10 Things NOT To Do in Venice by Marco Secchi

In this article we’ll share with you what to do in Venice but it won’t include your standard itinerary. We are going to tell you how to see Venice in a different perspective, suggesting to you what you can avoid, that all the others normally do!

1. Don’t attempt to see all the sights – pick a few and see them well Even in shoulder season (late April/May), the crowds in Venice are so vast that it’s impossible to speed around the city – a pace that’s required for maximum sightseeing. Do yourself a favour: take the pressure off, pick a couple of must-sees and see them properly. Venice has history in spades and it’s best explored with an insider to take you through the stories that make up city’s history. For example, did you know that the copper horses at the top of St mark’s Basilica are replicas? The real ones, which are thought to be the oldest on earth at about 2,000 years old, are located inside the terrace. Life size, it’s hard to imagine how these four horses have moved over the centuries from Constantinople to Rome and Paris (where they sat on top of the Arc de Triomph after Napoleon stole them)

2. Don’t stare across at the Bridge of Sighs – Go INSIDE the bridge and stare out If only Venice could triple the size of the bridge opposite the famous Bridge of Sighs, the congestion along the waterfront in Venice would ease around 50%* (*random guestimate). But clearly, that’s never going to happen and in order to get a good look at the Bridge of Sighs you’re going to need to battle with the tour groups, selfie-stick wielding couples and people who are otherwise simply trying to squeeze by. But what bemuses me most about the fracas to get a shot in front of the Bridge of Sighs is that the whole significance of the bridge is the views it gives out over Venice. In case you didn’t know, the bridge is so named because prisoners inside the Doge Palace would walk through the interior of the bridge on the way to their execution in St Mark’s Square. The bridge and the tiny lattice gaps gave prisoners their very last view out over Venice before they died. And that last view is thought to have induced a final sigh at Venice’s beauty, hence the name: Bridge of Sighs

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3. Don’t pay tourist prices (+$5) for coffee – spend under $1.50, like the locals Sit yourself down for a mid-sightseeing coffee at Cafe Florian overlooking St Mark’s Square and you’ll be charged €6 for the music. We are not talking about a collection hat that comes around. I’m talking about an actual €6 cover charge. That’s in addition to your coffee price (€3 for an espresso, €5 for a cappuccino and €7 for filter coffee). Walk a few paces to the right of Cafe Florian and the coffee price plummets to €1.20 for an espresso. You have to shuffle in among the locals and drink your coffee standing (which is how the Italians do it anyway) but for a quick caffeine fix while still enjoying being in the square, this is a much better option.

4. Don’t take a Gondola ride – take an Electric Boat tour instead One of the biggest appeals of the City of Canals is the water and how everything is conducted on it. Deliveries are made, commutes occur, children travel to school and even ambulances take the form of a boat. Once upon a time, Gondola’s used to be nothing more than a reality of Venetian life. These days, with more tourists than locals, the gondolas exist largely for tourist purposes. Instead, take a tour with an Electric boat towards the smaller islands with Classic Boat Venice. The Southern Lagoon is defined by the long stretching islands of Lido and Pellestrina on the sea side. Some of the small islands like Poveglia and San Spirito are abandoned today but have fascinating histories. Others like San Clemente or Sacca Sessola are now exclusive hotel islands.

5. Ascend San Giorgio Maggiore for the best views in Venice Head over to the small island of San Giorigo Maggiore and climb the bell tower there instead (well, not climb – it’s actually a lift/elevator and there is no climbing option). By ascending the bell tower across the way, you get panoramic views across the whole of Venice island, including the famous campanile.

6. Don’t linger around San Marco – head to Canareggio for crowd-free Venice The few locals left in Venice’s historic centre tend to spend most of their time in the Canareggio district and if you make the effort to head away from the water and the highlights of San Marco, where most of the day trippers tend to linger, you’ll see the crowds thin significantly. As though another part of Venice has opened up, with a modern shopping street but also the history of the Jewish Ghetto, in Canareggio you can spend a few hours getting to know real Venice without the crowds.

7. Don’t play Russian Roulette with the food – take a food by the locals At the millennial Rialto Fish Market you will find the best fish and fresh fruit and vegetables. All the venetians go there to buy their food! Then around the city there are a lot of small local bakery or market where you can find fresh and tasty local products, like Baccalà Mantecato, or Sarde in Saor.

8. Don’t go for a Bellini at Harry’s Bar – have a spritz with the locals Having a Bellini at Harry’s bar in Venice is a bit like taking a Gondola ride – for some people, they just have to do it. If you didn’t know, the Bellini was invented in Venice by the owner of Harry’s bar. If you don’t want to set yourself up for a Bellini, get on the Aperol Spritz. Perhaps the most popular aperitivo you will see in Venice (and the rest of Italy) the Aperol spritz is a cocktail made with a large measure of Apersol (similar to Campari but much sweeter), topped with Prosecco, chilled with ice and served with a slice of orange. Be warned, it’s hard to tell how potent this all-booze drink is and it has a tendency to evaporate (from your glass into your mouth).

9. Don’t order pizza – have risotto or seafood instead Did you know that there’s a law in Venice prohibiting wood-fired ovens? The rule makes sense given so much of the city is made of wood and we hardly want to see the Venice catch alight. In a country where food is highly regional, you’ll do your taste buds a favour if you stick to what’s local. So when in Venice, look out for risotto, polenta, seafood and tiramisu. If you’re brave enough, try the "sepe al nero" – cuttlefish served with ink.

10. Don’t sweat away your day in crowds – see Venice at night Finally, if all the day crowds want to make you jump into the lagoon, take some solace in the fact that once the night arrives, the city quietens considerably. St Mark’s Square seems to expand back to its grand size; the bridges are passable and the narrow streets are near empty and inviting.

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Tips for visiting Venice during Art Biennale by Marco Secchi

Dating back to 1895, Art Biennale is one of the oldest art exhibitions in the world. Created to give voice to art and artists, the festival now celebrates all forms of art including cinema, theatre, dance and architecture.


