Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 322

EYEWITNESS TRAVEL

Venice
& the Veneto
EYEWITNESS TRAVEL

Venice
& the Veneto

Main Contributors Susie Boulton, Christopher Catling


Produced by Pardoe Blacker Publishing
Limited, Lingfield, Surrey
Project Editor Caroline Ball
Introducing Venice Venice
Art Editor Simon Blacker and the Veneto Area by Area
Editors Jo Bourne, Molly Perham,
Linda Williams
Designers Kelvin Barratt, Dawn Brend, Discovering Venice and Venice at a Glance 58
Jon Eland, Nick Raven, Steve Rowling the Veneto 10
Map Co-Ordinators Simon Farbrother, A View of the
David Pugh
Putting Venice and the Grand Canal 60
Picture Research Jill De Cet
Contributor (Travellers’ Needs) Sally Roy Veneto on the Map 16
Maps Phil Rose, Jennifer Skelley,
San Marco 76
Jane Hanson (Lovell Johns Ltd, Oxford UK) A Portrait of
Street Finder maps based upon digital data, the Veneto 20 San Polo and
adapted with permission from L.A.C. (Italy) Santa Croce 100
Photographers
John Heseltine (Venice), Roger Moss (Veneto)
Venice and the Veneto
Illustrators Through the Year 36 Castello 112
Arcana Studios, Donati Giudici Associati Srl,
Robbie Polley, Simon Roulstone The History of Venice Dorsoduro 126
Printed and bound in China and the Veneto 40
First American edition 1995 Cannaregio 140
18 19 20 21 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
The Lagoon Islands 150
Published in the United States by DK
Publishing, 345 Hudson Street, New York,
New York 10014
Reprinted with revisions 1995, 1997
(twice), 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001,
2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010,
2012, 2014, 2016, 2018
Copyright 1995, 2018 © Dorling Kindersley
Limited, London
A Penguin Random House Company
All rights reserved. Without limiting the
rights under copyright reserved above,
no part of this publication may be
reproduced, stored in or introduced into
a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any
form, or by any means (electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording,
or otherwise), without the prior written
permission of both the copyright owner
and the above publisher of this book.
A catalog record for this book is available
from the Library of Congress
ISSN: 1542-1554
Gondolas on the Grand Canal with Piazza San Marco in the background
ISBN 978 1 46546 798 0
Floors are referred to throughout in
accordance with British usage, ie the “first The information in this
floor” is the floor above ground level. DK Eyewitness Travel Guide is checked regularly.
Every effort has been made to ensure that this book is as up-to-date as possible
at the time of going to press. Some details, however, such as telephone numbers,
opening hours, prices, gallery hanging arrangements and travel information are
liable to change. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for any consequences
arising from the use of this book, nor for any material on third-party websites, and
cannot guarantee that any website address in this book will be a suitable source of
travel information. We value the views and suggestions of our readers very highly.
Please write to: Publisher, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides, Dorling Kindersley,
80 Strand, London, WC2R 0RL, UK, or email: travelguides@dk.com.

Title page A gondola amid colourful Venetian houses Front cover image Gondolas on the Grand Canal
Back cover image Lago di Limedes, Dolomites
Contents
The Veneto Travellers’ Survival Guide
Area by Area Needs
The Veneto at Where to Stay 228 Practical Information 268
a Glance 164
Where to Eat Travel Information 278
The Veneto Plain 166 and Drink 236
Venice Street Finder 288
Verona and Shops and Markets 252
Lake Garda 190 General Index 302
Entertainment in
The Dolomites 216 the Veneto 258 Acknowledgments 316

Specialist Holidays and Phrase Book 319


Outdoor Activities 262
Vaporetto Routes around
Venice Inside Back Cover

A glittering Venetian mask, typically The stunning façade of the Roman Arena, famous for its large-scale opera performances
worn during the carnival

Cross section of the


Basilica San Marco
6  HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE

HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE


This guide helps you get the most from your important sights, with maps, pictures and
stay in Venice and the Veneto. It provides detailed illustrations. Suggestions for food,
both expert recommendations and detailed drink, accommodation, shopping and
practical information. Introducing Venice and entertainment are in Travellers’ Needs, and
the Veneto maps the region and sets it in its the Survival Guide has tips on everything
historical and cultural context. Venice Area by from the Italian telephone system to
Area and The Veneto Area by Area describe the travelling around Venice by vaporetto.

Venice Area by Area VENICE AREA BY AREA  77

The city has been divided into SAN MARCO Each area of Venice can
be quickly identified by its
Home of the political and judicial nerve only one deemed fit to be called a piazza –

five sightseeing areas. The centres of Venice, the sestiere of San Marco
has been the heart of Venetian life since
the others were merely campi, or fields.
The San Marco area has the bulk of luxury

colour coding.
the early days of the Republic. The great hotels, restaurants and shops. It is also home

lagoon islands make up a sixth showpiece of the Serenissima was the


Piazza San Marco, conceived as a vista for
the Doge’s Palace and the Basilica. The
to several imposing churches, three theatres,
including the famous Fenice, and a wealth
of handsome palazzi. Many of these line the

area. Each area has its own


square, described by Napoleon as “the most sweeping southern curve of the Grand
elegant drawing room in Europe”, was the Canal, which borders the sestiere.

Sights at a Glance

chapter, which opens with a Churches


3 Basilica San Marco pp82–7
q San Moisè
7 Columns of San Marco and
San Teodoro
1
2
Restaurants see pp242–3
Acqua Pazza
Ai Assassini
12 Da Raffaele
13 Devil’s Forest Pub
A locator map shows
list of the sights described. All where you are in relation to
e Santa Maria Zobenigo s San Giorgio Maggiore 3 Ai Mercanti 14 Do Forni
y Santo Stefano Streets and Squares 4 Al Bacareto 15 Grand Canal
i San Salvatore 5 Alla Caravella 16 Harry’s Bar
t Campo Santo Stefano
a San Zulian 6 Antico Martini 17 Osteria Da Carla

other areas of the city.


o Campo San Bartolomeo

the sights are numbered and


Museums and Galleries 7 Bar all’Angolo 18 Osteria Enoteca
p Mercerie
8 Bar Cavatappi San Marco
5 Libreria Sansoviniana Bars 9 Bistrot de Venise 19 Ristorante
6 Museo Archeologico
9 Harry’s Bar 10 Centrale alla Borsa
8 Museo Correr
11 Da Ivo 20 Ristorante Quadri

plotted on an Area Map. The


u Museo Fortuny Theatres
21 Rosso Pomodoro
Palaces 0 Ridotto
22 Rosticceria
r La Fenice
4 Doge’s Palace pp88–93 San Bartolomeo
w Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo

detailed information for each


CAMPO SAN
BARTOLOMEO
Historic Buildings and

1
Rialto
Monuments

Area Map
AP DO
E
RIL

1 Campanile
VIA

N
de
Ri

2 Torre dell’Orologio BO

sight is presented in numerical


o

AR
an LC
Gr
di

DE ME
S

A CORTE
RIV TEATRO RC
Sa

a l ER
lv

IA
an
CAMPO D.
ad

For easy reference, the


o

GUERRA
C
r
C

o CAMPO
A
Ri

Sant' Angelo di SAN LUCA


LL
E
CALLE D. FUSERI

order, making it easy to locate


CAMPO
Sa

SAN BENETO CAMPO CO


EI

MAR
n

RA

CAMPIELLO MANIN S
GA
BE
C

DEL TEATRO AR
FA

FIU
D.

CL

sights are numbered and


BB
AV

C.
Lu

i
RI

er
V

ca

F us
OC
Rio

Rio
na
AT

RA ro
di

MO CAMPO Ve C D. OLI

within the chapter.


LEZ
ZE CLLO SANT’ lla BAR
CAR
ANGELO
de

NUOVO PIAZZA
CAMPO SAN MARCO
nt
FREZ
Sa
BI

located on a map. The


SAN
Rio
I OR

FANTIN
’A
DE

ng

ZER

San te
elo
E
LL

Samuele Ves
IA
CA

CPO SAN le
SAMUELE del CAMPO
Rio SAN MOISE
ca CAMPO GIARDINETTI
ARZO
io

Du CAMPO SAN REALI


XI I M
l
da

d Gigl

l SANTO MAURIZIO GA X
ssimo

sights are also shown on


C LAR
Vi

Rio

de STEFANO
Rio

Rio
D. PONTE

San
izio

ZZI 15 - 16
Santí

C BARO San Marco


n

Maur

Giardinetti
Moi
Sa

dell’Albero
CALLE GRITTI
Rio S Maria
Rio del
o
C

Ri

n
C D. DOSE

Rio di San

CAMPO
a

al SAN VIDAL San Marco


Vallaresso

the Venice Street Finder


Gr
and
e Gíglio SAN GIORGIO MAGGIORE

Sights at a Glance lists


on pages 288–97.
San Giorgio

the chapter’s sights by


Ca
na
le
de

Teatro
0 metres 250
lla

Verde

category: Churches;
Gr

0 yards 250
az

See also Street Finder


ia

maps 6, 7

Museums and Galleries; Splendid mosaics inside the domes of Basilica San Marco For keys to symbols see back flap

Historic Buildings; Palaces; 94  VENICE AREA BY AREA SAN MARCO  95

Streets, Bridges and Squares. Street-by-Street: Around La Fenice


West of the huge expanse of the ever-crowded Piazza San Campo San Fantin has a
SAN POLO AND
SANTA CROCE

Marco there is a labyrinth of alleys to explore. At the centre of late Renaissance church,
C ALLE DEI FUSERI

San Fantin, with a


this part of the sestiere is Campo San Fantin, flanked by the particularly beautiful apse
Renaissance church of San Fantin. Nearby is the Ateneo designed by Jacopo
Veneto, formerly a scuola whose members had the unenviable Sansovino.
CA NIN

DORSODURO
MA

role of escorting prisoners to the scaffold. The narrow streets


MP

DE
around these sights have some wonderfully exotic little CAN Locator Map
O

D LO
shops, while the Calle Larga XXII Marzo, further south, boasts LLE See Street Finder, map 7

2
CA
IA

Street-by-Street Map
big names in Italian fashion. The quarter in general has some ES
RT The statue of Daniele Manin, leader
RI

excellent restaurants but, being San Marco, the prices CO


of the 1848 uprising, stands on
O

in the majority of establishments are fairly steep. D


Campo Manin gazing towards the
D

C
I

house where he once lived.

This gives a bird’s-eye


C
A
LL

A
A
E

N SERI
N

O FU
D V

R O
L

E RI

view of the heart of


U

V
ER

w Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo


C

D
O

A This palazzo is often difficult to find, but


r . La Fenice
N

IO
The opera house R worth seeking out for its fairy-tale
LI external stairway (c.1499).
gained its name (“the RO
RCA

each sightseeing area. phoenix”) after a fire in


1836. Destroyed by fire
again in 1996, it is now
beautifully restored. TA RO
L
C D
EI
BA

UT
L FR
C DE SC INA
I PI
CD
DI
PIS C RIA
ZE
FR EZ
C A SA N N
FA

M PO

ICE O
EN
N TI

CALLE DEL LA F OL
GN
FRE

BO

Stars indicate the sights that no CA


L LE
ZZE

visitor should miss.


RIA

RI
O
D
E E
E IS
ST MO
I

E
EV
BA

S
CAL

LL SC Frezzeria, in medieval
DE PI
RCA

RIO SAL SAN MOISE times, was the street


LE

O
O

C AMP
IGLI

where citizens went to


ROLI

SAN
D V
C A L L E D E L P I O VA N

E
MOIS
R I O D E L L’ A L B E R O

The Rio delle Veste leads past the rear of the theatre. purchase their arrows
ADG

ES

This is the route taken by those fortunate enough to (frecce). Its shops now
TE

arrive for their night out by gondola. sell exotic clothes.


MARI

II
A XX
ARG
LE L RZO
CAL MA
RIO S

98  VENICE AREA BY AREA


0 metres 75
SAN MARCO  99 Calle Larga XXII
Marzo was named
0 yards 75 after 22 March
e Santa Maria Zobenigo 1848, the day of
which is squeezed between alleys, lined by small shops and a San Zulian The carvings feature the Barbaro Manin’s rebellion. q . San Moisè
shops along the Mercerie. The boutiques. The 17th-century family, who paid for the church Today the street is The exuberant Baroque façade of
Key Campo San Zulian. Map 7 B2.
present church was designed English author John Evelyn Tel 041 523 53 83. 4 San Marco. façade. Ground-level reliefs show best known for its San Moisè (c.1668) was funded by a
by Giorgio Spavento in the early Suggested
described it as route
“the most towns where the family held high- trendy designer legacy from the patrician Vincenzo Fini,
Open 8:30am–7pm daily. 5 in
16th century, and continued by delicious streete in the World English: 10:30am Sun. ranking posts. boutiques. whose bust features above a side door.
Tullio Lombardo and Jacopo for the sweetnesse of it …
For hotels and restaurants in this region see pp232–5 and pp242–9
Sansovino. The pictorial tapisstry’d as it were, with Cloth On the busy Mercerie, the
highlight is Titian’s Annunciation of Gold, rich Damasks & other church of San Zulian (or
(1566) over the third altar on the silk”. He wrote of perfumers, Giuliano) provides a refuge
right. Nearby, Sansovino’s apothecary shops and from the crowded alleys.
monument to Doge Francesco nightingales in cages. Today all Its interior features gilded
Venier (1556–61) is one of this has been replaced with woodwork, 16th- and
several Mannerist tombs in the fashions, footwear and glass. 17th-century paintings, and
church.
On the high altar is Titian’s
Transfiguration of Christ (1560). St George and Dragon bas-relief on a corner
At the southern
end, the relief over
the first archway on
sculpture. The central panel
of the frescoed ceiling
portrays The Apotheosis
A suggested route for
a walk covers the more
The end of the right transept is of the Mercerie the left portrays the of St Julian,
dominated by a vast monument woman who in painted in 1585
to Caterina Cornaro, Queen of p Mercerie 1310 accidentally by Palma il
Cyprus (see p47). Executed by stopped a revolt. Giovane. The

interesting streets in the area.


Map 7 B2. 4 San Marco or Rialto.
the sculptor Bernardino Contino She dropped her 16th-century church
in c.1580–84, the tomb shows Divided into the Merceria pestle out of the façade was designed
the queen handing over her dell’Orologio, Merceria di San window, killing the by Sansovino and paid
kingdom to the doge. Zulian and Merceria di San standard-bearer of for by the rich and
Salvatore, this is, and always has a rebel army. They Bronze statue of immodest physician
been, a principal shopping retreated, and the Tommaso Rangone Tommaso Rangone.
o Campo San
thoroughfare. Linking Piazza San woman was given a His bronze statue
Bartolomeo Marco with the Rialto, it is made guarantee that her rent stands out against the white
Map 7 B1. 4 Rialto. from a string of narrow, bustling would never be raised. Istrian stone walls.

Close to the Rialto, the square


of San Bartolomeo bustles with s San Giorgio In the Chapel of the Dead is
life, particularly in the early Maggiore his last work, The Deposition

3
Courtyard of the Palazzo Pesaro, where Fortuny lived evening, when young Venetians (1592–4), finished by his

Detailed information
rendezvous here. They meet at Map 8 D4. Tel 041 522 78 27. 4 San son Domenico.
u Museo Fortuny The large rooms and portego cafés, bars or by the statue of Giorgio. Open 9:30am–12:30pm,
2:30–4:30pm (later in summer). &
The top of the tall campanile,
Palazzo Pesaro degli Orfei, Campo San
make a splendid and Carlo Goldoni (1707–93), reached by a lift, affords a
Foundation: Tel 041 524 01 19. Open
appropriate setting for the Venice’s prolific and most superb panorama of the

on each sight
Beneto, San Marco 3958. Map 6 F2. 10am–5pm Sat & Sun (Oct–Mar: to
Tel 041 520 09 95. 4 Sant’Angelo. precious Fortuny fabrics. Woven celebrated playwright. His 4pm). & 8 in English: 11am, 1pm &
city and lagoon.
Open during exhibitions only. & ^ with gold and silver threads, statue, in a fitting spot for a 3pm (also 5pm in summer). ∑ cini.it Centuries ago Benedictine
∑ fortuny.visitmuve.it these were created by Fortuny’s writer who drew his inspiration monks occupied the original Cloisters designed by Palladio in the monastery
reintroduction of Renaissance from daily social intercourse, is Appearing like a stage set monastery, which was rebuilt of San Giorgio Maggiore
Known principally for his fantastic
pleated silk dresses, Fortuny was
also a painter, sculptor, set
techniques and use of
ancient dyes. The collection
also includes paintings by
by Antonio del Zotto (1883). across the water from the
Piazzetta, the little island of
San Giorgio Maggiore has
in the 13th century following
an earthquake. It
later became a
1797 (see p50) the monastery
was suppressed and its
All the sights in Venice are
described individually.
designer, photographer and Fortuny (less impressive than been captured on canvas centre of learning treasures plundered.
scientist. One of his inventions the fabrics), decorative panels countless times. and a residence for In 1829 the island became a
was the Fortuny Dome, which is and a few of the finely pleated, The church and monastery, eminent foreign free port, and in 1851 the head-
used in theatre performances to clinging silk dresses regarded built between 1559 and 1580, visitors. Following quarters of the artillery. By this

Addresses, telephone
create the illusion of sky. as a milestone in early 20th- are among Andrea Palladio’s the Fall of the time it had changed out of
Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo, century women’s fashion. greatest architectural Republic in recognition. The complex
or Don Mariano as he liked to achievements. The church’s regained its role as an active
be called, was born in 1871 in temple front and the spacious, cultural centre when the

numbers, nearest vaporetto


Granada and moved to Venice i San Salvatore serene interior with its perfect monastery, embracing Palladio’s
in 1889. In the early 20th century Campo San Salvatore. Map 7 B1. proportions and cool beauty cloisters, refectory and library,
he purchased the Palazzo Pesaro, Tel 041 523 67 17. 4 Rialto. are typically Palladian in that was purchased in 1951 by
a late Gothic palazzo that had Open 9am–noon, 4–6:30pm Mon– they are modelled on the Count Vittorio Cini. Today it is
originally been owned by the
fabulously rich and influential
Pesaro family. Fortuny spent the
remainder of his life here and
Sat. ∑ chiesasansalvador.it

The interior of this church is an


excellent example of Venetian
Classical style of ancient
Rome. Within the church,
the major works of art are
the two late Tintorettos on
a thriving centre of Venetian
culture, with international
events and exhibitions.
In the middle of the park on
stop, opening hours and
both the house and its contents
were bequeathed to the city by
his wife in 1956.
Renaissance architecture. If the
main door is closed visitors can
enter by the side entrance,
The beautiful Renaissance interior of the
church of San Salvatore
the chancel walls: The Last
Supper and Gathering of
the Manna (both 1594).
Palladio’s church of San Giorgio Maggiore on the
island of the same name
the island is an evocative open-
air amphitheatre, or Teatro Verde,
of white Vicenza stone.
information on admission
charges are also provided.
THE VENETO AREA BY AREA  167
HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE  7
THE VENETO PLAIN
The great arc of land that forms the Veneto Plain is one of
tremendous contrast, and has much to offer the visitor.
Its ancient cities are rich in history and their magnificent
architecture is world-renowned. The source of the region’s

1 Introduction
wealth is manifest in the industrial landscapes around the
towns, but these are never far from beautiful countryside,

The Veneto Area by Area


which includes the green Euganean Hills, calm lagoons and
the undulating vine-clad foothills of the stunning Dolomites.

The area known as the Veneto Plain Wealth from agriculture, commerce
The landscape, history and
character of each region is
sweeps round from the Po river delta and the spoils of war paid for the
in the southwest to the mountains that
form the border between Italy and
beautification of these cities through the
construction of Renaissance palaces and In this book, the Veneto has been
Slovenia. The whole region is crossed by
a series of rivers, canals and waterways,
all of which converge in the Adriatic Sea.
public buildings, many of them designed
by the region’s great architect, Andrea
Palladio. His villas can be seen all over
described here, showing divided into three regions, each
The river-borne silt deposits that
created the Venetian Lagoon cover the
region, making the land fertile. The
the Veneto, symbols of the idyllic and
leisured existence once enjoyed by
the region’s aristocrats.
how the area has developed of which has a separate chapter.
Romans established their frontier posts
here, and these survive today as the
great cities of Vicenza, Padua and Treviso.
The symbols of modern prosperity –
factories and scarred landscapes – are
encountered frequently, especially
over the centuries and what The most interesting sights to
Their strategic position at the hub of the
empire’s road network enabled them
to prosper under Roman rule, as they
around the town of Mestre. Yet there
are areas of extraordinary beauty as well.
Petrarch (see p188), the great medieval
it offers to the visitor today. visit have been numbered on
continued to do under the benign rule Romantic poet, so loved the area that

a Regional Map.
of the Venetian empire more than he made his home among the gently
1,000 years later. wooded Euganean Hills.

168  THE VENETO AREA BY AREA THE VENETO PLAIN  169

Exploring the Veneto Plain


The landscape of the Veneto Plain is as flat as a board, but it is far
Getting Around
An extensive rail network and good bus
Each area of the Veneto can be
services make this region easy to explore by
from dull. Villagers in the small communities dotted throughout
the region used to compete to build the tallest church tower,
public transport. Roads are heavily used, so
avoid cities and autostrade during rush hours. quickly identified by its colour coding.
and these seemingly needle-thin landmarks
soaring skywards draw the traveller on.
Great stone castles, dating from the Ghértele Follina Vittorio Veneto
Trento
14th century, rise on almost every o
ian
The town of Bassano del Grappa, nestled in the
promontory, Alps with a
each top
Al Campanella VALDOBBIADENE CONEGLIANO
Palladio’s Villa Rotonda near the town of Vicenza
Va

Asiago
Fresco depicting Christbackdrop on clear
in Paradise (1378) days
by Giusto of
de’ Menabuoi in the Baptistry, Padua Pederobba
l

Mo
d’

Vidór n ti c
Ás

the distant Alps. Valstagna Susegana ano Udine,


tic

Trieste
o

Za
ra Leghe Tezze
Cavrari

2
Ciano Oderzo Motta di
Arsiero Tórtima ASOLO Livanta

Regional Map
Lusiana Spresiano Pia Annone
ve
Véneto PORTOGRUARO
Caltrano Ás t i c o BASSANO Montebelluna
DEL GRAPPA Fossalta
MAROSTICA Candelú Maggiore Santo Stino Lugugnana
Sights at a Glance Schio Fanzolo Vascón Ponte di Livenza
B re n t a

Tag
This shows the road network
THIENE di Piave
CASTELFRANCO Li

l
Longa

iam
1 Vicenza pp170–75 Paese ve
n
Sandrigo TREVISO Ceggia z a

en t
2 Thiene CITTADELLA Quinto

o
Z er di Treviso San Giorgio
3 Marostica Fontaniva o e
Malo Sil di Livenza

and gives an illustrated


San Donà Bibione
4 Bassano del Grappa Casale di Piave
5 Cittadella VENETO sul Sile
Caposile Eraclea
CAORLE
6 Castelfranco Camposampiero Scorzè Mogliano
Piazzola Veneto Pia

overview of the whole region.


7 Asolo Key VICENZA Portegrandi ve Eraclea Mare
sul Brenta Noale Martellago
8 Valdobbiadene Jésolo
Cortellazzo
Major road
9 Treviso Camisano Spinea Lido
Minor road Vicentino Mirano
0 Conegliano Limena MESTRE ta di Jésolo

All the sights are numbered


Secondary road Longare
e

q Portogruaro Cavallino
n

i Oriago
ric
Ve
Ba

w Caorle Motorway cc Punta


Be hi
Verona ti gli Dolo Sabbioni
e Mestre Motorway under on on Venézia
e PADOVA n ta Fusina Lido
M

construction Bastia Bre (Venice)


r Padua (Padova)

and there are also useful tips


Barbarano (PADUA) Strà
pp180–87 Main railway
na
Br

Abano Terme
en

t Euganean Hills Minor


gu
ta

railway Orgiano
HIL NEAN

y Montagnana
Ca

Montegrotto
La

on getting around the region


na

Scenic route Terme


u Este
l
LS

Corte
i Monselice Noventa
A

Regional border Vo Bovolenta


Vicentina Piove Pellestrina
EUG

o Polesine and Rovigo di Sacco


Mantova Arquà Petrarca
p Chioggia

by car, bus and train.


MONSELICE Pontelongo CHIOGGIA
MONTAGNANA ESTE
Treponti
Urbana Chiesazza Solesino Bagnoli Cona
di Sopra S. Anna
Fratta
Stanghella
Cavarzere Ádi
Ádige ge
Badia
Lendinara
Rosolina
ROVIGO Adria
Fratta
S I N E
Polesine P O L E Porto Viro
Bi
an The colourful quayside market in the town of Chioggia, the
Bagnolo co Pa lagoon’s principal fishing port
e s i n e r
di Po P o l Taglia di Po D
co
elt Reg La Pila
Polesella a i
Chiavicone Po Po de ona
Ariano l P l
nel Polesine Rivá
Porto
o e
Po Tolle
Scardovari
Cassella
Ferrara,
Bologna 0 kilometres 20

0 miles 10

The castellated walls of Montagnana, dating from medieval times


For additional map symbols see back flap

182  THE VENETO AREA BY AREA PA D UA  183

Exploring Padua Eremitani Museums

3
Padua is an old university town with an illustrious academic This major museum complex occupies a group of

Detailed information on
history. Rich in art and architecture, it boasts two outstanding 14th-century monastic buildings attached to the church of
sights. The first is the Scrovegni Chapel (see pp184–5) in the the Eremitani, a reclusive Augustinian Order. The admission
north of the city, which is renowned for Giotto’s lyrical frescoes. ticket includes entry to the Scrovegni Chapel (see pp184–5),
Close to the railway station, it forms part of the Eremitani

each sight
which stands on the same site, overlooking the city’s Roman
museums complex. The second is the Basilica di Sant’Antonio, Sundial on the façade of the Palazzo amphitheatre, and to the Archaeology Museum, the Bottacin
one of Italy’s most popular pilgrim shrines, which forms the della Ragione Museum of coins and medals, and the Medieval and Modern
focal point for a number of sights in the south of the city Art Museum, all of which are housed around the cloisters.

