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.

San Marco 3994

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/

Christmas and Festive Season in Venice by Marco Secchi

What can you do if you are visiting Venice during Christmas time?

 VENICE, ITALY - DECEMBER 08:  Three gondoliers chat near a Christmas decorated Rialto Bridge on December 8, 2011 in Venice, Italy.



First of all, you can have a quiet walk in a less crowded city, with a magical mist and Christmas lights on the houses and on the canals. In St. Mark square you will find the Christmas Tree, and you can walk under the porticos of the Procuratie, where the ceilings are decorated with luminous rows that recall a cascade of snowflakes.In Calle XXIII Marzo, the street of the luxury shops, you can make shopping under luminaries that create a unique atmosphere with the ancient palaces.

Soak up the festive atmosphere by strolling through the streets and lingering in squares or churches to listen to choirs singing and the church bells ringing. On Christmas Day itself, the bells ring out all day from St Mark's Bell Tower.

If your walk has left you chilly warm up with a hot chocolate in Caffè Florian on St Mark's Square.

Do you want to buy some typical food or some artisanal gift?

Take advantage of the Christmas Market in Strada Nova and Accademia area, maybe drinking a glass of Vin Brulè (typical winter hot wine) to warm up a little.

In Campo San Polo there is the ice skating rink, fun for adults and children.Are you classical music lovers?

If the answer is yes, the Venice Christmas season offers a variety of concerts. Many Venetian churches for Christmas o organize evening shows: from traditional Christmas songs to more modern tunes performed by international singers, in short, shows for all tastes.And you cannot miss the Santa Claus Run on 16th of December, starting from Campo San Giacometto, close to Rialto Bridge.

Venetians have their main Christmas celebration on Christmas Eve or “La Vigilia”. Families traditionally tuck into a fish dinner of several courses before heading to midnight mass. If you want to join them, services at St Mark's Basilica start at 11:30 p.m. and are conducted in English, French and German as well as Italian.

20 Great Things to do in Venice 1/20 - Gondola by Marco Secchi

So obvious. No trip to Venice would be complete without a punt down one of the city's picturesque canals in a traditional gondola. The Istituzione per la Conservazione della Gondola e Tutela del Gondoliere (Gondola Board; 041 528 5075, www.gondolavenezia.it) website has recommended itineraries. Prices below are for the hire of the gondola, for six passengers or less. You do not need to book a Gondola (in general will be much more expensive!!)

8am-7pm €80 for 30mins; €40 for each additional 15mins. 7pm-8am €100 for 40mins; €50 for each additional 15mins.

Photo By: Marco Secchi

Photo By: Marco Secchi

Coffee in Venice? by Marco Secchi

Our list of favourite coffee places in Venice

IL CAFFE DEL DOGE

venezia, rialto, calle dei cinque, san polo 609

Founded in 1952 in Venice, a stone's throw from the Rialto Bridge, the small artisan roasting machine Il caffè del doge is a reference point for lovers of fresh roasted coffee, to be enjoyed at home.

Half a century of history and jealously guarded secrets: even today, despite following a cutting-edge roasting system, it maintains the characteristics of the traditional method of processing: the "Venetian Classical Method".

So many coffees can be savored: from 100% Arabica, to the Rialto espresso coffee, from the goumert, to the coffee of the seasons.


TORREFAZIONE CANNAREGIO

venezia, Fondamenta dei Ormesini, Cannaregio 2804

Founded in 1930, the Torrefazione Cannaregio for almost 90 years continues every day with the same passion to devote himself to coffee, attentive to roasting methods and raw materials that come from the best coffee areas in the world.

Leading product is the Café Remer, a combination of eight different qualities of arabica: which guarantees a low concentration of caffeine.

But at Torrefazione Cannaregio there is not only coffee: also "pasta cafè", a durum wheat semolina pasta at the Café Remèr; "Cocoa paste", a durum wheat semolina with cocoa selection Brazil; "Gondola bases", fine pastry with a touch of Café Remer to enhance its delicate taste; "Dragee", roasted coffee beans covered with dark chocolate.


