhood of Cannaregio in Venice. The church was supposedly founded in 864 when citizens from the mainland town of Aquileia fled to the lagoon islands of Venice to avoid the barbarian hordes. It was one of the churches under the jurisdiction of the patriarch of Grado who lived in Venice. It is dedicated to the two brothers and a sister who were martyred for their faith at Aquileia. The church at the site was renovated in 1330, consecrated in 1351, and restored in 1550, and again finally reshaped in the early 18th century to a design by Antonio Gaspari. The facade was reconstructed in 1706 using a bequest from Michele Tommasi. The Campanile dates to 1532. The nave ceiling was raised during the rebuilding in the mid-18th century using designs of Giorgio Massari. The four side altars dedicated to the Madonna have canvases by Giuseppe Angeli and Bartolomeo Letterini. The rich sculptural and stucco decoration was contributed by the Widmann family. Clemente Moli sculpted the statue of San Maximus, first bishop of Cittannova in Istria. The chancel altarpiece depicts The Glory of the martyred Saints Canzio, Canziano, and Canzianilla attributed to PaoloZoppo.It is flanked by a painting of the Probatic Pond and Multiplcation of the loaves by Domenico Zanchi. The chapel on the left dedicated to St Venerando contains an altarpiece of the Madonna and St. Filippo Neri by Nicola Ranieri. The Altar of the Immaculate Virgin, second to left, was financed by Flaminio Corner in 1735.

San Geremia Church in Venice


San Geremia is a church in Venice, northern Italy, located in thesestiere of Cannaregio. The apse of the church faces the Grand Canal (Venice), between the Palazzo Labia and the Palazzo Flangini. The edifice is popular as the seat of the cult of Saint Lucy of Syracuse, whose remains are housed inside.


The first church was erected here in the 11th century, and was later rebuilt on several occasions. In 1206 it is mentioned to house the remains of St. Magnus of Oderzo (died 670), who had taken refuge in this area from the Lombards. A first rebuilding was held under doge Sebastiano Ziani, the new church being consecrated in 1292. The current edifice dates from 1753, designed by Carlo Corbellini; the façade is from 1861. The brickwork bell tower (probably dating from the 12th century) has two thin Romanesque mullioned windows at the base.


The interior has rather sober walls. The altar and its presbytery are notable, with two statues of St. Peter and St. Jeremy Apostle (1798) by Pietro Antonio Novelli. The altar background has a monochrome fresco by Agostino Mengozzi Colonna depicting Two Angels uphold the Globe. A work by Palma the Younger (The Virgin at the Incoronation of Venice by St. Magnus) decorates the fourth altar. The church contains statuary by Giovanni Maria Morlaiter (Madonna of the Rosary) and Giovanni Marchiori (Immaculate Conception). The church is object of pilgrimages and wide devotion for the presence of the relics of Saint Lucy, which were carried here in 1861 when the nearby church dedicated to her was demolished. In 1955 Angelo Roncalli, future Pope John XXIII and then Patriarch of Venice, had a silver mask put on the saint's face to protect it from dust. The saint's body was stolen on July 7, 1981, but was restored in December of the same year without any ransom.

San Giacomo di Rialto Church in Venice


San Giacomo di Rialto is a church in the sestiere of San Polo, Venice, northern Italy. The addition of Rialto to the name distinguishes this church from its namesake San Giacomodall'Orio found in thesestiere of Santa Croce, on the same side of the Grand Canal. It has a large 15th century clock above the entrance, a useful item in the Venetian business district but regarded as a standing joke for its inaccuracy. The Gothic portico is one of the few surviving examples in Venice. It has a Latin cross plan with a central dome. Inside, the Veneto-Byzantine capitals on the six columns of ancient Greek marble date from the 11th century.


According to the tradition, San Giacomo is the oldest church in the city, supposedly consecrated in the year 421. Although, documents exist mentioning the area but not the church in 1097. The first document citing it dates from 1152. It was rebuilt in 1071, prompting the establishment, in front of the church, of the Rialto market with bankers and money changers. The system with the "bill of exchange" was introduced here, as clients went with such a bill of exchange with a credit inscribed from one banker to another. In 1503 it survived a fire which destroyed the rest of the area, and was restored from 1601 by order of doge Marino Grimani. Works included raising of the pavement to counter the acqua alta.

San Giovanni Crisostomo Church in Venice


San Giovanni Crisostomo (English: Saint John Chrysostom) is a small church in the sestiere or neighborhood of Cannaregio, Venice. The church was founded in 1080, destroyed by fire in 1475, then rebuilt starting in 1497 by Mauro Codussi and his son, Domenico. Construction was completed in 1525. The bell tower dates from the late 16th century. The interior is based on a Greek cross design. Behind the façade are hung two canvasses, formerly organ doors, by Giovanni Mansueti depicting Saints Onuphrius, Agatha, Andrew and John Chrysostom. Onuphrius was the co-titular patron saint who was revered by the confraternity of the Tentori (dyers of fabrics, covers, and sheets). In 1516, a relic of the saint, his finger, was donated to this church. The chapel on the right has the painting Saints Christopher, Jerome and Louis of Toulouse (1513) by Giovanni Bellini. On the left rear, the chapel of the Rosary or Madonna della Grazie has an altarpiece of Saints John Chrysostom, John the Baptist, John the Evangelist, Theodore, Mary Magdalen, Lucy and Catherine by Sebastiano del Piombo, commissioned by Caterina Contarini. On the wall of the apse are a series of canvases on the life of Saint John Chrysostom and Christ. On the high altar is a relief of the Deposition from the Cross. To the left is the chapel built for Giacomo Bernabò, with sculptural design by Codussi. The marble altarpiece of the Coronation of the Virgin (1500–1502) was completed by Tullio Lombardo.

