Campi, Calle and Canali, Venice
The church of San Barnabas on Campo San Barnabas was completed with the brick campanile in the 14th century. The small church has a "Holy Family" depiction attributed to Paolo Veronese and a Tiepolo-style ceiling. It is more often associated with fact that impoverished members of the aristocracy lived here in state-provided apartments during the Republic's declining years.
The church and its surroundings has also gained a more recent distinction when it appeared in several films such as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade or in my favourite, Summertime starring Katherine Hepburn.
If you love the romantic Summer-Venice, you will love also the film Summertime. The story is about a lonely yet lovely American spinster who falls in love with a charming but married Venetian man who shows her that Venice is truly made for lovers.
You should watch this movie before your every trip to Venice, because you meet a Venice as you have never seen it before.
VAPORETTO - SAN ZACCARIA
Walking to the end of Calle delle Rasse, turn left and you'll find yourself in this 'dog legged' Campo (square).
Apparently the first pizzeria to be established in Venice is located here.
It's a pleasant small square, with a kiosk in the centre, and a well head, surrounded by small hotels, restaurants, bars and shops.
My first sighting was on arrival in Venice, as my hotel Albergo Al Tiepolo was located in the square- just down a narrow alley.
I also ate a few times at Aciugheta (Little Anchovies) which receives good reviews in travel guides etc. Apparently, It's popular with gondoliers, which is a good sign! (Please see my Restaurant tips for more info)
Leading onto the square are C/Degli Albanesi, Salizzada San Provola and C/Drio La Chiesa where a number of bars, cheap snack places etc. can be found.
As my first visit was at Christmas (2006), I saw its character change and become steadily busier after Christmas Day.
UPDATE - In June, it was a lot busier, with tables and chairs spilling into the square as well as kiosks offering souvenirs and chilled drinks - I saw one stall selling slices of coconut, which were cooled by water running over them.
Whereas in December, I could walk through easily, this time I had to negotiate the crowds, stalls and pavement cafes.
Continuing along, we enter Mercerie San Salvador, and Campo San Salvador. This is a busy crossroads.
In the Campo are a few things to look at, either just by a fleeting glance, or stopping to explore the church and surrounding buildings.
At the corner of the street we've just exited, look up and see the iron dragon, holding a glass globe made up of umbrellas or parasols.(pic 2)
The Memorial is to commemorate the aborted revolt of 1848-1849, led by Daniel Manin, against Austrian occupation. 50 years after insurrection, the memorial was placed on this site. (pic 1)
San Salvador church is worth a peep inside, or return to if it is closed.(pic 3)
It was consecrated by Pope Alexander 3rd in 1177. The 1663 facade by Sardi hides some treasures in its interior walls. The building commenced in 1508 by Spavento, which was continued by Tulio Lombardo and Sansovino. It's designed in a plan of 3 domed Greek crosses, placed end to end. This cleverly adheres to the religious orders, decreeing longitudinal spaces for worship, but also pays homage to the centrally planned designs of Byzantium and the Basillica San Marco. The planned design had one fault - it was too dark, but lanterns were added to each of the domes in the 1560's by Scamozzi
Things to see in San Salvatore Titians famous 'Annunciation' painted in 1566, which he signed Fecit, fecit -Painted it, painted it. This is thought to have been written to emphasize his wonder at his continued creativity in his old age!
He also painted the main altarpiece 'Transfiguration'. around 1560. This covers a 14th Century silver reredos, which is exposed each Easter.
A scrap of paper on the rail in front of The Annunciation records the death of Titian on 25th August 1576
The tomb of Caterina Cornaro rests in this church. Born into an eminant Venetian family, she married, becoming the Queen of Cyprus. On her husbands death, she was forced to surrender the island to the Doge (Being of strategic position). The grieving widow, was then led in procession up the Grand Canal, The doge making it appear she had abdicated voluntarily-and offering the town of Asolo as a token of the cities gratitude. She died in 1510. After a heroines funeral at the Apostoli church, her body was later laid to rest in San Salvatore, with the tomb being fitted at the end of the 16th Century.