The 58th International Art Exhibition, titled "May You Live In Interesting Times", will take place from 11 May to 24 November 2019 (Pre-opening on 8, 9, 10 May). The title is a phrase of English invention that has long been mistakenly cited as an ancient Chinese curse that invokes periods of uncertainty, crisis and turmoil; "interesting times", exactly as the ones we live in today.

The 58th Exhibition is curated by Ralph Rugoff, currently the director of the Hayward Gallery in London. Between 1985 and 2002 he wrote art and cultural criticism for numerous periodicals, publishing widely in art magazines as well as newspapers, and published a collection of essays, Circus Americanus (1995). During the same period he began working as an independent curator.

Local tip: All exhibitions and collateral events held outside Giardini and Arsenale are usually free admission. How to spot them? Easy! Just look for the red square with the white lion, the recognisable symbol of Biennale, along the streets of Venice.

How to get there

The Giardini pavilion and Arsenale are reachable by public transportation and both are walkable distance from Piazza San Marco. Our big tip is to buy a public transportation pass and jump on a waterbus to get to Giardini. From the train and bus station, get on line 5.1 and get off at Giardini della Biennale; the pavilion’s entrance is just in front of the water bus station.

To avoid the crowds — especially on the first opening week, weekends and last days of Biennale — we suggest you get up early and be there as the gates open. You can actually visit Giardini and Arsenale on two separate days with your purchased ticket, so that you have enough time to explore not only Castello, but some other Biennale locations scattered all over the city.

Explore Castello

The Venice Giardini in the Castello district is an area of parkland that hosts the Biennale Art Festival. Here’s what you need to know to explore Castello.

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This district is considered the most truly Venetian district. Castello has quiet residential streets where everyone knows each other, filled with that old-style community vibe that we love about this beautiful city. Get lost in intricate maze alleys, visit the oldest Basilica in town, sip coffee overlooking the gardens and get a real taste of our cuisine at some local taverns. You can actually spend an entire day just exploring and immersing yourself in this authentic part of Venice.

Fill up with good coffee and a delicious cake slice at La Serra dei Giardini, a fantastic greenhouse built in 1894, that now hosts not only a great flower shop, but also a relaxing coffee shop. All year round it hosts special workshops for kids and adults, and concerts are exceptional during summer.

Get your kicks on and walk through the long tree-lined street towards Via Garibaldi; turn right and ask for San Pietro di Castello basilica. This church dates back to 822, one of the oldest churches in the city that hosts one of the most loved festivals in town at the end of June.

While exploring the area, you will most likely end up towards the main street Via Garibaldi, once a canal that has been covered to make way for this amazing street filled with small taverns and bars. It is hard to choose the best, but our favourites are without doubt El Refolo with its high stools, great wines and tasty panini; and Salumeria, a former delicatessen shop, transformed by some young Venetians into a new, hip bar. Stop at both for some local cicchetti and wine. While cicchetti are considered appetisers by most people, trust us: a full plate of them makes for a good lunch.

Finish up your day relaxing in Sant’Elena, the extreme part of Venice, famous for its luscious green areas and beautiful views on Saint Mark’s Basin. Not only during the day for some relaxing time under the trees, but also at sunset for views of the city under the gorgeous, golden light.

20 Great Things to do in Venice 6/20 - Art by Marco Secchi

Tour the Venetian masters of art

Venice is a unique and precious repository of art. From the late Middle Ages until the mid 18th century, artists of the highest caliber left thier mark all over the city and works by Venice's grand masters Titian (c1488-1576), Tintoretto (c1518-94), Canaletto (1697-1768) and Tiepolo (1727-1804) can still be viewed in situ today. See Titian’s glorious 'Assumption' above the high altar at I Frari, Tintoretto's epic masterpiece 'Crucifixion' at Scuola Grande di San Rocco, and Tiepolo's monumental frescos at the Pietà and Ca’ Rezzonico.

For a one-stop-shop of Venice’s foremost artistic treasures, head for the Gallerie dell’Accademia.

VENICE, ITALY - NOVEMBER 23:  Two women admire two different paintings by Lorenzo Lotto at the press preview of Tribute to Lorenzo Lotto - The Hermitage Paintings at Accademia Gallery on November 23, 2011 in Venice, Italy. The exhibition which includes two very rare & never seen before paintings opens from the 24th November 2011 to 26th February 2012 in Italy. (Marco Secchi/Getty Images)

#myunexpectedvenice by Marco Secchi

We are launching today on our Instagram channel https://www.instagram.com/veniceoriginalphotowalk/ our new hashtag ....Do you have strange and unusual images of Venice? something odd you have captured? Do tag us and use #myunexpectedvenice

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Photo by Simone Padovani

#myunexpectedvenice #venice #photowalk #veniceoriginalphotowalk #photography #discover #betterphotowalk

Spring in Venice by Marco Secchi

Spring in Venice has the scent of the first warm rays of sunshine on the bottom, aperitifs enjoyed in the field and the color of mimosa trees that sprout from unsuspected hidden gardens, between a church and a palace of the sixteenth century.

These are the most difficult things to tell when talking about Venice. The beauty of this island is unquestionable: its most famous attractions, the famous foreshortenings, Piazza San Marco and the gondolas between the canals are well impressed in our minds. But Venice is much more than the sum of its individual wonders, and to miss it when you take a vacation right here is a real shame.


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Let yourself be guided by instinct, relax and try to recognize the essence of this particular city. Take the details, dwell on the architecture of less known buildings (many buildings, even non-noble ones, are more than five hundred years old and are still regularly inhabited by Venetians); take advantage of the spring sun rays to stop and contemplate the tranquility of a secluded little square, of an unknown canal, without the anxiety of having to visit all the most famous attractions; plan your itinerary and feel free to modify it at every step without warning, giving up without worries instagrammatissime attractions to accidentally discover lesser-known little pearls in the sestieri less traveled.

Spring blooms will awaken your attention to the many secret gardens of Venice that you can enjoy even just through a fleeting glance through gates and railings. Observe the rising and falling tides, adapt to its rhythm and identify yourself with the "breath of Venice", in its millennial balance between sea and surface.

One thing is certain, you will not regret it.