San Girogio dei Greci Church in Venice Italy


San Giorgio dei Greci is a church in the sestiere (neighborhood) of Castello, Venice, northern Italy. It was the center of the Scuola dei Greci, the Confraternity of the Greeks in Venice. For centuries, despite the close ties of Venice to the Byzantine world, the Greek Orthodox rite was not permitted in Venice. In 1498, the Greek community gained the right to found the Scuola de San Nicolò dei Greci, a confraternity which aided members of that community. In 1539, after protracted negotiations, the papacy allowed the construction of the church of San Giorgio, financed by a tax on all ships from the Orthodox world. Construction was started by Sante Lombardo, and from 1548, by Giannantonio Chiona. The belltower was built in 1592. The interior has a monument to Gabriele Seviros (1619) by Baldassarre Longhena. The dome of the church was frescoed with the Last Judgement (1589–93) by Giovanni Kyprios. The iconostasis employed Kyprios, Tommaso Bathas, Benedetto Emporios, and Michael Damaskinos. Emanuele Tzane-Buniales, a priest and hagiographer from Crete, frescoed the Saints Simeon and Alypios, ascetic hermits, atop the pilasters. Near the church lies the Flanginian School, a Greek teachers' school, which today houses the Hellenic Institute for Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Studies in Venice.

San Marco District in Venice, Italy


San Marco is one of the six sestieri of Venice, lying in the heart of the city as the main place of Venice. San Marco also includes the island of San Giorgio Maggiore. Although the district includes Saint Mark's Square, that was never administered as part of the sestiere.

The small district includes many of Venice's most famous sights, including St Mark's Square, Saint Mark's Basilica, the Doge's Palace, Harry's Bar, the Palazzo Dandolo, San Moisè, the La Fenice theatre, the Palazzo Grassi and the churches of San Beneto, San Fantin, Santa Maria del Giglio, San Maurizio, San Moisè, Santo Stefano, San Salvador, San Zulian and San Samuele. The area is densely built and was the location of Venice's government. It is now heavily touristed and there are many hotels, banks and expensive shops. San Marco is also a place which is used in several video games such as in Tekken, Assassin's Creed II and Venetica.

Walker's Guide to Exploring Venice Italy's San Marco Area



San Marco Venice Walking Tour, Venice Province


Venice, Italy, San Marco Square

Anyone visiting the City of Venice should head for first the heart of the city, Even if you arrive at the train station take a water bus to Saint Mark’s Square, arriving from the sea is the traditional way to enter Venice. Saint Mark's Square is Venice's only square and is surrounded by an artistic complex of buildings. Each structure is in a different styles having been built at different times during the Republic of Venice's reign and they have created a unique harmonious setting to the square that added to the grandeur of the city.

We start our walk at the waterbus stop in San Marco Square. 

Your first sight is THE DOGE'S PALACE: the entrance is through the Porta delIa Carta. This is a monumental entrance in floral Gothic style that contains two bronze well-curbs. The courtyard is surrounded by porticoes with a top loggia. On the eastern side there is the Scala dei Giganti ('Giants' stair­case). It is thus called because of the two large statues by Sansovino at the sides. The stairway goes up to the loggia but to reach the top floors we go up the Scala d'Oro ('Golden staircase). It owes it name to the lavish frescoes and gilded stucco work. It was from the Doge's Palace that the Venetian Republic was ruled and it is still the best example of Venetian art. It was the residence of the Doge and the seat of the main government departments. As one walks through its rooms the history and glory of the Venetian Republic is revealed in its paintings and sculptures.

Next to the Doge's Palace there is SAINT MARK'S BASILICA, which at one time could be reached from inside the Doge's Palace. The Basilica is a wonderful example of Byzantine Venetian architecture. It was at one time the Doge's chapel but it was also the mausoleum for Saint Mark, the patron saint, whose life is narrated in the golden mosaics on arches above it’s entrance.

SAINT MARK'S SQUARE It is trapezoidal, and the Procuratie Vecchie and Procuratie Nuove run along the two outer sides. They are known as old ('vecchie) and new ('nuove) on the basis of the age of the buildings over the arcades of the ground-level porticoes. The Procuratie Vecchie run along the north side of the square from the CLOCKTOWER and has kept their Renaissance features. They are followed by the Ala Napoleonica ('Napoleonic Wing). This was built in 1810 by the architect Giuseppe Soli on the site of the demolished San Geminiano church, which had been built by Sansovino. The Procuratie Nuove's run along the west side of the square and includes the Libreria di San Marco, which was designed by Jacopo Sansovino at the request of the Venetian Republic to house the codicils donated to it by Cardinal Bessarione. The clock tower is at the start of the Merceria, the road that leads from Saint Mark's Square to the Campo di San Bartolomeo. The name 'Merceria' comes from the shops and stands that have always lined the street.

Opposite the Doge's Palace there is the ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM. This houses the famous collections by Domenico Grimmli and his nephew Giovanni of original Greek marbles and a coin collection from the church of Santa Maria Formosa. Upon leaving the Ala Napoleonica, just after the "Socca di Piazza", we come to the church of San Moise. This originally eighth century building was rebuilt in the tenth century by Mose Venier, who wanted to dedicate it to the saint after which he was named. We then come to Calle Larga XXII Marzo. This was built in 1880 by widening Calle San Moise and contrasted with the lower surrounding buildings. Today, this road is lined with shops as far as Socca di Piazza. These shops were host the most famous names in gold jewelers, leather goods and international and Italian fashion and offer for sale their latest and finest products. Halfway down Calle Larga XXiI Marzo turn right into Campo San Fantitl where the church of San Pantin stands. This dates back to the ninth century but was rebuilt in the sixteenth century by Scarpagnino.

Opposite, there was the LA FENICE OPERA HOUSE. This was originally built in 1790 to a designed by Selva. It burnt down in 1836 but like the phoenix ('fenice' in Italian) it was rebuilt in the same style by Meduna in just over a year: The opera house reflected the spirit of Venice of the time. It was destroyed by the fire of 1996 but the determination of the Venetians has brought it back to 'the way it was'. Making your way back into Calle Larga XXII Marzo and continue until we reach Campo di Santa Maria del Giglio or Campo di Santa Maria Zobenigo with a church dedicated to this saint. "Zobenigo" is a reference to the Jubenigo family, who had the church built in the tenth century. On the inside is a room decorated with the works of painters from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In the small sacristy, apart from the liturgical silverware, there is also a painting by Rubens.

