Venice is an adorably strange city. It has no roads for cars, bus, trains and trams, these transport modes only just touch her, and there are also no glass skyscrapers that grow in all the most famous cities in the world. Venice is a city where you walk everywhere, or by boat: by vaporetto or privately hired boat, or by gondola navigating the internal canals that attract tourists. The main pathway of the city is Strada Nova, which brings from piazzale Roma to the railway station of Santa Lucia and then to the Campo dei Santi Apostoli. Along the way there are numerous hotels, shops, bars and restaurants for all budgets and tastes, as well as the typical markets with their local crafts. There are also various historical landmarks, both artistic and religious, everywhere you look. The Strada Nova is often flooded with people: many tourists that arrive in Venice pass by here whether arriving by bus or train. However, there are many side alleys, which are calmer, such as those that pass along the external part of the sestiere.
Remaining in the more dynamic area, one of the most interesting parts to visit is the Galleria Franchetti della Ca’ d’Oro. Situated in the Cannaregio sestiere at number 3932, the gallery is full of works of art donated by the Italian State since 1916. Some examples are the Venetian paintings from the 13th and 14th centuries, coming from cult places, which were destroyed; there are also paintings from the Tuscan and Flemish schools. The building hosting the gallery is also beautiful, the Ca d’Oro which belonged to the State since 1992. Facing the Canal Grande since 1421-43 this palace was built for the merchant Marino Contarini, who employed various masons from the Veneto and Lombardy regions. The result of this division of the workforce can be seen especially with regards to the decorations. Today the building can be seen with a Venetian floral gothic face, and when built it was colourful. Red, blue, black, but mainly gold, which should have produced a spectacle for those arriving by boat along the Canal Grande.
There are also paths made in the salty lagoon water. In this case the Canal Grande or “Canalazzo” is the main pathway that divides the centre of the city in a long S shape, 3.8 kilometres long. After all, Venice is a city built between land and sea, the base of the city is long wooden poles planted in the seabed. The poles are placed along parallel lines, on a layer of concrete, a layer of compact clay that is the base for the perimeter walls. Yes, it’s not a legend: Venice is built on water.
Church of the Month
Chiesa di San Maurizio
Today we admire a church with a Greek cross plant with a central dome; the front of the church is in neo-classical style with a bas-relief in the gable, with another two rectangles underneath, two per part.
Founded in 699, this is one of the most ancient churches in Venice and it was originally dedicated to the saints Maurizio, Lazzaro and Adriano. The religious building underwent three strucutural renovations: in 1105 after a fire broke out, in 1590 and lastly in 1795 by will of the noble Pietro Zaguri upon a project by Antonio Diedo and Giovanni Antonio Selva. The parish was abolished and closed in 1810 with the Napoleon decrees and today it hosts permanently the Museum of Music, that proposes a voyage in baroque music history.
In 1319 the Church was involved in a scandal: the designated priest, Giacomo Tanto, kidnapped and killed another priest and was convicted to be closed in a suspended cage (“cheba” in Venetian) in the bell tower of San Marco, where he was fed bread and water until his death.
Sestiere di San Marco, Campo San Maurizio.
Open every day from 10 until 19.
Between calli and steps
Ponte Tron or “della Piavola”
Crossing over the Rio Orseolo, this bridge connects the Fondamenta del Bacino Orseolo and Calle Tron, built from the demolished houses of the Tron family in the beginning of the 20th century. Indeed, the area of the sestiere di San Marco that goes from calle della Frezzaria to piazzetta San Gallo was subject to different building changes, that gradually brought the urban configuration that can be seen today in the area. The bridge is also known as “della paviola”, which means “of the doll” in Venetian dialect, because of its reduced dimensions. Built in white stone from Istria, it has balustrades on the side, according to classical style. At the centre of the arch, on the side, is the symbol in stone of a lion, inside a cartouche. All these details could lead us to believe it as an ancient artefact, but actually, it is a bridge which was built around 1840, therefore relatively recent. Also in this case the design was chosen because it was an excellent fit with the aesthetics of the city, and the urban landscape around Venice, such as happened with the ponte degli Scalzi or “railway bridge”.