Where to Go For Aperitivo and Cicchetti in Venice by Marco Secchi

The Italian version of happy hour and the local version of tapas come together for a uniquely Venetian evening activity: the bacaro-tour. In the evenings, people go from bar to bar, drinking wine or spritz and eating different little bites of food. It’s a way to spend the evening tasting many different things in a lively atmosphere. Not only will it be cheaper than eating out, it might also be more authentic. While there are restaurants that serve as tourist traps, cicchetti bars cater primarily to locals, so you’re sure to eat something delicious.

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AL MERCA

This tiny bar near Rialto market is packed full with tiny sandwiches, meatballs, tramezzini and other such nibbles. People love to hang out in the campo here, so get something delicious and sit amongst the buzzing crowd.

AL BOTTEGON

A super-traditional bacaro run by three generations of one family, this place is a local favourite and a must for cicchetti aficionados. You’ll find all kinds of deliciousness behind the counter, from thinly sliced wisps of lard topped with honey, to tuna with mayonnaise and dark cocoa. They also sell vino sfuso by the liter.

OSTERIA AL SQUERO

It’s just down the street from Al Bottegon, but has a younger, livelier vibe. Beloved by students of the nearby Ca’ Foscari, this bar gets really crowded towards late afternoon. The drinks are well-made and the snacks are heavenly.

ALLA VEDOVA

It’s a cosy tavern serving good, simple food, but everyone knows you’re here for the polpette, crispy pork meatballs that go down easy with an ombra of wine. Mingle with the neighbourhood clientele and eat your snacks standing up while enjoying the convivial atmosphere.

ALL'ARCO

You’ll find a range of incredible dishes served up cicchetti-style, with an emphasis on local seafood. It’s a favourite of gondoliers working nearby. If you want to have a quick but scrumptious lunch this is the place, but get there early or all the tastiest morsels will be gone.

CANTINA DO MORI

This place dates back to 1462, an incredible feat in itself. The cantina’s traditional mindset is reflected in the decor, with lots of shiny copper pots hanging from the ceiling. Make sure to get the special, which is a tiny sandwich called the francobollo, or ‘postage stamp’.

BACARO RISORTO

This tiny bar sits at a busy intersection, and you’ll always find its clientele gathered on the street corner under its awnings. Though the space is limited, the fare is excellent. In the afternoon, you’ll sit with parents drinking spritz while their children play in the calle, and in the evening, you’ll join a lively, local crowd.

Venice from the Campanile! by Marco Secchi

A visit to Venice is not complete unless you seize the opportunity to admire the city from above...


With its 99 metres of height, St Mark’s Campanile offers the best view over the city and its lagoon! However, many visitors often skip this fascinating landmark discouraged because of long queues at the entrance, and prefer spending more time sightseeing, but you can book online your St Mark's Campanile tickets: the price includes a privileged skip-the-line entrance to San Marco Bell Tower which permits you to avoid the wastage of your precious time.

The imposing structure of the St Mark’s Bell Tower in Venice - and especially its great height – gives the profile of Venice an unmistakable symbol of greatness: the St Mark’s Campanile in Venice overlooks the entire city and the surrounding lagoon, allowing those who climb it, particularly on clear days, to enjoy far-reaching views that extend almost as far as the Alps.

Built with the purpose of serving as a beacon for sailors of the lagoon, the original Piazza San Marco Bell Tower was built on Roman foundations - probably a watch tower - and completed in 1173. After various changes and transformations over the centuries, the current form of the Campanile of St. Mark's Square Venice is in line with the architecture of the 15th century, when it was renovated and designed by Giorgio Terror, under the direction of Bartolomeo Bon. The main differences can be seen in the marble belfry, the addition of the upper structure with four faces – on which the Lion of San Marco and Venice appear - and the slender spire of bronze bearing on the tip a golden statue of the Archangel Gabriel which, placed on a turntable, acts as a wind vane. The height of St Mark’s Campanile is almost 100 m.

Each of the five bells placed in the loggia of St Mark's Campanile has a role: the 'Marangona' - the only surviving original - announced the beginning and end of the working days of the 'cormorant' (carpenters Arsenal) and meetings of the Great Council; the 'Nona' marks the south and the 'Trottiera' warned the nobles who were attending the meetings of the Great Council, and the 'Mezza Terza' informed the meeting of the Senate, and finally the 'Malefico' informed of an execution.

In the history of science, the Campanile in St Mark’s Square in Venice reached its moment of glory in 1609 when Galileo proved right here the effectiveness of his telescope.

A special mention is deserved for the loggia of St Mark's Campanile - at the base of the tower - facing the basilica, which was built in the 16th century by Jacopo Sansovino. The marble structure of the loggia is decorated with statues and portraits of classical taste that represent allegories to celebrate the Venice Republic. The loggia was also the seat of the guard of Arsenalotti, the prestigious military-corporation of workers employed in the Arsenal of Venice, who stood guard at the meetings of the Great Council. Along with the bell tower, the work of Sansovino 'separates' St Mark’s Square from the smaller St Mark’s square.

On 14 July 1902 the St Mark’s Bell Tower Venice collapsed on the square: fortunately with no casualties or serious damage to the surrounding architectural treasures, but the tower and below the loggia were almost completely destroyed. Recovering what was left of the original fragments, the San Marco Campanile was rebuilt 'where it was and how it was' - the famous phrase given by the mayor Grimani in his speech after the incident – on 25 April 1912.

For those wishing to visit Venice, the majestic St Mark's Campanile admission and Sansovino loggia remain one of the attractions not-to-be-missed.

St Mark’s Campanile opening times for skip-the-line entrance

The service is only available from 1 April to 31 October. St Mark’s Campanile Venice tickets can be purchased online up to 10 minutes before the selected entrance time.

Please note that, during the daytime, there are at least two time options available per hour (12 places available for each option) according to the time slot you choose to access the Campanile di San Marco with skip-the-line service.