All the important towns and (see p186). A combined museum ticket is available. P Palazzo della Ragione
Piazza delle Erbe. Tel 049 820 50 06.
Open 9am–6pm Tue–Sun (to 7pm in
summer). Closed 1 Jan, 1 May, 25 Dec. The Museums

other places to visit are described


&=7 The highlight of the rich
The “Palace of Reason”, also known archaeological collection is
as the “Salone” by locals, was built the temple-like tomb of the
to serve as Padua’s law court and Volumni family, dating from the Angels in Armour (15th century) by

individually. They are listed in council chamber in 1218. The vast


main hall was originally frescoed
by the celebrated artist Giotto, but
1st century AD. Among several
other Roman tombstones from
the Veneto region is one to the
Guariento in the Art Museum

especially the comical Drinking

order, following the numbering


fire destroyed his work in 1420. young dancer Claudia Toreuma Satyr by Il Riccio (1470–1532).
Detail from the Egyptian room, upper floor of the Caffè Pedrocchi The frescoes that survive today are – sadly, a fairly dull inscribed Coin collectors should make
by the relatively unknown Nicola column rather than a portrait. a point of visiting the Bottacin
P Caffè Pedrocchi university building is mostly Miretto, though their astrological The collection also includes Museum. Among the exhibits

on the Regional Map. Within each


Via VIII Febbraio 15. Tel 049 878 12 31. used today for graduation theme is fascinating. some fine mosaics, along with there is an almost complete set
Open daily (Jun–Oct: Tue–Sun). ceremonies. Originally it housed The Salone is breathtaking in its The tomb of the Volumni family in the several impressive life-size of Venetian coinage and some
Museo del Risorgimento e dell’Età the medical faculty, renowned sheer size. It is Europe’s biggest archaeological collection statues depicting muscular very rare examples of Roman
Contemporanea: Tel 049 820 50 07. throughout Europe. Among its undivided medieval hall, 80 m Roman deities and toga-clad medallions.

town or city, there is detailed


Open 9.30am–12.30pm, 3:30–6pm famous teachers and students (260 ft) long, 27 m (90 ft) wide dignitaries. For most visitors the The massive Medieval and
Tue–Sun. Closed Aug. & was Gabriele Fallopio (1523–62), and 27 m (90 ft) high. The scale is Eremitani Church Renaissance bronzes are likely Modern Art Museum is well
∑ caffepedrocchi.it
after whom the Fallopian tubes reinforced by the wooden horse Alongside the museum com- to be the most appealing worth a visit. It covers the
Grand cafés have long played an are named. displayed at one end – a massive plex is the Eremitani church feature of the museum, history of Venetian art, with

information on important important role in the intellectual


life of northern Italy, and many
philosophical issues have been
thrashed out at the Caffè
Elena Lucrezia Corner Piscopia
was the first female graduate in
1678 – long before women
could study at many of Europe’s
beast, copied from Donatello’s
Gattamelata statue (see p187) in
1466 and originally made to be
pulled in procession during
(1276–1306), with its magni-
ficent roof and wall tombs.
Interred here is Marco
Benavides (1489–1582), a
paintings from Giotto to the
1700s. Another section looks
at Giotto and his influence on
local art, using the Crucifix from

buildings and other sights. Pedrocchi since it first opened


in 1831. Politics superseded
philosophy when it became a
other universities. Her statue is
on the staircase leading to the
upper gallery of the 16th-
Paduan festivities.
The walls are covered in
Miretto’s frescoes (1420–25), a
professor of law at the city
university whose mausoleum
was designed by Ammannati,
the Scrovegni Chapel as its
centrepiece. The Crucifix is
flanked by an army of angels
centre of the Risorgimento century courtyard. total of 333 panels depicting the a Renaissance (late 15th century)
movement, dedicated to Visitors on the tour are shown months of the year with architect from painted in gorgeous
liberating Italy from Austrian rule; the pulpit Galileo used when he appropriate gods, zodiacal signs Florence. Sadly colours by the
it was the scene of uprisings in taught here from 1592 until and seasonal activities. missing from the artist Guariento.
1848, for which several student 1610. They also see the world’s Also within the palazzo is the church are Another 15th-
leaders were executed. Later it oldest surviving anatomy theatre Stone of Shame, on which bank- Andrea Mantegna’s century painting
became famous as the café that (1594), viewing the room from rupts were exposed to ridicule celebrated frescoes worth a look is
never closed its doors. These days the centre looking up. before they were sent into exile. of the lives of St James Portrait of a Young
people come to talk, read, play and St Christopher (1454–7), Senator by Giovanni Bellini.
cards or watch the world go by which were destroyed during
as they eat and drink. a bombing raid in 1944. Two VISITORS’ CHECKLIST
The upstairs rooms, decorated scenes from this magnificent
in Moorish, Egyptian and Greek work survive in the Ovetari Practical Information
styles, are now the premises of Chapel, south of the sanctuary. Piazza Eremitani 8.
a museum. The Martyrdom of St James was Tel 049 820 45 50.
reconstructed from salvaged ∑ turismopadova.it

Stars indicate the sights that no


P Palazzo del Bo (University) fragments, and The Martyrdom Open 9am–7pm Tue–Sun.
Via VIII Febbraio 2. Tel 049 827 51 11. of St Christopher was removed Only chapel open Mon.
Open Tue, Thu & Sat am, Mon, Wed Closed 1 Jan, 1 May, 25 & 26 Dec.
carefully and stored elsewhere
&^=7
& Fri pm (may vary, phone to check). before the bombing. Other-

visitor should miss. &8


Named after a tavern called Il Bo
(the ox), the historic main The 16th-century galleried anatomy theatre in the Palazzo del Bo
wise only photographs on the
walls remain to hint at the
quality of the lost works.
Early 14th-century crucifix on loan
from the Scrovegni Chapel
Transport
@

174  THE VENETO AREA BY AREA VICENZA  175

Vicenza: Teatro Olimpico


For all the top sights,
Courtyard VISITORS’ CHECKLIST
Sculptures
Europe’s oldest surviving indoor theatre, the The courtyard of the Practical Information
former castle is

a Visitors’ Checklist provides


Teatro Olimpico is an elegant and remarkable Piazza Matteotti. Tel 0444 22 28 00.
decorated with ∑ olimpicovicenza.it
structure, largely made of wood and plaster and sculpture donated by Open 9am–5pm Tue–Sun (last
painted to look like marble. Fashionable members of the adm: 4:30pm). Regular theatre

the practical information you


architect Andrea Palladio (see pp28–9) began Olympic Academy, the performances. Closed 1 Jan,
learned body that 25 Dec. & 7 =
work on the design in 1579, but he died the built the theatre.
following year without finishing it. His pupil, Transport
Vincenzo Scamozzi, took over the project and
completed the theatre in time for its ambitious
opening performance of Sophocles’ tragic
@ to Piazza Matteotti.
will need to plan your visit.
Armoury Gateway
drama, Oedipus Rex, on 3 March 1585. This stone gateway, with its military-style
Bacchantes carvings, leads from Piazza Matteotti into the
Euripides’ Greek tragedy is still picturesque theatre courtyard.
performed using Scamozzi’s
versatile scenery.

. Odeon Frescoes
The gods of Mount Olympus,
after which the theatre is
named, decorate the
Odeon, a room used
for music recitals.
4 The top sights
These are given two or more
full pages. Historic buildings
are dissected to reveal their
interiors; museums and
galleries have colour-coded
KEY
floorplans to help you locate
1 The Anteodeon’s frescoes
(1595) depict the theatre’s opening
performance. Oil lamps from the
the most interesting exhibits.
original stage set are also on display.
2 Main ticket office
Costume Designs for Sofonisba
3 The auditorium was designed Ancient Greek vases inspired the
by Palladio to resemble the outdoor . Stage Set costumes for this tragedy (1562)
theatres of ancient Greece and Scamozzi’s scenery by Palladio’s patron, G G Trissino.
Rome, such as the arena at Verona represents the Greek city
(see p197), with a semicircle of of Thebes. The streets are
“stone” benches (actually made cleverly painted in Façade Statues
of wood) and a ceiling painted perspective and rise at a The toga-clad figures are
to portray the sky. steep angle to give the portraits of sponsors who paid
illusion of great length. for the theatre’s construction.
INtroducINg
VeNIce aNd
the VeNeto

Discovering Venice
and the Veneto 10–15
Putting Venice and the
Veneto on the Map 16–19
A Portrait of the Veneto 20–35
Venice and the Veneto
Through the Year 36–39
The History of Venice
and the Veneto 40–55
10  INTRODUCING VENICE AND THE VENETO

DISCOVERING
(Mantua VENICE
AND THE VENETO
The following tours have been designed for Venice, all by train or bus. Finally, the 14-day
visitors to experience Venice and the Veneto itinerary includes four days in Venice and an
to the full. First are suggestions of how to extensive 10-day driving tour through the
make the most of Venice in either two or varied Veneto countryside across the sunny
three days. These are then combined with a Lake Garda shores, the peaks of the Dolomites
seven-day tour of the historic, culturally rich and the Po Delta nature reserves.
cities of the Veneto, Padua, Verona, Vicenza Pick one tour, combine suggestions from
and Belluno, which can either be done by a the different tours, or simply dip in and out
circular journey, or by making day trips from to create your own itinerary.

Arco

Rovereto

Sc

Lago di
Basilica San Marco Garda
San Pietro
Regarded as one of the best examples Grotte di in Cariano
of Byzantine architecture in the world, Catullo
Desenzano Valpolicella
the Basilica San Marco has a magnificent del Garda Sirmione
façade and interior.
Verona

One Week in Venice and the Veneto


Board a vaporetto to •
Wonder at the powerful
travel Venice’s entrancing frescoes by Giotto, Mantova (Mantua)
waterway, the Grand lining the walls of the
Canal, lined with a host Scrovegni chapel in
of stunning palazzi. the lively city of Padua. Ostiglia

While enjoing a coffee

See the famous
Juliet’s Balcony, then
in Venice’s Piazza San
be amazed by the
Marco, marvel at the
vast Roman arena
Basilica San Marco and in beautiful Verona.
Doge’s Palace before
climbing the Campanile

Stroll the streets of
Palladio’s city, Vicenza,
for views to the Alps.
and visit the oldest

Take a ferry from Venice theatre in Europe,
to the islands to see the Teatro Olimpico. Key
intricate lace on •
In picturesque Belluno One week in Venice and the Veneto
Burano, handblown head to the bell tower Two weeks in Venice and the Veneto
glass on Murano and of the Duomo for
ornate mosaics in the spectacular views of
cathedral at Torcello. the Dolomite peaks.

Marco Polo sailing from Venice in 1271, from a late 15th-century illuminated manuscript
DISCOVERING VENICE AND THE VENETO  11

Two Weeks in Venice


and the Veneto

Admire the magnificent
Cortina art treasures of Venice’s
d’Ampezzo
churches and stupendous
world-class galleries.
Passo Pordoi Andraz
Pieve di •
Cross the Grand Canal the
Livinallongo
Pieve Venetian way, standing up
di Cadore in a traghetto (foot ferry).

Sip coffee in Caffè Pedrocchi
in Padua, frequented in
the 19th century by famous
intellectuals. Enjoy live jazz
here in the evening, too.

Belluno

Experience opera in the
open air at the massive
Roman arena in Verona.

Take a leisurely boat trip
Feltre on Lake Garda, soaking up
Vittorio the dramatic natural scenery
Veneto and admiring the shoreline
villas and gardens.

Sip grappa on the bridge in
Possagno the pretty town of Bassano
del Grappa, with the
Bassano mountains as your backdrop.
del Grappa Asolo Villa Barbaro
chio

Visit Arquà Petrarca in the
gentle Euganean Hills and
the romantic village of Asolo.
Treviso •
Marvel at the mountain
VENETO landscape on the Dolomite
Bre

Road, then relax in the chic


nta

Vicenza
resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Padova Mira
(Padua) Stra
Venezia (Venice)
Malcontenta

Euganean Hills
Arquà Petrarca Golfo
di Venic e
Montagnana
Chioggia

Adige

Rovigo

Po Polesine

0 miles 25

0 kilometres 25

Grand Canal
The banks of Venice’s busy main
watercourse are filled with beautiful
buildings, best viewed from
a vaporetto or a gondola.
12  INTRODUCING VENICE AND THE VENETO

Two Days in Venice

You can see the major


sights of Venice in two days.
Use the vaporetti (water
buses) and stroll the calle
(alleyways) to get around.

Arriving Marco Polo Airport
is 13 km (8 miles) from the
city centre. The Alilaguna
public boat takes 45 minutes
to reach San Marco; the
No. 5 bus takes around
25 minutes to Piazzale Roma.
The white marble façade of Ca’ Rezzonico

Booking ahead Basilica
San Marco; Doge’s Palace, for a vaporetto ride to the splendid
Secret Itineraries Tour. Ca’ Rezzonico (p130), a museum
Three Days in Venice
to 18th-century Venice. Dine out
in the nearby Campo Santa Three days in Venice allows
Day 1 Margherita (p131) before taking a more leisurely pace for
Morning Beat the queues by an evening vaporetto ride along exploring the city.
arriving early in Piazza San the Grand Canal (pp60–75). •
Arriving Marco Polo
Marco (pp78–9) for the Basilica
Airport.
San Marco (pp82–7), encrusted Day 2
within and without with Morning Get your fill of art, •
Booking ahead Same as
glittering mosaics. For more both ancient at the Accademia for Two Days in Venice
magnificence, head for the (pp134–7) and modern at
Gothic Doge’s Palace (pp88–93). the Peggy Guggenheim
The Secret Itineraries Tour will Collection (p138). Lunch by Day 1
lead you to the prisons and the waterside and watch canal Morning Start early and
the huge Sala del Maggior boats go by. orient yourself with a trip
Consiglio with its marvellous by vaporetto on the Grand
Tintorettos. Put the city into Afternoon Leave early by ferry Canal. Stop off at Piazza San
context by riding to the top of for three very different islands: Marco (pp78–9) and indulge
the Campanile (p80) for views Murano (pp156–7), where the in a coffee to the strains of an
to the Alps. The former stables Museo del Vetro showcases orchestra before taking a tour
under the Doge’s Palace make marvellous examples of glass; of the Doge’s Palace (pp88–
a handy spot for lunch. Burano (p156), whose Museo 93), where you can climb the
del Merletto has traditional lace; Giants’ Staircase and cross
Afternoon Venice is the and Torcello (pp154–5), for a the Bridge of Sighs to see
ideal city for strolling, so head cathedral full of decorative Casanova’s prison cell. Take a
west-wards past the Baroque mosaics. Shuttle back to Burano look at the gondolas moored
church of San Moisè (p96) for the excellent fish restaurants, at the water’s edge, then head
and the city’s opera house, La then round off your stay with an away from the main piazza
Fenice (p97), until you reach the evening gondola ride or with a for lunch.
Sant’Angelo vaporetto stop. Take promenade and an ice cream.
Afternoon Book an early
afternoon slot to view the
splendours of the Basilica
San Marco (pp82–7). Don’t
miss the Treasury or the
balcony for a close-up view
of the four horses and the
façade mosaics. Walk along
the famous shopping street,
the Mercerie, to the busy
Rialto Bridge (p104) and
admire the Grand Canal in
action. Seek out an enoteca
(wine bar) to enjoy cichetti
(snacks) and aperitifs before
Red and ochre buildings lining a canal in Murano a leisurely dinner.
DISCOVERING VENICE AND THE VENETO  13

Day 2 One Week in Venice Day 5: Verona


Morning Head for the Castello and the Veneto Start your day in Verona by
district and the Museo Storico visiting the imposing church
Navale (p122), where the Padua, Verona, Vicenza and of San Zeno Maggiore
Doge’s ceremonial barge, the Belluno are easy day trips (pp202–3), then wander through
golden Bucintoro, holds pride from Venice. Suggestions to to Castelvecchio (p195) for some
of place. Stroll to the Scuola di extend the tour to 10 days of the best art in the Veneto.
San Giorgio degli Schiavoni are included. Stop at Piazza Erbe (p198) for
(p122) for exquisite paintings lunch. Visit the Casa di Giulietta

Airport Arrive and depart
by Carpaccio, and the Gothic (p201) to see its famous balcony,
from Marco Polo Airport.
church of Santi Giovanni e and then the vast Roman Arena
Paolo (pp120–21), where 25

Transport Regular trains (p197). Cross the Adige river for a
doges are commemorated and buses go to Padua and stroll in the Renaissance Giardino
with magnificent tombs. Vicenza from Venice; trains Giusti (p205) before dining near
Campo Santa Maria Formosa serve Verona and Belluno. Piazza dei Signori (p198).
(p118) is a lovely spot for lunch.
To extend your trip…
Afternoon Cross the lagoon Days 1–3 Take the bus from Verona to
for the islands of Murano See Three Days in Venice. Lake Garda (pp210–15). Stay
(pp156–7), Torcello (pp154–5) in Sirmione (pp212–13).
and Burano (p156). Treat Day 4: Padua
yourself to some glassware A day in Padua should include
on Murano and admire the the Giotto frescoes of the Day 6: Vicenza
resplendent 13th-century Cappella degli Scrovegni Vicenza belongs to the architect
mosaics in peaceful Torcello’s (pp184–5) and the treasures of Palladio. Admire his many palazzi
cathedral. Then head to the Eremitani Museums (p183). and the Teatro Olimpico
Burano, with its enchanting Caffè Pedrocchi (p182), once (pp174–5). You can’t fail to miss
multicoloured houses and a favourite of 19th-century the majestic Basilica in Piazza
lacework shops. Having intellectuals, makes a good dei Signori (p172), then seek out
worked up an appetite, choose refreshment stop and Piazza the shady Monte Berico, Villa
one of Burano’s excellent fish delle Erbe has a daily market for Valmarana and Villa Rotonda
restaurants for your supper. picnic supplies. Be sure to see the (p173), all within walking distance
16th-century wooden anatomy of the city centre.
Day 3 theatre at Palazzo del Bo (p182)
Morning Make for the San and the frescoes in the Duomo Day 7: Belluno
Polo district and the church and Baptistry (p186). Stroll Take a scenic train ride to
of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei down via del Santo to the shrine Belluno (p224), on a balcony over
Frari (pp106–7) for masterpieces of the Basilica di Sant’Antonio the whole Veneto plain, with the
by Titian and Bellini. Squeeze (pp186–7), or shady Orto peaks of the Dolomites behind.
in a cappuccino and pastry Botanico (p187) if you need a Wander the grand squares and
before going on to the rest. Piazza dei Signori (p180) palazzi, then climb the bell tower
Scuola Grande di San Rocco is a good place for dinner. of the Duomo for the best vista.
(pp110–11) and absorbing its
remarkable cycle of Tintorettos. To extend your trip… To extend your trip…
Lunch in the lively Campo San Tour the Brenta Canal On returning to Venice, take
Giacomo dell’Orio (p108). (pp186–7) by bus or boat. a boat to Chioggia (see p189)
Start from Padua or Venice. for great views of the lagoon.
Afternoon Cross into
Dorsoduro and immerse
yourself in the splendours
of the Baroque Ca’ Rezzonico
(p130) before taking in the
Renaissance masterpieces
at the Accademia (pp134–7),
including Carpaccio’s St
Ursula’s Cycle, and paintings
by Picasso, Miró and Kandinsky
at the Peggy Guggenheim
Collection (p138). Dine on
the waterfront and perhaps
attend an evening concert
of Vivaldi at the church of
San Vidal (p261) by
Accademia Bridge. The splendid interior of the Teatro Olimpico, Vicenza
14  INTRODUCING VENICE AND THE VENETO

Mira, and the late Baroque Villa


Pisani at Stra – are open to
the public. You can return by
bus or train to Padua.

Day 7: Verona
After picking up your hire
car, leave Padua for the lovely
city of Verona (pp190–207)
to soak up the Roman, the
Romanesque and the romantic.
Visit the Teatro Romano
(p204) and the nearby Museo
Archeologico (p204) for the
best views, then cross by
the Ponte Pietra for the vast
Roman Arena (p197), now
Verona’s Roman amphitheatre at night the setting for large-scale
open-air operas. From the
Two Weeks in Venice to the late-Gothic Ca’ d’Oro central Piazza dei Signori
and the Veneto palace (p148), which fronts the (p200), with its Renaissance
Grand Canal, and see the arcades, you can reach the
The 14-day itinerary masterpieces of art inside. Then Romanesque church of San
incorporates a day-long stroll to the lovely Renaissance Zeno Maggiore (pp202–3),
canal cruise, a winery tour church of Santa Maria dei the famous Juliet’s balcony at
and a spectacular road trip Miracoli (p146) and the Gothic Casa di Giulietta (p201) and
through the Dolomites. Madonna dell’Orto (p144). the Tombs of the Scaligeri
Explore the alleyways and find (pp200–1), monuments

Airport Arrive and depart
a cosy osteria for dinner. honouring Verona’s past
from Marco Polo Airport.
rulers. Finish the day with an

Transport Arrange a hire Day 5: Padua evening’s opera in the Arena.
car for pick-up in Padua on See One Week in Venice and the
Day 7. Veneto, Day 4: Padua ( p13). Day 8: Valpolicella Wine Tour

Booking ahead Same as for and Lake Garda
One Week in Venice and the Day 6: Brenta Canal In the morning wend your way
Veneto (p13); Verona: Roman From Padua take a leisurely to Lake Garda (pp210–15)
Arena concert tickets. day trip by boat along the through the vineyards of
Brenta Canal (pp186–7), Valpolicella wine country
gliding past elegant country (pp214–15), stopping for
Days 1–3: Venice retreats of the Venetian gentry. refreshment at San Pietro in
See Three Days in Venice Several villas – the Palladian Cariano. In the afternoon head
(pp12–13). Villa Foscari at Malcontenta down to Desenzano (p210) on
and Villa Widmann-Foscari at the shores of Lake Garda for
Day 4: Venice a leisurely 2-hour boat trip
Morning Take a short admiring the gardens and
vaporetto hop from San villas of the shoreline. Take
Zaccaria across to Giudecca a gentle lakeside walk in the
and the peaceful church of evening to the Grotte di
San Giorgio Maggiore (p99) Catullo (p213), birthplace of
and climb its campanile for a the Roman poet Catullus, and
view of Venice and the spend the night in charming
lagoon. Then take a leisurely Sirmione (pp212–13), where
walk along the quayside, you’ll find plenty of bars
indulge in a Bellini cocktail at and shops.
the famous Hotel Cipriani
(p265), or pastries, ice cream Day 9: Sirmione to Vicenza
or a full lunch on the terrace Explore the mighty 13th-
of the Cipriani-owned Harry’s century castle, the Rocca
Dolci (p246). Scaligera in Sirmione (pp212–
13) before driving on to
Afternoon Explore the less Vicenza (pp170–75), whose
visited Cannaregio district most famous son was the
(pp140–49). Walk down The Palladian Villa Foscari on the banks of architect Palladio. Seek out
Fondamenta della Misericordia the Brenta Canal his palazzi on the Contrà
DISCOVERING VENICE AND THE VENETO  15

Road (pp220–21), as it twists


and turns from Cortina
d’Ampezzo to Passo Pordoi
(4-hour return journey).
Factor in plenty of time for
admiring the stunning
scenery, and take breaks at
Pieve di Livinallongo or Andraz,
which have restaurants and
cafés. Stay overnight in Pieve
di Cadore (p221).

Day 13: Treviso and the


Euganean Hills
The medieval Rocca Scaligera castle in Sirmione Descend down to Treviso
(p178), second only to Venice
Porti (p172) and his awesome of Canova, containg the plaster for the number of its canals.
Basilica in the Piazza dei casts and models for many Take a pleasant ramble through
Signori (p172), then continue of his sculptures. streets full of frescoed houses
to the Teatro Olimpico (pp174– and look out for radicchio (red
75); the clever perspective of Day 11: Belluno to Pieve di chicory) and pasta e fagioli
the stage set is the work of his Cadore and Cortina (pasta and bean soup) on
pupil Scomozzi. Visit Palladio’s d’Ampezzo restaurant menus. In the after-
villas, Villa Valmarana and Villa Drive to Belluno (p224) and noon explore the picturesque
Rotonda (p173), just outside the climb the campanile of the countryside of the Euganean
city centre, if you have time. Duomo for the extensive vista Hills (p188), where spas, mud
over the Veneto plain. The baths and sulphur treatments
Day 10: Bassano del Grappa scenic drive along the Piave abound, and where the lovely
and Asolo river brings you to the Alpine village of Arquà Petrarca
Head north to the Dolomites chalets of Pieve di Cadore (p188), home of the poet
via Bassano del Grappa (p221) and the birthplace of Petrarch, is located.
(p176), where the key sight the painter Titian, Casa di
is the Ponte degli Alpini, Tiziano (p221). The scenery Day 14: Polesine and
another of Palladio’s designs. becomes more dramatic on the Chioggia
You can sample the grappa way to the resort of Cortina Bypassing Venice, make for
that’s made here, visit the Museo d’Ampezzo (p220), full of skiers the waterways and mud flats
degli Alpini and the Palazzo in winter, its meadows ablaze of Polesine (p189) in the Po
Sturm, where majolica ware with flowers in summer. You’ll Delta, a national park and prime
is on display. Then continue find plenty of bars, restaurants site for birdwatchers and nature
to the foothills of the Dolomites and boutiques here. lovers. You could take a canoe
to the picture-perfect town ride before continuing north to
of Asolo (p177). Take in Villa Day 12: The Dolomite Road the colourful fishing port of
Barbaro to the east of Asolo Allow a full day for driving Chioggia (p189) for a meal
or Possagno to the north, for along the most spectacular of freshly caught seafood, then
the family home and Gypsoteca of Alpine roads, the Dolomite make your way back to Venice.

