Venice if the capital of the Veneto region. It is situated in the heart of the Venetian Lagoon. It is made up of 117 islands that include 150 canals and 400 bridges.
Venice is distributed over a vast communal territory (457 sq. km.) in three distinct parts: the historical lagoon city, which had about 70,000 residents, the islands of the lagoon, and the Mestre-Marghera area.

Venicès International Marco Polo airport is in Tessera, about 12 Km north of Venice by land and 10 Km by water. The airport was recently redone and enlarged by architect Frank O. Gehry and it now is the third largest airport in Italy for its number of passengers.

The Marco Polo Airport is connected to Venice by:

  • ATVO bus arrives in Venice in 20 minutes. For more information you can check there website at www.atvo.it
  • ACTV Bus #5 takes about 30 minutes because it has other stops before arriving at Piazzale Roma. The airport is also connected with the train station in Mestre by bus #15. For times please consult their website at www.actv.it
  • Motorboat Ferry service ALILAGUNA Blue and Red Lines: A private motorboat service that works with ACTV leaves directly from the Venice airport. Alilaguna Red Line (the parentheses indicate how long it takes to reach the indicated stop): Murano (30´), Lido (55´), Arsenale (1h.05´), S. Marco (1h.10´) and Zattere (1h.20´). Alilaguna Blue Line stops at: Fondamenta Nuove (30´), and S. Marco (58´). The cost of the ticket varies from 5 Euro to 13 Euro. For information on prices and times consult the Alilaguna website at www.alilaguna.com.
  • Street Taxis take 15 minutes to arrive at Piazzale Roma from where you can continue to the apartment by foot or by vaporetto (water bus).
  • Water Taxis are private motorboats that transport passengers. They are the quickest way to get to any point in the city, but undoubtedly also the most expensive.

There are buses that connect the Treviso airport with both Venice Piazzale Roma and the train station in Mestre. The bus service is coordinated with the arrivals and departures of the flights of BASIQ-AIR and RYANAIR. For more information consult www.atvo.it.

If you want to come to Venice by car you can park at Piazzale Roma, at the Autorimessa Comunale (041 2727211 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 041 2727211 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or 0412727301) www.asmvenezia.it. Otherwise there is also the parking garage Tronchetto Parking (041 520 7555 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 041 520 7555 end_of_the_skype_highlighting) www.veniceparking.it.

An alternative is to park at a garage in Mestre Parcheggio P.le Candiani and then take a bus or train to Venice.

In Piazzale Roma there are offices of most of the major Car Rental Companies.

The Santa Lucia Station is the only train station in Venice. It is located in the Cannaregio neighborhood, less than 10 minutes by foot from Piazzale Roma. The ACTV Vaporettos (water buses) that take you to various destinations are located right outside of the station.

The port, from where numerous ferries and ships leave for the Istrian and Dalmatian coasts as well as cruises for the Mediterranean, is located on the Giudecca Canal. The new Venezia Terminal Passeggeri has been built in the San Basilio area.

The islands and the lagoon that surround Venice offer many interesting reasons to visit their cultural and natural attractions. A trip to one of the islands is an enjoyable way to diversify your stay in Venice.

The Lido is a thin strip of land 12Km long that serves as a natural barrier between Venice and the open sea. The island was a major development beginning in the second half of the 19th century, housing many luxurious hotels and villas in the Liberty and Art Deco styles. The Lido is famous not only for its fabulous beaches but also because it is the site of the annual Venice Film Festival.
The only island that had drivable streets, it is connected with ferryboats to both Venice and the mainland. From Venice you can reach the Lido with frequent vaporettos. The fastest of these is the motonave which leaves from S. Marco and takes only 10 minutes to arrive. The Lido can be toured by bus, but the most popular means of transport is bicycle. You can rent bikes near the Santa Maria Elisabetta vaporetto stop. The long, straight road that runs parallel to the beach brings you to the southwestern town of Malamocco, where you can find many enjoyable restaurants renowned for their fish. Their remains little evidence that in the 8th century this was the seat of the Lagoon´s government.

Giudecca is the island closest to the city, linked with Venice by a population that comes to Venice everyday for work a daily activities. Separated from Venice by the deep and wide Giudecca Canal, it is believed that Giudecca began as the place where Venicès Jewish population was confined.