Calle Tron, Fondamenta Orseolo, San Marco
Appointment with art
Building Bridges, hands as bridges at the 58th Biennale
After the big white hands that crept out of the water and held Ca’Sagredo, the sculptor Lorenzo Quinn, son of the famous actors Anthony Quinn, returns to the Biennale to present one of his most recent pieces. “Building Bridges” is a monumental installation, realised in resin fibre that presents united arms and hands, situated over the basin of the old shipyards of the Arsenale. The noble intent of the contemporary artist is to let politicians know of global warming and remind them that it is necessary to protect the future together with the future generations.
The emotional sculpture was assembled throughout different weeks under the supervision of Quinn himself.
Every couple of hands portray values such as faith, love and hope and was created thinking of Venice, the city of bridges and that, in this case, interprets a united global message that is against walls and barriers of any type.
Palazzo Zaguri: history, art and nobility shine once again thanks to Venice Exhibition
Palazzo Zaguri has centuries of events to tell of: masked balls, receptions and intrigues have distinguished the nobility and the diverse prestigious Venetian families, that in time have lived and animated the elegant building in Campo San Maurizio.
The first sights of the building date back to 1353 when it was, in part, built. In the XVIII century the ground floor housed coffee shops, spice shops and pharmacies; in that date the Zaguri family, patrons and lovers of art that gave refuge to Giacomo Casanova, had acquired the building. At the beginning of 1900 it housed different schools, and subsequently, the town hall offices. In the end it was auctioned off. With the new owners and refurbishment the great Venetian palace shines once again, starting from the marvellous gothic front. It has become a new centre for exhibitions that in this period houses “Authentic Human Bodies – Leonardo da Vinci” with different anatomical parts inspired by the drawings and studies in anatomy of the Italian genius.
4 Must of Venice
Music Museum, “Antonio Vivaldi and his time”
Can music be the privileged subject in a visual exhibition? Yes, and it happens at the exhibition by Artemio Versari that conducts you in a voyage through the history of lutes, chord instruments with a handle and harmonica case. Indeed, Venice has been a renowned production centre for lutes, thanks to the craftsmanship of diverse “schools” that made the Italian manufacturing of these instruments famous in Europe between 1600 and 1700.
Chiesa San Maurizio, S. Marco 2603
Guided tours upon request (info online)
Every day from 10am to 7pm
“La Pelle” di Luc Tuymans
Until the 6th of January 2020 we can admire exclusively the first art contemporary art exhibition by Luc Tuymans (Mortsel, Belgium, 1958) from different international collections. They are over 80 different works of art realised between 1986 and nowadays, in the tones of grey and light pastel colours, that narrate past stories and those of more recent times, with subjects coming from medias, TV and online.
Palazzo Grassi, Campo San Samuele, San Marco 3231
Information and booking: +39.041.2001057
Authenticity, uniqueness, luxury and cultural heritage can be found at Fornace Venini. These are the perfect words to describe the glass works by Alessandro Mendini, an internationally known architect and designer. If you also think that an original is worth more than a thousand copies, then Venini Spa is the perfect place to buy objects in hand blown glass such as vases, plates, glasses and various other pieces. Everyday objects become a work of art here.
San Marco, 314 Piazzetta Leoncini
tel. +39 041 5224045
Al Theatro Restaurant
Next to Vivaldi Theatre you can find a restaurant with essential and modern lines, ready to capture the palate and eyes of the customer. Not only a restaurant but also a bar with a colourful window display full of tasty things to eat: from different types of mini-pizzas to savoury croissants, from pastries to delicious biscuits and much more.
Campo San Fantin 1916