The winding Dolomite Road with spectacular mountain scenery


16  INTRODUCING VENICE AND THE VENETO
Stuttgart

Putting Venice and the Freiburg

Veneto on the Map Mulhouse


Basel Lindau
The Veneto lies in the northernmost sector (Basle)
Bodensee
of Italy, and stretches from the Dolomite
mountains in the north to the flatlands of Zurich Winterthur
the Venetian lagoon in the south. One of the
Lucerne
most prosperous regions of Italy, the Veneto
covers an area of 47,562 sq km (18,364 sq Bern
Altdorf
miles) and has a population of 4.5 million.
Rail and road links with the rest of Europe SWITZERLAND
are excellent, and three international
airports serve the region: Valerio Catullo
Genève Bellinzona
in Verona, Marco Polo on the edge of (Geneva)
the lagoon, and Treviso. Domodossola Lago Lago
Maggiore di Como
Albertville Aosta
Lecco
St Etienne
Brioude
Milano
Al li er

(Milan)
Grenoble Susa
Torino
ne

Valence Monêtier- (Turin)


Rhô

les-Bains
FRANCE Pinerolo
Asti

Montélimar
Genova
Cuneo (Genoa)
Orange
Savona
a nc e

Ve rd on

Avignon
Nîmes
Dur

Impería
Arles
Montpellier Monaco
Nice

Marseille Frejus Ligurian Sea


Toulon
0 kilometres 100

EUROPE 0 miles 100


SWEDEN

North DENMARK
L‘lle-
Sea Rousse
Bastia
UNITED Calvi
KINGDOM NETHERLANDS POLAND
GERMANY
BELGIUM Corsica
CZECH
REPUBLIC
SLOVAKIA
Ajaccio
AUSTRIA
SWITZERLAND HUNGARY
FRANCE
SLOVENIA
ROMANIA
Venezia CROATIA
(Venice)
BOSNIA SERBIA
HERZEGOVINA
Bonifacio
MONTE-
NEGRO KOSOVO
I TA LY
MACEDONIA

SPAIN ALBANIA

GREECE
Porto
Mediterranean Torres Olbia
Sea
ALGERIA TUNISIA Alghero
Sardinia
For additional map symbols see back flap
PUTTING VENICE AND THE VENETO ON THE MAP  17

Linz
Ulm St Pölten
GERMANY Wels
München Wien
Landsberg (Munich) (Vienna)
Am Lech

Salzburg

Bregenz
AUSTRIA
Innsbruck Leoben

Inn Graz
Steinach Murau

Brunico Lienz

Villach
Cortina
St Moritz Bolzano d’Ampezzo Maribor

Belluno Udine SLOVENIA


Trento Ljubliana
Zagreb
Lago di Veneto
Bergamo Garda Novo
Treviso Monfalcone
Mesto Sa
Vicenza va
Verona Trieste

Padova CROATIA
(Padua) Venezia Porec Rijeka
(Venice)

Po
Pula
Parma

Bologna Ravenna

La Spezia I T A L Y Rimini
Adriatic Zadar
Lucca
Firenze SAN
Sea
MARINO
Fano
(Florence)
Pisa A rno
Livorno
Ancona
Arezzo
Tev

Siena Civitanova Marche


ere

Perugia
Piombino
(Ti b e r)

Ascoli
Piceno
Giulianova

Viterbo Terni
Pescara
Porto S. L’Aquila
Stéfano
Croatia,
Civitavecchia Greece
Roma Termoli
Tyrrhenian (Rome)
Avezzano
Sea
Manfredonia
Cassino
Key Foggia
Anzio
The Veneto Cerignola
Terracina Benevento
Motorway
Major road
Avellino
Railway
International border Napoli Potenza
(Naples)
Ferry route Salerno
Sicily Sicily
18  INTRODUCING VENICE AND THE VENETO

Central Venice
Venice is divided into six ancient administrative districts
or sestieri. The areas described in this book mostly follow
Sant' Alvise
the sestieri boundaries, with San Polo and Santa
P A RCO
Croce combined. Visitors usually G ROG G IA

start with the Piazza San Marco, CPO D.


S ALVISE
Rio
heading for the Doge’s Palace de
lla
S en
sa
and the breathtaking CPLO DELLE
COOPERATIVE

Tre Archi
Basilica, but each district Rio
d el
Batt CANNAREGIO
ello
has its own distinct Crea CAMPO
character, and time GHETTO
NUOVO
Can
spent exploring each ale R io

ola
CPO di
Ca d e ll
nn

Mar cu
SAN ar a
will be fully rewarded. GIOBBE Cr
ea
ég
io
CPLO DELL'
la

Guglie

S an
ANCONETA
o d el

CAMPO

di
PARCO
Ri

SAN

Rio
S A V O R G N A N CAMPO LEONARDO
SAN CAMPO
GEREMIA SAN MARCUOLA

San
Marcuola
an de
Gr San Stae
l
na Riva di
Stazione Ferrovie Ca Biasio
dello Stato
Santa Lucia CAMPO SAN CORTE

ae
SIMEON PROFETA CAZZA

St
Ponte
degli
S ANTA C R OC E

n
Sa
Scalzi

di
Ferrovia

rri
CAMPO CAMPO SAN

To
o
GIACOMO

Ri
NAZARIO

Do
SAURO DELL’ORIO

lle
de
CAMPIELLO

o
DEL CRISTO

Ri
CAMPO D.
SANT’AGOSTIN

CAMPO D. CAMPO S A N P O LO
TOLENTINI SAN STIN
CAMPO
Ri

SAN POLO
o d

Santa Maria
i

Gloriosa
Sa n

Scuola di
P ol

San Rocco
CAMPO
o

SAN ROCCO de
CAMPO an
Gr
CORTE CPLO
GALLO MOSCA SAN
TOMA
n al
CAMPO SAN Ca Sant'
Angelo
PANTALON San Tomà
Rio
di C
CORTE a ’ Fo
San Polo and CONTARINI sc a ri
rita

Santa Croce
ghe

CAMPO
SANTA
ar

The Rialto Bridge di


SM MARGHERITA San CLLO
NUOVO
Rio Ca' Samuele
and markets Rezzonico CAMPO
characterize this Ba rna b
a CPO SAN
SAMUELE
SANTO
STEFANO
i San ca
R i o d CAMPO
area (see p104). DORSODURO S BARNABA de
l
Du
CAMPO
SAN
Pretty stone CORTE CAMPO Ri
o MAURIZIO
DEI
bridges, such CORTE CAMPO VECCHI
SQUERO
CAMPO
te

LARDONA ANGELO lpa


ga Accademia SAN VIDAL
as the one by
E r em i

a
RAFFAELE Rio M

Fondamenta del Stazione Ponte


so

dell'Accademia
e l le

CAMPO D.
Marittima
Tro va

Megio, link streets CARITA


d
Rio

unchanged for
S an

CAMPO
Accademia SAN VIO
centuries. San Basilio
Vio
di
o

San
Ri

CAMPO
SANT'AGNESE
di

Zattere
R io

Santo Spirito

Dorsoduro
The Baroque Santa Maria della Salute
church at the mouth of the Grand Canal
is a striking sight (see p139). Other
highlights of Dorsoduro include the
Accademia and Peggy Guggenheim
art galleries (see pp134–8).
For additional map symbols see back flap
PUTTING VENICE AND THE VENETO ON THE MAP  19

Cannaregio
The Rio Madonna
dell’Orto is one of the
most picturesque
canals in Cannaregio
(see pp142–3).

Orto

CAMPIELLO
PIAVE

Castello
M
ise Fondamente
The Scuola Grande di
CAMPO
SANT'ANTONIO Nuove San Marco, with its ornate
ri
co

it i

Rio
façade dating from the late
a
rd

CAMPO DEL
G e su
tt

di
ia

he

S GESUITI
15th century, is one
cc

le Cat
erin
oa
Ra

lc e

N a
dei
lla

of the architectural
Do
di

de
o

Ca'

CPLO D.
o

highlights in Castello
Ri

Ri

Ri o

PIETA
di

CAMPO
ad

(see p118).
R io

S FELICE
Pan
o s t o li

Ca’ d’Oro Ospedale


ll a
Ap

de

CPLO DEL CAMPIELLO


i
ant
R io

Ca Ca’ d’Oro CASON WIDMAN


i
nt

na
n d ic
Sa

CAMPO DEI
l SANTI APOSTOLI de i
Me

Rio CAMPO S
MARIA NOVA
Gr
dei

Santi
an
a
ri e

ta Giustin

CPLO SANTA Giovanni e Paolo


R io

de
c ca

MARIA NOVA
Be

Rialto
d.

CORTE 2a D. R di
Mercato Li o San
Rio di San
o

MILION M a ri
Ri

an

na
iS CAMPO
Rd

Ponte SAN MARINA


zze

di Rialto CAMPO DELLA


CONFRATERNITA
a
ale

CAMPO SAN R d. S Fra CAMPO D.


zo

nc e
eG

BARTOLOMEO sco CELESTIA


CAMPO
ren

Rialto CAMPO
dell

SAN LIO
a

CAMPO S MARIA CAMPO


San Lo
R i o d . Fa v

SAN FORMOSA SAN CAMPO


ale

SILVESTRO LORENZO S TERNITA


Can

à
it
Ri

CMPO
C A S T E L LO rn
e
o

Te
Rio di

San
orn
di

D. FAVA
ta
c h io

Silvestro CORTE R d. n
S

eG

S Sa
Sa

TEATRO
d . CAMPIELLO
l

do Arsenale
ec

CAMPO
va

an

d e ll

r R DO POZZI
le V

D. GUERRA
Zu

CAMPO
R io
lia

SAN LUCA
ena
n

CAMPO CORTE
A rs

SAN BENETO CAMPO CAMPO VENIER Dársena


Rio dei Greci
ie

MANIN Grande

SAN PROVOLO
P r ocurat

Pie

Basilica CAMPO
BANDIERA CAMPO
SAN MARCO d.
San Marco CAMPO
SAN ZACCARIA E MORO ARSENALE
d.

r s e n a le
’ d i D io

Ri o
Rio

PIAZZA CPLO D.
SAN PIOVAN
’ A

Palazzo
Ca

MARCO
CAMPO San
o

SAN FANTIN Ducale


dell
Ri

Zaccaria
CAMPO
Aresenale
Rio

SAN MOISE CAMPO a


n
Ta
R Sa

SAN
San Marco lla
BIAGIO de
Rio
nM

Giardinetti
oisè

CAMPO DEL San Marco


TRAGHETTO Vallaresso

Gíglio
Salute
Rio del la
For nac e

0 metres 250
San Marco
The Campanile in 0 yards 250
Piazza San Marco is a
familiar landmark in
Key
Venice (see p80). Two of
the city’s other most Major sight
important sights in the
piazza are the Basilica
and the Doge’s Palace
(see pp82–93).
introducing venice and the veneto  21

A PORTRAIT OF
THE VENETO
venice and the veneto form, on the face of it, an unlikely partnership. venice
is a romantic tourist city frozen in time, the veneto a forward-thinking and
cosmopolitan part of modern europe. Yet the commercial dynamism of the
mainland cities is a direct legacy of the old Lady of the Lagoon who, in her
prime, ruled much of the Mediterranean.

Venice is one of the few cities in the published, a rare occurrence on a


world that can truly be described as continent scarred by the aerial
unique. It survives against all the odds, bombing of World War II and the
built on a series of low mud banks demands of postwar development.
amid the tidal waters of the Adriatic More than 14 million visitors a year
and regularly subject to floods. Once succumb to the magic of this
a powerful commercial and naval force improbable city where the past has
in the Mediterranean, Venice has found more meaning than the present.
a new role. Her palazzi have become For all this, Venice has had a price
shops, hotels and apartments, her to pay. So desirable is a Venetian
warehouses have been transformed apartment that rents are beyond the
into museums and her convents means of the Venetians themselves.
have been turned into centres for Many of the city’s apartments are owned
art restoration. Yet little of the by wealthy foreigners who use them
essential fabric of Venice has altered perhaps for two or three weeks
in 200 years. A prewar guide to the city a year – unlit windows at night are
is just as useful today as when it was indicative of absent owners.

Children attending their first communion at Monte Berico, outside Vicenza


Elaborate costume and mask at the Venice Carnival
22  INTRODUCING VENICE AND THE VENETO

life into Venice entails reconverting former


industrial sites – the abattoir and the
cotton mill have become university
premises, while a former flour mill has been
transformed into a convention centre.

The Industrious North


The creativity and industry of the people
of the Veneto contradict all the clichés
about the irrationality and indolence of
A canal in Mestre, an urban region in Venice beyond the lagoon the Italian character. For a tiny area, with
a population of 4.5 million, the Veneto
In 1997 the population of the city was is remarkably productive. Many world-
68,600 (compared with 150,000 in 1950), renowned companies have manufacturing
but in 2001 the numbers rose for the first bases in the area, from Jacuzzi Europe and
time since the 1950s. The average age of Zanussi, to Benetton, Olivetti and Iveco
the Venetian population is nearly 50. One Ford. As a result, poverty is rare, and the
reason the city shuts down so early at region has progressed from its prewar
night is that the waiters, cooks and shop agricultural base to a modern manufac-
assistants all have to catch the last train turing and distribution economy.
home across the causeway to Mestre. Unencumbered by the rest of Italy, the
Mestre, by contrast, is a bustling city three northern regions of Piedmont,
of 180,000 inhabitants, with a busy oil Lombardy and Veneto alone would
terminal and an expanding industrial base, qualify for membership of the G10 group
as well as some of the liveliest discos in of the world’s richest nations, a fact
Italy. Governed by the same mayor and exploited by the region’s politicians in
city council, Mestre and Venice have been separatist calls for independence from
described as the ugliest city in the world Rome. Coldshouldering the rest of the
married to the most beautiful. Yet Mestre, Italian peninsula, the Veneto looks east to
founded by Venetians who foresaw a day Slovenia for an example of a small state that
when development land would run out has achieved independence, and north to
in the lagoon, is simply an extension of Germany as a model of political federalism
the same entrepreneurial spirit that and sound economic management.
characterized mercantile Venice in her Despite the ferocity of battles fought
heyday, a spirit that is now typical of the against them down the ages, the people
region as a whole. One move to inject new in the north of the Veneto have a close

Visitors at a craft market in Piazza Erminio Ferretto, Mestre


A PORTRAIT OF THE VENETO  23

Valle di Cadore in the Dolomites, close to the Austrian border

relationship with their Teutonic It is not just the Paduans who treat
neighbours. Today, German signs, food their streets and squares like so many
and language can be easily found in corridors and rooms in one vast
the towns around Lake Garda and communal palace. After 5pm
the Dolomites. Here, the pretty crowds throng Verona’s
Tyrolean farmsteads and onion- Via Mazzini, taking part in
domed churches are a marked the evening stroll, the
contrast to the isolated passeggiata. Against the
fishing communities of backdrop of the Roman
the lagoon, where Venice’s arena or medieval palazzi
maritime heritage is still they argue, swap gossip,
evident. Between these two forge alliances and strike
extremes, however, the cities deals. Younger strollers dress
of the Veneto Plain, with their to impress, while young mothers
wealth of culture, provide a more Traditional Venetian bring their babies out to be
typical view of Italian life. rowing admired. For all their modernity,
the people of the Veneto still
Italian Tradition understand the powerful part played by
Padua is a perfect example of the ancient rituals such as this in cementing
città salotto, a city built like a salon a strong sense of community.
on a human scale, where the
streets are an extension of the
home and where the doorless
Caffè Pedrocchi is treated like
the city’s main square. Here
Paduans come to drink coffee
or write a letter, read a
newspaper or talk to friends.
Just like the salons of old,
the café provides a meeting
place for intellectual discourse
and entertainment. Wedding Ferrari decorated with typical Italian style
24  INTRODUCING VENICE AND THE VENETO

The Building of Venice


Venice is built on a patchwork of more than 100 low-
lying islands in the middle of a swampy lagoon. To
overcome these extremely challenging conditions,
early Venetian builders evolved construction techni-
ques unique to the city, building with impermeable
stone supported by larchwood rafts and timber piles.
Campo Santa Maria Mater
This method proved effective and most Venetian
Domini is a typical medieval
buildings are remarkably robust, many having stood square, with its central wellhead
for at least 400 years. By 1500 the city had taken on and its businesslike landward
much of its present shape and only since the 20th façades – decoration on
buildings was usually reserved
century has further building begun to alter the outline.
for the canal façades.

Campaniles often lean


because of compaction of
the underlying subsoil.

Pinewood piles were driven


7.5 m (25 ft) into the ground
before building work could
begin. They rest on the solid
caranto (compressed clay)
layer at the bottom of
the lagoon.

Istrian stone, a type of


marble, was used to create
damp-proof foundations.

Closely packed piles do not rot in


the waterlogged subsoil because
there is no free oxygen, vital for
microbes that cause decay. Bricks Water grilles
The well was the source of the
Sand acting fresh water supply. Rainwater
as a filter was channelled through
pavement grilles into a clay-
lined cistern filled with sand to
act as a filter.

Ornate wellheads, such as this


one in the Doge’s Palace courtyard
photographed in the late 19th century,
indicate the importance of a reliable
water supply for the survival of the
community. Strict laws protected the
purity of the source, prohibiting “beasts,
unwashed pots and unclean hands”.
A PORTRAIT OF THE VENETO  25

The Campanile Foundations


When the Campanile in the Piazza San Marco (see p80)
collapsed in 1902, the ancient pilings, underpinning the
98.5-m- (323-ft-) high landmark, were found to be in
excellent condition, after 1,000 years in the ground. Like
the Campanile, all buildings in Venice are supported on
slender oak and pine piles, harvested in the forests of the
northern Veneto and floated downriver to the Venetian
lagoon. Once driven through the lagoon subsoil, they
create an immensely strong and flexible foundation.
Even so, there is a limit to how much weight the piles can
carry – the Campanile, its height having been increased
several times, simply grew too tall and collapsed. When
the tower was rebuilt, timber foundations were again
used, but this time more than double the size. Strengthening the Campanile foundations

Palazzo roofs, built of light, Façades were built of


glazed tiles, had gutters to lightweight rose-coloured bricks,
channel rainwater to the well. sometimes left bare, sometimes
weatherproofed with plaster.

Bridges were often privately


owned and tolls were charged
for their use. Originally, none
had railings, creating a night-
time hazard for the unwary in
the dark streets.

High water level

Low water level

The Campo (Santa Maria Accumulated rubbish


Mater Domini) is regularly removed by
dredging to prevent the
The fabric of Venice is made up of scores canal silting up.
of self-contained island communities,
linked by bridges to neighbouring islands. Sand and clay
Each has its own water supply, church
and bell tower, centred on a campo
(square), once the focus of commercial Caranto is compacted clay
and sand in alternate layers,
life. Palazzi, with shops and warehouses which provides a stable
at ground-floor level, border the campo base for building.
which is connected to workshops and
humbler houses by a maze of side alleys.
26  INTRODUCING VENICE AND THE VENETO

The Venetian Palazzo


Venetian houses evolved to meet the needs of a city without
roads. Visitors usually arrived by boat, so the façade facing
the canal was given lavish architectural treatment, while the
landward side, which was accessible from a square or alley, was
rarely so ornate. Most Venetian houses were built with three
storeys, with kitchens located on the ground floor for ready
access to water, or in the attic to enable cooking smells to escape.
Typically, a palazzo served as a warehouse and business premises, Renaissance doorcase
as well as a family home, reflecting the city’s mercantile character. with lion

Byzantine (12th and Façade carvings Byzantine


13th Centuries) feature the owner’s
horseshoe-
coat of arms and the
The earliest surviving private Lion of St Mark. shaped arches
palazzi in Venice date from the
13th century and reflect the
architectural influence of the
Byzantine world. Façades are
recognizable by their ground-
floor arcades and arched open Byzantine roundel,
galleries which run the entire Fondaco dei Turchi
length of the first floor. Simple
motifs feature leaves or palm trees.

Cushion capitals have


only simple motifs.

Palazzo Loredan (see


p68) has an elegant
ground floor arcade and
first floor gallery typical
of a 13th-century
The Byzantine arcades of the Byzantine palace.
Fondaco dei Turchi (built 1225)

Gothic (13th to The interlacing ribs of Trefoil “three leaved”


Mid-15th Centuries) pointed ogee arches window heads are
create a delicate tracery. typically Gothic.
Elaborate Gothic palazzi are
more numerous than any
other style in Venice. Most
famous of all is the Doge’s
Palace (see pp88–93), with Quatrefoil patterns on
elegant arches in Istrian elegant gallery
stone and fine tracery which windows
give the façade a delicate,
lace-like appearance. This Gothic capitals are
style, emulated throughout adorned with foliage,
animals and faces.
the city, can be identified
through its use of pointed
arches and carved
window heads.
Ca’ Foscari (see p70) is a
fine example of the 15th-
century Venetian Gothic
style, with its finely carved Gothic capitals
white Istrian stone façade. (Doge’s Palace)
A PORTRAIT OF THE VENETO  27

Renaissance (15th and Bold projecting roof Theatrical masks


16th Centuries) cornices are a feature serve as keystones
of Renaissance to window arches.
Houses of the Renaissance architecture.
period were often built in
sandstone rather than
traditional Venetian brick. The
style was based on Classical
architecture, with emphasis on
harmonious proportions and
symmetry. The decorative
language, borrowing motifs Corinthian pilasters on
from ancient Rome and Greece, the portal to San
typically incorporated fluted Giovanni Evangelista
columns, Corinthian capitals
and semicircular arches. The Venetian door,
a very popular
Palazzo Grimani (see p68) has Renaissance motif, has
lavish stone carving which none a rounded central arch
flanked by narrower
but the wealthy could afford; side openings. This
massive foundations were combination was also
constructed to bear the used for windows.
incredible weight.

Baroque (17th Century) Cherubs and


plumed heads
Venetian Baroque has its are carved into
roots in the Renaissance Recessed windows
Baroque stone and column clusters
Classical style but is far more window heads. create an interesting
exuberant. Revelling in bold play of light and
ornamentation that leaves shadow.
no surface uncarved, garlands, Semicircular
swags, cherubs, grotesque window head of
masks and rosettes animate Palazzo Balbi with
the main façades of buildings two lights and
spandrel decorated
such as the 17th-century
with a circle.
Ca’ Pesaro.
Massive blocks with
deep ridges give solidity
to the lower walls.

Ca’ Pesaro (see p66) is an


example of Baroque
experimentation, with its
flat façade broken into a
three-dimensional stone
pattern of deep recesses
Baroque cartouche and strong projections.

The Venetian House Courtyards took the The upper floor


Attic rooms were place of gardens. housed the family.
The layout of a typical palazzo reserved for servants.
(often called Ca’, short for casa,
or house) has changed little The piano nobile (grand
over the centuries, despite floor), often lavishly
the very different styles of decorated, was used to
external decoration. entertain visitors.

The ground-floor
Offices, used for storing storerooms and offices
business records, evolved were used for the
into libraries. transaction
of business.
28  INTRODUCING VENICE AND THE VENETO

The Villas of Palladio


When it became fashionable in the 16th
century for wealthy Venetians to acquire
rural estates on the mainland, many
turned to the prolific architect, Andrea The façade is symmetrical; dovecotes and stables
Palladio (1508–80) for the design in the wings balance the central block.
of their villas. Inspired by ancient
Roman prototypes, described The Room of the Little Dog is
by authors such as Vitruvius and ornate and lavishly decorated
with frescoes by Veronese. Look
Virgil, Palladio provided his clients closely to see the detail of a
with elegant buildings in which spaniel in one of the panels.
the pursuit of pleasure could be
combined with the functions of
a working farm. Palladio’s designs
were widely imitated and
continue to inspire
architects to this day.

The Nymphaeum combines


utility with art; the same spring
that feeds the statue-lined
pool also supplies
water to the villa.

The Villa Barbaro


Palladio and Veronese worked
Key closely to create this splendid villa
Crociera Room of the Little Dog (commissioned in 1555, see p177).
Bacchus Room Room of the Oil Lamp Lively frescoes of false balconies,
doors, windows and rural views
Room of the Tribunal of Love Nymphaeum
create the illusion of greater
Hall of Olympus Non-exhibition space space, perfectly complementing
Palladio’s light, airy rooms.

The portico statues The pedimented pavilion is


Development of the Villa reflect Palladio’s all that survives of Palladio’s
Palladio experimented with myriad study of ancient ambitious design; the main
designs, which he published in his Roman buildings. residence was never built.
influential Quattro Libri (Four Books) Stables and
in 1570, illustrating the astonishing storerooms
fertility of his mind
and his ability to
create endless
variations on the
Classical Roman style. Villa Thiene (1546), now the town hall, Quinto Vicentino
A PORTRAIT OF THE VENETO  29

The Hall of Olympus shows Giustiniana,


mistress of the house and wife of Venetian
ambassador Marcantonio Barbaro, with her
youngest son, wetnurse and family pets.

In the Crociera, the cross-shaped central


hall, servants peer round false doors, while
imaginary landscapes blur the boundary
between the house interior and the garden.

The Room of the Oil


Lamp symbolizes virtuous
behaviour; here Strength,
with the club, leans on
Truth, with the mirror.

The Bacchus Room, with


its winemaking scenes and
chimneypiece carved with
the figure of Abundance,
reflects the bucolic ideal of
the villa as a place of good
living and plenty.

The domed cross The façades face


Arcades resemble Palazzo-style Service plan was adapted by the four points of
triumphal arches. central hall wing Palladio from church the compass.
architecture.