10.15 / 10.30 / 10.45 am

11.15 / 11.30 / 11.45 am

12.15 / 12.30 / 12.45 pm

1.15 / 1.30 / 1.45 pm

2.15 / 2.30 / 2.45 pm

3.00 / 3.30 / 3.45 pm

4.15 / 4.30 / 4.45 pm

5.00 / 5.15 / 5.30 / 5.45 pm

6.00 pm

Campanile di San Marco ticket price: €8.00 (this ticket can be purchased only on the spot and does not include the skip-the-line access)

Campanile San Marco tickets with skip-the-line access

Full: €13.00

Concessions

Children up to 5 years old: free

From 6 to 18 years old: €9.00

PLEASE NOTE: to enjoy free admission to the bell tower, children up to 5 years old have to be held in their parents' arms. Otherwise children need a reduced ticket 6-18 years old because, as a matter of fact, they take up one of the places available in the lift.

You can go up and down the bell tower exclusively via lift: it is not possible to walk up, therefore this visit is not recommended to those who suffer from claustrophobia.

The visit to St Mark’s Campanile in Venice, Italy, will be suspended in case of unfavourable weather conditions (fog, strong wind, intense cold temperatures, ...).

For ticket holders with skip-the-line access to St Mark’s Campanile, the entrance door is located on the side of the tower connected to St Mark’s Square: once you are in front of the Campanile main entrance, you will find the door for visitors with online booking on the right. The voucher you receive at the end of the booking process contains all the instructions to help you reach the meeting place.

The online reservation for Campanile San Marco in Venice (ticket + skip-the-line service) is non-refundable: once the payment has been made, the booking cannot be changed and/or cancelled.

For reasons of force majeure (e.g. high water level) or in days with high turnout, the waiting time to go up the bell tower could last longer than expected. If such were the case, please respect the instructions given by the staff on site.

Crossing Venice Grand Canal by Gondola by Marco Secchi

Crossing the Venice Grand Canal by Gondola is a very interesting experience. Do not miss it Discover the real Venice with one of our photo walk tour . Video by Simone Padovani

The word "traghetto" means "ferry." In Venice, it describes a large gondola rowed by two oarsmen.

Half a dozen traghetto lines cross the Grand Canal, and most of them have been operated by the same families for generations.

How to ride a traghetto:

As you're walking around Venice, look for yellow or white "Traghetto" signs, or find traghetto routes on your map.

Follow the signs down to the water, where you'll find a wooden boat pier.

Board the traghetto and hand €2,-- to an oarsman. (If you don't have exact change, use a small banknote.)

Find a place to sit. (Venetians traditionally stand during the crossing, but sitting is safer if you aren't used to bobbing boats.)

When the boat arrives on the other side of the Grand Canal, exit promptly.

Two of the most reliable are:

Pescaria (Rialto fish market) - Santa Sofia (near Ca' d'Oro):

San Tomà - Sant'Angelo:

Note: Traghetti operate during daylight hours only, often with a break for lunch. There are no official timetables: The boats travel back and forth almost continuously, taking two or three minutes to cross the Grand Canal.

Tourist Tax in Venice by Marco Secchi

Visiting Venice will now cost an extra few Euros even if you don't stay overnight. The Italian city's council has approved a visitors' tax, brought in as part of the 2019 budget, which will target daytrippers and help to pay for essential services like rubbish collection and cleaning. Day tourists will be charged €3 for the rest of 2019, to double next year. Variations for high and low traffic days mean the tax will range from €3 to €10.

Anyone born in Venice, studying, living or working there will be exempt, as will children under six years old and people visiting family. Tourists will have to go to transport and tourism agencies to pay the tax. Although Venice has not stated how it will enforce the tax, anyone flouting it could face a fine of €450. Only about one-fifth of all visitors to the city spend at least one night in the historic centre. The iconic make-up of the city means maintenance and security costs are extremely high, and the mayor Luigi Brugnaro said the substantial costs have so far been paid "only by Venetians." According to city officials, maintaining public buildings in Venice costs a third more than it does on the mainland, with vital materials and equipment having to be brought in by boat and much of the cleaning done by hand.

 Venezia. 2016. OIC residential centre for old people. ©Simone Padovani





Islands of the Venetian Lagoon by Marco Secchi

If you are seeking the pure essence of La Serenissima, the lagoon has many bewildering wonders to experience.

The Venetian lagoon is a 55,000-hectare stretch of water, the largest wetland in Italy and one of the most important coastal ecosystems in the Mediterranean. The environmental and its heritage was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and it envelops various hidden gems and islands that a lucky few can explore.

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These are some of the islands you can enjoy in the Venetian Lagoon:

Burano, laces and fishing tourism

All visitors of Burano remain intrigued by the many colours and the colorful houses that are reflected into the green waters of channels, by the leaning bell tower, by the tranquility and the calmness with which the elderly ladies embroider original Burano lace by their tombolo (or lace pillow), while they are laughing and chatting in squares among them. It seems to be in paradise. Children who dart freely with their bicycles, balconies with multicolored flowers, fishermen who put up fresh fish from their traditional boats.



Although in lacemaking in Burano is the main craftsmanship attraction, enchanting is also the "lume glass working": a technique born in the nearby island of Murano, but also widespread in the other islands of the Venetian Lagoon. Burano is not an exception to this and it is quite easy to come across some little shops where you can admire this type of Murano glass processing. Real glass factories in miniature, such as the shop located in Fondamenta Giudecca 132, inside a typical and small green house.

If you search for a place to eat like a local, Burano is very famous for its fish dishes, the most famous of which is the "risotto de gò": the broth in which the rice is cooked and creamed is extracted from the "gò" a fish typical of the Venice lagoon, known in English under the name of "goby". The dishes of the Burano's cuisine are served in restaurants, who despite being known from the point of view of the quality of the service, in the kitchen maintain the genuineness of a typical old "trattoria buranella" (a Burano's tavern) and where you can still eat delicious fresh fish.

Pellestrina island

The ideal time to come is the summer, when the inhabitants of Pellestrina organize the festival of the “Madonna dell’Apparizione” (Our Lady of the Apparition), and visit the beautiful sanctuary that was built in 1717 on the site where the Virgin Mary appeared to a young boy and advised him to pray for the salvation of Venice. It was the time when the city was besieged by the Turks, and the following day, the Venetians won the Battle against their opposers.