The island was the seat of many factories and plants that resonated a productive fervor. Today the Mulino Stucky remains; a colossal northern-influenced construction that takes up the western end of the island. It is now in the final stages of a restoration and reconstruction project that will allow it to be used as a residence and tourist and business convention and meeting center.

Like the city of Venice, Murano is made up of a series of small islands connected with bridges. The glass industry, which transferred here from Venice in the 13th century, has attracted people from all over the world: Refined glassware is still produced by the roughly 260 Muranese companies that still operate. The shops are mostly located along the Fondamenta del Rio dei Vetrai, while on the island of San Donato you can find the oldest edifice in Murano: The Basilica of Santi Maria e Donato. The 12th century church has been preserved in much of its original state. Visitors should note the Veneto-Byzantine columns and the Gothic roof. A beautiful 13th century mosaic with a golden background of the Madonna decorates the apse.
The floor of the church, which dates back to 1140, is undeniably enchanting, with mosaics of geometric figures, exotic birds, mythical creatures and indecipherable figures. It includes glass fragments from the island´s foundry.

In the heart of the northern lagoon, Burano is the most picturesque of the islands. It is distinguished by its simple buildings, stylistically unitary but painted in different, bright colors. This gives the settlement its characteristic multi-colored aspect. It is believed that the task of painting the houses was given to the women, who hoped to make Burano visible from a distance to the fisherman returning home.
The Lace Museum, connected with the still-active school, documents three centuries of the local handmade creations.

Founded between the 5th and 6th centuries, Torcello became a flourishing colony, with palaces, churches, and a population which is said to have reached 20,000. With the ascent of Venice, the island went into decline and today it has only about 60 residents.
The cathedral, founded in 639 and reconstructed in 1008 offers splendid golden mosaics and Byzantine iconography inside that contrast sharply with the austere aspect of the exterior of the monumental complex. Isolated in a idyllic rural setting, it includes the bell tower (11th century), the remains of the baptistery, the church of Santa Fosca (11th century), the Palaces of the Archives and of the Government (14th century), the seat of the Estuary Museum, with archeological traces from Torcello and the rest of the lagoon.

This little green oasis, inhabited by nine monks, is located right under Burano. There is no vaporetto service and to get there you must bargain with a boatman from Burano who, after taking you across to the island, will wait to bring you back. One of the monks will conduct a tour of the church and the enchanting gardens, where there is a tree which is said to have sprouted the wood for the cane of San Francesco d´Assisi.

Halfway between St. Marks and the Lido is the island of San Servolo. It is now the Development Center for craftsmen and Restorers, but at its origin it was home to one of Venicès oldest monasteries, established by the Benedictines in the 8th century. Later they added a hospital. Former seat of the psychiatric hospital, in 1980 this sparse island passed into the hands of the European Development Center for Craftsmen and architectural heritage. Students come here to learn about traditional craftsmanship, especially in the field of antique restoration.

Once called La Cavana or Cavanella this island is located very near to San Giorgio Maggiore. At one time it served as the refuge for pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land. Then in the 15th century it became a monastery island. The name was changed following the construction of a church that´s purpose was to conserve a miraculous image of the Virgin originating from Constantinople. Today, Santa aria della Grazia is occupied by a hospital for infectious diseases, which will probably be shut down in the near future.

Situated right off of the Lido, San Lorenzo degli Armeni is a small convent-island with an abundance of vegetation. In the 12th century this little island was used as a hospital which later became a hospital for lepers, which is why it is named after their patron saint, Saint Lazarus. The lepers were then transported to the hospital San Lazzaro dei Mendicanti, near the church of San Giovanni and Paolo. In the 18th century it became the refuge of an Armenian monk, who founded a religious order. The Armenians restructured the island, building a monastery with a church, library, study room, gardens and orchards. The island became a center for the study and diffusion of Armenian culture.

Once called Popilia for the many Poplar trees, the island was a flourishing community that had its own government and monastery. Today the island is mostly orchards and farmland.

The islands of Vignole and Sant´Erasmo are situated in the east and northeast of Venice and constitute the margin that divides the northern lagoon, including Murano and Burano, from the bay of the Port of Lidome. Until the end of the 19th century they formed the diaphragm between the lagoon and the sea. Their strategic position explains the presence of several fortifications that represent the only historical and architectural structures of interest in this part of the lagoon.

