Palazzo Zenobio is one of the most beautiful edifices of Venetian late Baroque style. It was designed by Antonio Gaspari, Venetian architect, Longhena's pupil, and built in the last decade of the 17th century. The palace has large and very nice courtyard garden.
The highlight of the Palazzo Zenobio interior is the ballroom also called the Hall of Mirrors. It is behind the balcony of the main facade and it extends over the two floors. Central fresco of marvellous ceiling decoration – "Celebration of the Myth of Apollo" painted by the Frenchman Louis Dorigny depicts Aurora and the chariot of Apollo.
Palazzo Zenobio houses the Collegio Armeno – Armenian College "Moorat Raphael" since 1850. Part of the palace is a hostel. Palazzo Zenobio is used for Biennale exhibitions, which offered us opportunity in sumer of 2007 to explore it, and to see several exhibitions as well.
Palazzo Zenobio is located in Dorsoduro, on the Fondamenta del Soccorso, very near Church of Santa Maria del Carmelo or Dei Carmini.
Palazzo Soranzo Van Axel is one of Venice's the nicest and the best preserved Gothic houses. It was built in late 15th century on the site of an earlier building in Veneto-Byzantine style. It is claimed that the wooden door and the metal knocker date from the 15th century as well. Gothic forms of the palace are evidence of the conservativeness of Venetian architecture, slow to embrace the new Renaissance style, already common in other parts of Italy.
Originally built for the Gradenigo family, the palace was bought in 1473 by Nicolo Soranzo, the Procurator of St Mark's, whose family lived there for almost two centuries. In the 16th and 17th centuries, it was owned by the Venier and Sanudo families until 1627 or 1628, when it was bought by the Van Axel family, wealthy textile merchants from Ghent. It remained the Van Axels' family home until 1920, when the antiquarian Conte Dino Barozzi bought and restored it, filling the house with magnificent, mainly 15th century, furniture and paintings. It has been the home of Marsoni family since the mid-1950s. A few years ago it was probably the best known building in Venice – for sale. The price was 11.000.000 £. Is it sold? At the time we have been writing this tip, in December of 2007 – we did not have a slightest idea about that. But Ingrid (VT Trekki), in 2009 update of her tip about Palazzo Sorrano-Van Axel gives the answer – the palace has been sold!
Palazzo Soranzo Van Axel housed Mexican national presentation at 52nd Biennale in 2007 and we grabbed that opportunity to see the exterior of the palace.
Palazzo Soranzo Van Axel is located in Cannaregio, on Fondamenta Sanudo. The back side of the palace is by Santa Maria dei Miracoli Church, on its east side. Another well known tourist spot nearby is Campo San Zanipolo – the shortest way from that square to the palace is via Calle delle Erbe.
Convent of Santa Apollonia, now Museo Diocesano d’Arte Sacra – Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art, is one of Venice "hidden treasures" – hidden although it is located just behind Basilica di San Marco. This cloister, with double columns on longer sides and single columns on the shorter, was built in 12th and 13th century.
Museum treasures the collection of paintings which includes the works of Jacopo Robusti called Tintoretto, Jacopo Palma il Giovane, Gregorio Lazzarini, Luca Giordano… But the highlight of the Museo Diocesano collections are excellent examples of wooden sculpture, from the 14th through 16th centuries, among them – the Altarpiece of Saint Donato, from the Church of San Donato in Murano, attributed to Paolo Veneziano.
The museum organizes temporary exhibitions, and in July of 2007 we have seen the excellent exhibition Officina Durer – Durer Workshop, which presented some of the most famous prints by Albrecht Durer.
Venetian painter Jacopo Robusti called Tintoretto (his nickname derives from his father's profession of dyer – tintore), along with Paolo Cagliari called Veronese, was the most successful Venetian painter in the generation after Titian's death. Although little is known of his life, his house, in which he died in 1594 still can be seen on Fondamenta dei Mori, just by Campo dei Mori. Tintoretto was buried in Madonna dell'Orto church located very near his house. Some of his masterpieces are in that church.
Dominating Campo dei Mori, three statues known as "Mori" – Moors, according to Venetian tradition, represent three Mastelli brothers: Rioba, Afani and Sandi. They are said to have been rich merchants who came from Morea in Greece in the 12th century. Statues of Moors were created in late 13th century and its present location probably dates from the late 15th century. All the statues were vividly coloured, and that can be seen even in 19th century photographies. The figure of Riobe, carrying a bale of merchandise as an allusion to his occupation, has metal nose added in the 19th century.