Torcello Island

Torcello is an enchanting island, populated by only 10 Venetians, and is mostly known for “Attila’s Throne” — an ancient stone chair that probably belonged to the Podestà and had nothing to do with the king of the Huns — The Devil’s Bridge, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, and the Locanda Cipriani.

But a real treat that is for the few is the Casa Museo Andrich, where artists Lucio Andrich and Clementina De Luca lived. Andrich was an Italian painter, engraver, sculptor and mosaicist, who collaborated with his wife Clementina, producing a body of work of about 1,300 art pieces. Their enchanting property is also an educational farm, where you can learn about their cultivation techniques, the wildlife populating the lagoon and the history of its formation.

Torcello was an inspiration for creative minds such as Ernest Hemingway, who spent some time on the island during the late forties writing "Across the River and Into the Trees." The same poetic flair can be captured by the legacy of Andrich’s creations.

Sant'Erasmo island

Sant'Erasmo is an island that is part of the Northern Venetian Lagoon, it's sparsely inhabited but second in size after Venice.

It is one of the few islands in the Lagoon of Venice where cars are present, even if only the residents can drive them because there isn't any way for a tourist to bring his car on the island.

Sant'Erasmo is located in the exact center between Burano, Murano and Punta Sabbioni and its position gives it a fertile land so as to be the Venetian Lagoon's agricultural island, rich in orchards and vineyards: very famous are the violet artichoke of Sant'Erasmo.

The island of Sant'Erasmo is reachable from the "Venice Fondamente Nove", "Treporti Ricevitoria" or "Murano Faro"'s water-bus stop through the ACTV public ferry line or with a private transfer.

Santa Cristina Island

The lagoon has more private islands than you would expect. But some of these are abandoned, or have been acquired by big corporations and transformed into luxury hotels, such as San Clemente Palace Kempinski. But there also private islands that have been transformed into eco-resorts, where the sumptuousness of being sheltered in nature is the epitome of haute villégiature.

That is the case with the ravishing Santa Cristina Island, that has been transformed by the Austrian couple Rene and Sandra Deutsch into a sublime retreat for exclusive guests, who can wander around the stupendous gardens, populated by peacocks and various bird species.

This exclusive sanctuary of well-being, that is accessible only by private boat, is fully sustainable. Isola Santa Cristina produces its own fresh drinking water, with wells that go hundreds of meters deep, harnessing cutting-edge technology to clean the water. The hotel’s vegetable patch is curated by local agronomists and an ancient fishing farm has been reprised thanks to the collaboration with the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice.

La Certosa island

The island of La Certosa is a a green oasis in the Venetian lagoon.

La Certosa Island spreads across 22 hectares and is considered a green oasis of the Venetian lagoon. The humungous park is characterized by thickets of white, black and ash poplars, alternating with non-native tree and shrub species.

In ancient times it was called the Isola di Sant'Andrea del Lido or also Isola di San Bruno in honor of the founder of the Carthusian Order. The charter house consisted of two islands separated by a long canal and in 1424 the Church of Sant’ Andrea Apostolo, that was built by Pietro Lombardo.

Here you can admire masterpieces by Titian, Palma il Giovane, Bartolomeo Vivarini and Tintoretto. Two Doges were buried in this church and several weddings are still celebrated with bucolic flair, as wild goats roam about.

Isola del Lazzaretto Nuovo

The Isola del Lazzaretto Nuovo (New Quarantine) should not be mistaken with the Lazzaretto Vecchio (Old Quarantine), which in 1423 was a plague hospital and today is the headquarters of the Venice Film Festival's Virtual Reality installations. The Lazzaretto Nuovo was built later, in 1468, for incoming ships and cargo, where crews and goods were inspected for signs of sickness.

The island can be visited between April and October, only on Saturdays and Sundays. You will see the chief building on the island, the “Tezon Grande,” that used to store the goods from quarantined ships. Under the regime of Napoleon, and later the Austrians, the Lazzaretto Nuovo was used as the lagoon’s military defense system, known as “Le Fortificazioni,” that today is used as an exhibition space.



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San Francesco del Deserto Island

The San Francesco del Deserto Island was anciently called Isola delle Due Vigne (Island of the Two Vineyards) and was owned by the Venetian nobleman Jacopo Michiel. It changed name when in 1233 he donated the island to the Franciscan Order, after Saint Francis resided on the island for a short time. The suffix “of the Desert” (del Deserto) was added later, when the island was abandoned for a brief period due to the plague.

You may visit San Francesco del Deserto with a private boat that will leave you on a small dock, that leads to the entrance of the monastery. Once you arrive to the friary and ring the bell, you will be greeted by a monk who will guide you across the holy island. This is an opportunity to plunge into the historical-religious culture of Sant Francesco del Deserto, as well as to enjoy the peace and tranquility that the place offers.

La Poveglia

This seven hectare uninhabited island is not open to the public, but with a private boat you can go on a pic-picnic excursion, and most importantly on a haunting adventure. La Poveglia — that was known in antiquity as Popilia, for the abundance of popular trees — is famous for its ghost stories.

In the 1700s it became a quarantine for the Bubonic plague, and during the twentieth century the island was said to be populated by phantoms — 160,000 bodies had been dumped on the island which is why halff the soil is human ash. In 1922 a building was erected on La Poveglia. The archives officially claim it was a retirement home for the elderly, but testimonies have a different version to the story: apparently it was used as an asylum. It closed down in 1946, but in the meantime there are legends of a sadist psychiatrist who lobotomized his patients, who were haunted by the souls of those who died during the plague. The doctor reportedly threw himself off the bell tower, claiming to be driven mad by the apparitions of his victims.

In the meantime some visitors have declared to have walked past objects that were standing on side of the ruined building, and as they returned later during the day were placed in a completely different area. Hence, La Poveglia is a must-see for all aspiring ghostbusters!

VENICE COSTUMES - THE ORIGIN by Marco Secchi

Up to 3,000,000 visitors visit the Carnival of Venice, Italy every year. They come from around the world to see the splendors of Venice and enjoy a centuries old carnival tradition. The Carnival in Venice began only in 1296, when a decree of the Senate declared a public holiday the day before the beginning of Lent.

