Canareggio area, Venice
The church of Saint Apostles has been founded in 643, built on a site where St. Magnus saw twelve cranes, after an apparition of the tvelwe apostles told him to look for this sign. The church was rebuilt in 1020 but destroyed in fire in 1105 and rebuilt. It was rebuilt and restored again inthe several times.
The church is dominated by its high bell tower and the domed exterior of the corner chapel. Santi Apostoli has a luminous altarpiece by Gianbatistta Tiepolo.
According to the legend, the Mori were three brothers from Morea/Peloponese, Sandi, Afani and Rioba Mastelli. Silk and spice merchants, they moved to Venice in 1112, where they built Palazzo Mastelli as the seat of their business.
On the east side of the Campo Mori and on Fondamenta della Sensa, there are some statue figures of the Mastelli brothers. These statues, perhaps from the 13th century, are sculped in Istria stone and set into the walls. The legend goes that the three brothers were turned to stone on account of their greed. Brothers Mastell, however, became notorious for their shady dealings and eager participation in Doge Dondolo's sacking of Constantinople.
Another legend says, Maria Maddalena herself turned them into stone for their hard-hearted business dealings.
The church was built in the 17th century and dedicated to Santa Maria di Nazareth, recovering the cult from an image of the Virgin transported here from the old Lazzareto. The church is also called Chiesa degli Scalzi, being the seat of the Discalzed Carmelites (scalzi = barefoot). Project is by Baldassare Longhena, recognizable in its baroque style. In the second half of the 17th century the front facade was reconstructed in a Rococo style by Giuseppe Sardi, while the statues are work of Bernardo Falconi.
The altar content numerous 18th century paintings, but the church is famous for its ceiling, entirely frescoed by Tiepolo and unfortunately damaged during the straffings. The rest of the frescoes survived of the ceiling are today kept at the Galleries of the Academia.
Modonna dell'Orto is a church of suggestive beauty, situated in a small quiet campo overlooked by a terracotta facade with a fine Gothic-Renaissance portal. The great Jacopo Tintoretto is buried here, in the chapel on the right of the precbytery. Two of his works hang in the church, along with painting by Cima da Conegliano. The Madonna and Child by Bellini, which used to hang in the Velier chapel, was stolen in 1993.
Vaporetto - GUGLIE
I quite enjoyed this tour, it gave an insight into how the ghetto originated and also the chance to see inside 3 synagogues, with an explanation of the layout and the differences to be seen between them. We also were taken to see the outside of two other synagogues in the Ghetto. Jews from different countries arrived in Venice, often seeking refuge from persecution, they then set up their own synagogues.
So, The Scola Tadesca was set up by German Jews in 1528, followed by The Scola al Canton in 1531-2, by refuges from Provence. Eastern Mediterranean Jews opened their Scola Levantina in 1538, followed by the Scola Spagnola (Spanish) and lastly, in 1575, The Scola Italiana
These tours leave from the museum daily - except Saturdays and Jewish holidays. June - Sept 10.00 - 1900, October - May 1000 - 1730. Last tour 1 hour before closing time
English speaking tours depart (strictly) on the half hour.
The cost is 8.50 euros and includes the guided tour and entrance to the museum.
You can either look around the museum before or after Your guided tour- this isn't part of the tour (see my previous tip for more info about the museum)
Females must cover their arms (scarves are provided if You don't have clothing with sleeves), skull caps are provided for males on entering each synagogue.
You purchase Your ticket from the kiosk inside the museum. This is a ticket on elastic to be worn around the neck - which I presume is to remind You that the Jews in the Ghetto were forced to wear a similar means of identification.
Our guide was quite formidable at first - she barked orders, and had us all fumbling to detatch the part of our ticket that she needed, without us understanding fully what she meant.
When we reached the first synagogue (The Scola Tadesca) she again bossily insisted we spread out and didn't gather around her too much. However, by the end of the tour I'd warmed to her - she had a lot of information to give us, and after the tour she took us to see where the Spanish and Levantine synagogues were in her own time.
In Campo Ghetto Nuovo there had been posters about an event that evening, and a stage and seating were being arranged. I asked her what this was for - I thought it was a concert of Jewish music - She answered that it was something about the ghetto, She'd seen it last year, but after a day of talking about the ghetto, and 'everything ghetto' she didn't want to have to think anymore ghetto - Can't say that I blamed her!
Sometimes one can dream, even if this dream is one of the most possible surreal and never-ever-to-become-true dreams of all people of this planet. Still, ….. but – hello Ingrid, can you hear me ??? Earth is calling you to come back. Lol. Can someone please bring me back on the planet ?