Next you arrive at CAMPO SANTO STEFANO. This is enclosed by fine palazzi that were the residences of important families. The palazzo of the Pisani di Santo Stefano family has housed the MUSIC CONSERVATORY since 1897, which is named after the Venetian composer Benedetto Marcello. The CHURCH OF SANTO STEFANO, after which the 'campo' is named, was built by the Augustinian's in the thirteenth century together with the adjoining monastery. It retains its Gothic appearance although it has been modified inside.


Foundations of the Teatro a Sant' Angelo . The first theatre stood here, which was to make the dramatist Carlo Goldoni famous.

Calle dei Bombaseri . This street contained the shops and workshops of the cotton manufacturers ("bombaso" - Venetian dialect for 'wad of cotton').

Riva del Carbon . This was the only place in Venice in which the law of 1537 permitted coal to be unloaded.

Calle del Fontego dei Tedeschi ('Street of the 'Germans'). The Venetian Republic welcomed strangers and allowed individual foreign communities to have shops for their merchants and ambassadors ('fontego' is itself an Arabic corruption of the Italian 'bottega' or 'shop').

Ponte dei Ferali . The lamp-makers lived and worked in this area. In 1737 street lighting was decreed for the city ('ferali' is a Venetian word for lamps).

Ponte de la Pagia . Barges loaded with straw for the animals would stop underneath this bridge ("pagia" is Venetian for 'straw').

Riva degli Schiavoni . The ships from Dalmatia would tie up here. The Dalmatians were also known as 'Schiavoni'.

San Pantalon Church in Venice Italy


The Chiesa di San Pantaleone Martire, also known as San Pantalon in the Venetian dialect, is a church in Venice, northern Italy. It is located in Campo San Pantalon in Venice the Dorsoduro District and is dedicated to Saint Pantaleon. The church of San Pantalon is particularly well known for its immense ceiling painting, depicting The Martyrdom and Apotheosis of St Pantalon. It was painted on canvas by Gian Antonio Fumiani between 1680 and 1704, who fell to his death from the scaffolding while working on the project.

Other notable works include Coronation of the Virgin by Antonio Vivarini and Giovanni d'Alemagna in the Chapel of the Holy Nail and St Pantalon healing a Boy, the last work by Veronese, originally commissioned for the high altar. San Pantalon is a parish church of the Vicariate of San Polo-Santa Croce-Dorsoduro.

San Polo District in the City of Venice


San Polo is the smallest of the six sestieri of Venice, northern Italy, covering 86 acres (35 hectares) along the Grand Canal. It is one of the oldest parts of the city, having been settled before the ninth century, when it and San Marco formed part of the Realtine Islands. The sestiere is named for the Church of San Polo.

The district has been the site of Venice's main market since 1097, and connected to the eastern bank of the Grande Canal by the Rialto bridge since the thirteenth century. The western part of the quarter is now known for its churches, while the eastern part, sometimes just called the Rialto, is known for its palaces and smaller houses. Attractions in San Polo include the Rialto Bridge, the Church of San Giacomo di Rialto (according to legend the oldest in the city), the Campo San Polo, the House of Goldoni, the Church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, the Church of San Rocco and the Scuola Grande di San Rocco.




San Trovaso Church in Venice Italy


San Trovaso (dedicated to Gervasius and Protasius) is a church in the sestiere or neighborhood of Dorsoduro in Venice, northern Italy. The church dates to at least the 1028. The present church was rebuilt by 1584. The architect was probably Francesco Smeraldi. The church was consecrated in 1637. In the chancel are two canvases, Adoration of the Magi and Expulsion of Joachim from the Temple (before 1587) by Domenico Tintoretto, brought here from the church of Santa Maria Maggiore. The left rear chapel, commissioned by Antonio Milledonne, has a Temptations of Saint Anthony Abbot by Jacopo Tintoretto. In addition the St. Chrysogonus on Horseback (1444) was painted by Michele Giambono. The Cappella del Santissimo Sacramento has a Last Supper by the elder Tintoretto. The second chapel to the right has a Madonna and child in Glory by Palma il Giovane.

San Zaccaria Church in Venice Italy


San Zaccaria is a church in Venice, northern Italy, dedicated to Saint Zechariah, although his cult is often superimposed with that of the father of John the Baptist, whose body it conserves, under the second altar on the right. It is a large edifice, located in the quiet Campo San Zaccaria, just off the waterfront to the south east of St. Mark's basilica. The present church was built between 1458 and 1515. Antonio Gambello was the original architect, who started the building in the Gothic style, but the upper part of the facade with its arched windows and its columns, and the upper parts of the interior were completed by Mauro Codussi in early Renaissance style seventy years later. The facade is a harmonious Venetian mixture of late-Gothic and Renaissance styles.

The first church on the site was founded by Doge Giustiniano Participazio in the 9th century and eight doges are buried in the crypt. The original church was rebuilt in the 1170s (when the present campanile was built) and was replaced by a Gothic church in the 15th century. The remains of this building still stand, as the present church was built beside and not over it. The church was attached to a female Benedictine monastery, which was visited by the doge and the whole signoria annually at Easter in a ceremony which included presentation of the cornu (ducal cap), insignia of his dignity. This tradition is said to have begun after the monks donated land for the building of the St Mark's Basilica in the 12th century and ended in 1797 at the end of the republic.

The nuns of this monastery mostly came from prominent noble families and had a rebellious reputation. The abbess was usually related to the doge. The interior of the church has an apse surrounded by an ambulatory lit by tall Gothic windows, a typical feature of Northern European church architecture which is unique in Venice. Nearly every wall is covered with paintings by 17th and 18th century artists. The church houses one of the most famous work by Giovanni Bellini, the San Zaccaria Altarpiece. The walls of the aisles and of the chapels host paintings by other artists including Andrea del Castagno, Palma Vecchio, Tintoretto, Giuseppe Porta, Palma il Giovane, Antonio Vassilacchi, Anthony van Dyck, Andrea Celesti, Antonio Zanchi, Antonio Balestra, Angelo Trevisani and Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo. The artist Alessandro Vittoria is buried in the church, his tomb marked by a self-portrait bust. The church was particularly famous for his collection of relics, among which are those of Athanasius of Alexandria and a piece of the True Cross.