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The Venice Carnival characters included jugglers, acrobats, musicians and dancers. They organized all kinds of events, including performances and exhibitions absorbing so much attention that Venetians business and production activities became less important. For many centuries, the celebration of the Carnival in Venice would last six weeks, from December 26 to Ash Wednesday.

Soon a close relationship started between theatre and carnival: in fact, as well as large outdoor parties, small performances and shows of various kinds were organized in private homes, theatres and cafes in Venice. In the eighteenth century the Venice Carnival became a real institution. Visited each year by thousands of visitors, the prestigious festival of Carnival in Venice at that time reached its zenith and international recognition: the effervescent and transgressive atmosphere, the comedy, masks, spectacular shows and the public gambling house made Venice 'The magnet of Europe'.

However, the intent of the Carnival in Venice, the origins and meaning of the festival, an opportunity to vent tensions and discontentment, caused the opposite effect: the ability to completely hide one’s identity in traditional Venice Carnival costumes and fancy masks increasingly became the perfect place for theft and harassment of various kinds.

These serious excesses forced the Venetian Republic to issue a series of decrees to limit abuses and fraudulent use of masks and costumes in Venice, measures that gradually went to undermine the very essence of the Carnival in Venice and the origins of freedom and equality. After sunset, under the cover of darkness, the Venetian Carnival transgressed into something more sinister, mysterious attackers could freely commit crimes of various kinds with the certainty of impunity thanks to the anonymity guaranteed by the mask. Since 1339 a ban was decreed on Venice Carnival masks and costumes at night.

Another abuse was the opportunity to wear women’s clothes or religious costumes to break into churches, monasteries or convents and commit indecent acts and libertines. During Venice Carnival in the 15th century therefore it was forbidden to enter holy places wearing masks. The threat to the safety of the inhabitants of Venice was due to the possibility for criminals to hide weapons and other dangerous objects under Venice Carnival costumes. Numerous official documents containing the prohibition to carry objects of a dangerous nature were therefore issued. Venice Carnival 18th century also forbade travelling to the casinos with masks and carnival costumes, due to the numerous incidents in which unknown gamblers were able to escape their creditors.

With the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797, a permanent ban of Venice Carnival costumes arrived, with the exception of private parties in Venetian palaces and the Ballo della Cavalchina at the La Fenice Theatre: the Venice Carnival history was hard hit and a long period of decline ensued that led to the gradual shutdown of all parties connected to it. The last Carnival in Venice is dated at 1797. The fall of the Republic at the hands of Napoleon marked the end of the long independence of Venice and the abolition of the many traditions of the Venetian Carnival for about two centuries. Only from 1967 the first parties were reorganized with parades of masks and costumes, bringing back to life traditions and the Venice Carnival history. In 1979 a program to engage the inhabitants of Venice in the Venetian festivities was drafted for the first time to return the Carnival of Venice to its origins.

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Venetian Traditional Carnival Food by Marco Secchi

Where to taste and how to cook them

Are you coming to Venice during Carnival? Then you cannot visit the city during the long celebrations of Carnival and don't try the traditional Venetian Carnival food and may you even want to make these pastries at your own place once you’re back.

The Venetian must-to-eat sweets are: the so-called "frittella", a couple of "castagnole" and some "galani".

Don’t feel guilty if you can’t stop eating frittelle once in Venice, is part of the trip in this period of the year!

Here a small list of our favourite places where you can taste these sweets:


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1. Nonno Colussi

Since 1956 Nonno Colussi has been making his desserts (including the famous "fugassa", the Venetian focaccia which is a sort of Pandoro thousand times more genuine and good, soft like a feather pillow), exclusively in the open laboratory in his shop. The sweets of the "grandfather" Colussi are very popular and, according to the Venetians, this is one of the best pastry shops in Venice.

Calle Lunga San Barnaba, Dorsoduro 2867A

2. Pasticceria Tonolo

Since 1886 one of the most famous and renowned pastry shops in the city. Frequented by Venetians, and of course tourists (recommended by locals), is always assaulted not only for the delicacy of pastries and brioche but also for the low price and for the generous portions of desserts.

Crosera San Pantalon, Dorsoduro 3764.

3. Laboratorio Castelli

One of the last real pastry laboratories still existing in Venice. For over 30 years, clients have been delighted with: Venetian bars, pastry shops, restaurants and hotels. Bake daily brioche, frolle, pies, muffins, cakes, pizzas, pretzels and much more. Mythical (and almost unobtainable in the Venetian bars where nowadays many use to buy frozen ones) its brioches with custard and chantilly cream as well as its Venetian pancakes, prepared both classic and with zabaglione, and / or with delicate chantilly cream.

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4. Rosa Salva

A name, a guarantee. The legendary Ermenegildo Rosa Salva produced the fritoe in the old way, with the buso (with hole), baked daily are then distributed in the various Rosa Salva stores in Venice and Mestre. The classic version, with raisins and pine nuts, supports the production of those with custard and zabaione.

San Marco 950. Calle Fubera.

5. Pasticceria Marchini

The activity of the Vio Family has been present in Venice for over 40 years. Since 1974 he has been producing and selling his collection of high quality traditional sweets: the "Antichi Golosessi Venexiani". Wide selection of desserts and savories for aperitifs and lunch breaks.

RECIPES


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Here you can find the basic recepies for cooking at home these 3 tipycal sweets of Carnival. Enjoy and let us know how good you made them!

FRITTELLE

If you’ve been to Venice before during Carnival, you’ll probably have already tasted the frittelle, in all their variations, in fact, there are cream frittelle, frittelle with raisin, frittelle with zabaglione or chocolate but we are sure you don’t know the recipe yet.

250gr flour

30gr sugar

1 glass of milk

30gr pine nuts

Yeast

1 egg

30 gr raisin

Lemon peel

Peanut seed oil for frying

In a large bowl mix the yeast with a glass of warm milk and 50gr of flour, then let it rest for a while, at least until the mixture has doubled its volume.

In the main time, allow the raisins to soak in warm water for a full 30 minutes.