Ok, so this palazzo was close to where I lived during my stay in Venezia, and when I walked to Piazza San Marco, I passed it quite often. The whole area has something special, I cannot even say what it is. There is this Palazzo with the full name P. Soranzo-Venier-Sanudo-van Axel-Barozzi with the magnificent entrancel portal, a very quiet side canal with beautiful other palazzos around, a Madonna statue at the edge – a place to just sit and let the world pass by. No signs or plates at the entrance that it can be visited or to whom it belongs. Well, as for many of the splendid palazzos.
Then, back home, I checked for more background and found descriptions on the already mentioned Palazzo website. It is one of the best conserved late Gothic palazzi in Venezia, built in late 15th century and all the owners are mentioned in this metre long name. The portal is said to be still the original one, with the wooden door and the coat of arms of one of the owners. Then I did a bit of more research, as I wanted to know who is living in there and found…. guess what – it is for sale !!!! Haha, even if I would start a carreer as bank robber right now (big Swiss banks of course), it would most certainly not be enough. But… well, just look at the website I have added below and maybe you can join me with this dream – so that I don’t need to feel like the biggest idiot on earth, lol.
Make sure you look at all photos on that site, interior and exterior, and each of the photos can be clicked as well for bigger size. Just the courtyard is to die for.
Well, I will consider to check if I might work there as just the cleaning woman :-)
Update, September 2009:
the palazzo is sold, of course! And stupid me forgot to save the website with the interior and courtyard photos :-( But I found another website of a lucky guy who was in Venezia during 52th Biennale where the palazzo's second floor was housing a Mexico exhibition. The guy's blog is written in German, but it is the photos that count. A funny detail at the bottom: obviously, part of the movie Casanova was filmed in the palazzo's courtyard, there is a short youtube video with scenes from the movie and the courtyard.
Oh, there are more websites with photos of the courtyard. This website has bigger and better photos and I ask myself again why I didn't rob these banks.... It would have been only GBP 11 mio, and I would have taken very good care of the magic palazzo... though it would have ruined me moneywise. But if love speaks.... :-)
Jacopo Robusti, better known as Tintoretto (1518-94), was one of the last painters of the Venetian Renaissance. He lived about 20 years with his family and art collection in a 15th century house near Campo dei Mori.
At the Palazzo Mastelli, which is located just next to Tintoretti's house, 4 statues of oriental traders can be seen.
Just across the canale of Tintoretto’s house is “his” church Madonna dell’Orto. Already built in 1377, but those days she was a church devoted to St. Christopherus, saint of the traders. When a statue of the madonna was discovered in a nearby kichen garden (orto in Italian, hence the name), she was modified and devoted to Maria. This statue is now in Capella San Mauro (right hand side of the altar, where also Tintoretto’s grave is). But there is still a statue of St. Christopherus on the arch over the entrance portal. And also the fraternity Scuola dei Mercanti (photo 5) is next to the church (left hand side; west), as this area of Venezia was home to the traders.
The Gothic front façade is very symmetrical and elaborate. Two pillars left and right have little pinnacles with statues of Maria (photo 3); three ones on top of the central nave part of the portal do show three virtues. And the sides are decorated with the 12 apostles. I liked the long windows most and took several photos – but the main photo shows these best: white marble from Istria and red Veronese one. The campanile has a very strange (well, strange for Venezia) round top, almost like the onion domes in Bavaria, Austria and Russia.
The church does not have an aisle, thus appears quite long. Several paintings of Tintoretto can be admired all over in the church. Photography is not allowed inside (as in most of the churches), but the website below (even if it is in Italian) gives you quite a good idea of the interior. Make sure, you click on vista 2D della chiesa at the top; this is linked to an interactive map and some numbers are linked with the paintings or statues inside.
Website of the parish itself: Parrocchia della Madonna dell’Orto.
Opening hours: Mon – Sat, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission: 2,50 €, unless you have the Chorus Pass, in which it is included.
If you think of Venice as the image of two holding hands, then the Cannaregio area would sort of be the knuckles on the top hand. Our hotel was located in that area, and what I enjoyed so much about it is that we only had to take a few steps in any direction other than Strada Nuova (the main street that runs through the area) and we'd find ourselves walking along lovely quiet streets. One evening, we decided to walk up Fondamenta di San Giobbe in search of a restaurant. Unfortunately for me, most restaurants in that area specialize in fish and seafood, which I don't eat. However, we did discover what is perhaps the best spot in all of Venice to watch sunsets: all you need to do is go all the way to the end of the street until you reach the water - trust me, you won't regret making the quick detour!