Villa Pisani (1555), Montagnana (see p188) Villa Capra “La Rotonda” (1569), Vicenza (see p173)
30  INTRODUCING VENICE AND THE VENETO

Styles in Venetian Art


Venetian art grew out of the Byzantine tradition of
iconographic art, designed to inspire religious awe.
Because of the trade links between Venice and
Constantinople, capital of Byzantium, the Eastern
influence lasted longer here than elsewhere in Italy.
Andrea Mantegna introduced the Renaissance style to
the Veneto in the 1460s, and his brother-in-law Giovanni
Bellini became Venice’s leading painter. In the early 16th
century Venetian artists began to develop their own
style, in which soft shading and dramatic use of light
The Last Judgment (12th
distinguishes the works of Venetian masters Titian, century) from Torcello: in
Giorgione, Tintoretto and Veronese. The development the damp climate, mosaics,
of this characteristic Venetian style, which the prolific but not frescoes, were used to
decorate Venetian churches.
lesser-known artists of the Baroque and Rococo periods
continued, can be seen in the chronological arrangement
of the Accademia (see pp134–7).

Byzantine Gothic
Paolo Veneziano is credited
with the move from grand-
scale mosaics to more
intimate altarpieces. His
painting mixes idealized
figures with the hairstyles,
costumes and textiles
familiar to 14th-century
Venetians. The typically The Madonna’s gentle
lavish use of jewel colours face reinforces the
courtly refinement
and gold, symbol of purity,
of Veneziano’s work.
can also be seen in the
work of Veneziano’s The composition and
pupil (and namesake) colours reflect the style
Lorenzo, and in the of the early Byzantine icons
which influenced the artist.
gilded warrior angels
of Guariento (see p183). Arabesque patterns
on the tunics reflect
Moorish influence.
Veneziano’s entire
dazzling polyptych Musicians like
(1325) of which this is the these played at
grand ceremonies
centrepiece, is in the Paolo Veneziano’s Coronation of the Virgin
in San Marco.
Accademia (see p136).

1483–1539 Giovanni Pordenone


1356–72 (active)
Lorenzo Veneziano 1430–1516 Giovanni Bellini 1450– 1480–1528 Palma
1431–1506 Andrea Mantegna 1526 il Vecchio
1338–c.1368 Vittore 1480–1556
Guariento 1415–84 Antonio Vivarini Carpaccio Lorenzo Lotto
1300 1350 1400 1450
1395–1455 Antonio Pisanello 1429–1507 1467–1510 “Il
Gentile Bellini Morto da Feltre”
1400–71 Jacopo Bellini 1477–1510
1321–62 (active) 1432–99 Bartolomeo Vivarini Giorgione
Paolo Veneziano
1441–1507 Alvise Vivarini 1487–1576 Titian
A PORTRAIT OF THE VENETO  31

Early Renaissance
Renaissance artists were fascinated by
Classical sculpture and developed new
Illusionistic details
techniques of perspective and shading to fool the eye: the real
give their figures a three-dimensional look. moulding copies the
Using egg-based tempera gave crisp lines painted one.
and bold blocks of colour, but with little
tonal gradation. The Bellini St Benedict
family dominated art in carries the
Renaissance Venice, and Benedictine
Giovanni, who studied book of
monastic rule.
anatomy for greater
accuracy in his work,
portrays the feelings of his Musical
subjects through their cherubs
playing at
facial expressions. the feet of
the Virgin
In Bellini’s 1488 Frari are a Bellini
altarpiece, the Madonna trademark;
is flanked by SS Peter, music was
Nicholas, Benedict and a symbol of
Mark (see p106). order and
Giovanni Bellini’s Madonna and Child with Saints harmony.

High Renaissance The Virgin is placed off-centre,


Oil-based paints, developed contrary to a centuries-old rule,
but Titian’s theatrical use of light
in the late 15th century,
ensures that she remains the
liberated artists. This focus of attention.
medium enabled them to
create more fluid effects, an St Peter looks down at
advantage Titian exploited Venetian nobleman Jacopo
fully. The increasingly Pesaro, who kneels to give
expressive use of light by thanks to the Virgin.
Titian and contemporaries
resulted in a distinctive
Venetian style, leading to
Tintoretto’s masterly
combination of light and
shade (see p110–11).

Titian began this Madonna


in 1519 for the Pesaro family Members of the Pesaro family,
altar in the great Frari church Titian’s patrons, attend the Virgin;
(see p106), after his Assumption Titian’s Madonna di Ca’ Pesaro Lunardo Pesaro, gazing outwards,
was hung above the high altar. was heir to the family fortune.

1712–93 Francesco Guardi


1600–38 Francesco
1500–71 Paris Bordone 1707–88 Francesco Zuccarelli
Maffei
1708–85 Pietro Longhi
1518–94 Tintoretto
1696–1770 Giambattista Tiepolo

1500 1550 1600 1650 1700


1548–1628 Palma
il Giovane 1675–1758 Rosalba Carriera
1581–1644 1676–1729 Marco Ricci
1528–88 Paolo Veronese Bernardo Strozzi 1697–1768 Canaletto

1517–92 Jacopo Bassano 1727–1804 Giandomenico Tiepolo


32  INTRODUCING VENICE AND THE VENETO

Gondolas and Gondoliers


Gondoliers are part of the symbolism and mythology of
Venice. Local legend has it that they are born with webbed
feet to help them walk on water. Their intimate knowledge
of the city’s waterways is passed down from father to son
(this is still very much a male preserve). The gondola, with
its slim hull and flat underside, is perfectly adapted to
negotiating narrow, shallow canals. Once essential for
the transport of goods from the markets to the palazzi,
gondolas today are largely pleasure craft and a trip on one
is an essential part of the Venetian experience (see p283).
Squero di San Trovaso (see p133)
It gives an entirely different perspective on the city, is the oldest of Venice’s three
gliding past grand palatial homes, using a form of surviving squeri (boatyards).
transport that dates back over 1,000 years. Here, new wood is seasoned,
while skilled craftsmen build
new gondolas and repair some
of the 400 craft in use.

Traditional dress for


a gondolier is a The gondolier, unusually for an oarsman,
beribboned straw stands upright and pushes on the oar to
hat, striped vest and row the boat in the direction he is facing.
black trousers.
Passengers sit on upholstered
cushions and low stools.

The rowlock (forcola) can


hold the oar in eight
different positions for
steering the craft. The oar has a
ribbed blade.

The asymmetrical shape Continuing a Tradition


of the gondola counteracts Gondolas are hand-crafted from nine
the force of the oar. Without
woods – beech, cherry, elm, fir, larch,
the leftward curve to the
lime, mahogany, oak and walnut –
prow, 24 cm (9.5 inches)
wider on the left than the using techniques established in the
right, the boat would go 1880s. A new gondola takes three
round in circles. months to build and costs £10,000.

Gondola Decoration
Black pitch, or tar, was originally used to
make gondolas watertight. In time this
sombre colour gave way to bright paintwork
and rich carpets, but such displays of wealth
were banned in 1562. Today all except
ceremonial gondolas are black, ornamented
only with their ferro, and a golden hippo­
campus (seahorse) on either side. For special
occasions such as weddings, the felze (the
traditional black canopy) and garlands of
flowers appear, while funeral craft, now
seldom seen, have gilded angels. Ceremonial gondolas
A PORTRAIT OF THE VENETO  33

Upper Reaches of the


Grand Canal facing
Santa Croce (c.1740s) is
a striking painting by
Bellotto that captures
the everyday life of
gondoliers and their
craft. Since they were
first recorded in 1094,
gondolas have inspired
many writers, artists
and musicians.

Races and parades are part of the fun


during Venice regattas. Professional
gondoliers race in pairs or in teams of
six, using boats specially designed for
competition. Many amateur gondoliers
also participate in the events.

The ferro serves to


balance the weight of
the rower. Its metal
teeth symbolize the six
Seven layers of black lacquer sestieri of Venice,
give the gondola its gloss. beneath a doge’s cap.

The main frame is


built of oak.

More than 280


separate pieces
of wood are used Mooring posts and channel
in constructing markers feature prominently
a gondola. in the crowded waterways of
Venice. The posts may be
topped with a family crest, to
indicate a private mooring.

Funeral gondola approaching San Michele (see p157) Wedding gondola


34  INTRODUCING VENICE AND THE VENETO

Venetian Masks and the Carnival


The Venetian gift for intrigue comes into its own
during the Carnival, a vibrant, playful festival
preceding the abstinence of Lent (see p36). Masks
and costume play a key role in this anonymous
world; social divisions are dissolved, participants
delight in playing practical jokes, and anything
goes. The tradition of Carnival in Venice began
in the 11th century and reached its peak of
popularity and outrageousness in the 18th
century. Industrialization left little leisure
Modern Carnival Revellers
time and Carnival fell into decline, but was Since 1979, each year sees more lavish
successfully revived in 1979. costumes and impromptu celebrations.

Laws forbidding the The high spirits of Venetian


wearing of costly lace were women scandalized many
suspended at Carnival. foreign observers.

The Plague Doctor


This sinister Carnival garb is
based on the medieval doctor’s
beaked face-protector and
black gown, worn as a
precaution against plague.
Traditional Mask
Celebration
Carnival in the 18th century
began with a series of balls in
the Piazza San Marco, as in
this fresco on the walls
of Quadri’s famous café in
the square (see p78).

Gambling at the Ridotto


Fortunes were squandered
every night of Carnival at the
state-run casino depicted in
Guardi’s painting (c.1768).
A PORTRAIT OF THE VENETO  35

Making a Mask
Many masks, and the characters they represent, are deeply
rooted in Venetian history. Though instantly recognizable by
such features as the beaked nose of the Plague Doctor, each
character can be interpreted in a style that is unique to its
maker, making each piece a true work of art.

Street Entertainers
Musicians and comedians
attract the crowds in the
piazza San Marco.
1 The form of the mask is 2 Papier mâché paste,
first modelled out of clay. Then made from a pulpy fibrous
The satyr-like profile of
this dancer hints that he
a plaster of Paris mould is made mixture of rags and paper
is the devil in disguise. using the fired clay sculpture dipped in glue, is used to
as a pattern. make the mask itself.

3 To shape the mask, papier 4 The size, or glue, used to


mâché paste is pushed into the make the papier mâché gives
plaster mould, then put aside the mask a smooth, shiny
to set. It becomes hard yet surface, similar to porcelain,
flexible as it dries. when it is extracted.

5 An abrasive polish is used 6 Cutting the eyeholes


to buff the surface of the mask, and other features requires
which is then ready to receive the mask maker to have a
the white base coat. steady hand.

7 The features are painted 8 The finished mask is ready


Columbine on the mask and the final to wear at the Carnival or to
A classic Carnival figure, touches are added with a few hang on a wall – the perfect
Columbine wears lace and clever brushstrokes. Venetian souvenir.
an apron, but no mask.
36  INTRODUCING VENICE AND THE VENETO

VENICE AND THE VENETO


THROUGH THE YEAR
Venice is a city that can be enjoyed at all of April. Autumn sees the beech, birch
times of the year. Even winter’s mists add and chestnut trees of the region turn
to the city’s romantic appeal, though clear every shade of red and gold. In summer
blue skies and balmy weather make spring the waters of Lake Garda, fed by melted
and autumn the best times to go. This is snow from the Alps, serve to moderate
especially true if you combine a visit to the heat. Winters are mild, allowing
Venice with a tour of the Veneto, where some of the crops typical of the
villa gardens and Alpine meadows put southern Mediterranean, like lemons
on a colourful display from the beginning and oranges, to grow.

festival of Carnival (see p34),


which means “farewell to
meat”, is celebrated through-
out the Veneto. First held in
Venice in the 11th century,
it consisted of two months
of revelry every year. Carnival
fell into decline during the
18th century, but was revived
in 1979 with such success
that the causeway has to be
closed at times to prevent
overcrowding in the city.
Today the 10-day festival
is mainly an excuse for
Winter in the delta of the River Po donning a mask and costume
and parading around the
the open-air procession called city. Various events are
Winter Canto della Stella, literally organized for which the
Once a quiet time of year, “singing to the stars”. tourist offices will have
winter now brings an increasing details, but anyone can buy
number of visitors to the city of January a mask and participate while
Venice, especially over Epiphany (6 Jan). Children of watching the gorgeous
Christmas, New Year and the Veneto get another stocking costumes on show in the
Carnival. Many a day that begins full of presents at Epiphany, Piazza San Marco (see pp78–9).
wet and overcast ends in a blaze supposedly brought by the old Bacanal del Gnoco (last Fri
of colour – the kind of sunset witch Befania (also known as of Carnival). Traditional
reflected off rain-washed Befana, Refana or Berolon). masked procession in Verona,
buildings that Canaletto liked to She forgot about Christmas, with groups from foreign
paint. In the resorts of the according to the story, because countries and allegorical
Venetian Dolomites, popular for she was too busy cleaning floats from the Verona area.
winter sports, the conditions are her house. Good children Masked balls are held in the
perfect for skiing from early traditionally get sweets, but town’s squares.
December throughout the naughty children get cinders
winter months. from her hearth. Images of
the witch appear in cake-
December shop windows, along
Nativity. Churches all over with evil-looking
Venice and the Veneto mount biscuits made to
elaborate Nativity scenes in the resemble charcoal.
days leading up to Christmas.
Attending Mass is a moving February
experience at this time, even for Carnival
non-Christians. (10 days leading
Canto della Stella. In up to Shrove
Desenzano, on Lake Garda (see Tuesday).
p210), Christmas is marked by The pre-Lent Masked revellers at the Carnival
VENICE AND THE VENETO THROUGH THE YEAR  37

Average Daily Hours of Sunshine Sunshine Chart


Hours Hours
Few days are entirely
10 10
without sunshine
8 8 in Venice and
the Veneto. The
6 6 amount of sunshine
progressively builds
4 4 up to midsummer,
when it is dangerous
2 2
to venture out
0 0 without adequate
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec skin protection.

Marriage with the Sea draws


huge crowds as it has every year
since Doge Pietro Orseolo
established the custom in
AD 1000. Once marked with all
the pomp that the doge and his
courtiers could muster, the
ceremony is not quite as
magnificent today, though its
symbolism remains valid: “We
wed thee, O Sea, in token of
true and lasting dominion”
are the words spoken by a local
dignitary, who then casts a laurel
crown and ring into the sea.
Spring wisteria in Verona’s Giardino Giusti (see p205)

April
Spring Festa di San Marco (25 Apr).
This is the season when many The feast of St Mark, patron
fine gardens all over the Veneto saint of Venice, is marked by
and round Lake Garda come a gondola race across St Mark’s
into their own. As the snow Basin between Sant’ Elena
melts, there is time to catch (see p125) and Punta della
the brief glory of the Alpine Dogana (see p139). On this
meadows and the region’s occasion, it is traditional for
nature reserves, renowned Venetian men to give their
for rare orchids and gentians. wives or lovers a red rose.
Verona holds its annual cherry Celebrating La Sensa, Venice’s annual
market and many other May Marriage with the Sea
towns celebrate the arrival Festa della Sparesea (1 May).
of early crops. A delightful festival and regatta Vogalonga (Sun following La
for the new season’s asparagus Sensa). Hundreds of boats take
March is held on Cavallino, in the part in the Vogalonga (“Long
La Vecia (mid-Lent). Gardone lagoon where the crop is grown. Row”) from the Piazza San
and Gargnano, villages on Lake La Sensa (Sun after Ascension Marco to Burano (see p156) and
Garda (see p210), play host to Day). The ceremony of Venice’s back – some 32 km (20 miles).
festivals of great antiquity, Festa Medioevale del Vino
when the effigy of an old Soave Bianco Soave (16 May).
woman is burned on a bonfire. Sumptuous medieval-style
The so-called Hag’s Trials are celebration of the investiture of
an echo of the darker side the Castillian of Suavia. There is
of medieval life. a procession with a historical
Su e Zo per i Ponti (end Mar or theme, music in the town
early Apr). A marathon-style square, theatrical performances
race in Venice. Participants run and displays of various sports.
or walk through the city’s streets Valpollicellore (9 May). Festival
su e zo per i ponti (up and down Spring produce in the Rialto’s of local wine, with exhibitions,
the bridges). vegetable market in Cellore d’Illasi.
38  introducing venice and the veneto

Average Monthly Temperature (Venice)


°C °F Temperature Chart
25 80 Summers in Venice can
70
be unbearably humid,
20
while winters can
15 60 bring the occasional
snowfall. Temperatures
10 50 in the Dolomites are
considerably lower,
5 40 with snow and freezing
0 32
conditions from
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec November to March.

Summer
Summer brings the crowds to
Venice. Queues for museums
and popular sites are long,
and hotels are frequently fully
booked. Avoid visiting the
city during the school holidays
(mid-Jul–end Aug). Verona, too,
will be full of opera lovers
attending the famous festival,
but elsewhere in the Veneto
it is possible to escape the
crowds and enjoy the
spectacular countryside.

June
Sagra di Sant’Antonio (13 Jun).
The Feast of St Anthony has
been celebrated in Padua for
centuries. The day is marked by
a lively fair in Prato della Valle Boats for hire at Sirmione on Lake Garda
(see p187).
Biennale (Jun–Oct). The world’s July displays on Lake Garda at Pal
biggest contemporary art Opera Festival (Jul–Sep). del Vo. Boats are illuminated
exhibition takes place in Venice Verona’s renowned opera and decorated, and the catch
in odd-numbered years festival overlaps with the is cooked and distributed to
(see p260). equally famous Shakespeare guests and participants.
Festa di Santi Pietro e Paolo Festival, providing culture
(end Jun). The feast day of SS lovers with a feast of music, August
Peter and Paul is celebrated in drama, opera and dance in the Village Festivals. The official
many towns with fairs and stimulating setting of the holiday month is marked by
musical festivals. Roman Arena and the city’s local festivals throughout
La 500 x 2 churches (see pp260–61). the Veneto, giving visitors
(third Sun in Jun). Adriatic Festa del Redentore (third Sun the chance to sample food
classic sailing regatta starting in Jul). The city of Venice and wines and see local
from Caorle (see p179). commemorates its deliverance costume and dance. Around
from the plague of 1576. An Lake Garda these are often
impressive bridge of boats accompanied by firework
stretches across the Giudecca displays and races in boats
Canal so that people can walk like large gondolas.
to the Redentore church to Palio di Feltre (first weekend
attend Mass. On the Saturday in Aug). Medieval games, horse
night, crowds line the Zattere or racing and feasts commemorate
row their boats into the lagoon Feltre’s inclusion in the Venetian
to watch a spectacular firework empire (see p225).
display (see p158). Festa dell’Assunta (8–16 Aug).
Exhibit by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama at Sardellata al Pal del Vo (late Spectacular nine-day
the Biennale Jul). Moonlit sardine-fishing celebration in Vittorio Veneto
venice and the veneto through the year  39

Average Monthly Rainfall (Venice)


MM Inches Rainfall Chart
80 The mountains and sea
3 combine to give Venice
60 and the Veneto higher
rainfall than is normal
2
40 in the rest of Italy, with
the possibility of rain
20 1 on just about any day
of the year. The driest
months are February
0 0
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec and July.

(see p225). The colourful


festivities feature dance, poetry,
cabaret and music competitions.

Autumn
Expect to see a profusion of
market stalls selling a huge
range of wild fungi as soon as
the climatic conditions are right
for them to grow. Local people
go on expeditions to harvest
them, and mushroom dishes will
also feature high on the restaur­
ant menus along with game.
Another feature of autumn is Grapes ripening in the Bardolino area
the grape harvest, a busy time
of year in the wine­producing starts with an historic pageant November
regions of Soave, Bardolino and down the Grand Canal. Festa della Salute (21 Nov).
Valpolicella (see pp214–15). Partita a Scacchi (second Deliverance from the plague is
weekend in Sep, in even- celebrated with the erection of
numbered years). Marostica’s a pontoon bridge across the
chequerboard main square Grand Canal to La Salute (see
hosts a human chess game in p139). Venetians light candles
medieval costume (see p176). in the church to give thanks
Palio dei Dieci Comuni (first Sun for a year’s good health.
in Sep). The liberation of the
town of Montagnana is Public Holidays
celebrated with a pageant
and horse race (see p188). New Year (1 Jan)
Epiphany (6 Jan)
October Easter Monday (variable)
Bardolino Grape Festival (first Liberation Day (25 Apr)
weekend in Oct). A festival that Labour Day (1 May)
celebrates the completion of
Republic Day (2 Jun)
the harvest.
Festa del Mosto (first weekend in Assumption (15 Aug)
Oct). The Feast of the Must on All Saints (1 Nov)
Medieval costume at Montagnana’s Palio Sant’Erasmo, the market­garden Immaculate
dei Dieci Comuni island in the lagoon (see p153). Conception (8 Dec)
Venice Marathon (mid-Oct). Christmas Day (25 Dec)
September This run starts on the Brenta Santo Stefano (26 Dec)
Venice Film Festival (early Sep). Riviera and finishes in Venice.
The International Film Festival
attracts an array of film stars and
paparazzi to the Lido (see p161).
Regata Storica (first Sun in Sep).
Gondoliers and other boatsmen
compete in a regatta which Rowers practising for the Regata Storica
introducing venice and the veneto  41

THE HISTORY OF VENICE


AND THE VENETO
the winged lion of St Mark is a familiar sight to anyone travelling in the veneto.
Mounted on top of tall columns in the central square of vicenza, verona,
chioggia and elsewhere, it is a sign that these cities were once part of the
proud venetian empire. the fact that the lion was never torn down as a hated
symbol of oppression is a credit to the benign nature of venetian authority.

In the 6th century AD, Venice had been no anyone was to devise until the 19th
more than a collection of small villages in a century, and it stood the city and its
swampy lagoon. By the 13th century she empire in good stead until the bumptious
ruled Byzantium and, in 1508, the pope, figure of Napoleon Bonaparte dared
the kings of France and Spain and the Holy to intrude in 1797. But by then Venice
Roman Emperor felt compelled to join had become a byword for decadence
forces to stop the advances of this powerful and decline, the essential mercantile
empire. As the League of Cambrai, their instinct that had created and sustained
combined armies sacked the cities of the the Serene Republic for so long
Veneto, including those such as Vicenza having been extinguished. As though
which had initially sided with the League. exhausted by 1,376 years of independent
Venetian territorial expansion was halted, existence, the ruling doge and his
but she continued to dominate the eastern Grand Council simply resigned, but
Mediterranean for another 200 years. their legacy lives on, to fascinate visitors
The Venetian system of government with its extraordinary beauty and
came as close to democracy as remarkable history.

A map dated 1550, showing how little Venice has changed in nearly 500 years
Tintoretto’s Triumph of Doge Nicolò da Ponte (1580–84), Sala del Maggior Consiglio, Doge’s Palace
42  INTRODUCING VENICE AND THE VENETO

Roman Veneto
The Veneto takes its name from the Veneti, the pre-Roman
inhabitants of the region, whose territory fell to the superior
military might of the Romans in the 3rd century BC. Verona
was then built as a base for the thrusting and ambitious
Roman army which swept northwards over the Alps to
conquer much of modern France and Germany. While the
Roman Empire remained intact the Veneto prospered, but
the region bore the brunt of fierce and destructive barbarian Horsemen in Roman Army
attacks that began in the 4th century AD. Riddled by Goths, Huns and Vandals served as
in-fighting and the split between Rome and Constantinople, mercenaries in the Roman cavalry
but later turned
the imperial administration began to crumble. to plunder.

Horse-Drawn Carriage
Finds from the region show the
technological skills and luxurious
lifestyles of the inhabitants.

The Forum
(market square)

The Arena was completed in


AD 30 to entertain the troops
stationed in Verona. It could
hold 30,000 spectators.

Verona
Chariot Racing
A pre-Roman chariot Securely fortified and moated by the
in Adria’s museum River Adige, Roman Verona was divided
(see p189) suggests into square blocks (insulae or “islands”).
the Romans adopted The Forum has since been filled in by
the sport from their medieval palaces, but several landmarks
predecessors. are still discernible today (see p194).

87 BC Catullus, Roman love poet, born in Verona

6th century BC Veneto region occupied 89 BC The citizens of Verona, Padua,


by the Euganei and the Veneti Vicenza, Este and Treviso granted full
rights of Roman citizenship

600 BC 500 400 300 200 100

3rd century BC Veneto conquered


by the Romans. The Veneti and
Euganei adopt Roman culture and
lose their separate identities
Catullus (87–c.54 BC)
THE HISTORY OF VENICE AND THE VENETO  43

Hunting in
the Lagoon Where to See
The wild lagoon, future Roman Veneto
site of Venice, attracted
fishermen and huntsmen Verona (p194) has the highest
in pursuit of game and concentration of Roman sites in
wildfowl. It also became a the region; the Archaeological
place of refuge during Museum (p204) is full of fine
raids by Huns and Goths. mosaics and sculptures, and
Castelvecchio (p195) has some
very rare early Christian glass and
silver. Good museums can also
be found at Este (pp188–9), Adria,
Treviso (p178) and Portogruaro,
situated near Concordia (p179).

The theatre,
built in the
1st century
BC, is still used
for open-air
performances
(see p260).

This fine mosaic of a


nightingale in Treviso Museum
is from Trevisium, the town’s
Roman predecessor.
Two arches of the
Ponte Romano (see
pp204–5) survive intact.

Gladiators
Bloodthirsty citizens
flocked to the glad-
iatorial contests
in which prisoners
of war, criminals
and Christian
martyrs were
put to the sword.
Verona’s Arena is an
awe-inspiring home for the
city’s opera festival, despite
the loss of its outer wall
to earthquakes.