Only 10 minutes on the vaporetto from Venice, you can arrive at the Lido, where you find the beaches of Venice. Also easily reached by car from the Tronchetto with various ferries (for times check www.actv.it), the Lido is the easiest way to enjoy a beautiful day at the beach.

We are pleased to offer you the following list of major sights to see in Venice. It is divided by the six sestrieri or neighborhoods of Venice. We advise you not to follow a set itinerary, but instead to follow your curiosity, discovering a magical and enchanting Venice which is often unknown to the general masses of tourists.

  • BASILICA DI SAN MARCO: Architectural gem in the Veneto-Byzantine style. A Greek Cross with five enormous domes, it is the third church to be erected in this spot. In 1807 it became the cathedral of Venice, substituting San Pietro di Castello. Until this time it served at the private chapel to the Doge and for state ceremonies.
  • PALAZZO DUCALE: Residence of the Doge a seat of the principal magistrate of the State.
  • PIAZZA: A trapezoid form, it is enclosed on the two long sides by in the sequence Procuratie.
  • CAMPANILE: The Campanile, or bell tower, actually replaced one that crumbled to the ground in 1902. It offers a spectacular view of the city.
  • TORRE DELL´OROLOGIO: Generously decorated, it is located on the northern side of the Piazza.
  • MUSEO ARCHEOLOGICO: The archeology museum is located in the Libreria Sansovina and the Procuratie Nuove.
  • MUSEO CORRER: Important museum dedicated to the history of the Venetian Republic. It includes maps, currencies, armor, and numerous objects related to the Doge figure.
  • SAN SIORGIO MAGGIORE: The small island of San Giorgio Maggiore has been portrayed on canvas many times. The church and the monastery were built between 1560 and 1580, becoming one of the best architectural successes of Andrea Palladio.
  • TEATRO LA FENICE: Erected in 1790 as a project of Selva, destroyed the first time in 1836, resurrected, like the mythical bird, after a little more than a year. In 1996 it was again destroyed by another fire, but the will of the Venetians resurrected it again dov´era e come era (where it was and how it was).
  • PALAZZO CONTARINI DEL BOVOLO: Located right behind Campo Manin, it is worth a visit to see this magnificent exterior stairway.
  • PALAZZO FORTUNY: 15th century palace dominates Campo San Veneto with its gothic façade. It is home to the Fortuny Museum which exhibits pieces from Spanish painter Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo (1861 1949).
  • CAMPO SANTO STEFANO: decorated with prestigious palaces that were homes to important families. The Pisani family palace has been the seat of the Music Conservatory since 1897, dedicated to the Venetian composer Benedetto Marcello.


    S. ZACCARIA CHURCH: Enclosed in the S. Zaccaria campo, the church , founded in the 9th century endured several changes of the façade, therefore taking on various architectural styles that are still recognizable today. The bell tower dates to the 10th century. The most notable intervention was in 1458, resulting in the masterpiece façade of the architect Codussi.
  • SCHOOL AND CHURCH OF S. GIORGIO DEI GRECI: In 1526 the Greek Orthodox community of Venice, second in number only to the Jews, obtained the authorization of the Patriarch to practice their religion. In 1539 they built the church and the adjacent Scuola di S. Nicolò in the Sansovinian style. The school is home to a collection of art and precious Byzantine icons.
  • PONTE DELLA PAGLIA E PONTE DEI SOSPIRI (Bridge of Straw and Bridge of Sighs): The Ponte della Paglia was originally constructed in 1360. According to legend, the Bridge of Sighs, built around 1600 to connect the Ducal Palace with the new prisons, got its name from the complaints of the prisoners who were heading off to jail.
  • MUSEO DIOCESANO D´ARTE SACRA: The cloisters of Sant´Apollonia are only a short distance from St. Mark´s Square. They serve as an example of Romantic Architecture dating between the 12th and 13th centuries. The monastery used to be the residence of the Benedictine monks. In 1976 it became the seat of the Dioceses Museum of Sacred Art, founded in order to gather the art of churches that have closed or are no longer used for religious services.
  • PALAZZO QUERINI STAMPALIA: In Renaissance style, the interior remains decorated and furnished with high quality antiques and has an impressive library.
  • CAMPO SANTA MARIA FORMOSA: Ample, irregular, and lined with beautiful palaces, the Santa Maria Formosa Square is one of the most characteristic of Venice.
  • SCUOLA GRANDE DI SAN MARCO: Few hospitals have a façade rich and unusual like one of the hospital in Venice. It was originally built as one of the six fraternities of Venice.
  • SCUOLA SAN GIORGIO DEGLI SCHIAVONI: The scuola, founded in 1451, was rebuilt in 1551, and from then it has changed very little. Carpaccio created nine paintings between 1502 and 1508 with scenes from the lives the three protective saints of the Dalmatian coast: St. George, Saint Trifone, and saint Jerome.
  • MUSEO STORICO NAVALE: The collection, housed since 1958 in the former warehouse on the banchina, traces the Venetian and Italian naval history up to the present. Among the exhibited items are decorations from past ship galleys, maritime firearms, and a copy of the ceremonious Ducal embarkation, il Bucintoro.
  • ARSENALE: The heart of the maritime power, the Arsenale was founded in the 12th century and was at its full glory between the 14th and 16th centuries, perhaps the largest navy in the world.
  • CATTEDRALE SAN PIETRO: For many centuries this was the primary seat of the Catholic church in Venice. In 1451 Venice obtained its own patriarch, elevating the power of this church. As a result of the invasion of Napoleon, in 1807 the title of primary seat of the Catholic church in Venice went to St. Marks.