Lista di Spagna stretches from just after the foot of the Scalzi Bridge/ Scalzi church, to Campo Sant Geremia (in front of the large church of the same name) where it then becomes Saliz. S. Geremia, before the Ponte del Guglie crosses the Canal de Cannaregio.
This area was where the foreign embassies were all located- This wasn't a co-incidence- The Republic, ever fearful of foreign invasion etc stipulated that the embassies should be in one central area, which made it easier to keep control on the 'comings and goings' and for the Republics spies to have an easier job.
One of those embassies was used by the Spanish (Spagna). The word Lista indicates that it is a street leading to an embassy.
The embassy was located at No 168, and is now used as the regional offices of the Veneto. (pics 3 + 4)
In 1618, Venice had acquired a reputation as the European Capital of intrigue and espionage! The Marquis of Bedmar -aka The Spanish Ambassador came up with a 'cunning plan' to smuggle soldiers from the Spanish Army into Venice- They would arrive- a few at a time, in civilian clothing. This plan failed due to a prostitute, whose patriotism ensured that the plot was leaked to the feared Council of Ten. This resulted in around 300 people being arrested and executed.
Nowadays, this thoroughfare is a tourist hotspot, with souvenir shops, Fast food shops, Restaurants, hotels, discount sales and street hawkers- including the notorious handbag sellers.
A Popular area for visitors wanting to stay near to the train or bus station, particularly those on a 'whistle-stop' tour of Europe.
The Sestiero Cannareggio (the Northernmost in Venice proper), is not the most spectacular. The only famous destination there is the Venice Ghetto, a very small neighborhood which is at the origin of the definition of the word Ghetto as we know it.
However, the scarcity of tourists, and the presence of "real people" amidst unrestored, crumbling palaces, make a long walk through the Cannaregio a most pleasurable one. You may want to start your walk around the Civil Hospital and wander about in loops all the way to the train station.
When you arrive to St. Stae you can see in front of you a nice view over the Canal Grande with some nice examples of architecture: Palazzo Gussoni Grimani & Palazzo Boldu.
Palazzo Gussoni Grimani gave its name by the owner Antonio Grimani (a Dodge). It was built in 1509 on a project of Michele Sanmicheli. Nowdays it is owned by the Regione Veneto.
Palazzo Boldu built in the 16th century is nowdays a cultural centre.
Most of the tourists know Cannaregio because its where the train station and the cheaper hotels are but it has some really nice (and quiet) corners. I started to walk from campo San Geremia. The church of San Geremia(pic 1) existing since the middle of the 18th century although the first church was erected in 11th century and houses the relics of Saint Lucy of Syracuse (previously at the church of demolished Santa Lucia church). At the same campo you can also see Palazzo Labia. It belonged to a rich family from Catalunya and was built at the end of the 17th century. It has some paintings of Tiepolo but I couldn’t go inside, it seems you need some appointment first.
Then we crossed the nice bridge ponte delle Guglie(pic 2) where we had some extra nice photos of the canale di Cannaregio. The bridge was built in 1580, designed by Michelangelo de Marchesini and has some nice carved masks as decoration. At this canal we saw the most weird boats of all Venice. After checking the Ghetto area (see next tip) we crossed another bridge and we started walk at fondamenta degli Ormesini that turns into fondamenta della Misericordia. Locals were passing by while we were checking the numerous bridges along the way.
When we reached San Marziale church(pic 3) we were tired of walking so it was a good point for a stop. It was first built back in the 9th century but rebuilt several times. There is a legend about a wooden statue of Madona that came in Venice in an empty boat and many miracles happened in the city then. It is made of wood painted but kind of old, its size is big enough and Jesus seems to smile in a strange way. A sign says about the story of the miracles and the date that the Doge brought it to the church, it was back in 1286. The interior is very interesting in general although kind of dark but it gives atmosphere. There are paintings from Tintoretto and S.Ricci while over the altar you can admire an ideal Venetian baroque exable, a baroque fantasy (according to Hugh Honour). The church is open 16.00-18.00 but better to visit it on 9.30 on Sundays.
When we passed from Palasport at Scuola Grande della Misericordia we realized the Biennale di Venezia had the grand opening that weekend so we took a quick look (there were several exhibitions all over the city). The next church was Santa Maria della Misericordia (pic 4) at campo del Abbazia. It dates back from the 10th century but the beautiful façade was restored in 1659. It was closed when I passed by.