AD 100 The Arena, Verona’s 401 Led by Alaric, the Goths invade northern Italy;
amphitheatre, is built. Near the Veneto bears the brunt of the attack
Eastern merchants bring
360 The Roman Empire’s northern borders under
Christianity to the region Fierce
attack from Slavic and Teutonic tribes
Visigoth
AD 1 100 200 300 400
313 Constantine the Great grants 410 Alaric
official status to Christianity 395 Roman succeeds in
59 BC Livy, Roman
Empire splits sacking Rome
historian, born in Padua 331 Constantinople takes over from Rome
into eastern itself, but dies the
as capital of the Roman Empire
and western same year
halves
44  inTRoDucinG VEnicE AnD ThE VEnETo

The Birth of Venice


Fleeing the Goths, who were systematically
looting and burning their way southwards to
Rome, the people of the Veneto sought refuge
among the wild and uninhabited islands of their
marshy coast. There they formed villages, and
from the ashes of the Roman past rose the city of
Venice (founded, as tradition has it, in AD 421).
Exploiting its easily defended maritime position,
important trade links with Byzantium were
created. Venice proclaimed its brash self- Early Venetian Settlements
confidence by brazenly stealing the relics of The Rialto Bridge (from Rivo Alto, or
“high bank”) marks the spot of one
St Mark the Evangelist from Alexandria, in Egypt. of many early settlements.

San Marco as it was before


14th-century rebuilding.

The First Crusade (1095–9)


Venice cunningly used the Crusades
to her advantage, gaining valuable
trading rights in captured cities
such as Antioch and Tripoli.
The Arrival of the Relics
This 13th-century mosaic from the
façade of San Marco depicts the body of
The Bishop of Altino St Mark being carried into the newly built
The cathedral at Torcello was basilica for reburial in AD 832. By securing
founded in AD 639, when the relics of such an important saint,
Altino’s bishop led a mass Venice signalled its ambition to be
exodus to the lagoon island, considered one of the foremost cities
fleeing Lombardic invaders. in Christendom, on a par with Rome.

421 Venice founded, traditionally – and Charlemagne


570 The Lombards’ first
conveniently – on St Mark’s Day, 25 April (742–814)
invasion of northern Italy;
beginning of mass migration 726 First
452 Attila the Hun invades Italy from the cities of the Veneto documented
and plunders the Veneto to lagoon islands doge, Orso Ipato
400 500 600 700 800

639 Torcello 697 According 774 Charlemagne


So-called to legend, invited to drive
“Attila’s throne” cathedral founded
Paoluccio Lombards from Italy
in Torcello 552 Totila the Goth Anafesta 800 Charlemagne is crowned
invades Italy and destroys is elected first Holy Roman Emperor by
many towns in the Veneto first doge Pope Leo III
the history of venice and the veneto  45

Diplomacy Where to See


Strategically placed
between the powers of Early Venice
Rome and Byzantium, The cathedral at Torcello (pp154–
Venice was continually 5) is the oldest surviving building
exerting her powers of in Venice, and the Basilica San
diplomacy. Here, Doge Marco (pp82–7) has many period
Ziani receives Holy treasures. Early Venetian coins are
Roman Emperor in the Correr Museum (p81). The
Frederick I, whom he original statue of St Theodore is
reconciled with Pope in the Doge’s Palace courtyard.
Alexander III in 1177.

Looting the remains of


St Mark from Alexandria
was seen as an act of
anti-Moslem
piety.

Torcello cathedral’s jewel-like


mosaics (11th century) are
masterpieces of Byzantine art,
probably the work of craftsmen
from Constantinople.

The doge and his


entourage are
wearing Byzantine-
style caps and robes.

St Theodore
The Byzantine emperor The Pala d’Oro, St Mark’s
nominated Theodore as the 10th-century altarpiece, shows
patron saint of Venice. Venice merchants bringing St Mark’s
chose St Mark instead, an act of plundered relics to Venice.
defiance against Byzantine rule.

814 First Venetian coins minted; work 1171 Six districts (sestieri) of Venice established 1173 First Rialto Bridge built
begins on first Doge’s Palace
1120 Verona’s 1177 Emperor Frederick I
832 First Basilica San San Zeno Barbarossa agrees to peace
Marco completed 1095 First Crusade; Venice church begun terms with Pope Alexander III
provides ships and supplies
900 1000 1100 1200
1128 First street lighting in Venice
888 King Berengar I of Italy 1202 Venice diverts
chooses Verona as his seat 1000 Doge Pietro Orseolo rids the the Fourth Crusade
Adriatic of pirates, commemorated to its own ends,
828 Venetian merchants steal body by the first Marriage of Venice Lighting a the conquest
of St Mark from Alexandria to the Sea ceremony street lamp of Byzantium
46  INTRODUCING VENICE AND THE VENETO

The Growth of the Empire


During the Middle Ages, Venice expanded in power
and influence throughout the eastern Mediterranean,
culminating in the conquest of Byzantium in 1204. At
home, in contrast to the fractional strife of most of the
area, Venice enjoyed a uniquely ordered administration
headed by the doge, an elected leader whose powers Bocca di Leone
Such letterboxes were used to
were carefully defined by the Venetian constitution.
report crimes anonymously and
Real power lay with the Council of Ten and the were often abused (p93).
2,000 or so members of the Grand Council,
from whose number the doge and his
advisers were elected.

Doge Enrico
Dandolo boldly
led the attack on
Constantinople,
despite being
over 90 and
completely blind.

Cangrande I
Founder of the Veronese Scaligeri
dynasty (see p213), Cangrande I
(“Big Dog”) typified the totalitarian
rule of most Italian cities.

Siege of
Constantinople
Marco Polo
Facing financial difficulties,
in China
Renowned
the leaders of the Fourth
Venetian Crusade agreed to attack
merchant, Marco the capital of Byzantium,
Polo (see p147) as payment for warships
spent over 20 years supplied by Venice. The city
at the court of fell in 1204, leaving Venice
Kublai Khan. ruler of Byzantium.

1204 Conquest of Constantinople; 1260 Scaligeri 1309


Venice’s plunder includes four family rules Present 1325 The names of
bronze horses Verona Doge’s Venice’s ruling families
1222 University of 1271–95 Marco Polo’s
Palace are fixed and inscribed
Padua founded journey to China begun in the Golden Book

1200 1250 1300 1350


1284 Gold ducats first 1310 The Venetian 1348–9
minted in Venice Constitution is passed; Black Death
1301 Dante, exiled from Council of Ten formed plague kills
The Four his native Florence, is 1304–13 Giotto paints the half Venice’s
Horses of San welcomed to Verona by Scrovegni Chapel frescoes population
Marco the Scaligeri rulers (pp184–5) in Padua
THE HISTORY OF VENICE AND THE VENETO  47

Where to See
Imperial Venice
The Doge’s Palace combines
ceremonial splendour and
the grimmer business of
imprisonment and torture
(pp88–93). Aspects of the
constitution are on display
in the Correr Museum (p81).
A bocca di leone survives
on the Zattere (p133).
Decapitation
Doge Marin Falier was
beheaded in 1355 for
plotting to become absolute
ruler of Venice. His execution
was a warning to future doges.

Imperial treasures
and ancient buildings
were lost when the
900-year-old city was
looted and burned.

Electing the Doge


This pointer was used
for counting votes
during dogal Many doges are commemorated
elections, using a by Renaissance-style monuments
convoluted system in the church of Santi Giovanni e
designed to prevent Paolo (pp120–21).
candidates bribing
their way to power.

Troops scaled the fortifi-


cations from galleys moored
against the city walls.

Queen of Cyprus
Venice shamelessly
gained Cyprus in 1489
by arranging for Meetings of the Grand
Caterina Cornaro, from Council, dominated by the
one of Venice’s noblest merchant class, were held in the
families, to marry the Sala del Maggior Consiglio (p91)
island’s king, and then in the Doge’s Palace.
poisoning him.

Battle of 1518 Titian’s


Chioggia Assumption
1489 Cyprus ceded to hung in Frari
Venice by Queen (p106)
Caterina Cornaro

1400 1450 1500


1380 Battle of Chioggia: 1453 Constantinople 1508 Andrea
Venice defeats Genoa falls to the Turks; Palladio,
1430 Giovanni
to win undisputed Venice’s empire architect, born
Bellini born,
maritime supremacy reaches its zenith in Padua
greatest of the
in the Adriatic and artistic family
Mediterranean Titian (1487–1576)
48  INTRODUCING VENICE AND THE VENETO

The Queen of the Adriatic


By the 16th century, Venice held a monopoly on
Mediterranean trade and had colonized the whole of Sails were a
northeastern Italy, from the Adriatic to the Alps. Keeping hazard in battle,
hold of such a vast empire meant being in a constant state but could be
utilized for a
of war. The League of Cambrai, dedicated to destroying swift escape.
Venice, was formed in 1508 by the most powerful men in
Europe, Pope Julius II and the Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian. Their troops sacked the cities of the Veneto,
but the region remained loyal to Venice’s relatively
benign rule. Far more of a threat were the Turks.
They carved out the Ottoman Empire from 1522,
driving Venice from the eastern Mediterranean
and eventually taking Cyprus in 1570.

Oarsmen sat in cramped


conditions with less than
60 cm (2 ft) of space; each
Galileo’s Telescope team was led by a foreman.
Galileo, professor at Padua
University from 1592 to 1610,
demonstrated his telescope to
Doge Leonardo Donà in 1609.

Battle of Lepanto
Venice led the combined
forces of the Christian world
in this bloody victory over
the Turks, fought in 1571.

1514 Fire 1516 Jews confined to the Venetian Ghetto. 1585 First 1592 Galileo
destroys the End of League of Cambrai wars performance at appointed
original timber 1570 Cyprus lost Vicenza’s Teatro professor of
1518 to the Turks
Rialto Bridge Olimpico (p174) mathematics at
Tintoretto 1528 Paolo
Veronese born Padua University
born
1500 1550 1600
1571 Battle of Lepanto: 1595 Shakespeare’s
1501 Doge Leonardo 1529 Death of decisive victory for the Romeo and Juliet
Loredan, great Luigi da Porto of western fleet, led by
diplomat, begins Vicenza, author of Venice, over the Turks 1577 Palladio designs the Redentore
20-year rule the story of church (p158) to mark the end of the
Romeo and Juliet plague that took 51,000 lives
THE HISTORY OF VENICE AND THE VENETO  49

Celebrating the
End of the Plague Where to See
More deadly than any Maritime Venice
opposing army, plague hit
Venice in 1575 and again in The triumph of Venice over
1630, carrying off Titian the sea is celebrated in the
among its 100,000 victims. Museo Storico Navale (p122).
For a glimpse of the extensive
and disused Arsenale shipyard
in Castello, take a trip on
vaporetto route No. 4.1, 4.2,
5.1 or 5.2 (p284).

The Venice Arsenale


Venice was at the forefront
of maritime construction.
Her heavily defended
shipyards were capable
of turning out warships
at the rate of one a day.

To synchronize
the oarsmen, a Arsenale lions, plundered
drummer beat from Piraeus in 1687, guard the
time at the stern. forbidding gates of the Arsenale
shipyard (p123).

Venetian Trireme
The trireme was so Venetian naval supremacy was
named because the based on the swift and highly
oars were grouped in manoeuvrable trireme, used to Santa Maria della Salute
threes. Each trireme sink enemy ships by means of its was built in thanksgiving
had up to 150 oars. pointed battering ram and its for deliverance from the
bow-mounted cannon. 1630 plague (p139).

Monteverdi 1718 Venetian


(1567–1643) 1678 Elena Piscopia receives 1703 Vivaldi maritime empire
doctorate from Padua University, the joins La Pietà as ends with the
first woman in the world ever to be musical director surrender of
awarded a degree (p182) Morea to the Turks

1650 1700

Elena Piscopia
1613 Monteverdi (1646–84) 1708 In a bitter
appointed 1630 Plague strikes Venice 1669 Venice
loses Crete to winter, the lagoon
choirmaster at again, reducing the city’s freezes over and
Basilica San Marco population to 102,243, its the Turks
Venetians can walk
smallest for 250 years to the mainland
50  INTRODUCING VENICE AND THE VENETO

Glorious Decadence
No longer a major power, 18th-century Venice
became a byword for decadence, as aristocratic
Venetians frittered away their inherited wealth in
lavish parties and gambling. All this crumbled in
1797, when the city was besieged by Napoleon, who
demanded the abdication of the doge. Napoleon
granted the city to his opponents, the Austrians, The State-Run Casino
whose often authoritarian rule drove many The notorious Ridotto, open to
people of the Veneto to join the vanguard of anyone wearing a mask, closed in
the revolutionary Risorgimento. This movement, 1774, as many Venetians had
bankrupted themselves.
led in Venice by Daniele Manin, was dedicated
to creating a free and united Italy, a
Gambling fever so gripped
dream not fully realized until 1870, the city that gaming tables
four years after Venice was freed were set up between the
from Austrian rule. columns in the Piazza.

Caffè Pedrocchi
Several intellectuals who had
used this lavishly decorated café
(see p182) in Padua as their base
were executed for leading a revolt
against Austrian rule in 1831.

Imperial Ritual
Canaletto’s St Mark’s Basin
on Ascension Day (c.1733)
captures the empty
splendour of Venice on the
The Horses of St Mark
Among the art treasures
eve of her demise. The doge’s
looted by Napoleon gold and scarlet barge has
were the Four Horses of St been launched for the
Mark, symbols of Venetian annual ceremony of Venice’s
liberty. The horses were Marriage to the Sea.
returned in 1815.

1720 Caffè Florian 1755 Casanova 1789 The Dolomites


opens in Venice 1752 Completion of sea imprisoned in named after Déodat de
(p250) walls protecting the Doge’s Palace Dolomieu (1750–1801)
lagoon entrances
1725 Casanova 1775 Caffè Quadri (p250)
born in Venice opens in Venice Déodat de Dolomieu
1720 1770
1790 Venetian opera house, La Fenice, opens
1757 Canova, Neo-
Classical sculptor, 1797 Napoleon invades the Veneto; Doge Lodovico
born in Venice Manin abdicates; Venetian Republic ends
1798 Napoleon grants Venice and its territories to his
Café Florian Austrian allies in return for Lombardy
THE HISTORY OF VENICE AND THE VENETO  51

Antonio Vivaldi
(1678–1741) Where to See
Fashionable Venetians 18th-Century Venice
flocked to hear the red-
haired priest’s latest Vivaldi concerts are a regular
compositions, performed feature at La Pietà church (p116).
by the orphan girls of La Paintings by Guardi, Canaletto
Pietà. Vivaldi’s most and Longhi capture the spirit
famous work, The Four of the age and are found in the
Seasons (1725), was a Accademia (pp134–7), Correr
great success Museum and Ca’ Rezzonico (p130).
throughout Europe. A beautifully crafted model of the
Bucintoro and its original banner
are displayed at The Museo
Storico Navale (p122).

The Bucintoro, the doge’s Sumptuary laws, passed in 1562,


ceremonial barge decreed that all Venetian gondolas
must be black, to prevent lavish
displays of wealth.

Fortunes were spent on


opulent wigs, jewels and
clothing for costume balls
and the theatre. This high-
heeled shoe is in the Correr
Museum (p81).

The comic antics of Harlequin


and Pantaloon at La Fenice
No Longer an Island (p97) ensured the popularity
Venice lost its isolation in 1846, when a causeway joined the of the theatre with Venetians.
city to the mainland and the Italian rail network.

1804 Napoleon crowned King of


Daniele Manin 1859 Second War of Italian
Italy and takes back Venice (1804–57) Independence; after Battle of
1814–15 Austrians drive French Solferino, Red Cross founded
from Venice; Congress of Vienna 1861 Vittorio Emanuele
returns the Veneto to Austria crowned King of Italy
1820 1870
1818 Byron 1846 Venetian rail causeway 1853 Ruskin publishes
swims up the links the city to the mainland The Stones of Venice
Grand Canal for the first time
1849 Hunger and 1866 Venice and
1848 First Italian War of disease force Venetian Veneto freed from
Lord Byron Independence; Venice revolts rebels, led by Daniele Austrian rule
against Austrian rule Manin, to surrender
52  INTRODUCING VENICE AND THE VENETO

Venice in Vogue
From being an introverted and unchanging city,
Venice developed with remarkable speed. The
opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 brought new
prosperity; a new harbour was built for ocean-
going ships and Venice became a favourite
embarkation point for colonial administrators
and rich Europeans travelling east. The fashion for
sea-bathing and patronage by wealthy socialites Peggy Guggenheim (1898–1979)
reawakened interest in the city, and the founding of Patron of the avant garde, Peggy
the Biennale attracted Europe’s leading artists, who Guggenheim brought her out-
standing art collection (see p138)
expressed their enthusiasm for the to Venice in 1949.
city in novels, paintings and music.
The Hotel Excelsior’s
Moorish exterior is
distinctive.

Bathing
huts,
designed for
modesty in
the 1920s, are
still a feature
of the Lido.

Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971)


Along with Turgenev, Diaghilev
and Ezra Pound, Stravinsky was
one of many émigrés enchanted
by the magic of Venice.
The Lido
From the turn of the century, grand
hotel developments along the
Hotel Excelsior sandy Adriatic shore turned the
When it was built in 1907, Lido into Europe’s most stylish
the Hotel Excelsior (see seaside resort. The island has since
p234) was the world’s given its name to bathing
largest hotel. establishments the world over.

1902 Collapse of 1912 Opening of


campanile in Piazza rebuilt campanile;
1883 Wagner dies in Palazzo Richard Wagner San Marco Thomas Mann writes
Vendramin-Calergi (1813–83) Death in Venice

1870 1880 1890 1900 1910

1889 Poet Robert


1881 Venice becomes Browning dies in 1903 Patriarch Sarto
Ca’ Rezzonico 1895 First
second-largest port in of Venice becomes
Biennale art
Italy after Genoa Pope Pius X
exhibition
THE HISTORY OF VENICE AND THE VENETO  53

The International
Exhibition of Where to See Turn-
Modern Art of-the-Century Venice
Venice became a
showcase for all that Regular vaporetto services link
was new in world art Venice to the Lido (p160), with its
and architecture when deluxe hotels, sports facilities and
the Biennale was beaches. The pavilions of the
launched. The first Biennale (p125) are usually only
exhibition, in 1895, open during the exhibition. A lift
showed work by carries visitors to the top of the
Renoir and Monet. rebuilt Campanile (p80) for
panoramic views of Venice.

The manicured
beaches of the Lido
became a catwalk for
style-conscious
holidaymakers.

San Michele, the cemetery isle


(p157), is the last resting place
of eminent foreigners, such as
Serge Diaghilev, Igor Stravinsky
and Ezra Pound.

Residenze des Bains on the


The Campanile Lido (p160), was formerly an
After the appearance of exclusive hotel built in 1900 and
ominous warning cracks, the frequented by famous people. It
1,000-year-old bell tower has been converted into private
crashed to the ground in apartments, but retains its Art
1902. It was rebuilt within a Deco features.
decade (see p80).

German 1954 Britten’s Turn of the 1959 Patriarch


1917 Work starts on 1926 Mestre travel Screw premièred in Venice Roncalli
constructing the is formally poster elected Pope
port of Marghera granted from 1936 1943–5 Mussolini John XXIII
town status rules a puppet state,
the Salò Republic
1920 1930 1940 1950 1960
1960 Venice
1932 First Venice 1951 Stravinsky’s The Rake’s airport opens
1918 Fierce fighting in Film Festival Progress premièred in Venice
mountain passes of
1956 Cortina d’Ampezzo
the Veneto in the last 1931 Venice is linked to the hosts Winter Olympics Olympic torch runner
weeks of World War I mainland by a road causeway
54  INTRODUCING VENICE AND THE VENETO

Venice Preserved
In November 1966 Venice was hit by the worst
floods in its history, sparking worldwide concern for
the future of the city’s delicate and decaying fabric.
Major steps have since been taken to protect Venice
and its unique heritage, though many difficult issues
remain. However, several of the region’s great craft
Boating Traditions
traditions are kept alive in the work of local artisans
The proud boating traditions of this
and the allure of Venice, set in its watery lagoon, waterborne city can be seen in the many
is as compelling as ever. regatas held during the summer months.

Venice as Film Set


Venice has served as the backdrop
to countless films, including Fellini’s
Casanova (1976) and Indiana Jones
and the Last Crusade (1989).

The Regata Storica, held in


September, is an annual trial of
strength and skill for gondoliers.
Tourism
Venetian regattas are part of a rich
tradition that enhances the city’s
attraction to tourists, providing
After the Flood
employment for many on the
During the 1966 floods, the
waters rose nearly 2 m mainland as well as in Venice itself.
(6 ft). Great damage was However, since the number of daily
done by fuel oil, washed visitors often exceeds the city’s
out of broken tanks. It is population, some complain that
now banned from the city tourism has turned Venice from a
in favour of gas. living city into one vast museum.

1978 Patriarch 1988 First


1966 Floods cause Luciani of experimental
devastation in Venice. 1973 Laws passed to Venice elected Carnival stage of MOSE, 1992 Venice
UNESCO launches its reduce pollution, Pope John reveller the lagoon Film Festival
Save Venice appeal Paul I, but dies flood barrier, is celebrates
subsidence and
33 days later completed 60 years
flooding
1960 1975 1990

1968 Protestors prevent part of the 1979 Venetian 1983 Venice 1992 Venice
lagoon being drained to extend Carnival is revived officially stops rocked by
Marghera’s industrial zone sinking after corruption
Visconti and Dirk extraction of scandals. Metro
1970 Luchino Visconti’s Bogarde on the set underground network beneath
film Death in Venice of Death in Venice water prohibited lagoon proposed
THE HISTORY OF VENICE AND THE VENETO  55

Restoration in Venice
One positive result of the 1966
floods was a major international
appeal for funds to pay for the
cleaning of historic buildings,
statues and paintings. Funds
raised are coordinated under
the auspices of UNESCO, with
offices in Venice.

Benetton
The famous clothing firm,
originating in Treviso,
represents the modern face
of Veneto industry.

Venice plays host to over


14 million visitors every year.

Restorers learn how to repair


and conserve fragile works
of art at a European centre
for conservation on San
Servolo (pp158–9).

Glass Blowing
This age-old tradition, still
alive on Murano, contributes
to the economy.

The Acqua Alta


High tides can cause floods
and paralyze the city. Contro-
versial plans for a flood barrier
across the lagoon have faced
continual delays. The problem
was exacerbated by subsidence
due to the extraction of under- Madonna dell’Orto (p144) was
gound gas and water (now restored with support from the
restricted). There have also been Venice in Peril Fund, which raises
calls for controls on the motor- funds for the city’s conservation.
boats that cause erosion.

1994 Voters decide against a divorce 2010 Floods in Vicenza and Paduan plains in November cause terrible
between Venice and Mestre, which 2006 Romano damage; half of Vicenza was under water
share a mayor and city council Prodi approves
construction of 2016 UNESCO threatens to place Venice on endangered list
1995 Centenary of the lagoon unless it bans cruise ships
Biennale Exhibition flood barrier

2005 2020

2002 Construction 2008 The 2017 Planned completion


begins on the fourth fourth bridge of the flood barrier
bridge over the over the Grand
Grand Canal Canal opens 2013 Venice pulls out of European Capital
of Culture 2019 bid, the mayor stating that The fourth bridge over the
1932–1992 Venice Film Festival poster it already is a capital of culture Grand Canal

View over Venice rooftops


Venice area
by area

Venice at a Glance 58–59


A View of the Grand Canal 60–75
San Marco 76–99
San Polo and Santa Croce 100–111
Castello 112–125
Dorsoduro 126–139
Cannaregio 140–149
The Lagoon Islands 150–161
58  VeniCe AReA By AReA

Venice at a Glance
Venice is small and most of the sights
can be comfortably visited on foot.
The heart of the city is the Piazza San
Marco, which is overlooked by the great
Basilica and the Doge’s Palace. For many,
these are attractions enough, but there are
delights worth exploring beyond the Piazza,
such as the galleries of the Accademia,
Ca’ Rezzonico and the imposing Frari church. Ghetto
Unique to Venice are the naval Arsenale to Established in the early 16th century,
this fascinating quarter was the
the east and the Ghetto in the north. world’s first ghetto (see p149).

0 metres 500 CANNAREGIO


(See pp140–49)
0 yards 500

de
an
Gr
Santa Maria
Gloriosa dei Frari al
n

This soaring Gothic


Ca

edifice, founded by SAN POLO AND


the Franciscans in SANTA CROCE
1340, is a rich (See pp100–11)
repository of
Venetian painting
and sculpture l
(see pp106–7). na
Ca

DORSODURO
(See pp126–39)

Accademia
Carpaccio’s St Ursula
cycle (1490–95) is one of
Ca’ Rezzonico the treasures of the
The splendid rooms of this palace, Accademia, which has a
overlooking the Grand Canal, are comprehensive
decorated with 18th-century collection of Venetian
furniture and paintings (see p130). art (see pp134–7).
v e n i c e at a g l a n c e  59

Rialto Bridge
The bustling Rialto Bridge
(see p104) was named after
the ancient commercial seat
of Venice, where the first
Ca’ d’Oro inhabitants settled.
This ornate palace is the
finest example of Venetian
Gothic style (see p148). Basilica San Marco
Magnificent mosaics
sheathe the domes, walls
and floor of the Byzantine
Basilica (see pp82–7).

Arsenale
The great dockyard, first of its
kind in Europe, was the naval
nerve centre of the Venetian
Empire (see p123).

de
an CASTELLO
Gr
(See pp112–25)

SAN
MARCO
(See pp76–99)

Doge’s Palace
The colonnaded Gothic
palace was the seat of
government as well as
home to the doge and
his family (see pp88–93).

Santa Maria della Salute


Marking the southern end of the Grand
Canal, this great Baroque church is one
of the city’s landmarks (see p139).
VENICE AREA BY AREA  61

A VIEW OF THE
GRAND CANAL
Known to the Venetians as the Canalazzo, with crews in traditional costumes,
the Grand Canal sweeps through the heart followed by exciting boat and gondola
of Venice, following the course of an ancient races down the Grand Canal.
riverbed. Since the founding days of the The parade of palaces bordering the
empire it has served as the city’s main winding waterway, built over a span of
thoroughfare. Once used by great galleys around 500 years, presents some of the
or trading vessels making their stately way finest architecture of the Republic.
to the Rialto, it now teems with vaporetti, Historically it is like a rollcall of the old
launches, barges and gondolas. Glimpses of Venetian aristocracy, with almost every
its glorious past, however, are never far palazzo bearing the name of a once-grand
away. The annual re-enactment of historic family. Bright frescoes may have faded,
pageants, preserving the traditions of the precious marbles worn, and foundations
Venetian Republic, brings a blaze of colour frayed with the tides, but the Grand Canal
to the canal. The most spectacular is the is still, to quote Charles VIII of France’s
Regata Storica held in September (see p39), ambassador in 1495, “the most beautiful
a huge procession of historic craft packed street in the world”.