    CAMPO DEI MORI: Along Venetian tradition, the mori were the three Mastelli brothers who were from Peloponeso. Businessmen by trade, they took refuge in Venice in 1112 where they built the Mastelli Palace, recognizable by relief of a camel, which at one time was situated behind the square.
  • CA´ D´ORO: One of the most beautiful palaces on the Grand Canal, The Golden House is the most representative example of Venetian-Gothic architecture in the city. The façade, with elegantly sculptured ogee windows, relay un undeniable eastern influence. Since 1984 this palace has been the seat of the Galleria Giorgio Fianchetti.
  • PALAZZO VENDRAMIN CALERGI (Now the Municipal Casino): Typical example of Renaissance architecture. In 1883 Wagner died, and in remembrance of the composer a mural portrait by Gabriele D´Annunzio of the composer has been placed on the wall of the garden.
  • PALAZZO LABIA: The Labia´s were a wealthy merchant family from Catalogna who in 1646 bought the right to be Venetian nobles. Towards the end of the century they built this prestigious palace. In 1745-50 Tiepolo decorated the ballroom with frescoes. In 1964 it became the seat of RAI (Italian television network). The frescoes can be seen by appointment or during concerts.


    PONTE DI RIALTO: This is the oldest bridge that connects the two sides of the Grand Canal. It has probably existed since 1172, first built with wood. The bridge was designed by Antonio da Ponte and inaugurated in 1591.
  • PALAZZO DEI CAMERLENGHI: Used by magistrates as the financial center of Venice. The ground floor had prison cells used to hold citizens that evaded their taxes.
  • FABBRICHE NUOVE: Planned by Sansovino in 1555, these buildings were used as business centers.
  • CAMPO SAN POLO: Named after the sestriere, it became its current size in 1750 after filling in the Sant´Antonio Canal. The races, bullfighting and masked festivals of Carnevale used to take place here.
  • CASA GOLDNI: 15th century palace. It is believed that in 1707 Carlo Goldoni was born in this house. 18th century comedian playwright, today the palace serves as the Theatre Museum in memory of Goldoni.
  • SCUOLA GRANDE DI SAN ROCCO: This scuola was founded in 1478 with the intention of the mutual benefit of celebrating the paintings of Tintoretto that decorate the rooms.
  • SCUOLA GRANDE DI S. GIOVANNI EVANGELISTA: Fraternity founded in 1307. In the 15th century this building was constructed by the Lombardy´s who chose to create the impressive entrance in the Renaissance style.