Take the mixture you’ve prepared earlier, and add the rest of the flour, an egg, 30gr of sugar, then the raisins, the lemon peel, and the pine nuts.

Work the mixture adding a pinch of salt, then use a spoon to make small balls you’ll fry in a pan full of hot oil. Before serving, sprinkle a bit of icing sugar, above the frittelle.

GALANI, A TYPICAL VENETIAN CARNIVAL PASTRY

Venice is not the only city in Italy where you can taste galani, but they probably have a different name. The galani recipe seems to date back to the Roman Empire, which means that they were born before the Venetian frittelle. Let’ see the recipe.

500gr flour

100gr sugar

40gr butter

2 eggs

Lemon peel

1 spoon of rum

A pinch of salt

Some icing sugar to decorate

Making galani it’s easy. First of all, mix all the ingredients into a bowl and let them rest for a couple of hours, then stretch it until it becomes very thin. Now it’s time to give the galani their typical shape, using a cutting wheel.

Fry them all making a small cut on the top of each galano, then serve them with some icing sugar.

CASTAGNOLE

Castagnole are a very typical Venetian Carnival food and the recipe is really easy. Let’s start with the ingredients you’ll need.

400g flour

50g sugar

80g butter

2 eggs

A pinch of salt

Baking powder with added vanilla flavoring

Lemon peel

Oil for frying

Icing sugar

Soften the butter and put it in a bowl with the two eggs and the 50gr of sugar. Stir everything and add the flour, the lemon peel, the yeast and a pinch of salt. Then make some small balls from the mixture, helping yourself with a spoon, and put them in a pan full of hot oil.

Let them fry and then serve them with some icing sugar.

A visit to Burano by Marco Secchi

Any international magazines include Burano among the top 10 most colorful cities in the world

The colorful houses, the fishermen, the lace, the desserts and the fish dishes. The island of Burano leaves enchanted, it is a small pearl in the middle of the lagoon

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The inhabitants of Altino to escape the barbarian invasions, took refuge in the various islands of the lagoon, giving these the names of the six gates of the city: Murano, Mazzorbo, Burano, Torcello, Ammiana and Costanziaco, derived precisely from the names of the doors of Altino.

Since the time of the Republic of Venice, Burano with its modest population of about 8,000 people, was an island of poor people who lived mainly from fishing and agriculture. Thanks to the skill of the lace makers began to grow, to enrich themselves and expand the local crafts also in foreign countries.

Burano is very famous for its needle lace. However, there is also a production of Venetian masks and many inhabitants of the island work in nearby Murano, producing precious glass objects.

How to get to Burano

Public transportations

From Santa Lucia Railway Station
ACTV's lines (Venetian public transport company) that bring to "Fondamente Nove":

  • Lines 1 e N (Nocturne): get off at Ca' D'oro stop and proceed to Fondamente Nove (5 minutes) at the boarding for the 12 line, which connects Venice to Burano

  • Lines 4.2 e 5.2: get off at Fondamente Nove stop and go to the 12 line's boarding beyond Donà Bridge. This line connects Venice to Burano in about 40 minutes.

  • Line 3 (Murano Direct): get off at "Murano Faro" stop and take the waterbus to Burano at the 12 Boarding.

What to do in Burano

Capture the colour of Burano

If you’ve heard of Burano, or at the very least entered it into Google images, the one thing you’ll have taken away is the vibrancy of its buildings. Tangerine, teal, fuchsia, and lime houses line the canal and cobbled streets, but it’s not just for aesthetic reasons – the fishermen who first inhabited them picked bold colours to help them find their way back after a long day on the water in the thick fog that often descends upon the Lagoon, and some matched their boat colours to their house so if something happened to them the colour would indicate which door to knock on.

Learn to make lace

After fishing, lacemaking is Burano’s biggest money maker. The tradition dates back to the 1500s and was almost exclusively done at Scuola Merletti, or the Lace School, which is now a museum dedicated to the craft. What makes Burano lace different to other types of lace is the intricacy of the pattern and the delicate, gossamer-fine threads used. Only a handful of women do it in the traditional way these days, so the lace shops in the square are filled with replicas and even lace made in China, so check the label carefully. If it seems too cheap, it probably isn’t the real deal – Venetian lace is a luxury item that few can afford a lot of. Go to Dalla Lidia Merletti d'Arte for authentic Burano lace. Want to learn the art of Burano lace making? Martina Vidal Venezia is a Home Linen Atelier created by Martina and her brother Sergio as a concept store and teaching workshop, where you can sign up for an eight-hour introductory course. Price on request.

Prop up the leaning campanile of San Martino

Leaning Tower of Pisa? Been there, done that. Stand in the main square that surrounds the Church of San Martino in Burano and you can seemingly hold up the slanted ‘campanile’ without having to fight with hundreds of other visitors trying to get the same shot. Once you’ve got your picture, head inside and marvel at the architecture and Rococo art. Look out for the famous trio of St. Rocco, St. Sebastian and St. Antonio Abate by Jacopo Palma il Giovane and be sure to get close enough to the main altar to appreciate the ornate columns of French red marble and ancient oriental marble that encase it.

Eat fresh seafood – for half the price of Venice

Almost all of the fish in Rialto market in Venice is caught by the fisherman of Burano, so a visit to Burano itself means you can enjoy the much-lauded seafood straight from the source and without the premium the tourist hotspot demands. If you only have time for one restaurant during your trip, make it Al Gatto Nero. It’s a favourite of food bloggers – and chefs like Jamie Oliver – and has been serving a menu of fresh fish and pasta that changes daily since the 1960s. Pappardelle with langoustines and smoked ricotta is a must try, as is the John Dory and platter of razor clams, when they’re available. If you like your lunch with a side of art, book a table at Trattoria da Romano where you can enjoy traditional Venetian cuisine surrounded by more than 400 paintings from local and now-famous artists who paid for their meal with their work. It’s a favourite of Keith Richards and was once the haunt of Ernest Hemingway and Charlie Chaplin – look carefully at the menu for proof of their visits.