See pages 64–5

See pages 62–3


See pages 66–7

See pages 68–9

See pages 70–71

See pages 74–5


See pages 72–3

0 metres 250

0 yards 250

The Basilica Santa Maria della Salute seen from across the Grand Canal
62  VENICE AREA BY AREA

Santa Lucia to Palazzo Flangini


The Grand Canal is best admired from a gondola or a vaporetto.
Several lines travel the length of the canal (see p284) but only the
No. 1 goes slowly enough for you to take in any of the palaces.
The journey from the station to San Zaccaria takes about 40
minutes. Nearly 4 km (2 miles) long, the canal varies in width
from 30 to 70 m (98 to 230 ft) and is spanned by four bridges,
the Scalzi, the Rialto, the Accademia and the Constituzione.
The modern Constituzione bridge links Piazzale Roma and Locator Map
Santa Lucia station.

Santa Maria di
Nazareth is known
today as the Scalzi,
after the supposedly
“shoeless” Carmelites
who founded it (see
p149). Within is the
tomb of Ludovico
Manin, last of
the doges.

Santa Lucia railway station


(see p280), built in the mid-
19th century and remodelled
in the 1950s, links the city with
the mainland. Ferrovia

Ferrovia

La Direzione Compartimentale,
the administration offices for the
railway, was built at the same time
as the station, on the site of the
church of Santa Lucia and other
ancient buildings.

Palazzo Diedo, also known as Palazzo Emo, is a Neo-


Classical palace of the late 18th century. It is believed to
be the birthplace of Angelo Emo (1731–92), the last admiral
of the Venetian fleet. The palace was built by Andrea Tirali,
an engineer who worked on the restoration of San Marco.
A VIEW OF THE GRAND CANAL  63

Palazzo Flangini was


Palazzo Calbo Crotta is designed by Giuseppe
now the four-star Hotel Sardi, a leading 17th-
Principe. Fine antiques century architect.
and fabrics which
once decorated the
palace are now in Ca’
Rezzonico (see p130).

Ferrovia

Palazzo Gritti was built in the


16th century. The Grittis were a
The Scalzi Bridge was wealthy family who produced
built in 1934, replacing one of the most intelligent
the original wrought- doges, Andrea Gritti
iron bridge. (reigned 1523–38).

Campo San Simeone


Grande, named after the
nearby church
(otherwise called San
Simeone Profeta), is one
of the few campi
overlooking the canal.

Casa Adoldo and Palazzo


Foscari-Contarini were both
rebuilt in the 16th century.
According to local tradition,
the great Doge Francesco
Foscari (ruled 1423–57) was
born in the original Foscari-
Contarini palace.

San Simeone Piccolo is a large church, in spite


of its name (piccolo means “small”). Built in
1738, its design was based partly on the
Pantheon in Rome. It is open for worship only.
64  VENICE AREA BY AREA

San Geremia to San Stae


This stretch sees the start of the great palaces.
The most remarkable is the Vendramin
Calergi, which became a model for
other Venetian palaces.

San Geremia Palazzo Labia, frescoed with Tiepolo’s


houses the Locator Map
Story of Cleopatra, is intermittently
relics of St open to the public (see p147).
Lucy, formerly
preserved in Ca’ dei Cuori (House of
Santa Lucia, Palazzo Querini has Hearts) was named after
where the the family coat of the hearts in the family
station now arms on the façade. coat of arms.
stands.

Riva di Biasio

Palazzo Giovanelli,
a restored Gothic
palace, was acquired
by the Giovanellis in
1755. This titled non-
Venetian family had
been admitted into Fondaco dei Turchi was a splendid Veneto-
the Great Council in Byzantine building before last century’s
1668 for a fee of brutal restoration. Today it houses the
100,000 ducats. Natural History Museum (see p109).

Palazzo Donà
Balbi, built in the
17th century, is
named after two
great Venetian
families who Deposito del Megio, a crenellated
intermarried. The building with a reconstructed Lion
Donà family of St Mark, was a granary in the
produced four doges. 15th century.
A VIEW OF THE GRAND CANAL  65

Palazzo Vendramin-
Calergi, an early
Renaissance palace,
was designed by
Mauro Coducci.
The composer
Richard Wagner
died here in 1883.
Today, Venice’s
casino is housed in
San Marcuola, dedicated to St Ermagora and
the palace.
St Fortunatus, was built in 1728–36 by Giorgio
Massari, but the façade was never completed.
Palazzo Marcello,
rebuilt in the early
18th century, was
the birthplace of Palazzo Erizzo has two huge
composer Benedetto paintings depicting the feats of
Marcello in 1686. Paolo Erizzo, who died heroically
fighting the Turks in 1469.

Palazzo Emo
belonged to the family
of a famous Venetian
admiral (see p62).

San Marcuola

San Stae

Fondaco dei Deposito del Megio


Turchi

Palazzo Tron, built in the late


16th century, hosted a famous
ball in 1775 in honour of
Emperor Joseph II of Austria.
Palazzo Belloni Battagia, with
its distinctive pinnacles, was
built by Longhena in the mid- San Stae is striking for its Baroque
17th century for the Belloni façade, graced by marble statues. It
family, who had bought their was funded by a legacy left by Doge
way into Venetian aristocracy. Alvise Mocenigo in 1709 (see p109).
66  VENICE AREA BY AREA

Palazzo Barbarigo to the Markets


Here the canal is flanked by stately palaces, built over a period
of five centuries. The most spectacular is the Gothic Ca’ d’Oro,
whose façade once glittered with gold.
Palazzo Barbarigo retains
the vestiges of its
16th-century frescoed
façade paintings. Locator Map

Palazzo Gussoni-Grimani’s
façade once had frescoes by
Tintoretto. It was home to the
English ambassador in 1614–18.
Palazzo Fontana Rezzonico
San Stae was the birthplace of
Count Rezzonico
(1693), the fifth
Venetian
pope.

Ca’ Foscarini, a
Gothic building of
the 15th century,
belonged to the Foscari
family before it became
the residence of the
Duke of Mantua in 1520.

Casa Favretto (Hotel


San Cassiano) was the
home of the painter
Giacomo Favretto
(1849–87).

Ca’ Pesaro, a huge and stately


Baroque palace designed by Palazzo Morosini
Longhena (see p27), today houses Brandolin belonged to
the Gallery of Modern Art and the the Morosini family, one
Oriental Museum (see p109). It was of the Case Vecchie
built for Leonardo Pesaro, a families, deemed to be
Procurator of San Marco. noble before the
9th century.

Ca’ Corner della


Regina (1724–8)
is owned by the
Fondazione
Prada. It houses
the Prada
contemporary art
collection and is The Pescheria has been the site of a busy fish
open during market for six centuries. Today it takes place in the
exhibitions. striking mock-Gothic market hall, built in 1907.
A VIEW OF THE GRAND CANAL  67

Ca’ d’Oro, the most famous


of Venetian Gothic palaces Canaletto
(see p148), houses Antonio Canale (Canaletto)
paintings, frescoes and (1697–1768) is best known for
sculpture from the his vedute or views of Venice.
collection of Baron He studied in Rome, but
Giorgio Franchetti, lived here for most of his life.
who bequeathed One of his patrons was
the palace and Joseph Smith (see below).
all its contents Sadly there are very few of his
to the State. paintings left on view in the city.

Palazzo Sagredo passed


from the Morosini to the
Sagredo family in the
early18th century.
The façade shows
characteristics of both
Veneto-Byzantine and
Gothic styles.

Palazzo Foscarini was the home of


Marco Foscarini, a diplomat, orator
and scholar who rose to the
position of doge in 1762.
Palazzo Mangili Valmarana was
designed by Antonio Visentini
Palazzo Michiel (above) in Classical style for
dalle Colonne was Joseph Smith, who became the
named after its English consul in Venice. Smith
distinctive colonnade. (1682–1770) was a patron of both
Visentini and Canaletto.

Palazzo Michiel
del Brusà was
rebuilt and named
after the great fire
(brusà) that swept
Ca’ d’Oro the city in 1774.

Ca’ da Mosto is a good


example of 13th-century
Veneto-Byzantine style.
Alvise da Mosto, the
Rialto
Mercato
15th-century navigator,
was born here in
1432.
Tribunale
Fabbriche
Nuove,
Sansovino’s market
building (1555), is
now the seat of the
Assize Court.
68  VENICE AREA BY AREA

The Rialto Quarter


The area around the Rialto Bridge is the oldest and busiest quarter
of the city. Traditionally a centre of trade, crowded quaysides and
colourful food markets still border the canal south of the bridge.

Palazzo Papadopoli, formerly known


as Coccina-Tiepolo, was built in 1560.
Although now a luxury hotel, Aman Locator Map
Canal Grande Venice, its splendid
hall of mirrors has been preserved.

Riva del Vin is one of the few


spots where you can sit and
relax on the banks of the
Grand Canal (see p102).
Ca’ Corner-Martinengo-Ravà
became the Leon Bianco Hotel in
the 19th century. The American
writer James Fenimore Cooper
stayed here in 1838.
Palazzo Barzizza,
rebuilt in the 17th
century, still preserves
its early 13th-century
façade.

San Silvestro

Casetta Dandolo’s
predecessor is said to
have been the birthplace
of Doge Enrico Dandolo
(ruled 1192–1205).

Palazzo Grimani, a fine, if


somewhat austere-looking,
Renaissance palace (see p27),
was built in 1556 by Michele Palazzo Farsetti and Palazzo
Sanmicheli for the Procurator, Loredan, both occupied by the City
Girolamo Grimani. The State Council, were built around 1200 and
purchased the palace in 1807 finally merged in 1868. Palazzo Farsetti
and it is now occupied by the became an academy for young artists,
city’s Court of Appeal. one of whom was Canova.
A VIEW OF THE GRAND CANAL  69

Fondaco dei
Tedeschi, originally
used as a warehouse
and lodgings for
German traders, has
been refurbished
as a luxury
department store.

Palazzo Camerlenghi, built


in 1528, was once the offices
of the city treasurers
(camerlenghi). The ground
floor was the State prison.

Rialto

Riva del Ferro is


the quayside where
German trading The Rialto Bridge (see p104) was built to span
barges offloaded the Grand Canal in what was, and still is, the
iron (ferro). most commercial quarter of the city.

Palazzo Manin-Dolfin was


built by Sansovino in 1538–40,
but only his Classical stone
façade survives. The interior was
completely transformed for
Ludovico Manin, last doge of
Venice (died 1797). He intended
to turn the house into a
magnificent palace extending
as far as Campo San Salvatore.

The Dandolo Family


The illustrious Dandolo family
produced four doges, 12
procurators of San Marco, a
patriarch of Grado and a queen of Serbia.
The first of the doges was Enrico, who,
despite being old and blind, was the
Palazzo Bembo, a 15th-century principal driving force in the Crusaders’
Gothic palace, was the birthplace plan to take Constantinople in 1204
of the Renaissance cardinal (see p46). The other remarkable doge
and scholar Pietro Bembo, in the family was the humanist and
who wrote one of the earliest historian Andrea Dandolo (d.1354). Doge Enrico Dandolo
Italian grammars.
70  VENICE AREA BY AREA

La Volta del Canal


The point where the canal doubles back sharply on itself is known
as La Volta – the bend. This splendid curve was long ago established
as the finishing stretch for the annual Regata Storica (see p39).

Palazzo Marcello, which


belonged to an old Venetian
family, is also called “dei Locator Map
Leoni” because of the lions
either side of the doorway. Palazzo Persico, on the corner
of Rio San Polo, is a
Palazzo Civran- 16th-century house in
Grimani is a Classical Lombardesque style.
building of the early
17th century.
Palazzo Balbi, seat of the regional
government, was built for Nicolò
Balbi, who is said to have died
of a chill surveying its
construction. From here,
Napoleon viewed the 1807
regatta, held in his honour.

San Tomà

Ca’ Foscari was built for


Doge Francesco Foscari in
1437 (see p26). It is now part
of the University of Venice.

Palazzo Giustinian was the


residence of Wagner in
1858–9, when he was Palazzo Moro Lin
composing the second act Palazzo Grassi
of Tristan and Isolde.

San Samuele

Palazzo
Capello
Ca’ Rezzonico, now the museum Malipiero
of 18th-century Venice (see p130),
became the home of the poet Ca’ Rezzonico
Robert Browning and his son,
Pen, in 1888.
A VIEW OF THE GRAND CANAL  71

Palazzo Barbarigo della Palazzo Capello-Layard was the


Terrazza, built in the 1560s, was home of Sir Austen Henry
known for its roof terrace. It now Layard, excavator of
houses the German Institute. Nineveh.

Sant’ Angelo

Palazzo Corner Spinelli,


Mauro Coducci’s outstanding
Renaissance palace, built in 1490–
1510, became a prototype for other
mansions in Venice.

Palazzo Garzoni, a
renovated Gothic palace, is
now part of the university.
The traghetto service, which
links the neighbouring Calle
Garzoni to San Tomà on the
other side of the canal, is
one of the oldest in Venice.

Palazzo Mocenigo, formed by four palaces


linked together, has a plaque to the poet
Byron, who stayed here in 1818.

Palazzo Moro Lin, also known as the “palace of


the 13 windows”, was created in the 17th century
for the painter Pietro Liberi by merging two
Gothic houses.

Palazzo Grassi, built in the 1730s and


bought by François-Henri Pinault in
2005, exhibits contemporary art.

Palazzo Capello Malipiero, a Gothic


palace, was reconstructed in 1622. Beside it,
in Campo di San Samuele, stands the
church of San Samuele, which has a
12th-century Veneto-Byzantine campanile.
72  VENICE AREA BY AREA

Ca’ Rezzonico

Ca’ Rezzonico to
the Guggenheim
This southern stretch of the canal,
widening after the Accademia, is lined
by a rich and varied parade of palaces.

Palazzo del Duca, planned in the 15th


century as a sumptuous palace but never
finished, houses a collection of porcelain.

Palazzo Falier was


said to have been
home to Doge Marin
Falier, who was
beheaded for
treason in 1355
(see p47).

Palazzo degli Scrigni, built in


1609, acquired its name from the
coffers (scrigni) inherited by the
Contarini in 1418.
Accademia

Palazzo Loredan, home of


Doge Francesco Loredan
(1752–62), is one of many
belonging to that family.

The wooden Accademia Bridge was built in 1932


as a temporary structure to replace a 19th-century
iron bridge. By popular demand it has been retained.

Palazzo Contarini del Zaffo,


a magnificent Renaissance
The Accademia galleries, within the palace of the late 1400s,
former church, monastery and Scuola was built for a branch of
della Carità, house the world’s the ubiquitous Contarini
greatest collection of Venetian family. It is now owned
paintings (see pp134–7). by the Polignac family.
A VIEW OF THE GRAND CANAL  73

Ca’ Grande, a huge Classical


palace, was designed in 1545
by Sansovino for Giacomo Cornaro,
nephew of the Queen of Cyprus.
The family was one of the richest in
Venice and spared no expense in
the palace’s decoration. This family
tree illustrates the extent of
the Cornaro’s wealth and
influence in Venice.
Locator Map

Palazzo Franchetti Cavalli


belonged to Archduke Frederick
of Austria, who died here in 1836.
Palazzo Barbaro comprises
two palaces, one of
which was bought by the
Curtis family in 1885.
Monet and Whistler
painted here and Henry
James (right) wrote The
Aspern Papers. Casetta delle Rose, one of the
smallest houses on the canal, was
the home of Italian poet Gabriele
d’Annunzio during World War I.
Canova (above) had his studio
here in 1770.

Palazzo
Barbarigo, beside the
Campo San Vio, stands out for the
harsh mosaics, added in 1887.
Peggy Guggenheim
established her collection of
modern art in Venice in Ca’ Dario, built in
1951 (see p138). She chose 1487, is a charming
as her venue the Palazzo but strangely ill-fated
Venier dei Leoni, which had palace (see pp138–9).
been built in 1749 and
never finished.
74  VENICE AREA BY AREA

To La Salute and San Marco


The view along the final stretch of the canal is one of the
finest – and most familiar – in Venice. Near the mouth rises the
magnificent church of La Salute with busy St Mark’s Basin beyond.

Locator Map

Palazzo Contarini Fasan, a tiny


15th-century palace with an
elegant façade, is popularly known
as the House of Desdemona from
The Palazzo Gritti-Pisani, where Shakespeare’s Othello.
Ruskin stayed in 1851, is better known
today as the luxurious five-star Hotel
Gritti Palace.

Santa Maria
del Giglio

Salute

The mock-Gothic
mansion, Ca’
Genovese, was built in
1892 in the place of
the second Gothic
cloister of the San
Gregorio monastery.

The deconsecrated Gothic


brick church of Abbazia San
Gregorio and a little cloister
are all that survive of what
was for centuries a powerful
Palazzo Salviati was the head- monastic centre. The church
quarters of the Salviati glass- is now used as a laboratory
producing company, hence the for the renovation of large-
glass mosaics on the façade. scale paintings.
A VIEW OF THE GRAND CANAL  75

Palazzo Tiepolo, the


Hotel Europa and Harry’s Bar (see
Regina, was formerly p96) was popular
owned by the Tiepolo with Hemingway
family, associated with and other writers.
an unsuccessful This was the very
uprising in 1310. first Harry’s Bar in
the world.

Palazzo Giustinian, head-


quarters of the Biennale, used to
be a hotel, where Turner, Verdi
and Proust stayed.

San Marco
Vallaressa
Giardinetti Reali, the Royal
Gardens, were created by
Napoleon to improve his view
from the Procuratie Nuove.

Palazzo Treves Bonfili, a


Classical building of the
17th century, is decorated
with Neo-Classical frescoes,
paintings and statuary.

The view from the Dogana, taking in the Doge’s


Palace, the Campanile of San Marco and the Zecca,
is one of the most memorable in Venice.

Santa Maria della Salute, a


Baroque church of
monumental proportions, is
supported by over a million
timber piles. Built to com- The Punta della Dogana,
memorate the end of the 1630 housing an art gallery, is
plague, it was the work of topped by a weathervane
Baldassare Longhena (see p139). figure of Fortune (see p139).
VENICE AREA BY AREA  77

SAN MARCO
Home of the political and judicial nerve only one deemed fit to be called a piazza –
centres of Venice, the sestiere of San Marco the others were merely campi, or fields.
has been the heart of Venetian life since The San Marco area has the bulk of luxury
the early days of the Republic. The great hotels, restaurants and shops. It is also home
showpiece of the Serenissima was the to several imposing churches, three theatres,
Piazza San Marco, conceived as a vista for including the famous Fenice, and a wealth
the Doge’s Palace and the Basilica. The of handsome palazzi. Many of these line the
square, described by Napoleon as “the most sweeping southern curve of the Grand
elegant drawing room in Europe”, was the Canal, which borders the sestiere.

Sights at a Glance
Churches Restaurants see pp242–3
3 Basilica San Marco pp82–7 7 Columns of San Marco and 1 Acqua Pazza 12 Da Raffaele
q San Moisè San Teodoro 2 Ai Assassini 13 Devil’s Forest Pub
e Santa Maria Zobenigo s San Giorgio Maggiore 3 Ai Mercanti 14 Do Forni
y Santo Stefano Streets and Squares 4 Al Bacareto 15 Grand Canal
i San Salvatore 5 Alla Caravella 16 Harry’s Bar
t Campo Santo Stefano
a San Zulian 6 Antico Martini 17 Osteria Da Carla
o Campo San Bartolomeo
Museums and Galleries 7 Bar all’Angolo 18 Osteria Enoteca
p Mercerie
8 Bar Cavatappi San Marco
5 Libreria Sansoviniana Bars 9 Bistrot de Venise 19 Ristorante
6 Museo Archeologico
9 Harry’s Bar 10 Centrale alla Borsa
8 Museo Correr
Theatres 11 Da Ivo 20 Ristorante Quadri
u Museo Fortuny
21 Rosso Pomodoro
Palaces 0 Ridotto
22 Rosticceria
r La Fenice
4 Doge’s Palace pp88–93 San Bartolomeo
w Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo CAMPO SAN
BARTOLOMEO
Historic Buildings and Rialto
Monuments
AP DO
E
RIL

1 Campanile
VIA

N
de
Ri

2 Torre dell’Orologio BO
o

AR
an LC
Gr
di

DE ME
S

A CORTE
RIV TEATRO RC
Sa

al
ER
lv

IA
n CAMPO D.
ad

Ca
o

GUERRA
r
C

o CAMPO
A
Ri

Sant' Angelo di SAN LUCA


LL
E
CALLE D. FUSERI

CAMPO
Sa

SAN BENETO CAMPO CO


EI

MAR
n

RA

CAMPIELLO MANIN S
GA
BE
C

DEL TEATRO AR
FA

IU
D.

CL
.F
BB
AV

Lu

i
RI

er
V

ca

F us
OC
Rio

Rio
na
AT

RA ro
di

MO Ve .
CAMPO C D OLI
LEZ AR
ZE CLLO SANT’ lla B ARC
ANGELO
de

NUOVO PIAZZA
CAMPO SAN MARCO
nt
FRE
Sa
I
RB

SAN
Rio
IO

FANTIN
’A

ZZE
DE

ng

San ste
elo
E

Ve
R IA
LL

Samuele
CA

CPO SAN lle


SAMUELE de CAMPO
Rio SAN MOISE
a CAMPO GIARDINETTI
uc ARZO
io

D CAMPO SAN REALI


XI I M
l
da

d Gigl

l SANTO MAURIZIO GA X
o

de C LAR
Vi

Rio
tíssim

o STEFANO
Ri
Rio
TE

San

ZZI 15 - 16
izio

C BARO San Marco


. PON
n
n

el Sa

Maur

Giardinetti
Mo
Sa

dell’Albero
CALLE GRITTI
Rio S Maria
o

isè
OSE D
C

Ri

Rio d

n
Rio di San

CAMPO
a

al SAN VIDAL San Marco


C D. D

Vallaresso
Gr
and
e Gíglio SAN GIORGIO MAGGIORE

San Giorgio
Ca
na
le
de

Teatro
0 metres 250
lla

Verde
Gr

0 yards 250
az

See also Street Finder


ia

maps 6, 7

Splendid mosaics inside the domes of Basilica San Marco For keys to symbols see back flap
78  VENICE AREA BY AREA

street-by-street: piazza san Marco


Throughout its long history the Piazza San Marco has
witnessed pageants, processions, political activities and
countless Carnival festivities. Tourists flock here in their
thousands, for the Piazza’s eastern end is dominated by
two of the city’s most important historical sights – the
Basilica and the Doge’s Palace. In addition to these
magnificent buildings there is plenty to entertain, with
elegant cafés, open-air orchestras and smart boutiques
beneath the arcades of the Procuratie. So close to the Gondolas Traditionally gondolas
waters of the lagoon, the Piazza is one of the first points have moored in the Bacino Orseolo,
named after Doge Orseolo.
in the city to suffer at acqua alta (high tide). Tourists
and Venetians alike can then be seen picking their
way across the duckboards which are set up to Quadri’s café was the favourite
crisscross the flooded square. haunt of Austrian troops during

Mer c
the Occupation (see p250).

rie
e
e
hi
cc
ve
ie
r at
o cu
pr p i a z z a
8 Museo correr s a n M a r c o
Giovanni Bellini’s Pietà (1455–60) is one of
many Renaissance masterpieces hanging e
ov
in the picture galleries of the Correr. nu
ie
at
ur
oc
pr

the ala napoleonica is the


most recent wing enclosing
the square, built by Napoleon
to create a new ballroom.

caffè Florian (see p250) was the


favourite haunt of 19th-century
literary figures such as Byron,
Dickens and Proust.

the Giardinetti reali


(royal gardens) were
0 metres 75 laid out in the early
0 yards 75
19th century.
San Marco Vallaresso
SAN MARCO  79

2 torre dell’orologio
san polo and
The Madonna on the clock santa croce
tower is greeted each
Epiphany and Ascension by
clockwork figures of the Magi. san marco

piazzetta dei Leoncini


was named after the pair
of porphyry lions which Locator Map
stand in the square. see street Finder, map 7

3 . Basilica san Marco


The remarkable Basilica of St Mark
is a glorious reflection of the city’s
Byzantine connection.
rco
Ma
san
r ga
La
L Le
ca

4 . doge’s palace
Once the Republic’s seat of power and
home to its rulers, the Doge’s Palace,
beside the Basilica, is a triumph of
rio

Gothic architecture.
deL
pi

pa L
az
ze

azz
t t

o
a

Lo o
Mo a rc
n M
sa

7 columns of san Marco 1 . campanile


and san teodoro Today’s tower replaced the one
The columns marked the that collapsed in 1902. The top
main entrance to Venice provides spectacular views
San Marco when the city could be of the city.
reached only by sea.
Giardinetti

6 Museo archeologico
the zecca, designed by The museum sculptures had
Sansovino, was the city mint 5 Libreria sansoviniana
a marked influence on Venetian
until 1870, and gave its name The ornate vaulting of the
Renaissance artists.
to the zecchino or Venetian magnificent library stairway is
ducat. It houses the decorated with frescoes and
Biblioteca Marciana. gilded stucco.
For keys to symbols see back flap
80  VENICE AREA BY AREA