    FONDACO DEI TURCHI: Originally built as the private residence of the Pesaro family in the 13th century, in 1621 the Republic rented it from the Pesaro´s in order to give it to the Turkish merchants as their business and living quarters. Today it serves as the Natural History Museum, collecting flora and fauna from the lagoon area.
  • PALAZZO MONCENIGO: Antique residence donated in 1954 to the city of Venice, it still maintains the 18th century furnishings and today it is the Museum of Dress and Fabrics.
  • CA´ PESARO: Built by the Pesaro´s in 1628, this palace is a typical example of Baroque-Venetian architecture. Today it is the Museum of Modern Art in Venice and includes work from the masters of the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • PALAZZO CORNER DELLA REGINA: Constructed in the 18th century by Domenici Rossi. Caterina Corner was born in 1454 and became the Queen of Cyprus by marriage in 1471, and for that reason this palace is known as the palace of the Queen.


    SQUERO DI SAN TROVASO: An old building that still serves as a squero, a center where gondolas are built and repaired. Started in the 17th century, it still functions today. The carpenters were often from the mountainous mainland, which explains the architectural style of the building.
  • PALAZZO ZENOBIO: Originally in Gothic style, this palace belonged to the Morosini family. In the 18th century it was sold to the Zenobio family who completely restored it under the direction of architect Antonio Gasperi.
  • PONTE DEI PUGNI: It is called The Bridge of Punches because Venetians from two different sides of the city, the Castellani and the Nicolotti fought on this bridge, and the footprints of the starting point of the battles still exist today.
  • CAMPO SANTA MARGHERITA: Picturesque campo surrounded by antique palaces from the 14th century and the harmonious church which today serves as the auditorium of the university. The old bell tower still displays decorations from the baroque period. In reality the campo is a meeting place for young Venetians.
  • CA´ REZZONICO: Famous residence started by the Longhena family in 1667 then remained incomplete until the Rezzonico family (who would become the owners) finished it with architect Giorgio Massari, who made notable changes, such as a grand staircase and a ballroom with frescoes by Crosato. Today it is the Museum of 18th Century Venice with paintings and furnishings from numerous palaces from that time.
  • GALLERIE DELL´ACCADEMIA: The largest collection of Venetian art in existence, the Accademia is housed in three buildings once belonging to a religious order. In 1807 Napoleon transferred the Accademia in its current place and the collection became larger with the addition of works from churches and monasteries.











    The Best Time o Visit Venice
    There is not a best time of year to visit Venice. Every season has its own particular appeal. Considering the humid climate that characterizes Venice, one could say that the best period is between March and June, but also in August, when many Venetians go on vacation and the city remains in the hands of the tourists. In any case, you will soon discover that one trip to Venice s not enough, so come when you prefer to get to know the city and all of its aspects.

    Venice and the Disabled
    Whoever wants to visit Venice should first supply themselves with the necessary information. The advice is additionally important for those with particular needs. Pamphlets and Maps can be requested and consulted at the Informahandicap del Comune di Venezia. In this site you can also find tourist itineraries for disabled persons.

    Rules to Follow in Venice
    It is prohibited to:
  • Sit or lay down on the ground for picnics.
  • Litter.
  • Swim or wade in the canals of the Bacini in St. Marks.
  • Go around topless (for both men and women).
  • Sleep or use sleeping bags in the squares or the streets.
  • Use a bike.There are fines for those who violate these rules.

    Where to Buy tickets for the Vaporettos and Buses
    You can buy tickets in the ACTV ticket offices or other places which advertise the ACTV ticket services (certain bars, tobacco shops, and newsstands).
    Tickets can also be purchased in the vaporettos with a small extra charge. Ask immediately when boarding to avoid a heavy fine. Please be sure to validate all tickets by stamping them in the machines in buses and in the Vaporetto stops.

    Getting to Venice from Mestre in Vaporetto
    You can take the ACTV line #25 from the San Giuliano Park in order to reach Venice. It stops at the Fondamenta Nuove and the Ospedale Civile. It costs 3.50Euro or 6.00Euro round-trip.

    All banks are open from Monday to Friday from 8:30am until 1:30pm and from 2:30pm until 3:30pm. ATM machines are located on the outside of almost all of the banks.

    Post Office
    At the post office you can buy stamps and telephone cards, send letters and packages, and change money. The offices are usually open from 8:30am to 6:00pm from Monday to Friday and from 8:30am to 12:00noon on Saturday.

    Pharmacies are open from 8:30am to 12:30pm and from 4:00pm to 8:00pm from Monday to Friday and from 9:00am to 12:00noon on Saturday. The hours and nighttime service shifts are usually on display on the front door.