Santa Croce District in Venice, Italy


Santa Croce is one of the six sestieri in the city Venice, Veneto Region of northern Italy. It occupies the north-west part of the main islands, and can be divided into two areas: the eastern area being largely mediaeval, and the western - including the main port and the Tronchetto - mostly lying on land reclaimed in the 10th century. The district includes the Piazzale Roma, home to Venice's bus station and car parks, and around which is the only area of the city in which cars can travel. The tourist attractions lie mostly in the eastern part of the quarter, and include the churches of San Nicolo da Tolentino, San Giacomo dell'Orio, and San Zan Degola; the Fondaco dei Turchi; the Museum of the History of Fabric and Costume at Palazzo Mocenigo; the Patrician Palace; and Ca' Corner della Regina.

The area was once part of the Luprio swamp, but has been steadily reclaimed. It is the area most affected by the opening of the lagoon road in April 1933.



Santa Lucia Train Station in Venice


Venezia Santa Lucia is located in Cannaregio, the northernmost of the six historic sestieri (districts) of the historic city, near the western end of the Grand Canal. It lies at the mark of the Milan–Venice railway. A bridge over the Grand Canal, the Ponte degli Scalzi (or Pontedei Scalzi) (), links the concourse in front of the station with the sestiere of Santa Croce. Since 2008, the concourse has also been linked with Piazzale Roma, the car terminal in the historic city and main terminus for all bus routes in and out of Venice, and by another Grand Canal bridge, the controversial Ponte della Costituzione.

The station is connected with the rest of Venice by the Vaporetto (public water bus) or private water taxi boats. The nearby Piazzale Roma is the departure point for all car services and taxis for the mainland.

Vaporetto lines in the transit station

The stop (dock) is called Ferrovia and is served by eight Vaporetto lines:
1 P.le Roma - Ferrovia - Rialto - San Marco - Lido
2 San Zaccaria - Giudecca - Tronchetto - P.le Roma - Ferrovia - Rialto - San Marco - (Lido)
4.1 Murano - F.te Nove - Ferrovia - P.le Roma - Giudecca - San Zaccaria - F.te Nove - Murano
4.2 Murano - F.te Nove - San Zaccaria - Giudecca - P.le Roma - Ferrovia - F.te Nove - Murano
5.1 Lido - F.te Nove - Ferrovia - P.le Roma - San Zaccaria - Lido
5.2 Lido - San Zaccaria - P.le Roma - Ferrovia - F.te Nove - Lido
DM Murano - Ferrovia - P.le Roma - Tronchetto
N San Zaccaria - Giudecca - Tronchetto - P.le Roma - Ferrovia - Rialto - San Marco - Lido (night line)

Santa Maria dei Carmini Church in Venice


Santa Maria dei Carmini, also called Santa Maria del Carmelo and commonly known simply as theCarmini, is a large church in the sestiere, or neighbourhood, of Dorsoduro in Venice, northern Italy. It nestles against the former Scuola Grande di Santa Maria del Carmelo, also known as the Scuola dei Carmini. This charitable confraternity was officially founded in 1597, and arose from a lay women's charitable association, the Pinzocchere dei Carmini. The members of this lay group were associated as tertiaries to the neighbouring Carmelite monastery. They were responsible for stitching the Scapulars for the Carmelites.


The church originally was called Santa Maria Assunta, and first dated to the 14th century. The brick and marble facade contains sculpted lunettes by Giovanni Buora. Among the roofline decorations are images of Elisha and Elijah, thought to be founders of the Carmelite order. The bell tower, designed by Giuseppe Sardi, is topped by a statue of the Madonna del Carmine sculpted in 1982 as a replacement by Romano Vio. The previous original was destroyed by lightning.


The chancel and side chapels in the interior were rebuilt in 1507-14 by Sebastiano Mariani from Lugano. The counter-facade has a large monument to Jacopo Foscarini who was a procurator of San Marco, admiral of the fleet, and whose family palace lies across the canal. The second altar has an Adoration of the Shepherds (1509–11) by Cima da Conegliano. The third altar on the right has a Madonna del Carmelo with saints (1595) by Pase Pace and Giovanni Fontana. The Staues of Virginity (left) and Humility (right) (1722–1723) were completed by Antonio Corradini and Giuseppe Torritti respectively. The bronze angels on the balustrade are by Girolamo Campagna. The wooden frontal represents the Miracles of the Madonna (1724) and was carved by Francesco Bernadoni. The Tabernacle is by Giovanni Scalfarotto. The Glorification of the Scapular (1709) was frescoed by Sebastiano Ricci on the ceiling. The stucco work was completed by Pietro Bianchini to designs of Abbondio Stazio. In the fresco, the angels uphold the scapular, and a painted inscription say it is an ornament of Mt Carmel. Past the entry to the sacristy is the altar of the guild of the Compravendi Pesce (1548) with an altarpiece of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple (1541–1542) by Jacopo Tintoretto. The third chapel on the left has a Lamentaton of the Dead Christ (c. 1476) by Francesco di Giorgio Martini. In front of the chancel are paintings by Marco Vicentino, Palma il Giovane, and Gaspare Diziani. The second altar has two statues of Elijah and Elisha by Tommaso Ruer. Elijah holds a flaming sword. The first altar has a painting of Saint Nicholas of Bari in Glory between St. John the Baptist and St. Lucy by Lorenzo Lotto. The upper register of the nave is lined with 24 large canvases from the 1666-1730s, painted by artists such as Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini, Gaspare Diziani, Girolamo Brusaferro and Pietro Liberi. The choirs includes 3 paintings (1545) by Andrea Meldolla.