CAFFE ROSSO

venezia, CAMPO SANTA MARGHERITA, DORSODURO 2963

Local Venetian historian, its birth dates back to the late nineteenth century, the Red Coffee is an important point of passage for Venetians, artists, students and tourists: currently the historic coffee machine in copper and brass is the oldest employee of Caffè Rosso .

In 2002, Caffè Rosso started selling merchandising and donating profits for charity operations.


CAFFE POGGI

venezia, calle nuova sant’agnese, dorsoduro 855

For those who want to stay away from mass tourism and rediscover the truest Venice, the "Caffè Poggi since 1919" is what you need: here you can enjoy an excellent espresso in a typical Venetian restaurant, where you can also find biscuits and other local treats as souvenirs. If you are passing through the Accademia area, before or after visiting the Gallerie dell'Accademia, the Guggenheim Collection or the Cini Collection, do not miss it.


GRAN CAFFE QUADRI

venezia, piazza san marco, san marco 121

A class stop in one of the best known and loved venetian historical premises, the "Gran Caffè Quadri", open since 1638, where you can taste the famous coffee by Gianni Frasi, sitting in Piazza San Marco, one of the most evocative scenes in the world .

The espresso is prepared with the varieties selected for Grancaffè by Gianni Frasi, from the Torrefazione Giamaica of Verona, and roasted directly on open flame with a machine that still works manually; the baristas, who use manual Faema machines, have been personally instructed by the Frasi himself, in order to obtain a perfect espresso.

Vegan and Vegetarian restaurants in Venice by Marco Secchi

Our list of Vegan and Vegetarian restaurants in Venice

La Tecia Vegana

Calle dei Sechi Dorsoduro 2104, Venice

Vegan restaurant

La Tecia Vegana, literally “The Vegan Pot”, is a small and comfortable restaurant in the heart of the city of Venice, and the only organic vegan restaurant. The restaurant is managed by husband-and-wife team, that in the kitchen create delectable dishes such as ravioli with seitan and porcini mushrooms, and offer many gluten-free dishes.

La Cocaeta

Fondamenta San Giobbe 548 B, 30121 Venice

Vegan Crepes

Cocaeta (meaning “little tern” in Venetian dialect) is a super tiny creperie in Venice, located about 10 minutes walking distance from Venice train station. The mixture of all crêpes is vegan, and you can chose from many vegan ingredients. It is perfect for a quick lunch or a snack in the afternoon.

Gastrosofia Le Spighe

Castello 1341, 30122 Venice

Vegan dishes

It is a small gastronomy in the venetian district of Castello, that offers vegetarian and vegan dishes. Very good for a quick lunch or a take away in one of the less known district of Venice.

Bella & Brava

Cannaregio 4383, Venice

Vegan pizza

A small local where you can eat a vegetarian or vegan pizza, very rare to find in the city of Venice. You can sit down in one of the table, or take your vegan pizza and eat it where you prefer.

Orient Experience

Cannaregio 1847/b e Campo Santa Margherita, Venice

Vegan restaurant

It is a journey through spicy oriental flavors, in one of the less crowded and more inspiring district of Venice, Cannaregio. You can compose your own plate with 3 or 4 dishes of your choice. The local is tiny and intimate, very good for a romantic dinner.

Pizzeria L’Angelo

Calle Della Mandola 3711, 30124 Venice

Vegan take away

It is a take away pizzeria, located between St. Marc square and Rialto bridge, in the heart of the city of Venice. The menu offers a fair number of vegan pizzas, and sandwiches and other vegan snacks that are prepared in advance and put in plain sight.

Fiumefreddo Bio

Cannaregio 4467, Venezia

Vegan Restaurant

Fiumefreddo is a small place in a strategic position close to Rialto bridge. It is a gastronomy with few seats and a small outdoor area with vegan proposals from breakfast to dinner, passing for lunch and aperitif.

Da Mario alla Fava

Venezia, Calle dei Stagneri 5242, Venice

Vegan Restaurant

Is one of the historic restaurants in Venice, from 1960, that has decided to fully welcome the progress of vegan cuisine. To try for those who want to get a taste of authentic Venice, discarding fish and meat.