1 Campanile permitting, the peaks of the


Piazza San Marco. Map 7 B2.
Alps. It was from this viewpoint
Tel 041 270 83 11. 4 San Marco. that Galileo demonstrated his
Open daily. Nov–Easter: 9:30am–5pm telescope to Doge Leonardo
(to 4:45pm Sat & Sun); Easter–Oct: Donà in 1609. To do so, he
9am–7pm (Jul–Sep: to 9pm). would have climbed the
Closed in bad weather. & 9 internal ramp. Access today
∑ basilicasanmarco.it is via a lift for which there is
usually a queue. Visitors at the
From the top of St Mark’s top of the tower on the hour
campanile, high above the should note that the five bells
Piazza, visitors can enjoy ring quite loudly. The highly ornamented clock face of the
sublime views of the city, The first tower, completed Torre dell’Orologio
the lagoon and, visibility in 1173, was built as a lighthouse
to assist navigators in the lagoon. 2 Torre
In the Middle Ages, it took on a dell’Orologio
less benevolent role as the sup­
The spire, 98.5 m port for a torture cage where Piazza San Marco. Map 7 B2. Tel 848
(323 ft) high, is offenders were imprisoned 082 000. 4 San Marco. Open 10 &
topped with a 11am Mon–Wed, 2 & 3pm Thu–Sun
and in some cases left to die.
golden weather­ for prebooked tours in English.
The tower’s present appear­
vane designed by Closed 1 Jan, 25 Dec. &
ance dates from the early ∑ torreorologio.visitmuve.it
Bartolomeo Bon. 16th century, when it was
restored by Bartolomeo The richly decorated
The five bells in Bon after an earthquake. Renaissance clock tower stands
the tower each The tower survived on the north side of the Piazza,
had their role the vicissitudes of time over the archway leading to the
during the until 14 July 1902, when Mercerie (see p99). It was built in
Republic. The its foundations gave the late 15th century, and the
marangona way and it collapsed. central section is thought to
tolled the start The only casualties were have been designed by Mauro
and end of the the Loggetta at the foot of Coducci. Displaying the phases
working day; the
the tower and the custo­ of the moon and the zodiac,
malefico warned
dian’s cat. The following the gilt and blue enamel clock
of an execution;
the nona rang at year, with the help of was originally designed with
noon; the mezza many donations, the seafarers in mind. A story was
terza summoned foundation stone was laid spread by scandalmongers that,
senators to the for a campanile “dov’era e once the clock was complete,
Doge’s Palace; com’era” (“where it was the two inventors of the
and the trottiera and how it was”). The new complex clock mechanism
announced a tower was opened on 25 had their eyes gouged out
session of the April (St Mark’s Day) 1912. to prevent them from ever
Great Council. Due to small structural creating a replica.
shifts, work has begun to During Ascension week and
reinforce the foundations. Epiphany, the clock draws large
An internal lift, There is no known end crowds, who watch the figures
installed in 1962, date for the work. of the Magi emerge from side
provides visitors doors to pay their respects to
with access to the Virgin and Child, whose
one of the most figures are set above the clock.
spectacular views At the very top are two huge
across Venice. bronze figures, known as the
Mori, or Moors, which strike
the bell on the hour.
The Loggetta
was built in the The allegorical 3 Basilica San
16th century reliefs from Verona
by Jacopo depict Justice Marco
Sansovino. representing Venice, See pp82–7.
Its Classical Jupiter as Crete and
sculptures Venus as Cyprus. All
celebrate the were carefully rebuilt
glory of the after the Campanile’s
4 Doge’s Palace
Republic. collapse in 1902. See pp88–93.
SAN MARCO  81

5 Libreria 7 Columns of
Sansoviniana San Marco and
Piazzetta (entrance from Museo San Teodoro
Correr). Map 7 B3. Tel 041 240 72 11 Piazzetta. Map 7 C3. 4 San Marco.
(Biblioteca Marciana). 4 San Marco.
Open 10am–5pm daily. Closed
Along with all the bounty from
public hols. & 8 ^
Constantinople came the two
Praised by Andrea Palladio as the huge granite columns which
finest building since antiquity, now tower above the Piazzetta.
the library was designed in the These were said to have been
Classical style by the architect erected in 1172 by the engineer
Jacopo Sansovino. During Nicolò Barattieri, architect of
construction (1537–88) the very first Rialto Bridge. For
the vaulting collapsed; his efforts he was granted
Sansovino was blamed the right to set up
and imprisoned. He was gambling tables A Portrait of a Young Man in a Red Hat by
freed after appeals from between the columns. Carpaccio (c.1490)
eminent acquaintances, A more gruesome
but had to reconstruct spectacle on the same 8 Museo Correr
the building at his spot was the execution Procuratie Nuove (entrance Ala Napo-
own expense. of criminals, which took leonica). Map 7 B2. Tel 041 240 52 11.
At the top of the place here until the mid- 4 San Marco. Open 10am–7pm
monumental stairway 18th century. Even today, daily (Nov–Mar: to 5pm). Closed 1 Jan,
(see p79), behind a booth, superstitious Venetians 25 Dec. & allows access to Libreria
is a rare example of will not be seen walking Sansoviniana & Museo Archeologico.
Jacopo de’ Barbari’s between the columns. ^ - = ∑ correr.visitmuve.it
bird’s-eye map of Venice The western column
dating to 1500. is crowned by a With the 19th-century Royal
The salon is marble statue of Palace serving as backdrop,
sumptuously St Theodore, who a collection of statues by
decorated and was the patron saint Antonio Canova (1757–1822)
features two fine of Venice before is the first exhibit at the Museo
ceiling paintings Columns of San Marco St Mark’s relics were Correr. This is followed by the
by Paolo Veronese, and San Teodoro smuggled from bathroom and boudoir of Sissi,
Arithmetic and Alexandria in AD 828. the Empress Elizabeth, along
Geometry and Music. The statue is a modern copy – with other sumptuous rooms
the original is kept for safety laid out in the 1830s and 1850s
in the Doge’s Palace (see p92). that make up the restored
6 Museo
The second column is Imperial Apartments. The next
Archeologico surmounted by a huge bronze section, titled Venetian Culture,
Piazzetta (9am–7pm: entrance of the Lion of St Mark. Its origin is found in the older Procuratie
from Museo Correr). Map 7 B3. remains a mystery, though it is Nuove. This collection captures
Tel 041 296 76 63. 4 San Marco. thought to be a Chinese the history of the Venetian
Open 10am–7pm daily (Nov–Mar: to chimera with wings added to Republic, from daily life to
5pm). Closed 1 Jan, 25 Dec. & 8 ^ make it look like a Venetian lion. its peculiar public institutions,
In September 1990 the 3,000-kg through maps, armour and
Housed in rooms in both (3-ton) beast went to the British a host of doge-related exhibits.
the Libreria Sansoviniana and Museum in London for extensive On the second floor is the
the Procuratie Nuove, the restoration, and was returned Wunderkammer (Collection
museum provides a quiet with great ceremony and skill of Wonders), which draws from
retreat from the bustle of to the top of the column. the legacy of the wealthy Abbot
San Marco. The collection Teodoro Correr and includes
owes its existence to coins, a narwhal tooth and the
the generosity famous Map of Venice by Jacopo
of Domenico de Barbari. The Pinacoteca picture
Grimani, son of gallery is also located on this floor.
Doge Antonio The images are displayed chrono-
Grimani, who logically so that the evolution of
bequeathed all of Venetian painting is evident. The
his Greek, Roman most famous works in the gallery
and earlier are the Carpaccios: A Portrait of a
sculpture, together with his Fragment from a monumental statue, in Young Man in a Red Hat (c.1490)
library, to the State in 1523. the Museo Archeologico and Two Venetian Ladies (c.1507).
82  VENICE AREA BY AREA

3 Basilica San Marco


This awesome Basilica, built on a Greek cross plan and crowned with five huge
domes, is the third church to stand on this site. The first, built to enshrine the
body of St Mark in the 9th century, was destroyed by fire. The second was pulled
down in the 11th century in order to make way for a more spectacular edifice
designed by an unknown architect (1063–94), reflecting the escalating power
of the Republic. The basilica continued to be remodelled over the following
centuries, and in 1807 it succeeded San Pietro in the sestiere of Castello
(see p124) as the cathedral of Venice; it had until then served
as the doge’s private chapel for State ceremonies.

St Mark and Angels

. Horses of St Mark
The four horses are replicas
of the gilded bronze
originals (see p86), now
protected inside the Basilica.

KEY

1 The Pentecost Dome, showing


the Descent of the Holy Ghost as a . Central
dove, was probably the first dome Doorway
to be decorated with mosaics. Carvings
The central arch features
2 The Ascension Dome features
13th-century carvings of the
a magnificent 13th-century mosaic
Labours of the Month. The grape
of Christ surrounded by angels, the
harvester represents September.
12 Apostles and the Virgin Mary.
3 St Mark’s body, believed lost in
the fire of AD 976, supposedly
reappeared when the new church
was consecrated in 1094. The
remains are housed in the altar.
4 Allegorical mosaics
5 St Mark’s Treasury
6 The so-called Pilasters of Acre
in fact came from a 6th-century . Façade Mosaics
church in Constantinople. A 17th-century mosaic shows the smuggling out of
7 Baptistry Alexandria of St Mark’s body, reputedly under slices
of pork to deter prying Muslims.
BASILICA SAN MARCO  83

St Mark and Angels


VISITORS’ CHECKLIST
The statues crowning the
central arch are additions from
Practical Information
the early 15th century.
Piazza San Marco. Map 7 B2.
Tel 041 270 83 11.
∑ basilicasanmarco.it
Basilica: Open 9:45am–5pm
Mon–Sat, 2–5pm Sun (Nov–
Easter: till 4pm Sun). Museum:
Open 9:45am–4:45pm daily.
Treasury and Pala d'Oro:
Open 9:45am–5pm Mon–Sat,
2–5pm Sun (Nov–Easter: to 4pm
daily). 9 for Treasury only.
& Museum Treasury and Pala
d’Oro only. 5 9 times a day.
Sightseeing is limited during
services. 8 in English twice a
week in season. ^ 9 7 =
Transport
4 San Marco.

Ciborium
The fine alabaster columns of
the altar canopy, or ciborium,
are adorned with scenes
from the New Testament.

. The Tetrarchs
This charming sculptured
group in porphyry
(4th-century Egyptian) is
thought to represent
Diocletian, Maximian,
Valerian and Constance.
Collectively they were the
tetrarchs, appointed by
Diocletian to help rule
the Roman Empire.

Baptistry Mosaics
Herod’s Banquet (1343–54)
is one of the mosaics in a
cycle of scenes from the
life of St John the Baptist.
84  VENICE AREA BY AREA

Inside the Basilica


Dark, mysterious and enriched with the spoils of conquest, the
Basilica is a unique blend of Eastern and Western influences.
This Oriental extravaganza, embellished over a period of six
centuries with fabulous mosaics, marble and carvings, made a
fitting location for the ceremonies of the Serene Republic. It
was here that the doge was presented to the city following his
election, that heads of state, popes, princes and ambassadors
were received, and where sea captains came to pray for
protection before embarking on epic voyages.

Mascoli Chapel
Formerly called the
“New Chapel”, this is
named after an all-
male confraternity,
or mascoli.

North Aisle
The gallery leading off the museum affords
visitors a splendid overall view of the mosaics.

. Pentecost Dome
Showing the Apostles touched by
tongues of flame, the Pentecost Dome
was decorated in the 12th century. Main
entrance

. Atrium Mosaics
In the glittering
Genesis Cupola the
Creation of the World
is described in
concentric circles.
Here, God creates
the fish and birds.
BASILICA SAn mArCo  85

. Pala d’Oro
The magnificent altarpiece, created
in the 10th century by medieval
goldsmiths, is made up of 250 panels
such as this one, each adorned with
enamels and precious stones.

. Ascension Dome
A mosaic of Christ in Glory decorates the
enormous central dome. This masterpiece
was created by 13th-century Venetian
craftsmen, who were strongly influenced
by the art and architecture of Byzantium.

KEY

1 The Porta dei Fiori, or Gate


of Flowers, is decorated with
13th-century reliefs.
2 The columns of the inner
façade are thought to be
fragments of the first basilica.
3 The Baptistry is also called
Chiesa dei Putti (Church of
the Cherubs).
4 South aisle
5 The Altar of the Sacrament
is surrounded by mosaics of the
parables and miracles of Christ
dating from the late 12th or
early 13th century.
6 The sacristy door (always
locked) has fine bronze panels by
Sansovino, including portraits of
himself with Titian and Aretino.
7 The Chapel of St Peter has
a 14th-century altar screen
relief of St Peter worshipped by
. Treasury two Procurators.
A repository for precious
booty from Constantinople, 8 The Altar of the Virgin has a
the Treasury also houses 10th-century icon of the Madonna
ancient Italian works of art, of Nicopeia, which came with the
such as this 12th- or 13th- spoils of war in 1204 (see p46).
century incense burner.
86  VENICE AREA BY AREA

Exploring the Basilica


The Basilica cannot comfortably be covered in one visit. the Stories of Joseph and of
The mosaics, the rich store of eastern bounty, the mysterious Moses in the domes at the north
lighting and the sheer size of the place create a feeling of end. The figures of saints on
either side of the main doorway
confusion for first-time visitors. Make several visits, ideally at date from the 11th century and
different times of the day. The mosaics look especially splendid are among the earliest mosaics
when the church is fully illuminated (11am–12:15pm Mon–Sat, in the church. Just in front of
2–4pm Sun). Visitors with organized the central doorway there is a
tours are often led towards the lozenge of porphyry to mark the
Pala d’Oro and Treasury and spot where the Emperor Frederick
Barbarossa was obliged to make
miss out on other sections peace with Pope Alexander III
of the church. Avoid the in 1177 (see p45).
crowds by visiting early
in the morning or in the
Museo Marciano
evening. If a Mass is in
A precarious stairway from the
progress, visitors are
atrium, marked “Loggia dei
expected to be silent Cavalli”, takes you up to the
and will only be able church museum. The gallery
to visit certain areas. gives a splendid view into the
The Genesis Cupola of the atrium Basilica, while from the exterior
loggia visitors can survey the
Piazza San Marco and take a
to create complex and colourful closer look at the replica horses
Mosaics geometric patterns and beautiful on the church façade. It was
Clothing the domes, walls and scenes of beasts and birds. Some from this panoramic balcony
floor of the basilica are over of these scenes are allegorical. that doges and dignitaries once
4,000 sq m (40,000 sq ft) of The one in the left transept of looked down on ceremonies tak-
gleaming golden mosaics. The two cocks carrying a fox on a ing place in the square. The origi-
earliest, dating from the 12th stick was designed to symbolize nal gilded bronze horses, housed
century, were the work of cunning vanquished by vigilance. in a room at the far end of the
mosaicists from the east. Their museum, were stolen from the
techniques were adopted by top of the Hippodrome (ancient
Venetian craftsmen who Atrium (Vestibule) racecourse) in Constantinople
gradually took over the The 13th-century mosaics in 1204, but their origin, either
decoration, combining decorating the cupolas, vaults Roman or Hellenistic, remains
Byzantine inspiration with and lunettes of the atrium are a mystery. In the same room is
Western influences. During the among the finest in the Basilica. Paolo Veneziano’s 14th-century
16th century, sketches and The scenes depict Old Testament pala feriale, painted with stories
cartoons by Tintoretto, Titian, stories, starting at the southern of St Mark, which once covered
Veronese and other leading end with the Genesis Cupola the Pala d’Oro. Also on show are
artists were reproduced in (showing 26 detailed episodes medieval illuminated
mosaic. The original of the Creation), to manuscripts,
iconographical scheme, fragments of
depicting stories from the ancient mosaics
Testaments, has more or and antique
less been preserved by tapestries.
careful restoration.
Among the finest mosaics
in the basilica are those
decorating the
13th-century central
Dome of the Ascension
and the 12th-century
Dome of the Pentecost
over the nave.
The pavimento, or
basilica floor, spreads out like
an undulating Turkish carpet.
Mosaics, made of marble,
porphyry and glass, are used The Quadriga, the original gilded bronze horses in the museum
BASILICA SAN MARCO  87

from the island of Chios and


transported to Venice in 1125.
To its left the Mascoli Chapel,
used in the early 17th century
by the confraternity of Mascoli
(men), is decorated with scenes
from the life of the Virgin Mary.
The altarpiece has statues
depicting the Virgin and Child
between St Mark and St John.
The third chapel in the left
transept is home to the icon
of the Madonna of Nicopeia.
Looted in 1204, she was
formerly carried into battle at
Noah and the Flood – atrium mosaics from the 13th century the head of the Byzantine army.

Sanctuary and Pala d’Oro Baptistry and Chapels


Beyond the Chapel of The Baptistry (open for
St Clement, tickets are sold to prayer only) was added in
view the most valuable treasure the 14th century by Doge
of San Marco: the Pala d’Oro. Andrea Dandolo (1343–54)
This jewel-spangled altarpiece who is buried here. Under
situated behind the high his direction the Baptistry
altar consists of 250 enamel was decorated with outstanding
paintings on gold foil, enclosed mosaics depicting scenes from
within a gilded the lives of Christ and John the
silver Gothic Baptist. Sansovino, who
frame. Originally designed the font, is buried
commissioned in by the altar.
Byzantium in The adjoining Zen Chapel
AD 976, the (open for prayer only) originally
altarpiece was formed part of the atrium.
embellished It became a funeral chapel for The revered icon of the Nicopeia Madonna,
over the Cardinal Zen in 1504 in return once a war insignia
centuries. for his bequest to the State.
Following the fall In the left transept of the
of the Republic, Basilica the Chapel of St Isidore, Treasury
Napoleon helped normally accessible only for Although plundered after the
himself to some worship, was also built by fall of the Republic and much
of the precious Dandolo. Mosaics in the barrel- depleted by the fund-raising
stones, but the vault ceiling tell the tale of the sale of jewels in the early
screen still saint, whose body was stolen 19th century, the treasury
gleams nevertheless has a precious
Statue of with pearls, collection of Byzantine
St Mark on the rubies, sap- silver, gold and glasswork.
iconostasis phires and Today, most of the
amethysts. treasures are housed in
The iconostasis, the a room whose remarkably
screen dividing nave thick walls are believed
from chancel, is adorned to have been a 9th-century
with marble Gothic tower of the Doge’s Palace.
statues of the Virgin and Exhibits include chalices,
Apostles, and was carved goblets, reliquaries, two
in 1394 by the Dalle intricate icons of the
Masegne brothers. archangel Michael and
Above the high altar an 11th-century silver-gilt
the imposing green reliquary made in the
marble baldacchino form of a five-domed
is supported by finely basilica (see p85). The
carved alabaster columns sanctuary, with over
featuring scenes from The archangel Michael, a Byzantine icon from the 100 reliquaries, is normally
the New Testament. 11th century in the Treasury open to the public.
88  VENICE AREA BY AREA

4 Doge’s Palace
The Palazzo Ducale started life in the
9th century as a fortified castle, but this and
several subsequent buildings were destroyed
by a series of fires. The existing palace owes its
external appearance to the building work of the
14th and early 15th centuries. The designers
broke with tradition by perching the bulk of the
Arco Foscari
pink Verona marble palace on lace-like Istrian The Adam and Eve figures on this triumphal
stone arcades, with a portico supported by arch in the courtyard are copies of the
columns below. The result is a light and airy 15th-century originals by Antonio Rizzo.
masterpiece of Gothic architecture.

. Porta della Carta


This 15th-century Gothic
gate was the principal
entrance to the palace.
From it, a vaulted
passageway leads to the
Arco Foscari and the
internal courtyard.

Exit

KEY

1 The balcony on the west façade


was added in 1536 to mirror the early
15th-century balcony looking on to
the quay.
2 Sala dei Tre Capi (Chamber
of the Three Heads of the Council
of Ten)
3 Sala della Bussola (Compass . Giants’ Staircase
Room) This late 15th-century
staircase by Antonio Rizzo
4 Ponte della Paglia (see p117)
was used for ceremonial
5 Adam and Eve with the serpent purposes. It was on the
are depicted in stone on the corner landing at the top that the
of the Piazzetta. doges were crowned with
the glittering zogia.
D O G E ’ S PA L A C E  89

VISITORS’ CHECKLIST

Practical Information
Piazzetta. Map 7 C2.
Tel 041 427 308 92.
∑ palazzoducale.visitmuve.it
Open 8:30am–7pm daily (Nov–
Mar: to 5:30pm). Last adm: 1 hr
before closing. Secret Itineraries
(in English, 9:55am, 10:45am &
11:35am daily), Doge’s Hidden
Treasures (in English, 11:45am):
book in advance at the palace,
on the website, or on the phone.
Closed 1 Jan, 25 Dec. & ^ 9
Torture Chamber = - 7 partial.
“The court of the room of the Bridge of Sighs
Cord” recalls the practice of The famous bridge was crossed Transport
4 San Marco.
interrogating suspects as they by offenders on their way to the
hung by their wrists. State interrogators.

Drunkenness of Noah
This early 15th-century
sculpture, symbolic of the
frailty of man, is set on the
corner of the palace.

Main
entrance

Sala del Maggior Consiglio


An entire wall of the Great Council Hall is
taken up by Domenico and Jacopo
Tintoretto’s Paradise (1588–92).
90  VENICE AREA BY AREA

Inside the Doge’s Palace


From the early days of the Republic, the Doge’s
Palace was the seat of the government, the
Palace of Justice and the home of the doge. For
centuries this was the only building in Venice
entitled to the name palazzo (the others were
merely called Ca’, short for Casa). The power of
the Serenissima is ever present in the large and
allegorical historical paintings which embellish
the walls and ceilings of the splendid halls and
chambers. These ornate rooms are testament
to the glory of the Venetian Republic,
and were designed to impress and Colonnade
overawe visiting ambassadors Sunlight streams
and dignitaries. through the arches of
the Loggia on the first
floor of the palace.

Key to Floorplan Mars


State Apartments The Giants’ Staircase is
Collegium and Senate Rooms
named after Sansovino’s
monumental figures,
Council of Ten and Armoury statues of Mars
Great Council Rooms and Neptune,
Prisons sculpted in 1567.
Non-exhibition space

Ground floor

Scala d’Oro
Sansovino’s lavish staircase was built between 1554
and 1558. The arched ceiling is embellished with
gilded stucco by Alessandro Vittoria.

Exit through Porta


della Carta

Wellhead
The two 16th-century bronze
wellheads in the courtyard
are considered to be the
finest in Venice.
D O G E ’ S PA L A C E  91

. Collegiate Rooms
Bacchus and Ariadne Crowned
by Venus is the finest of four
mythological scenes by
Tintoretto in the Anticollegio.

Third floor

The Sala del Consiglio


dei Dieci has a ceiling
decorated with paintings
by Veronese (1553–4).

Sala dello Scudo


The walls of this room
are covered with maps of
the world. In the centre
are two huge 18th-
century globes.

First floor

Second floor

. Sala del Maggior Consiglio


The first 76 doges, with the exception of the traitor Marin Falier,
are portrayed on a frieze around the upper walls of the room.

Special Tours
Two fascinating guided tours take
visitors behind the scenes to rooms
that regular visitors don’t get to
see (see Visitors’ Checklist p89). The
Secret Itineraries tour explores the
offices and Hall of the Chancellery,
the State Inquisitors’ room, the
Torture Chamber and the prisons. It
was from these cells that Casanova
made his spectacular escape in
. Prisons 1755. The Doge’s Hidden Treasures
Entrance These 16th-century cells were tour exhibits the beautifully
mainly used for petty offenders. restored private apartment of
Serious criminals were lodged Venice’s ruler, including his chapel. Casanova’s cell door
in the dank pozzi (wells).
92  vEnIcE ArEA by ArEA

Exploring the Doge’s Palace


A tour of the palace takes visitors through a
Sala delle Quattro Porte
succession of richly decorated chambers and halls. to Sala del Senato
The rooms are on four levels, and they all have name
The second flight of the Scala
boards carrying an explanation of their function in
d’Oro leads to the third floor
Italian and English. The latest equipment available and its council chambers. The
is an up-to-date infrared audioguide, which can first room, the Sala delle Quattro
be hired for a commentary on the whole palace Porte, was completely rebuilt
or just the areas that are of particular interest. after the 1574 fire, its ceiling
Allow plenty of time for the visit, and try to take designed by Andrea Palladio
and frescoed by Tintoretto.
a break at the coffee shop. Located at water level, The next room, the
it affords evocative views of gondolas gliding Anticollegio, was the waiting
past in the canal. room. The end walls are
decorated with mythological
St Theodore in the scenes by Tintoretto: Vulcan’s
Courtyard palace courtyard Forge, Mercury and the Graces,
The courtyard is reached via a Bacchus and Ariadne and
vaulted passage from the Porta carved chimneypieces Minerva Dismissing Mars, all
del Frumento. At the top of the in some of the rooms give an painted in 1578. Veronese’s
Giants’ Staircase, on the idea of the doges’ lifestyle. The masterly Rape of Europa (1580),
opposite side of the courtyard, most ornate is the Sala degli opposite the window, is one
new doges were crowned with Scarlatti, with a richly carved of the most eyecatching
the zogia or dogal cap. gilt ceiling, a fireplace (c.1501) works in the palace.
designed by Off the
Antonio and Tullio Anticollegio, the
Scala d’Oro and State Lombardo and a Sala del Collegio
Apartments relief (1501–21) by was the hall where
The sumptuous Scala d’Oro Pietro Lombardo the doge and his
(“golden staircase”), built of Doge Leonardo councillors met to
between 1538 and 1559, was Loredan at the feet receive ambassa-
designed by Jacopo Sansovino. of the Virgin. dors and discuss
It takes its name, however, from The Sala dello matters of State.
the elaborate gilt stucco vault, Scudo, or map Embellishing the
which was added by Alessandro room, contains A bocca di leone used for magnificent
Vittoria (1554–8). The doge’s maps and charts. denouncing tax evaders ceiling are
private apartments on the The picture gallery 11 paintings by
second floor were built after further on features works Veronese (c.1577), of which
the fire of 1483 and later looted by Vittore Carpaccio and the most notable – in the
on the orders of Napoleon. Giovanni Bellini, and some centre, far end – is Justice and
They are bare of incongruous wooden Peace Offering Sword, Scales
furnishings, but demoniac and Olive Branch to Venice.
the lavish panels by It was in the next room, the
ceilings and Hieronymus Sala del Senato, that the doge
colossal Bosch. would sit with some 200
senators to discuss matters
such as foreign affairs or
nominations of ambassadors.
The wall and ceiling paintings,
by pupils of Tintoretto or the
master himself, are further
propaganda for the Republic.