Santa Maria dei Miracoli Church in Venice


Santa Maria dei Miracoli is a church in the sestiere of Cannaregio, in Venice, Italy. Also known as the "marble church", it is one of the best examples of the early Venetian Renaissance including colored marble, a false colonnade on the exterior walls (pilasters), and a semicircular pediment. The organisation "Save Venice" restored the church during a period of ten years (they had estimated as period of two years). The marble cladding contained 14 percent of salts, and was on the point of bursting. All marble cladding was removed, and cleaned in stainless steel tanks, in a solution of distilled water. The restoration was calculated to cost 1 million dollars, the final cost was 4 million dollars. The main altar is reached by a series of steps. The circular facade windows recall Donato Bramante's churches in Milan. Built between 1481 and 1489 by Pietro Lombardo to house a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary. The plans for the church were expanded in 1484 to include the construction of a new convent for nuns of St. Clare to the east. The convent was connected to the gallery of the church by an enclosed walkway that was later destroyed. The interior is enclosed by a wide barrel vault, with a single nave. The nave is dominated by an ornamental marble stair rising between two pulpits, with statues by Tullio Lombardo, Alessandro Vittoria and Nicolò di Pietro. The vaulted ceiling is divided into fifty coffers decorated with paintings of prophets, a work by Girolamo Pennacchi's contemporaries, Vincenzodalle Destre and Lattanzio da Rimini.

Santa Maria Formosa Church in Venice Italy


Santa Maria Formosa is a church in Venice, northern Italy. It was erected in 1492 under the design by Renaissance architect Mauro Codussi. It lies on the site of a former church dating from the 7th century, which, according to tradition, was one of the eight founded by San Magno, bishop of Oderzo. The name "formosa" relates to an alleged appearance of the Holy Virgin disguised as a voluptuous woman.

Exterior design and artworks

The plan is on the Latin cross, with a nave and two aisles. The two façades were commissioned in 1542, the Renaissance-style one facing the channel, and 1604, the Baroque one facing the nearby square. The artworks in the interior include the St. Barbara polyptych by Palma the Elder, one of his most celebrated works. The Conception Chapel houses a triptych of Madonna of Misericordia by Bartolomeo Vivarini (1473), while in the Oratory is the Madonna with Child and St. Dominic by Giambattista Tiepolo (18th century). There is also a Last Supper by Leandro Bassano. The dome of the church was rebuilt in after falling during an earthquake in 1688.

Scuola Grande dei Carmini in Venice


The Scuola Grande deiCarmini is a confraternity building in Venice, Italy. It is located in the sestiere of Dorsoduro, before Campo deiCarmini and Campo Santa Margherita, upon which its facade looks upon. It was the former home of the a Venetian Scuola of the same name. The Scuola was founded in 1594 under Doge Pasquale Cicogna, and was the last of its kind to be recognized as a Scuola Grande in 1767 by the Council of Ten. Initially it was located in the Convent of the Church of Carmini, whose structure also faces thecampo of the same name. The present scuola building was designed by Francesco Caustello and Baldassare Longhena. In 1807, the confraternity was suppressed by Napoleon's anticlerical decrees.

The Austrians allowed the Scuola to reopen, and it continues activities today, though mostly cultural activities. The Baroque facade faces south, while the lateral facade faces west. The chapel has a wooden roof. The main altarpiece is a Virgin of the Carmelo. The entry staircase by Longhena and the upstairs landing are richly decorated with a colorful trompe l'oeil tile floor, stucco ceiling with gilded highlights, and elaborate lamps The capitular hall (Sala Capitolare) has a ceiling paintings by Tiepolo (1739–1749). The four corner lunettes represent Prudence, Sincerity and Temperance, Strength and Justice (man with column and woman), Patience (with Putto overhead), Innocence, and Chastity and Faith (with cross), Hope and Charity ; while the central canvas depicts the Madonna consigns the scapular to St Simone Stock.

The altar dedicated to the virgin has a statue of the Madonna and Bambino offering the scapular, by Bernardino da Lugano. The Stucco decoration in the room was completed by Abbondio Stazio. The rooms of the archive contain ceiling and wall paintings by Giustino Menescardi with elaborate woodwork, specially caryatids by Giacomo Piazzetta; the iconography of the paintings was organized by Gaetano Zompini. Among Menescardi's paintings are Martyrdom of Brothers Maccabe and Abigail placates David's designs against her husband Nabal. The ceiling depicts a Virgin appears to Elias atop Mount Carmel. Finally in the Sala dell'Albergo are also remarkable canvases by painters including central ceiling by Padovanino (Assumption), Ambrogio Boni, and Antonio Balestra. The complex also has a “Judith and Holofernes” by Piazetta.

Scuola Grande di San Marco in Venice Italy


The Scuola Grande di San Marco is a building in Venice, Italy. It originally was the home to one of the six major sodalities or Scuole Grandi of Venice. It faces the Campo San Giovanni e Paolo, one of the largest squares in the city. The edifice was built by the Confraternity of San Marco in 1260 to act as its seat. In 1485, however, it was destroyed by a large fire, and rebuilt in the following twenty years under a new design by Pietro Lombardo, with a fund established by the members. The façade, a masterwork with delicately decorated niches and pilasters, and with white or polychrome marble statues, was later completed by Mauro Codussi.

While decorated with the polished marble elements of Renaissance classicism, the proliferation of arches and niches adds a retrogressive Byzantine flavor, an architectural feature of many conservative Venetian styles. Three of the greatest Italian explorers of the fifteenth century: Giosafat Barbaro, Ambrogio Contarini, and Alvise da Mosto were members of the Scuola.“Venetian narrative painting in the age of Carpaccio”,  Jacopo Tintoretto furnished the Scuola with three paintings Miracle of the Slave (also known as The Miracle of St. Mark, 1548), St Mark's Body Brought to Venice, painted between 1562 an 1566, both paintings are currently housed in the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice, northern Italy, and Finding of the body of St Mark also painted between 1562 an 1566, an now held in the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan. In 1819 it became an Austrian military hospital. It is now a civil hospital.

Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice


The Scuola Grande di San Rocco is a building in Venice, northern Italy.


