“There is no more magnificent absurdity than Venice. To build a city where it is impossible to build a city is madness in itself, but to build there one of the most elegant and grandest of cities is the madness of genius.”
— from “My Past and Thoughts,” 1867, by Alexander Herzen (1812-1870, Russian writer)
Most doors in Venice have locks but not door knobs. Instead, the doors are pushed open using a handle. These handles take many shapes, some in grand, often fanciful designs; others are plain and simple. And this being Venice, of course there are many lions (see photo montage #1).
My favorites are the faces and figures (see photo montage #1 & #2). The doorknockers (see photo montage #3) serve double duty: as a door knocker and used as a handle to push open and pull close the door.
The shoe store door handle (see photo montage #1) is an excellent example of creativity used to service commerce and bring a smile to any passer-by.
Walking around Venice (or riding on the vaporetto) I was really struck by the inordinately large number of churches in Venice. Maybe it is because the city is so concentrated or maybe I just noticed it more, but I remember it wasn't uncommon in some places to see blocks where there were at least two churches in that block. Did Anyone else notice this?
Long and humid winters , no cars , and good quality white wines made us addicted to Spritz , our favourite drink: white wine , Aperol ( sweeter) or Campari ( bitter ) and some seltzer water . Great drink and inexpensive , from 2 euros to 3 , usually eating some cicheti , wich are the venetian equivalent to spanish tapas or greek metzes .
By law, accomodation prices in Italy must be displayed in the rooms, therefore you will find in every room a form that lists the minimum and maximum price for the room.
So if you were told a different price in advance, don't hesitate to complain at the reception.
Regatta storica is the most spectacular event of Venice, it is very pitoresque and the moving at the same time. It is magnificent historical procession, taking place on the waters of Canal Grande, consisting of splendid carved boats and completed with the costumed crews, dressed in gorgeous brocadecostumes.
This historical procession commemorates the welcome given to Caterina Cornaro wife of King of Cyprus, in 1489 after she renounced the throne in favour of Venice. Bucintoro, the boat representing the Serenissima is at the head of procession.
Many different competitions take place within Regatta Storica:
- MASCARETE - the women's regata
- PUPPARINI - the young rowers regata
- GONDOLINI - the champions regata
- CAORLINE - the river-transportation boats regata
Finishing line is "Machina", the spectacular floating stage located always in front of the Ca' Foscari palace.
It is long tradition now that Regatta Storica is taking place the first Sunday of September.
Peggy Guggenheim Gallery is situated in Dorsoduro, facing Canal Grande, just about half way between the Accademia and the church of Santa Maria della Salute. It is one of several museums of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and this one in Venice containing the personal art collection of Peggy Guggenheim a niece of mining magnate Solomon Guggenheim. Pieces in the collectio embrace Cubism, Surrealism and Abstract expressionism. The collection including prominent artists, such as: Picasso, Dali, Braque, de Chirico, Mondrian, Kandinsky, Miro, ....
The museum collection is housed in the 18th century Palazzo Venier dei Leoni. Peggy Guggenheim purchased it in 1949 and it was her home for almost thirthy years.
Venice doesn't have much of the selfstanding monuments on the squares, not as much as one could expecting, but on the other hand isn't the old core of the town monument for itself? Other places telling us stories by exposing monuments of the people whom they admire, but Venice is seducing us with all what this magic town has.
The bronze equestrian monument to Italian King Vittorio Emanuele II, work of Ettore Ferrari from 1887, stands on the Riva degli Schiavoni.
The monument to Carlo Goldoni, who was great reformer of the Italian comedy, stands in Campo San Bartolomeo.
The monument to Daniele Manin, patriot and one of the heroes of Risorgimento (unification of Italy), stands in Campo manin.
The monument to Francesco Morosini, who was doge and admiral, stands in Campo San Stefano.
The monument to Pietro Paleocapa, who was scientist and politician, stands in Giardino Papadopoli.
Palazzo Bembo (red coloured building) is 15th century building built for the noble Bembo family. This palace was remodeled several times during past centuries but externally it still maintains the original structure. The palace is considered as an fine example of the Venetian Byzantine or Gothic style originated in the 14th century Venice architecture.