We walked a bit, turned into calle dei mori and after crossing ponte de la Madona de l’Orto I saw the beautiful Venetian gothic church of Madona de l’Orto (pic 5). It was built at the 14th century and it was first dedicated to Saint Christopher but later to Virgin Mary because of a miraculous statue of Virgin Mary that was founded in the area. The sculpture of Judas supposed to have inside one of the silver coins of Judas but ok, I know… who knows… You can also see many nice paintings of Tintoretto (that he was also buried here) and Conegliano. We walked a bit at this quiet part of Canneregio and at the end we just got lost at some small alleys before we returned back to Ghetto area.
Since we did only a trip up and down the Grand Canal on the Route one vaporetto, we obviously did not get to walk around any of the six sectors of Venice. When I looked on a map, I found that the Cannaregio district would have been on the side of the railroad station. There were two churches which came to our attention in this stretch. One was San Marcuola Cannaregio (which has the district in the name).
It looked unfinished, and it was. Apparently the architect thought he would cover the surface with white marble but didn't get around tuit. It isn't a new church - it was built between 1728 and 1736 by the architect Giorgio Massari. Giorgio Massari b. Venice 1687 - d. 1766 was Venice's most important architect in the first half of the 18th century. It was not uncommon for facade to be left unfinished in Venice. Finishing them cost a great deal of money and was usually left for last.
The church is dedicated to Saints Ermagora and Fortunato—yet its name is San Marcuola. It is near to the Ghetto Nuovo
The second church had an inscription on it which said
VERGINE DI SIRACUSA
MARTIRE DI CRISTO
IN QUESTO TEMPIO
ALL'ITALIA AL MONDO
Roughly translated, this means
Lucia, Virgin of Syracuse, Martyr of Christ in this Temple Rests
Italy Implores all the World, Light Peace
Chiesa di Santa Lucia has in it the urn containing the relics of Santa Lucia. Actually there are two St. Lucias both from Syracuse which makes it confusing. After the death of the Saint in 304 A.D., his body was moved around and in 1204, the Venetian Doge Enrico Dandolo, sent it to Venice where it was put in the church of S. Giorgio Maggiore. On 13 December 1279 some pilgrims to the shrine drowned after the capsizing of boats in a sudden storm so it was decided to take the body of the Saint to the church S. Maria Annunziata or "Nunca" situated in the Cannaregio district, where they were placed the precious relics transferred from S. Giorgio. In 1313 a new church dedicated to St. Lucia, where the relics of saints were placed permanently.
There are regular hours for masses.
My reason for finding Fondamente Nuove, was that this was where I was to get the No 13 vaporetto to Sant' Erasmo, where I had booked accommodation for 2 nights, at the end of my 12 day visit to Italy.
It was quite a bustling area, as this is also where the waterbuses depart to other islands of the North lagoon including Burano, Isola San Michelle (The cemetery island), Torcello and Murano
From the quay across the bridge, night boats to the lagoon islands, and the Alilugana to Marco Polo airport can be boarded.
Waiting for the vaporetto, I had a while to wait, so enjoyed a cool beer on the terrace of Algiubagio, while enjoying the views over the lagoon.
The 'New Quays' are over 400 years old, Before they were constructed in the 1580's, this was a respectable residential area, where Venetians built houses, with attractive gardens, in order to enjoy the clean open air. Artists such as Titian resided here. He entertained European VIPS and friends such as Sansovino and Aretino at his house at No 5179 Calle Larga dei Botteri (No longer here, but a plaque on the flats wall marks the site)
The Quays themselves aren't too attractive, but it has become one of my favourite areas.
For a kilometre, from the Sacca della Misericordia, the Quays stretch easterly to the bridge crossing the Rio di Santa Giustina. This is also the point where you step into the sestieri of Castello
Looking out over the lagoon, with its ever-changing skies, I'm never bored with the view to the islands and beyond. On a clear day, You can even see the Dolomites, with their snow topped peaks.
Approaching Fondamente Nuove by water bus, gives you the chance to see landmarks such as the churches of the Gesuiti, with its red roof tiles and bell tower, and Santi Apostoli, with its onion domed campanile, from a different view.
I've enjoyed eating at the handful of eateries around Fondamente Nuova - Algiubagio has great food and atmosphere, and its sister Pizzeria and Gelateria is a place to grab a slice of fresh hot Pizza for 2 euros, or a delicious ice cream.
I also enjoy wandering around the sleepy narrow streets off the Fondamente, I never know what I'll see, or hear. One sunny afternoon, I'd wandered into a street with a vine growing across it. From a nearby apartment, I could hear a man singing operatic arias, as delicious cooking smells wafted from open windows. There was no one else around - One of those 'Happy Moments' which seemed a million miles away from the bustle of 'Tourist Venice'!