The Scuola di San Rocco ("Confraternity of St. Roch",Although the term "scuola" also referred to the building housing their seat. protector against plague, which had struck Venice in that century) was established in 1478 by a group of wealthy Venetian citizens, next to the church of San Rocco, from which it takes its name. In January 1515 the project of the building was entrusted to Bartolomeo Bon, although some authorities assign it to his son Pietro Bon. In 1524 his work was continued by Sante Lombardo, who, in turn, three years later was replaced by Antonio Scarpagnino. Following his death in 1549, the last architect to work on the edifice was Giangiacomo dei Grigi, finishing in September 1560. The design was similar to other scuole in Venice, characterized by two halls, one at ground floor level, the other at first floor level. The Sala Terra (lower) has a nave and two aisles, with the entrance from the campoName of the Venetian squares. outside. From this hall a stair (with a landing surmounted by a dome) led to the upper storey. The Sala Superiore ("Upper Hall") was used for meetings of the fellows and had a wooden altar. It provided access to the Sala dell'Albergo, which housed the Banca and the Zonta (the confraternity's supervisory boards).


In 1564 the painter Tintoretto was commissioned to provide paintings for the Scuola, and his most renowned works are to be found in the Sala dell'Albergo and the Sala Superiore. All the works in the building are by him, or his assistants, including his son Domenico: they were executed between 1564 and 1587. Works in the sala terra are in homage to the Virgin Mary, and concentrate on episodes from her life. In the sala superiore, works on the ceiling are from the Old Testament, and on the walls from the New Testament. Together, they show the biblical story from Fall to Redemption. Main works include:

Sala Terrena

  • Annunciation
  • Adoration of the Magi
  • The Flight into Egypt
  • The Slaughter of the Innocents
  • Presentation in the Temple
  • The Assumption of Mary
  • St Mary Magdalen
  • St Mary of Egypt

Sala Superiore on the ceilings

  • Adam and Eve
  • Jacob's Ladder
  • God Appears to Moses
  • The Passover
  • The Pillar of Fire
  • The Fall of Manna in the Desert
  • Moses Strikes Water from the Rock
  • Miracle of the Bronze Serpent
  • Elijah is Fed by the Angels
  • Elisha Distributes Bread
  • The Vision of the Prophet Ezekiel

Sala Superiore on the walls

  • The Adoration of the Shepherds
  • The Baptism
  • Christ Tempted by Satan
  • Christ Heals the Paralytic
  • Multiplication of Bread and Fishes
  • The Resurrection of Lazarus
  • The Last Supper
  • The Agony in the Garden
  • The Resurrection
  • The Ascension
  • Wooden: episodes of the Old Testament by Giuseppe Angeli

Sala dell'Albergo

  • Allegory of St. John's Guild
  • Allegory of St. Mark's Guild
  • Allegory of St. Theodore's Guild
  • Allegory of the Charity Guild
  • Allegory of the Misericordia (Mercy) Guild
  • Christ Before Pilate
  • Ecce Homo (The Crowning with Thorns)
  • Ascent to Calvary
  • The Crucifixion

Other works present include paintings by Titian and Palma il Giovane.

Venetian Arsenal in Venice Italy


The Venetian Arsenal is a complex of former shipyards and armories clustered together in the city of Venice in northern Italy. Owned by the state, the Arsenal was responsible for the bulk of the Venetian republic's naval power during the middle part of the second millennium AD. It was "one of the earliest large-scale industrial enterprises in history".


Construction of the Arsenal began around 1104, during Venice's republican era. It became the largest industrial complex in Europe prior to the Industrial Revolution. Surrounded by a rampart, laborers and shipbuilders regularly worked within the Arsenal, building ships that sailed from the city's port. With high walls shielding the Arsenal from public view and guards protecting its perimeter, different areas of the Arsenal each produced a particular prefabricated ship part or other maritime implement, such as munitions, rope, and rigging. These parts could then be assembled into a ship in as little as one day.

An exclusive forest owned by the Arsenal navy, in the Montello hills area of Veneto Region, provided the Arsenal's wood supply. The Arsenal produced the majority of Venice's maritime trading vessels, which generated much of the city's economic wealth and power, lasting until the fall of the republic to Napoleon's conquest of the area in 1797.  Today the Arsenal is still located in the Castello district of Venice, and it is now owned by the state.


The Byzantine-style establishment may have existed as early as the eighth century, though the present structure is usually said to have been begun in 1104 during the reign of Ordelafo Faliero, although there is no evidence for such a precise date. It definitely existed by the early 13th century. Initially the state dockyard worked merely to maintain privately built naval ships, but in 1320 the Arsenale Nuovo () was built, much larger than the original. It enabled all the state's navy and the larger merchant ships to be both constructed and maintained in one place. The Arsenal incidentally became an important center for rope manufacture, and housing for the arsenal workers grew up outside its walls. Venice developed methods of mass-producing warships in the Arsenal, including the frame-first system to replace the Roman hull-first practice. This new system was much faster and required less wood. At the peak of its efficiency in the early sixteenth century, the Arsenal employed some 16,000 people who apparently were able to produce nearly one ship each day, and could fit out, arm, and provision a newly-built galley with standardized parts on a production-line basis not seen again until the Industrial Revolution.

The staff of the Arsenal also developed new firearms at an early date, beginning with bombards in the 1370s and numerous small arms for use against the Genoese a few years later. The muzzle velocity of handguns was improved beyond that of the crossbow, creating armor-piercing rounds. Arsenal-produced arms were also noteworthy for their multi-purpose utility; the Venetian condottiere leader, Bartolomeo Colleoni, is usually given credit as being the first to mount the Arsenal's new lighter-weight artillery on mobile carriages for field use. The Arsenal's main gate, the Porta Magna, was built around 1460 and was the first Classical revival structure built in Venice. It was perhaps built by Antonio Gambello from a design by Jacopo Bellini. Two lions taken from Greece situated beside it were added in 1687.