La Zucca

Santa Croce, 1762, Venice

Vegan restaurant

La Zucca is one of the best restaurants that offers vegetarian food. You can start your meal with a Tagliatelle with tomatoes and eggplant from its ever changing menu and finish with mouthwatering strawberries and cream topped with chocolate sauce. If your companion isn't a vegetarian and would love a fix of meat, there is also the choice of a juicy duck thigh with apples. The restaurant is located near a nice small canal, in the Santa Croce district, in the middle of Venice.

Purem

Cannaregio 2085 – Rio Terà de la Maddalena, 30123 Venezia

Vegan smoothies

Purem is a smoothie paradise. The good news for vegans is that each of the many versions indicated on the blackboard can be made with vegetable milk: soy, rice, coconut and almond. The same is for dark hot chocolate. All the fruit is organic and the combinations are many, imaginative and inviting.

Ethnic Restaurants in Venice by Marco Secchi

This is the list of Simone favourite ethnic restaurants in Venice.

Buddha Soul Restò

Gran Viale S. M. Elisabetta 28, Venice Lido

The Buddha Soul Restò is a typical Indian cuisine restaurant located in Venice Lido. Lights, colours and flavours of India in the new restaurant on Grand Avenue. Not only rice, spices, curry and chutney, Under a sky of stars (even in the small dining room), you can taste typical dishes especially the Indian, “Thali”, main dish consists of several portions, variants that you prefer. In addition, take-away point, a small Indian grill, and home dinners and catering service.

Los Murales

Giudecca 70, Fondamenta Della Croce, Venice

Mexican food in Venice? No problem, just choose the restaurant mural in Le Zitelle Fondamenta, La Giudecca. The strong flavours and tastes spicy Central American cuisine with a blend of beautiful scenery and interesting streets and squares. 


Mirai

Cannaregio 225, Rio Terà Lista De Spagna, Venice

The restaurant Mirai comes from the philosophy of the classic Japanese sushi and observes the precepts of preparation. The creative sushi is a new and old to assemble ingredients belonging to different traditions, but whose common element is the rice. The Mirai favors the use of fish (and the best quality and freshness); Closed on Mondays and other days it is open from 19 to 23.30.


Frary's 

San Polo 2559, Fondamenta dei Frari, Venice

Frary’s Bar is a charming restaurant in the San Polo 2559, with a view across the Frari: a few tables, prepared in a simple way but tastefully . A candle light, you can immerse yourself in the tastes and smells of the Middle Eastern cuisine: the couscous with vegetables and tzatziki sauce gyros at mutton, rice Jordanian Musaka the Greek by Greek almond biscuits and walnut pudding with Arabic mint and pistachio. And then the Arab bread served warm. The Greek wines are imported, carefully selected thanks to the Hellenic Owner.


Orient Experience

Rio Terà Farsetti, 1847/b, Venice

The ideal place to try a fusion cuisine, with influences from Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, perfectly fell within the lagoon culinary tradition. The dishes served are mainly based on rice, vegetables, meat and spices. Many spices. The quality of the food is very high, the variety of alternatives to choose from so wide that you almost feel embarrassed about making choices.


Il Giardino di Giada

Calle dei Boteri, 1659, Venice

Typical Chinese cuisine, with some markedly Mediterranean influence. A well-groomed environment where you can enjoy a wide variety of valuable dishes. Excellent appetizers, delicious first courses of rice and spaghetti, delicious main courses, especially those with prawns and beef. The ideal would be to try a little of everything, but to do it you need to come back several times.


Ghimel Garden

Sestiere Cannaregio, 2873, Venice

Jewish restaurant with furnishings and decorations intimate garden which also offers Italian foods, gluten-free and vegan.


Africa Experience

Calle Lunga San Barnaba, 2722, Venice

An African restaurant staffed by refugees and immigrants from all over Africa. 


Luna Sentada

Fondamenta S. Severo, 5018, Venice

Mediterranean menu and Venetian and Asian specialties including wood and exposed stone in a rustic-chic location.

Ganesh Ji

Calle del Scaleter, 2426, Venice

Typical Indian curry served in a simple and relaxed venue, carpeted with oriental artwork.