In front of the main altar is a glass disc, below this is a merchants tomb that was quite recently unearthed. The damaged decoration is by Francesco, the brother of Titian. He was also reponsible for painting the doors of the church organ. For a donation, the caretaker will show you into the sacristy, where there is another example of his work of birds and foliage.
The outside of the church has some faded frescoes in its porchways.(pic 4)
Open 0900 - 1200 and 1500 - 1800 Mon - Sat. Sun - 1600 - 1800.
The phone company office in the corner is the former Monastery of San Salvatores cloisters,designed by Sansovino (open Tues-Sun 1000-1800 Free admission
Next to this is the Scuoladi San Teodoro, which was the last Scuole to be constructed in Venice, in 1530.The facade was added in 1655 by Sardi . The Scuola was a cinema for many years, but now features musical evenings and exhibitions
Strolling around Venice, we find many Campi like this and it was interesting finding out that they were, actually, the basic structural unit of the city.
Going back to the 5th century after the fall of the Roman Empire, invaders' attacks ( Goths, Visigoths, Huns, to mention a few... ) towards Italy's major cities forced people to find refuge at islands in the saltwaters of Adriatic Lagoon.
Along with their prayers for survival, they brought with them no more than their faith, business aknowledge and family ties. With no hope to return home, they started building a new one.
Crossing a small canal ( rio - pl. rii ), finding a field ( campo - pl. campi ) they began to sit the focal points of their lives. Homes ( Casa or Ca' ), a church and a Pozzo ( Well ) in the middle, to collect rain water.
These small communiites sprung up on the islands and by growing and growing they endded up forming the sestieri or neighborhoods. There are six sestieri in Venice; Cannaregio, Castello, Dorsoduro, Santa Croce, San Marco and San Polo.
As the city grew, it became unified under an republican government. From unification came organization. Larger canals and bridges were built and many smaller canals were filled in to create paved streets.
As mentioned in my travelogue (with heaps more photos taken at dusk), if you're lucky enough to experience such a breathtaking sunset as we did on our second stay in Venice, quickly jump on a Vaporetto and start taking those photos!
You will find many more beautiful photos (taken at dusk), in the travelogues section....
Some our our sunsets here in Brisbane are very much like this - if I look at the sky then close my eyes, I imagine we're standing in the middle of Venice.........doesn't seem to work though :P
Venice seems to take on a totally different atmoshere at night. We know that when we went (although it was around New Years Eve) in Winter, sometimes you'd turn the corner from a busy "street" and you're met with a deserted "Ponte" and canal - the perfect photo opportunity. The footsteps of the Venezian women in their high heeled shoes echoes off the walls. It's beautiful at night - it would be such a shame to only visit Venice for a day and miss this magical atmosphere!
SAN POLO and SANTA CROCE
Leading off from Ruga Degli Orefici, we come to the Campo of the Church of San Giacoma di Rialto, which is surrounded by Renaissance arcades.
It was a pleasant place to catch a few rays of winter sun, and enjoy the peace. (Many of the day trippers had stopped on the Rialto Bridge, and not ventured this further few metres!)
Also catching the rays was a statue- a granite 'hunchback' residing here since the 16th century! The Gobbo di Rialto, was the 'sanctuary' for criminals who had been made to run naked from Piazzo San Marco, enduring crowds lining the route, who aimed punches at the nee'r do wells, until they reached sanctuary at the feet of the statue.
Orders of the Republic were once issued from behind the Gobbo, to the amassed crowds, simultaneously being announced from the Pietra del Bando, adjacent to San Marco Basillica
UPDATE Christmas 2007- On the 23rd and 24th there were a few market stalls open on the edge of the campo.
Surrounding the campo are a few bars, which were buzzing after dark - A good place to enjoy one of the local wines or a Spritz
Visit the calles and campos in Venice. You can get a sense of how the locals live, and you see a completely different Venice.
Don’t be afraid to get lost, because it’s almost impossible that you don’t. But you always get back on track :)
Take a map with you and go discover. Some of the campos (squares) have cheerful street markets and cafes.