One of the lions, known as the Piraeus Lion, has runic defacements carved in it by invading Scandinavian mercenaries during the 11th century. In the late 16th century, the Arsenal's designers experimented with larger ships as platforms for heavy naval guns. The largest was the galleass, already used at the Battle of Lepanto against the Ottoman Turks, and developed from the old merchant "great galley". It was huge, propelled by both sails and oars, with guns mounted on wheeled carriages along the sides in the modern fashion. It was slow and unwieldy in battle, however, and few were ever built. The galleon, also developed at the Arsenal, was an armed sailing ship, a slimmer version of the merchant " round ship". It was useful in major naval battles, but not in the small bays and off the extensive lee shores of the Dalmatian coast. Significant parts of the Arsenal were destroyed under Napoleonic rule, and later rebuilt to enable the Arsenal's present use as a naval base. It is also used as a research center and an exhibition venue during the Venice Biennale, and is home to a historic boat preservation center.

Venice Travel Tips Before You Go


Venice Italy, Travel tips
Enchanting, fascinating, and beautiful, Venice remains one of the most-visited places in Italy. That said? No matter how much you’ve read up on the city, some things about it can be surprising! Here, the top six things we wish we’d known about Venice on our travels there.

1. You will get lost in Venice, often — even with the world’s best maps

I know people who have visited Venice and had it all: lots of previous experience in the city, fluent Italian, and an iPad with GPS-style Google maps. They still got lost (and I find myself confused sometimes after all the years I have been in the city). Venice is a confusing, winding, maze of medieval streets, with the frequent obstacle of a canal blocking your path. Of course, that’s part of Venice’s charm. There’s nothing better than being lost in such an eerily beautiful city. Unless, that is, you want to get to places and see sites in a limited amount of time.

This made one thing in particular strike home for us: While it’s always virtually impossible to really “see” or “do” a whole city in just one day, it’s even harder in Venice. So, if you’re looking to check things off the list in a limited amount of time, then either consider extending that amount of time a bit more than you might have originally thought necessary — or consider taking a tour. Because we’ve realized that, while a guide is fantastic for bringing sites alive with stories, or giving insider’s tips to a city, in Venice, a guide is also just crucial for getting you from point A to point B. Seriously.

2. All those ferries are expensive;

In general, the cheapest way to get around Venice is, simply, to walk. But sometimes, your feet just can’t take it anymore. Not to mention that part of the fun of Venice is the way in which it’s just like a normal city… except that instead of streets, there are canals, and instead of buses and trains, there are boats!

The problem? These boats can be pricey. And we don’t even mean the water taxis. A ticket that lets you travel on the boats for 60 minutes along the Grand Canal, including switches, costs €7.00. To take a traghetto across the Grand Canal for just one trip, it’s now €2.50 for non locals.

If you plan to use the boat as much as you would, say, the metro in Rome, therefore, that can add up quickly. But one thing we’ve realized: Most people won’t use the boats in Venice as much as they would use the bus elsewhere. That’s largely because so much of the beauty of Venice (as well as where many hotels and restaurants are!) is in its back streets and piazzas — places that, often times, the boats just can’t get to.

In some cases, though, you might plan to take the boats more than a handful of times. So if walking abilities are limited in your group, or if your hotel is conveniently located right near one of the ferry stops, then consider getting one of Venice’s all-inclusive transport passes, good for 12, 24, 36, 48, or 72 hours, or 7 days. To really get the bang for your buck, don’t wait until you’re in Venice to buy these, a 72-hour pass costs €33 on the spot, or €28.05 if you book it through the website Venice Connected. (To get the online discounted rate, you must book at least 7 days in advance). Remember: To make this particular pass, for example, “worth it,” you’d have to take the €7.00 boats five times or more to merit getting a pass, rather than paying per go. And if you’re like most people, you probably wouldn’t take the boats that often.

A couple of other things to keep in mind on the transport front. First, kids under 5 travel free. Second, although there aren’t any reductions for children aged 6 to 14 (they get the adult rate), there is, oddly enough, an option for a reduced fare for youths aged 14 to 29. To take advantage, buy the Rolling Venice card at a variety of points around the city. It costs €4, and with that card, the 3-day pass is just €18. It also gives discounts to various sites around the city.

3. You can legally board Venice’s public transport without a ticket…

…as long as you immediately notify the boat personnel and buy a ticket on the spot. Otherwise, if the boat is “spot-checked” for tickets, you can be told you’ll have to pay hundreds of euros in fines. Make sure, too, that you always validate your tickets by running them through the small, yellow or white machines near the entrance.

4. If you want to eat like a Venetian, it’s worth having some restaurants in mind ahead of time

It’s no secret that Venice is touristy. In fact, tourists vastly outnumber Venetians — by some 15 million to 60,000. And whenever you get that kind of imbalance, the same, unfortunate trend tends to happen: Local, cheap, authentic eating establishments are edged out… and replaced by expensive, at-best-mediocre restaurants that hawk things like “tourist menus” and “happy hours” (neither of which you’d see at Italy’s most authentic trattorias!).

If a part of the fun of the trip for Italy for you is the food, then have a plan for Venice — or at least a few places jotted down. We recently had clients who said they didn’t do this… and wound up spending €40 per person or more on food so bad, they said it was inedible. The other option? If you’re taking a tour with us in Venice then, of course, ask your tour guide where you can go that’s authentic and inexpensive!

5. Not all free boat rides to Murano are free

Often, tourists will be offered a “free” ride to Murano to visit the glass factories. Usually, these are, in fact, free — but trouble can come if you don’t wind up buying any of the (generally very expensive) glass. That “free” ride? Turns out, it might not be round-trip. Instead, you might be given a ticket to get on a normal boat… or nothing at all. If you want to avoid awkwardness (and frustration), consider either booking your own transfer to the island, or going by water bus, shelling out that €7.00 for the number 41, 42, or, in season, number 5 water buses. Your stop is Colonna or Faro, for glass factories, or Museo, for the Glass Museum.

6. Sitting down at a cafe in Venice costs more than anywhere else in Italy

You may have heard this before: Anywhere in Italy, when you sit down with that coffee at a cafe or bar, the price goes up. If you drink the same coffee, and eat the same pastry, standing at the counter, the price is lower. (That’s why you’ll see so many Italians eating at the counter).