Sala del Consiglio dei


Dieci to the Armeria
The route returns through the
Sala delle Quattro Porte to the
Sala del Consiglio dei Dieci. This
was the meeting room of the
Veronese’s Dialectic (c.1577), awesomely powerful Council of
Sala del Collegio Ten, founded in 1310 to
D O G E ’ S PA L A C E  93

investigate and prosecute 3,000 guests were entertained


crimes concerning the security in this spectacular room.
of the State. Napoleon pilfered By the mid-16th century the
some of the Veroneses from the Great Council had around 2,000
ceiling but two of the finest members. Any Venetian of high
found their way back here in birth over 25 was entitled to a
1920: Age and Youth and Juno seat – with the exception of
Offering the Ducal Crown to those married to a commoner.
Venice (both 1553–4). From 1646, by which time the
In the next room, the Sala della Turkish wars had depleted State
Bussola, offenders awaited coffers, nobility from the
their fate in front of the terra firma or those
Council of Ten. The from merchant or View of the lagoon through a grille on the
room’s bocca di professional classes Bridge of Sighs
leone (lion’s with 100,000
mouth), used to ducats to spare
post secret could purchase Prisons
denunciations, their way in. From the Sala del Maggior
was just one of Tintoretto’s Consiglio a series of
several within huge, highly passageways and stairways
the palace. The restored work leads to the Bridge of Sighs
wooden door called Paradise (see p117), which links the palace
here leads to the (1587–90) to what were known as the
rooms of the occupies the New Prisons, built between
Heads of the Ten, eastern wall. 1556 and 1595.
the State Measuring 7.45 by Situated at the top of the
Inquisitors’ Room 24.65 m (25 by 81 ft), palace, just below the leaded
and thence to the it is one of the largest roof, are the piombi cells
torture chamber and paintings in the (piombo means “lead”). These
prisons. This is the Age and Youth (1553–54) world. For a man in cells are hardly inviting, but
route taken by those by Veronese his late seventies, prisoners here were far more
on the Secret Itinerary. albeit assisted by comfortable than the criminals
Others follow the flow to his son, it is a remarkably who were left to fester in the
the Armoury – one of the finest vigorous composition. pozzi – the dark dank dungeons
collections in Europe, thanks The ceiling of the hall is at ground level. The windowless
in part to bequests by decorated with panels cells of these ancient prisons are
European monarchs. glorifying the Republic. One still covered with the graffiti of
of the finest is Veronese’s the convicts. Visitors on the
Apotheosis of Venice (1583). Secret Itinerary tour are shown
Sala del Maggior A frieze along the walls illustrates Casanova’s cell in the piombi
Consiglio 76 doges by Tintoretto’s pupils. and told of how he made his
Another staircase, the Scala dei The portrait covered by a curtain daring escape from the palace
Censori, leads down to the is Marin Falier, beheaded for through a hole in the roof.
second floor, along the hallway treason in 1355. The other 42 Visits end with the offices of
and past the Sala del Guariento doges are portrayed in the Sala the Avogaria, where the state
with fresco fragments of The dello Scrutinio, where new prosecutors (avogadori)
Coronation of the Virgin by doges were nominated. prepared the trials.
Guariento (1365–7). From the
liagò, or veranda, where Antonio
Rizzo’s marble statues of Adam
and Eve (1480s) are displayed,
visitors pass into the
magnificent Sala del Maggior
Consiglio or Hall of the Great
Council. A chamber of
monumental proportions, it was
here that the Great Council
convened to vote on
constitutional questions, to pass
laws and elect the top officials
of the Serene Republic. The hall
was also used for State
banquets. When Henry III of
France paid a royal visit, The splendid Sala del Maggior Consiglio, the hall of the Great Council
94  VENICE AREA BY AREA

Street-by-Street: Around La Fenice


West of the huge expanse of the ever-crowded Piazza San Campo San Fantin has a
Marco there is a labyrinth of alleys to explore. At the centre of late Renaissance church,
San Fantin, with a
this part of the sestiere is Campo San Fantin, flanked by the particularly beautiful apse
Renaissance church of San Fantin. Nearby is the Ateneo designed by Jacopo
Veneto, formerly a scuola whose members had the unenviable Sansovino.

CA nin
MA
role of escorting prisoners to the scaffold. The narrow streets

Mp
around these sights have some wonderfully exotic little

o
shops, while the Calle Larga XXII Marzo, further south, boasts
big names in Italian fashion. The quarter in general has some iA
eS
RT

Ri
excellent restaurants but, being San Marco, the prices C o

o
in the majority of establishments are fairly steep. d

d
C

i
C
A
LL
A

e
n
o

d V
R
e
V

eR
d

o
A
r . La Fenice

n
io
R
The opera house
gained its name (“the
phoenix”) after a fire in
1836. Destroyed by fire
again in 1996, it is now
beautifully restored.

CA SAn in
FA

Mp
iCe
en
nT

o
CALLe deL LA F

e
ST
Ve
L Le
de
Rio
igLio

C A L L e d e L p i o VA n

R i o d e L L’ A L b e R o

The Rio delle Veste leads past the rear of the theatre.
Adg

This is the route taken by those fortunate enough to


arrive for their night out by gondola.
MARi
Rio S

0 metres 75

0 yards 75
e Santa Maria Zobenigo
The carvings feature the Barbaro
Key family, who paid for the church
façade. Ground-level reliefs show
Suggested route towns where the family held high-
ranking posts.
For hotels and restaurants in this region see pp232–5 and pp242–9
SAN MARCO  95

San polo and


Santa croce

C aLLe DeI FuSerI

dorSoduro

De
o Can Locator Map
DL
LLe See Street Finder, map 7
Ca

The statue of Daniele Manin, leader


of the 1848 uprising, stands on
Campo Manin gazing towards the
house where he once lived.
S
a

SerI
n

Fu
o
L

rI
u

w Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo


C
a

This palazzo is often difficult to find, but


worth seeking out for its fairy-tale
LI external stairway (c.1499).
ro
Ca
B ar
eI
C D

roL
T Ta
eL Fru
CD SC Ina
I PI
CD
DI
PISC erIa
zz
Fre
o
oL
gn
Fre

Bo
L Le
Ca
zze
rIa

rI
o
D
e e
IS
Mo
I
Ba

S
CaL

SC Frezzeria, in medieval
PI
rCa

SaL San MoISe times, was the street


Le

o
C aMP
where citizens went to
roLI

San
D v

e
MoIS purchase their arrows
eST

(frecce). Its shops now


sell exotic clothes.
e

II
a XX
arg
Le L rzo
CaL Ma

Calle Larga XXII


Marzo was named
after 22 March
1848, the day of
Manin’s rebellion. q . San Moisè
Today the street is The exuberant Baroque façade of
best known for its San Moisè (c.1668) was funded by a
trendy designer legacy from the patrician Vincenzo Fini,
boutiques. whose bust features above a side door.
96  VENICE AREA BY AREA

9 Harry’s Bar q San Moisè


Calle Vallaresso 1323. Map 7 B3. Campo San Moisè. Map 7 A3.
4 San Marco. See also Restaurants Tel 041 724 10 44. 4 San Marco.
p243, Bars and Cafés pp250–51. Open 9:30am–12:30pm & 3:30–
7:30pm Mon–Sat, 9:30am–12:30pm &
Celebrated for cocktails, 2:30–6:30pm Sun.
carpaccio and American clientele,
Harry’s Bar is famous throughout A church that people love
Venice. Founded in 1931 by the to hate, San Moisè displays
late Giuseppe Cipriani, it was a ponderous Baroque façade.
financed by a Bostonian called Completed in 1668, it is covered
Harry who thought Venice had in grimy statues, swags and busts.
a dearth of decent bars. They John Ruskin, in a characteristic
chose a storeroom at the Grand anti­Baroque outrage,
Canal end of the Calle Vallaresso described it as the
as their location, conveniently clumsiest church
close to the Piazza San Marco. in Venice. The interior
Since then, has a mixed collection
the bar of paintings and
has seen sculpture from
a steady the 17th and
stream of 18th centuries.
American visitors, In the nave is
among them Ernest the tombstone
Hemingway, who Ernest Hemingway, a regular of John Law, a
used to come here at Harry’s Bar Scottish financier
after shooting in the who founded
lagoon. The bar became the the Compagnie d’Occident to The external stairway of the Palazzo
most popular venue in Venice, develop the Mississippi Valley. Contarini del Bovolo
patronized by royalty, film stars His shares collapsed in 1770 in
and heads of state. the notorious South Sea Bubble, stairway. In Venetian dialect
These days there are far and he fled to Venice, surviving bovolo means “snail shell”,
more American tourists than on his winnings at the Ridotto. appropriate to the spiral shape
famous figures, often there of the stairway. The ticket
to sample the Bellini cocktail for the Palazzo Contarini del
that Cipriani invented (see p243). Bovolo also admits you to
Aesthetically, the place is unre­ the Tintoretto room located
markable and there is no on the second floor, which
terrace for meals alfresco. houses a collection of art from
the 16th and 17th centuries.

0 Ridotto e Santa Maria


Calle del Ridotto, 1332 San Marco.
Map 7 B3. Tel 041 520 02 11. 4 San
Zobenigo
Marco. Open to hotel guests and on Campo Santa Maria del Giglio. Map 6
request. ∑ hotelmonaco.it F3. Tel 041 275 04 62. 4 Santa Maria
del Giglio. Open 10am–4pm Mon–Sat.
In an effort to control the Closed 1 Jan, Easter, 15 Aug, 25 Dec.
gambling mania that swept Façade of San Moisè, encrusted with & ^ 9 = ∑ chorusvenezia.org
Venice in the 1600s, the State Baroque ornamentation
allowed Marco Dandolo to use Named after the Jubanico family,
his palace as the first public who are said to have founded it
gaming house in Europe. In 1638 w Palazzo Contarini in the 9th century, this church is
the Ridotto was opened, with del Bovolo also referred to as “del Giglio” (“of
the proviso that players came Corte Contarini del Bovolo, 4299 San
the lily”). The exuberant Baroque
disguised in a mask. In 1774 the Marco. Map 7 A2. Tel 041 309 66 05. façade was financed by the
Great Council closed the casino’s 4 Rialto or Sant’Angelo. Open 10am– affluent Barbaro family and was
doors on account of the number 1:30pm, 2–6pm daily. & 8 ∑ scala used to glorify their naval and
of Venetians ruined at its tables. contarinidelbovolo.com diplomatic achievements.
In 1947, the old Palazzo Inside is a tiny museum of
Dandolo was converted into a Tucked away in a maze of alleys church ornaments and paintings
theatre. Now restored, it is part (follow signs from Campo including The Sacred Family
of the Monaco and Grand Canal Manin), this palazzo is best attributed to Rubens and
hotel (see p232). known for its graceful external two works by Tintoretto.
SAN MARCO  97

r La Fenice
Campo San Fantin. Map 7 A3. Box
office Tel 041 24 24. 4 San Marco.
8 ∑ teatrolafenice.it

Theatre houses were


enormously popular in the
18th century and La Fenice,
the city’s oldest theatre, was
no exception. Built in 1792 in
Classical style, it was one of
several privately owned theatres
showing plays and operas to
audiences from all strata of Shop in Campo Santo Stefano selling antiques and masks
society. In December 1836, a
fire destroyed the interior but t Campo Santo No. 2945, Palazzo Loredan, is the
a year later it was resurrected, Stefano home of the Venetian Institute
just like the mythical bird, the of Sciences, Letters and Arts.
Map 6 F3. 4 Accademia or
phoenix (fenice) which is said
Sant’Angelo.
to have arisen from its ashes.
Another fire in early 1996 Also known as Campo
again destroyed the theatre, Francesco Morosini after the
except for its façade. Now 17th-century doge who once
beautifully rebuilt, La Fenice lived here, this campo is one of
shares the concert and opera the most spacious in the city.
season with the Malibran Bullfights were staged until
Theatre near Rialto. 1802, when a stand fell and
Throughout the 19th century killed some of the spectators.
the name of La Fenice was It was also a venue for balls and
linked with great Italian Carnival festivities. Today it is
composers. The many operatic a pleasantly informal square
premieres that took place where children play and visitors
here include Verdi’s La Traviata drink coffee in open-air cafés.
(1853) and Rossini’s Tancredi The central statue is Nicolò
(1813) and Semiramide (1823). Tommaseo (1802–74), a
During the Austrian Occupation Dalmatian scholar who was
(see p51) red, white and green a central figure in the 1848 The ceiling of Santo Stefano, in the form of
flowers, symbolizing the Italian rebellion against the Austrians. a ship’s keel
flag, were thrown on stage, to At the southern end of the
shouts of “Viva Verdi” – the square the austere-looking y Santo Stefano
letters of the composer’s name Palazzo Pisani, overlooking the Campo Santo Stefano. Map 6 F2.
standing for “Vittorio Emanuele Campiello Pisani, has been the Tel 041 275 04 62. 4 Accademia
Re d’Italia”. More recently, the Conservatory of Music since the or Sant’Angelo. Open 10am–4pm
theatre saw premieres of end of the 19th century. Music Mon–Sat. Closed 1 Jan, Easter,
Stravinsky’s The Rake’s wafts from its open windows all 15 Aug, 25 Dec. & Sacristy only.
Progress (1951) and Britten’s through the year. On the 9 ^ = ∑ chorusvenezia.org
Turn of the Screw (1954). opposite side of the square,
Deconsecrated six times on
account of the violence that
took place within its walls,
Santo Stefano today is
remarkably serene. Built in
the 14th century and radically
altered in the 15th, the church
has a notable carved portal
by Bartolomeo Bon and a
campanile with a typical
Venetian tilt. The interior has
a splendid ship’s-keel ceiling,
carved tie-beams and tall pillars
of Veronese marble. The most
notable works of art, including
some paintings by Tintoretto,
La Fenice, rebuilt after it was destroyed by fire in 1996 are housed in the damp sacristy.
98  VENICE AREA BY AREA

which is squeezed between


shops along the Mercerie. The
present church was designed
by Giorgio Spavento in the early
16th century, and continued by
Tullio Lombardo and Jacopo
Sansovino. The pictorial
highlight is Titian’s Annunciation
(1566) over the third altar on
the right. Nearby, Sansovino’s
monument to Doge Francesco
Venier (1556–61) is one of
several Mannerist tombs in
the church.
On the high altar is Titian’s
Transfiguration of Christ (1560).
The end of the right transept is
dominated by a vast monument
to Caterina Cornaro, Queen of
Cyprus (see p47). Executed by
the sculptor Bernardino Contino
in c.1580–84, the tomb shows
the queen handing over her
kingdom to the doge.

o Campo San
Bartolomeo
Map 7 B1. 4 Rialto.

Close to the Rialto, the square


of San Bartolomeo bustles with
life, particularly in the early
Courtyard of the Palazzo Pesaro, where Fortuny lived evening, when young Venetians
rendezvous here. They meet at
u Museo Fortuny The large rooms and portego cafés, bars or by the statue of
Palazzo Pesaro degli Orfei, Campo San
make a splendid setting for the Carlo Goldoni (1707–93),
Beneto, San Marco 3958. Map 6 F2. precious Fortuny fabrics. Woven Venice’s prolific and most
Tel 041 520 09 95. 4 Sant’Angelo. with gold and silver threads, celebrated playwright. His
Open during exhibitions only. & ^ these were created by Fortuny’s statue, in a fitting spot for a
∑ fortuny.visitmuve.it reintroduction of Renaissance writer who drew his inspiration
techniques and use of ancient from daily social intercourse, is
Known principally for his fantastic dyes. The collection also by Antonio del Zotto (1883).
pleated silk dresses, Fortuny was includes paintings by Fortuny,
also a painter, sculptor, set decorative panels and a few of
designer, photographer and the finely pleated, clinging silk
scientist. One of his inventions dresses regarded as a milestone
was the Fortuny Dome, which in early 20th-century women’s
is used in theatre performances fashion. Today, the rooms are
to create the illusion of sky. open during visiting design
Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo, and photo exhbitions.
or Don Mariano as he liked to
be called, was born in 1871 in
Granada and moved to Venice i San Salvatore
in 1889. In the early 20th century Campo San Salvatore. Map 7 B1.
he purchased the Palazzo Pesaro, Tel 041 523 67 17. 4 Rialto.
a late Gothic palazzo that had Open 9am–noon, 4–6:30pm Mon–
originally been owned by the Sat. ∑ chiesasansalvador.it
fabulously rich and influential
Pesaro family. Fortuny spent The interior of this church is an
the remainder of his life here excellent example of Venetian
and both the house and its Renaissance architecture. If the
contents were bequeathed main door is closed visitors can The beautiful Renaissance interior of the
to the city by his wife in 1956. enter by the side entrance, church of San Salvatore
SAN MARCO  99

alleys, lined by small shops and a San Zulian


boutiques. The 17th­century
Campo San Zulian. Map 7 B2.
English author John Evelyn Tel 041 523 53 83. 4 San Marco.
described it as “the most Open 8:30am–7pm daily. 5 in
delicious streete in the World English: 10:30am Sun.
for the sweetnesse of it …
tapisstry’d as it were, with Cloth On the busy Mercerie, the
of Gold, rich Damasks & other church of San Zulian (or
silk”. He wrote of perfumers, Giuliano) provides a refuge
apothecary shops and from the crowded alleys.
nightingales in cages. Today all Its interior features gilded
this has been replaced with woodwork, 16th­ and
fashions, footwear and glass. 17th­century paintings, and
At the southern sculpture. The central panel
end, the relief over of the frescoed ceiling
St George and Dragon bas-relief on a corner the first archway on portrays The Apotheosis
of the Mercerie the left portrays the of St Julian,
woman who in painted in 1585
p Mercerie 1310 accidentally by Palma il
Map 7 B2. 4 San Marco or Rialto.
stopped a revolt. Giovane. The
She dropped her 16th­century church
Divided into the Merceria pestle out of the façade was designed
dell’Orologio, Merceria di San window, killing the by Sansovino and paid
Zulian and Merceria di San standard­bearer of for by the rich and
Salvatore, this is, and always has a rebel army. They Bronze statue of immodest physician
been, a principal shopping retreated, and the Tommaso Rangone Tommaso Rangone.
thoroughfare. Linking Piazza San woman was given a His bronze statue
Marco with the Rialto, it is made guarantee that her rent stands out against the white
from a string of narrow, bustling would never be raised. Istrian stone walls.

s San Giorgio In the Chapel of the Dead is


Maggiore his last work, The Deposition
(1592–4), finished by his
Map 8 D4. Tel 041 522 78 27. 4 San son Domenico.
Giorgio. Open 9:30am–12:30pm, The top of the tall campanile,
2:30–4:30pm (later in summer). &
reached by a lift, affords a
Foundation: Tel 041 271 04 02. Open
superb panorama of the
10am–5pm Sat & Sun (Oct–Mar: to
4pm). & 8 in English: 11am, 1pm &
city and lagoon.
3pm (also 5pm in summer). ∑ cini.it Centuries ago Benedictine
monks occupied the original Cloisters designed by Palladio in the monastery
Appearing like a stage set monastery, which was rebuilt of San Giorgio Maggiore
across the water from the in the 13th century following
Piazzetta, the little island of an earthquake. It 1797 (see p50) the monastery
San Giorgio Maggiore has later became a was suppressed and its
been captured on canvas centre of learning treasures plundered.
countless times. and a residence for In 1829 the island became a
The church and monastery, eminent foreign free port, and in 1851 the head­
built between 1559 and 1580, visitors. Following quarters of the artillery. By this
are among Andrea Palladio’s the Fall of the time it had changed out of
greatest architectural Republic in recognition. The complex
achievements. The church’s regained its role as an active
temple front and the spacious, cultural centre when the
serene interior with its perfect monastery, embracing Palladio’s
proportions and cool beauty cloisters, refectory and library,
are typically Palladian in that was purchased in 1951 by
they are modelled on the Count Vittorio Cini. Today it is
Classical style of ancient a thriving centre of Venetian
Rome. Within the church, culture, with international
the major works of art are events and exhibitions.
the two late Tintorettos on In the middle of the park on
the chancel walls: The Last the island is an evocative open­
Supper and Gathering of Palladio’s church of San Giorgio Maggiore on the air amphitheatre, or Teatro Verde,
the Manna (both 1594). island of the same name of white Vicenza stone.
VENICE AREA BY AREA  101

SAN POLO AND SANTA CROCE


The sestieri of San Polo and Santa Croce, local bars. The bustle of the market gives way
bordered by the upper sweep of the Grand to a maze of narrow alleys opening on to
Canal, were both named after churches which squares. Focal points are the spacious
stood within their boundaries. The first Campo San Polo, the Frari church and the
inhabitants are said to have settled on the neighbouring Scuola di San Rocco. Santa
cluster of small islands called Rivus Altus Croce for the most part is a sestiere of very
(high bank) or Rialto. When markets were narrow, tightly packed streets and squares
established in the 11th century, the quarter where you will see the humbler side of
became the commercial hub of Venice. San Venetian life. Its grandest palazzi line the
Polo is still one of the liveliest sestieri of the Grand Canal. Less alluring is the Piazzale Roma,
city, with its market stalls, small shops and the city’s giant car park, lying to the west.

Sights at a Glance
Churches t Museo di Storia Naturale Restaurants see pp243–4
2 San Giacomo di Rialto u Palazzo Mocenigo 1 Al Nono Risorto
4 San Cassiano i Ca’ Pesaro 2 Al Prosecco
6 San Polo Streets and Squares 3 Antica Bessetta
8 Santa Maria Gloriosa 4 Antiche Carampane
5 Campo San Polo
dei Frari pp106–7 5 Da Fiore
0 San Rocco Bridges 6 Dona Onesta
q San Pantalon 1 Rialto Bridge 7 Impronta Café
w San Nicolò da Tolentino Markets 8 Osteria alla Patatina
e San Giovanni Evangelista 9 Poste Vecie
3 Rialto Markets
r San Giacomo dell’Orio 10 Il Rèfolo
y San Stae 11 Trattoria alla Madonna
Museums and Galleries 12 La Zucca
7 Casa di Goldoni
9 Scuola Grande di San Rocco
pp110–11

Riva di Bíasio
i
rch
Degolà

SIO San Stae


BIA
Tu

e DI
C a G IO

nd
on
d.

A
a RIV
O
r

Gr
aco

E
’T

CAMPO
RN
.M

SAN STAE
ónd

FO
Zan

CD
o

RI
Ri
RF

A
ae
D.

IB
al
CMPO
DE
St

S SIMEON CD
C
San

n LO TA Ri .T
a O PROFETA LIS o IN
rri

TO
C CC d.
n

To

I R
Sa

M
SANTA CROCE eg
P

io
N

di
Rio di

Do
EO

CAMPO
Ri
SIM

SA

NAZARIO
Rio

lle
M

SAURO CAMPO D.
IE

CAMPO S
ar

de
N

PESCHERIA
rie
CH

GIACOMO
SA

in

cca
I

Ri Rialto
ER

L FM DELL’ORIO o
TA

NA
o

CAMPIELLO
D.

TT

Be

TA Mercato
Rio

di
an

CA
FM

MUNEGHE RI Sa
ssi

TE O NI
IB

CAMPO
C

n
Ca

E OR M
OV Bo AN
DE

AR S BOLDO
lle

U C ld OV
n

N I
I

Rd

N GI
de
TIN

E o
Sa

AS CAMPO DI
LL

Rio
.C
iS

S AGOSTIN
CA
EN

CT di
S
an

San
o

IA

lo
Ri
di
TOL

Z u an
t’

Po
CH

e
ZO

STP
Rio

an
EC

LACC S V
AZ

A di RG
SAN POLO
DEI

P
Ag

M o
CA CAMPO Ri
ost

CAMPO DEI C SAN STIN CAMPO


Rio dell
ino

TOLENTINI SAN IN
POLO V
CAMPO SAN
FMT A

L
DE
Rio

de A SILVESTRO
R
ER VA
a Ma d

lle
Rio

T . RI
Mu IO SAL LO
Ri

FM ne e R O
o

S. P
di S

TA gh CAMPO i F San
d

M IN
onn

O et ra
TTO te CAMPO
D. FRARI ri Silvestro
an

etta

SAN
Po

ROCCO
de
lo

CORTE an
Gr
P RE T R CAMPO
GALLO I CC D . io de SAN
RO lla
SE TOMA l
RA Fre
na
Ca
s
ca

CAMPO S
da

PANTALON

San Tomà

0 metres 250

0 yards 250 See also Street Finder


maps 1, 2, 5, 6, 7

The landmark Rialto Bridge spanning the Grand Canal in the heart of Venice For keys to symbols see back flap
102  VENICE AREA BY AREA

Street-by-Street: San Polo


The Rialto Bridge and markets make this a 4 San Cassiano
magnet for tourists. Traditionally the city’s Inside this church is
a carved altar (1696)
commercial quarter, it was here that and a Crucifixion by
bankers, brokers and merchants Tintoretto (1568).
conducted their affairs. Streets are no O
N
longer lined with stalls selling spices and IA
S
fine fabrics, but the food markets and S
A
C
pasta shops are a colourful sight. The old- N
A
fashioned standing-only bars called bacari S E
IL
are packed with locals. In contrast, Riva N
PA
del Vin to the south, by the Grand M
CA
Canal, is strictly tourist territory. EL
D

CA AS
E
LL

M SI
C
CA

PO AN
I
I R

SA O
D E
T

N
IO T
O

C
R B

D
I

CR
E

IS
D

TI
E
L
L
A
C
R

IE
T

R
D

A
C
C

Ponte Storto EC
A