    Venice Carnival is the most unique party in this city, where art, history, magic and colors mix in a kaleidoscope of masks and costumes that go crazy throughout the streets.
    During the day Venice Carnival is an explosion of crazy shows, improvised by numerous street artists. Every year a particular theme is chosen which gives a certain direction to the events which develop from many different points of view, from the cultural aspects to those a bit more flamboyant.


    The legend says that when the Venetian Republic sealed the peace treaty in 1117 on the day of Ascension, the Pope and the emperor granted Venice certain privileges, including the right to marry the sea, as a sign of dominance and official investment that stated that Venice ruled the seas. Today the splendor is less than what is once was, but the symbolism of the marriage to the sea remains.

    On the day of Ascension the mayor, the civil, religious, and military authorities travel in boat from St. Mark´s Square to the port of San Nicolò where they throw a ring into the sea to symbolize the marriage. The course is carried out by oarsmen who row the boat to its destination. The citizens are brought to watch the ceremony by a procession of other boats.

    The embarkation is followed by a historical procession with boatmen in costume that evoke the splendid past of Venice. After the ritual toss of the ring into the sea and a salute to those who have lost their lives at sea, the procession continues to the church of San Nicolò on the Lido, where a religious service is conducted.


    The Rendentore (The Redeemer) is among the most sentimental of festivities for Venetians, in which tourists can participate thanks to the fantastic firework spectacle that attracts thousands of visitors and starts the celebrations. It falls on the third Sunday of July. During the day there are mass services presided by the patriarch and the religious procession.

    However the key moment of the Rendentore is surely the Saturday night before. On the unmistakable, scenic Bacino of S. Marco you can see the light games and reflections in a swirl of color that saturate the city, its domes, bell towers, and bridges.

    The tradition goes that at sunset a procession of boats decorated in bright colors and lights start to come to fill the Bacino of San Marco and the Giudecca Canal. In the boats, they spectators eat a full dinner of Venetian specialties. Afterwards the boats return slowly back home or to the Lido to await sunrise.


    The historical regatta is a processiona parade of 16th century-style boatsheaded by the Bucintoro, the boat the represents the Venetian Republic. The regatta pays respect to Caterina Cornaro, the wife of the King of Cyprus, who in 1489 renounced her throne in favor of Venice. The boats are steered by gondoliers and festively colored boatmen who parade up and down the Grand Canal and who long ago, carried the Doge, his wife, and Caterina Cornaro through Venicès main waterway. It is a faithful reconstruction of the glorious past of one of the most powerful and influential maritime republics of the Mediterranean.
    Along the canal and in the balconies of the palaces the spectators cheer on the boats as they race by. The race is very long, starting at one end of Venice and going to the other, and then turning around and heading back. A crucial point is the turning of the boats at the end point of the course, which usually determines the winner.


    Like the Rendentore, the Salute festivities celebrate the end of a terrible plague, in this case the Bubonic Plague in 1630-31. The Doge promised to build this church in hopes of the intervention of the Virgin in helping to end this horrible disease. Even today thousands of citizens get in line on November 21st in front of the main altar n the might Basilica della Salute in order to pay their respects to the Virgin and pray for the health of their loved ones. Every year the temporary bridge is constructed over the grand Canal that connects the S. Moisé and S. Maria del Giglio area with Dorsoduro to help aid the procession towards the church.


    The show, which happens on a Sunday in May, came about 31 years ago through the initiative of a group of Venetians who loved rowing and from the traditions of the Venetian Republic with the aim to sensitize Venetians to the problems of motorboat currents that ruin the foundations of buildings in Venice. All the morning Venetian gondolas and rowboats gather in the Bacino of S. Marco, in front of the Ducal Palace, in order to complete a 30km course down the Grand Canal and through the lagoon, coming back through the Rio di Cannaregio and finally arriving at the Punta della Dogana.


    The VeniceMarathon has become one of the biggest events in the city in recent years. It is a sporting event that has attracted marathon runner from all over the world. The Marathon is of the official Olympic length (42km and 195 meters). The course is flat with a slight descent. It starts off in Stra, on the mainland, and continues down the Riviera del Brenta, passing by the magnificent Palladian villas. The runners reach Venice by the long Ponte della Libertà, which connects the city with the mainland. After having crossed the Grand Canal by a bridge made of boats that is 160 meters long (made for the occasion), the head on to St. Mark´s Square, where they get a fabulous view of the lagoon.