Next to palace Bembo is palace Dolfin Manin, built between 1538 and 1560. It has impressive facade, designed by Sansovino. This palace used to be the residence of the 120th and last Venetian Doge, Ludovico Manin who was obliged to declare the dissolution of the Republic in 1797. Today it houses Banca d'Italia.
The both palaces overlooking Canal Grande on the San Marco side and very close to Ponte Rialto.
This nice looking shop is located somwhere in between sestiere of Castello and San Marco, more probably is that could be at Castello. I didn't buy anything here except taking few pics of it. Such a shops are almost gallery alike, offering murano glass products made in a very small series or unique pieces. Murano glass products aren't cheap and this shop is more expensive then those around Ponte Rialto.
Palazzo Santa Sofia is far better known as Ca' d'Oro (golden house) gue to the gilt and polychrome external decorations which once adorned its walls. It is one of the oldest palaces on Canal Grande built between 1428 and 1430 for the noble family Contarini who provided Venice with eight doges. The architect who designed and built the palace was Giovanni Bon and his son Bartolomeo. These two architects and sculptors epitomises the Gothic style in Venice and are better known for their works on the Doges Palace.
Following the fall of the Republic in 1797 the palace changed ownership in several times. The ballet dancer Marie Taglioni, who was owner in the 19th sentury, removed the Gothic stairway from the inner courtyard and destroyed the ornate balconies overlooking the court. The last owner, Baron Giorgio Franchetti, bequeathed the palace to the state and its open now for the public as a gallery.
The small island San Michele used to be the prison, untill the Napoleon's occupation when occupying forces decreed that Venetians could not bury their deceased on any of the main islands, but only on San Michele.
San Cristoforo, another small island, become a cemetery in 1807 but then the chanel that separated the two islands was filled in during 1836 and now it is what we know as San Michele. The bodies were carried to the island on special funeral gondolas.
San Michele is used for cemetary even today, some famous people were buried here: Igor Stravinsky, Ezra Pound, Joseph Brodsky, Horation Brown, just to mentione few of them.
Great architect Mauro Codussi built the church of San Michele at the island, in 1469, and it was the the first church in Venice built in Renaissance style.
Domenico Cimarosa (1749-1801) was Italian composer, writing more then eighty operas, both comic and serious. He was very popular at his times for the Opera Buffa, Italian comic opera full of humour and accentricity. A part of his short life Cimarosa spent abroad, in St.Petersburg by invitation of Empress Catherine II, remaining there at the court for four years. Cimarosa was also invited by Emperor Leopold II to come to Vienna, where he produced his masterpiece "Il Matrimonio Segreto" /secret marriage).
Most of the superb Venetian palaces facing Canal Grande and Ca' Pesaro is certainly one of the most famous. The palace is set around the courtyard and was designed by Baldassare Longhena who reiterpreted the great Jacopo Sansovino. Today, it houses the International Gallery of Modern Art with works by the most important twentieth century artists, such as Kandinsky, Miro, Morandi etc. The Upper floor is dedicated to Museo d'Arte Orientale, containing objects from Japan, China and Indonesia.
Fondaco dei Turchi was originally built in the 13th century as a palace for the Pesaro family, that's why some Venetians call it Palazzo Pesaro. Built in Venetian-Byzantine style originally used as a trading depot for the goods from the East. In the 14th century it was given to Nicolo d'Este who was lord of the town of Ferrara. In the beginning of the 17th century Palazzo Pesaro became the "Fontego" for Turkish merchants , place to live and do business.
From 1865 the building was restored and housed Museo Correr. Since 1923 it is Natural History Museum with two million objects in the collection; botanical and zoological specimens, fossils and ethnographic collections.
Museo storico Navale, situated in the Sestiere Castello and close to Aesenale, is devoted to naval and nautical history. It is one of the Venice's less visited museums. The museum has a very wide selection of objects and artefacts to do with nautical and Venetian history. Here one could see boats through the history and course the historic gondolas.
The museum is at the adress: Riva S.Biasio 2148, Castello
Open from monday to saturday from 8:45 to 13:30, closed on Sunday
Admission something less then 2 euros
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