In Venice, though, the price difference is even bigger than elsewhere. Take a seat with that cappuccino, and you can expect to pay three, four times what you would standing. Decide to take a seat at a cafe on the Piazza San Marco you could pay as much as 15 euro. Some cafes also tack a huge surcharge onto the bill — and, annoyingly, that surcharge isn’t for service, it isn’t for pane e coperto… it’s for “listening to the band” that they have playing at the tables. To avoid those kinds of surcharges, or the stress of worrying about them, stay away from eating at major tourist sites — and always take your coffee at the counter.

What To Do In Venice, Italy If You Only Have 1 Day


Venice Italy

Many times people find themselves traveling through the area and ask what to do if I have some time to visit Venice.  This is a suggested travel plan for Venice, if you are arriving during the morning, either by air or by train.

Most of the morning will be spent arriving by train or driving into town (or arriving by plane, which also involves clearing customs and passport control then getting into town) and checking into your hotel. Essentially, you only have lunch and the afternoon free.

  • Venice is expensive - for those who do not know the city it can be even more expensive.
  • All of the must see sights are part of the Venetian history and will help you better understand the city.
  • Always ask for help when you are lost or you are not sure where you are
To watch and read before you go;

Venice is a wonderful one of a kind place, but if you just show up you are not going to have the experience you read and hear about. The city is crowded with tourist and a little prior learning will go a long way to avoid the crowds and know what you are seeing. 

  • "Francesco's Venice" a BBC film on Venice that very well done and accurate. (You can find portions on  Youtube).
  • "Venice" by Jan Morris, still a classic travel log of the city.
  • The 'Eye Witness' Venice and Veneto is a great travel guide to have with you.
 Your pre-planning check-list:
  • Selected a hotel located at one of the following locations: San Marco Square - Rialto Bridge - near the train station - staying outside of Venice and taking the train in.
  • Have a map of the city and have reviewed the how to get around in Venezia
  • If you do not opt for a guided tour for a few hours at least have a copy of the "Eye-witness Venice" Guide.
Flow of·the day:

Regardless of how you get to Piazzia Roma or the Train Station for the first time you have two choices walk or take a water bus. I suggest you take the water bus, cost for the bus is 7.50 euro, but walking the streets with bags is not a joy, and one of the best sites of the city is the Gran Canal.

Exit at the nearest stop to your hotel and check in. The heart of Venezia in the San Marco Square, so it is the best place to start your one day tour.  Get there by boat if possible, your water bus ticket is good for one hour, so you should be able to get to you hotel check in and get to the square all on one ticket.·

Exit the water bus at the S. Zaccaria stop. Once you get off at S. Zaccaria just turn left off the vaporetto and walk down "Riva degli Schiaboni" (named after the slang term for Slovak’s), you will see the statute of Victor Emmulial (know as the pigeon skewer) and many of the historical hotels that have hosted many of the famous writers and artist, during their time in Venice.

At the first bridge you will find the "Ponte dei Sospiri", the bridge of sighs, the bridge linking the Doge Palace to the Prison. Descending the bridge the building on your right is the Doge's Palace.

Once in the square, if you have the time visit the Doge's palace, and get the audio guide. The palace is worth the visit for the art and interior, the audio guide gives you a good overview of the history.

After the Doge a walk around San Marco with your "Eye Witness" guide, it will give you a great overview of the square. From San Marco walk to the Rialto area to visit the bridge and the surrounding area. A stop for a glass of wine and snack is a must a popular place to stop is the Due Mori, very well know for their cicchetti. By the time you have done this your day is done. Venice is like an Art Gallery; to much time in any one room is overload. A half day is enough time to visit the square and the Railto and Gran Canal and then just wonder around to get back to your hotel. If you do these few things you will leave wanting more and having a great experience.

This is merely a blueprint. You really should spend your time on whatever catches your own interest. Some people would rather get a root canal than spend several hours in the Accademia, but for others an afternoon of Old Masters would rank as the highlight of their trip. Same goes for shopping, or gondola rides, or cramming a dozen churches and museums into a single day: heaven for some, hell on earth for others. For less-know tourist sights to visit, check out my "the other Venice list".

Consider daily tours: Prefer to leave some of the planning and information-providing to a professional? Consider signing up for a guided tour—doesn't have to be a standard bus tour; there are lots of guide companies with in Venice that offer neighbourhood and themed tours, private guides, and other fun ways to explore the capital as well. Or do a less formal guided tour with a travel escort or a city walk.

Where to Eat in the Venice Province


Where To Eat in Venice

Where to eat in the Venice Province of Veneto, Italy.  Slow food restaurants to try during your next vacation.






Via Vespucci, 4

Tel – 041-5544265



Al Portico

Via Lenardo da Vinci, 14

Tel – 0426-509178


Lido di Jesolo

Alla Grigliata

Via Buonarroti, 17

Tel – 0421-372025



La Taverna

Via Amba Alagi, 11

Tel 0421-980113



Rivera, 18 Giugno, 24

Tel – 0421-61280



Da Conte

Via Caltana, 133

Tel – 041-479571



Belvedere da Pulliero

Via Braguolo, 40

Tel – 041-486624



La Ragnatela

Via Caltana, 79

Tel – 041-436050


Agli Spalti

Via Bregolini, 32

Tel – 041-5800993

Noventa di Piave

Cà Landello

Via Santa Maria di Campagna, 13

Tel – 0421-307010


Da Paeto

Via Patriarcato, 78

Tel – 041-469380

San Michele Al Tagliamento

San Giorgio al Tagliamento

Al Cjasal

Via Nazionale, 30

Tel – 0431-510595


Alla Botte

San Marco, 5482 – Calle della Bissa

Tel – 041-5209775


Antica Adelaide

Cannaregio, 3278-Calle Priuli Racchetta

Tel – 041-5232629


Dalla Marisa

Cannaregio, 652 B – Fondamenta San Giobbe

Tel – 041-720211




Via Piave, 192

Tel – 041-926456

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