SAN POLO and SANTA CROCE
This rectangular Campo was a pleasant place to sit and enjoy a few minutes of Christmas Days sunshine! It is the second largest Square in Venice (after Piazza San Marco)
A few locals were enjoying themselves too, some small boys were playing football, a man was mending a bicycle for some young boys; who were playing on skateboards, while a young girl was walking round with a huge white fluffy cat! (see my other pic) Apparently a plaque on the apse of the church dated 1611 forbids all games or any selling of merchandise - the penalty being prison, galley service or exile!!!
This Campo becomes quite lively in the warmer months, when it becomes an open air cinema. This can seat 2,000, and your 5 euro admission enables viewings of Italian dubbed films.
Traditionally, the square has hosted festivals, markets, fairs, masquarades, Grand Balls, and bull baiting! It was also the place where Lorenzino de' Medici was assassinated in 1548 (he'd killed his cousin Alessandro - The Duke of Florence, and fled to Venice. 2 assassins in the service of Cosimo de' Medici fatally stabbed Lorenzino)
Surrounding the cobbled centre, are a few buildings of interest, besides the church of San Polo, there are some palaces. The red building - Pallazzo Soranzo, is the institute of Chinese Language and Literature, but was originally the home of a Venetian nobleman, who adopted one of the cities most famous characters- Casanova as his son!
Next to this is the Pallazzo Tiepolo. In the NW corner is Palazzo Corner Mocenigo, where Frederick Rolfe lived
This water bus is a local vaporetto on Route No. 1, which zigzags across the Grand Canal as it makes its way from the Piazzale Roma and the railway station to the Piazza San Marco. After San Marco, it stops several more times before turning around at Venice's resort island, the Lido.
The No. 1 boat is slow, and it can be crowded during peak season or at rush hour. If you plan to use this route for sightseeing, board the boat at the end of the line (Piazzale Roma or Lido) and grab a seat in the bow, where standing isn't permitted and you'll have uninterrupted sightlines.
The Grand Canal (Italian: Canal Grande, Venetian: Cana³asso) is the most important 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, but many tourists visit it by gondola.
Campo dei Mori, which is situated just a foot from the church Madonna dell'Orto, looks like semi-abandoned square. There are number of very strange caryatids all around the square, which protrude from the buildings. Nothing like that you may see in the rest of the town, it is another less known Venice.
Just grab an umbrella and walk the streets! The afternoon we arrived the weather was lovely, but got dark very quickly (and if you've read the intro page, you'll know that we searched for our hotel for 3 1/2 hours in the dark). Too tired to go out sightseeing that night, we decided to wait until the morning. The next day we were greeted with grey clouds and lots of rain. That combined with high water, made visiting the main attractions (San Marco Basillica, etc), less than enjoyable. We simply walked to the east of San Marco square with our umbrellas and headed off to find what other treasures were waiting for us. Don't ever let the bad weather get you down in Venice - it's one of those places that still holds so much charm in the pelting rain. I've even dedicated an entire travelogue for photos of this day, as we found some of the most characteristic and stunning places in these backstreets....
I have found that in Venice if I liked a particular place at one time of the day like morning, it was just as great in the evening or at night and sometimes even better.
Often times the spot had a completely different personality.
So my tip is that if you found a campo, bridge or canal particularly touching revisit at another time of the day.
I found dusk and night to be particularly pleasant.
After browsing here through 185 reviews I saw that this Campiello (small Campo) had not been commented.
What a pleasure to finally write something about Venice that is not redundant on VT!
Better is the fact that I found info about the palace with that strange sculpture in a niche on the front.
This is the Palazzo Bembo-Boldù and the sculpture is a wild hairy god "Chronos" master of time, or Saturn wearing a sun disk.
You simply must walk the streets / calles of Venice at night - it is breathtakingly beautiful. Do be careful though not to go too far away from the main touristy spots (such as north of San Marco Piazza) - especially in the backstreets, as we did feel quite scared a couple of times - turning the corner to find someone waiting there. Maybe it was because we were travelling with our daughter who was 5 years old at the time, that we were ok? I have a few beautiful photos - this is one of them...