There is legend about statues being actually Mastelli brothers themselves, turned into the stones by Saint Magdalene, as a divine punishment for their dishonesty and hypocrisy.
Statues of Moors are on Campo dei Mori, on north of Venice, very near Madonna dell'Orto church.
Just by the three statues of Moors on Campo dei Mori, on the other side of the same building, on Fondamenta dei Mori – there is fourth Moor statue. According to the same tradition about three statues representing Mastelli brothers – this fourth could be their loyal servant. All of the four statues of Moors were created in late 13th century and its present location probably dates from the late 15th century. All the statues were vividly coloured.
Fourth statue of Moor is on Fondamenta dei Mori, on north of Venice, just by Tintoretto's house, very near Madonna dell'Orto church.
Ponte di Rialto is the most important bridge over the Canal Grande.
The first wood bridge, called “Ponte della Moneta”, was the creation of Nicolo Battieri. It was destroyed in the year 1444.
The rebuilding of the bridge began in 1588, after the plans of the architect Antonio da Ponte, and it was finished in the year 1592.
The new construction is a white stone bridge, with a superb architecture, with many souvenirs shops on it, and with a large way for the visitors.
The arcade under the bridge has a high of 7, 5 m and an expanse of 28 m, and makes possible the circulation of the vporettis, gondolas, motorboats, and other embarkations, under it, on the water of the canal.
This construction is a necessity for the pedestrian traffic in Venice and an attraction for the many visitors pf the city.
First, a metal bridge was built in the year 1854, over the Canal Grande, on the same place where the actually Accademia Bridge is.
The old construction was not in concordance with the architecture of the city, and the actually bridge was built provisionally, of wood, in the year 1934.
The intention of the constructors was to build a new stone bridge, but the constructed bridge resisted over the time, and remained as one of three bridges over the canal.
The bridge make the connection between the “Campo San Vidal and the Campo della Carita.
This bridge was also built in the year 1934, after the Accademia Bridge.
This is placed at the beginning of the Canal Grande, next to the railway Station Santa Lucia.
This is a stone construction that makes the connection between the two sides of the canal, on an important place, where the train station is.
This small bridge, over the Rio di Palazzo, makes the connection between the Palazzo Ducale and the prison next to it.
For many people, in the preceding centuries, the bridge was the way, or maybe the last way between the courtroom in the palace and the incarceration.
The architecture of the bridge is not imposing, but the remembrance to the old significance of it, is for many tourists a reason to look at this building.
Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni - This small headquarters of the Slavic or Dalmation (Croatian) merchant community of Venice has a wonderful narrative cycle of paintings by Carpaccio, still in the original building for which they were created. They feature the three Dalmation patron saints (St. George, St. Tryphon, and St. Jerome), including one of the heroic St. George killing the dragon. This is a gem for any Carpaccio fans. I especially enjoyed the painting of the monks fleeing in terror from St. Jerome's friendly lion - the consternation on the saint's face is pretty funny.
Open Tues. - Sat. 9:30am to 12:30pm and 3:30pm to 6:30pm, and Sundays 9:30am to 12:30pm. Closed Mondays.
Calle dei Furlani, Castello
There are plenty of small and very pitoresque restaurants in Venice, hidden in the labyrinth of chanels all over the town. To some of them you can approach from the water side only. I suggest you to choose one of this for your lunch or dinner, better then those situated along Canal Grande. You'll pay less and feel more comfortable eating away from the crowd.
If you have the time, please go on (south east direction) after St. mark and follow the "riviera degli schiavoni" towards the island of St. Helen's gardens... You will be soon out of the mainstream of the tourist, and you will be able to see a different venice, the one venetians live.
Or simply to see a magin sunsut on the basin...
There's a rather odd raised bit of pavement in the Campo Novo (San Marco district).
Accessed via the Calle de Pestrin, it used to be the graveyard of nearby Santo Stefano but in the plague of 1630 many, many victims were buried here.
There was such wory about infection that public access was not allowed until the mid 1800s.
A weird place. Whilst I was sitting there in the sun an obviously very ill pigeon took shelter directly under my legs ..........that was a strange experience (and gave me a paranoid minute or two about bird flu!).
While plenty of people make their way to Ca Rezzonico, not so many make it all the way up to the top floor of this palazzo, where the "Martini Collection" resides. Many centuries of Venetian painters are represented here, and many of the paintings are of sensual nudes or semi-nudes. It's worth a stroll through!
in Dorsoduro, at the Ca Rezzonico vaporetto stop on the Grand Canal
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