Satisfy your sweet tooth

After your fill of fish, find a pasticceria and hone in on the Bussolai Buranei or Venetian butter cookies. The delicious S-shaped biscuit is a local favourite steeped in history – they were originally made by fishermen’s wives for their husbands destined for long periods on the water because they would stay fresh all day – and they’re served in most cafés, alongside your espresso. At Panificio Pasticceria Palmisano Carmelina they’re flavoured with vanilla, lemon, or if you’re lucky, rum.

20 Great Things to do in Venice 4/20 - View over Venice by Marco Secchi

Get a bird's-eye view of Venice

At almost 99m (325ft), the Campanile is the city’s tallest building, originally built between 888 and 912 (in July 1902 it collapsed, imploding in a neat pyramid of rubble. It was rebuilt exactly 'as it was, where it was', as the town council of the day promised). Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III rode a horse to the top of the original in 1451; these days visitors take the lift. The view is superb, taking in the Lido, the whole lagoon and (on a clear day) the Dolomites in the distance.

Photo By: Marco Secchi

Photo By: Marco Secchi

But my favourite view is from the Campanile of San Giorgio.....you can get there taking the Vaporetto n2 and is just one stop. The entrance is from the beautiful Church, and usually you should be able to admire as well Tintoretto  the Last Supper, 1592-94, one of the last works the artist painted. If is not there....write to Mr Vittorio Sgarbi one of the worst curator of the Italian Pavillion at Biennale...that decided to get it on loan to "sex up" his own very poor choice of "art" for 2011 Biennale Arte

P&O Cruise Ship "Oriana" enters Canale della Giudecca

Venice Carnival by Venice Photo Walk

VENICE CARNIVAL EVENTS AND TIPS

Venice Carnival season lasts about two weeks, culminating on the day of Carnival or Shrove Tuesday.

A few events mark the highlights of Venice Carnival:

Water Parade

The first Saturday and Sunday of Carnival, a parade of brightly decorated boats plies the Rio di Cannaregio starting at 6pm on Saturday, and continuing on Sunday from 11 AM. After the parade, food stalls open on the canalside promenade.

Festa delle Marie

On the second Saturday of Carnival takes place this historical procession that recalls the tradition of 12 of Venice's fairest young women being presented to the Doge. This parade, one of the few to take place on dry land, begins at via Garibaldi and culminates at Piazza San Marco.

Flight of the Angel

On the second Sunday of Carnival, a costumed angel "flies", suspended on a rope, through Piazza San Marco to greet the Doge.

Tips for Visiting Venice During Carnevale Season

Plan ahead and book your hotel well in advance for Carnival season, it is an high season period.

Carnevale is an elegant affair in Venice. People wear elaborate costumes and masks all over town so there's lots to see just by walking around.

Although the main events are centered around Piazza San Marco, Carnival events are held in every Sestiere.

Most high-end hotels hold masked balls, which are smaller and more private than the public events.

Carnival dates change every year, corresponding with Shrove Tuesday forty days before Easter. Check Carnival upcoming dates here and go to the Venice Carnival site for updated event information.

Carnevale is a winter event, so weather may be cold or rainy - see Venice Weather for average temperatures and rainfall.

The official website of the Carnevale di Venezia has information on these and all other public events associated with the festivities.

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20 Great Things to do in Venice 3/20 - Ice Cream by Marco Secchi

Cool down with a delicious gelato

Most Venetians agree that some of the city’s best gelato is served in Boutique del Gelato, a tiny outlet on busy salizzada San Lio. Be prepared to be patient though, because there’s always a huge crowd waiting to be served. See it as quality assurance – it’s worth the wait.

Artisan Ice Cream: The Art of Making Gelato

Artisan Ice Cream: The Art of Making Gelato

At Alaska Gelateria-Sorbetteria Carlo Pistacchi is passionate about making ice-cream and experimenting with new flavours using only the freshest natural ingredients. Stick to tried and true choices such as hazelnut or yoghurt, or branch out to sample seasonally changing exotic flavours, such as artichoke, fennel, asparagus or ginger.

Will add my best Ice Cream parlours in Venice soon

Regata delle Befane January 6th by Marco Secchi

On the 6th of January will take place the traditional Befane Regatta.

This is a playful regatta between the old members of the city's oldest rowing company, the Bucintoro, which, disguised as "Befane", compete in the central stretch of the Grand Canal from S. Tomà to the Rialto Bridge.

The regatta has reached its 41st edition, 5 members of the Bucintoro will participate, the departure is scheduled at 11 am, the finish line is placed under the Rialto bridge, to which a huge stocking is hung.

 Venice, ITALY. 6 January, 2018. Participants dressed up as elderly women row on the Grand Canal during the 37th Befana Regata. � Stefano Mazzola/Awakening/Alamy Live News

20 Great Things to do in Venice 2/20 - St Mark's Square by Marco Secchi

See three major sights in one square

Landscapes Of Venice In The Snow

Landscapes Of Venice In The Snow

Standing in the middle of the magnificent piazza San Marco is an experience in itself: Napoleon referred to it as the ‘drawing room of Europe’, apt today as, at times, it appears that much of Europe’s population is crammed into this great square. But it's St Mark’s basilica (Basilica di San Marco), often seen as the living testimony of Venice’s links with Byzantium; Doge’s Palace, once Venice's political and judicial hub; and Torre dell’Orologio, a clock tower built between 1496 and 1506, that are, not just the square's, but some of the city's main attractions.

I Tre Mercanti by Marco Secchi

Tiramisù, one of the best cake in Italy, and a unique way to taste it in Venice at I Tre Mercanti

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Three local venetian guys in 2007 realised that our town deserved a place where Venetan residents and visitors alike could finally find the best ingredients of the Italian culinary tradition.

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Tiramisù has been created in Veneto in the beautiful town of Treviso near Venice in the 60’s, and has quickly become the most famous Italian cake all over the world even though very few has been able to master it, innovate and at the same time remain faithful to the original rich and light combination of flavours.



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I Tre Mercant has been able to keep a strong foot in the tradition, perfecting the original recipe, and at the same tme bring new life to Tiramisù by exploring with new flavours and ingredients.In this unique place in the city centre of Venice, you can taste an incredible variety of Tiramisù.


http://www.itremercant.it/