    The Venice Biennale is more than a century old and one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world. Since its origin in 1895 it is the avant-garde of promoting new artistic tendencies, organizing international events in contemporary art, following an interdisciplinary model that characterizes the unity of the event.Countries gather for both the International Festival of Cinematographic Art and the International Exposition of Art and the International Architectural Exposition, as well as the Festival of Music and Theatre and the Festival of Dance. The seats of the exposition, which attracts an ever-growing public (320,000 visitors a year) are located in the Public Gardens (visual arts and architecture), il Palazzo del Cinema and il Palazzo del Casinò on the Lido (cinema), the Arsenale (visual arts and architecture), the Teatro alle Tese and the Teatro Piccolo Arsenale (dance, music, and theatre).


    The international film festival is an event that attracts attention worldwide. Every year during the first days of September on the Lido the film festival hosts some of the biggest stars in world cinema. The grand prize, the Leone D´Oro (the golden lion) recognizes the best film, director, and lead actor.


    The 25th of April marks the celebration of St. Mark, the patron saint of Venice. Since ancient times there has been a famous procession of religious and civil figures in St. Mark´s Square and the Basilica. Among Venetians it is very popular to give flowers to the women you love on this day.

    To have information on issues regarding the disabled in Venice, please refer to Venezia Informahandicap, a service that is offered by the Comune di Venezia. The goal is to make access to information and the city as easy as possible to those in need of it, hoping to better the quality of life of the disabled in work, free time, and tourism. E-mail informahandicap@comune.venezia.it


    Gondolas represent a characteristic and symbolic element of Venetian transportation. We know for sure that the word gondola officially became part of the Venetian language in 1094. Since that time the gondola infiltrated the Venetian society in all social classes and in the 16th century the gondola reached its maximum splendor with luxurious and fantastic versionsrich in decoration in color. The were sprayed with perfumed water and decorated with exotic birds in cages, becoming continually more extravagant. In 1630 Venice was hit by a horrible plague, after which Venetian gondolas were all painted black, as a way to show respect to the thousands of lives lost to the disease. They have remained black from then on.
    Unlike today, the gondola used to be symmetric with a flat bottom. The gondola now measure 10.8 meters, almost two meters longer than gondolas 500 years ago, which were driven by two gondoliers.


    In 1516 the Senate of the Republic decided that all of the Jewish Venetians, tolerated because of their advantageous financial activity, had to reside in the Ghetto Nuovo, an isolated island connected to the rest of the city by only two access ways which were closed at night. The Jews were ordered to stay and continue their activities as money lenders and collectors, but were limited in their freedom. In 1541 the Jewish quarter came to include the Ghetto Vecchio and in 1633 the Ghetto Nuovissimo. The population density in the Ghetto was understandably very high, which explains the unusual height of the buildings, which are frequently more than 9 levels. Today the neighborhood has not lost its ethnic connotation, there are kosher stores, bakeries, a Jewish library and two synagogues for religious ceremonies. The small Museum of Jewish Art houses a collection of sacred artifacts, codes and other items from the 17th to the 19th centuries.


    In the 15th century, to assure its connection with Padua, the Venetian Republic began to construct the Riviera del Brenta in 1142 along one of the two ancient branches of the river. The abundance of aristocratic villas along the course of the Brenta da Malcontenta a Stra river was a phenomenon that between 1500 and 1700 served as proof to the Venetian power. Starting in the 1400s, having a villa along the Brenta where you could host friends, relatives, and famous foreigners was a status symbol. Many famous artists and architects were hired to decorate the Riviera, from Palladio to Count Frigimelica, from Scamozzi to Longhena, from Zelotti to Giannantonio Pellegrini to Tiepolo, Guarana and Zais.
    The visual effect of the home with its adjacent gardens was very strong, making an immediate impact on its visitors with its overdose of artistic beauties and natural harmony fused together in architectural completeness. Not to miss on the Riviera del Brenta: Villa Pisani, Villa Foscari, Villa Sagredo, Parco di Villa Belvedere.  






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