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Location: Veneto


Pigeons create lots of trouble for the city, yet they are as part of Venice as its symbol the lion, protector of Apostle Mark. According to the legend it was these birds that warned people of the upcoming hordes of barbarians and showed the path to the islands.





Description of Venice

Venice in Italy is one of the most unique and picturesque cities in the World. Its buildings were constructed on a series of islands in a lagoon off the coast of mainland. Its major arteries always were water channels. Venice was settled by fisherman and several wavers of refuges that tried to escape war and turmoil of Italy. Over time it became independent city state. Its merchants travelled throughout basin of the Mediterranean reaching faraway shores of the Black Sea in the East. Venetians were skilful merchants and sailors and their incredible wealth is visible in beautiful churches, palaces, houses and other buildings that they left. The city lost its independence in 1797, but its still keep its original charm and mystery.


Venice has decayed since its heyday and is heavily touristed (there are slightly more tourists than residents), but the romantic charm remains. It is also known as the birthplace of composers Tomaso Albinoni and Antonio Vivaldi. Venice and its lagoon are a UNESCO World Heritage site. It used to be an independent republic, and remains one of Italy's most important cities.




Travel Destinations in Venice

The comune (municipality) of Venice is made up of numerous islands in the Venetian Lagoon as well as a stretch of terraferma (mainland) in northern Italy. The comune is divided into six boroughs, the most famous of which (known as Venezia Insulare) comprises the historic city of Venice as well as the islands of Giudecca, Murano, Burano, Torcello, Mazzorbo, and Sant'Erasmo. Lido and Mestre are other popular areas of the comune.

The historic city is divided into six sestieri (districts): Cannaregio, Castello, Dorsoduro, San Polo, Santa Croce, and San Marco, where the main monuments and sights are. Each sestiere uses separate house numbers, however, they are not allocated in a specific pattern.


Accademia (Venice)

Doge’s Palace (Venice)


Tel. 041- 520 90 70

Open: Apr- Oct: 9am- 7pm daily

Nov- Mar: 9am- 5pm daily (last admission hour and a half before closing)

Closed: Jan 1, Dec 25

Doge's Palace is a former official residence of Doge or ruler of Venice. Doge's Palace stands on ruins of much older palace that was destroyed by fire and remains of an ancient Roman structure. Current historic medieval residence was constructed in 1400- 24 by stonemasons Filippo Calendario, Pietro Bazeyo and master Enrico.


Museo Correr (Venice)

Museo Correr (Venice)

Procuratie Nouve

Tel. 041- 522 56 25

Open: daily

Closed: Jan 1, Dec 25


Museo Correr or Correr Museum is a historic and art museum of Venice. It is named after Teodoro Correr (1750- 1830), passionate art collector and a member of one of the oldest noble families of the city. Correr left his collection of art as well as his palace that kept his paintings and work of art. He also left a large sum of money to keep the museum going. His only condition was that museum will be named after him. Correr collection of art work became the core of that formed the Foundation of the city museum of Venice.


Basilica di San Marco (Venice)

Basilica di San Marco (Venice)

Piazza San Marco

Tel. 041 270 83 11

Basilica, Museum, Treasury

Open: 9:45am- 5pm Mon- Sat, 2- 4pm Sun & holidays

Pala d'Oro

Open: 9:45am- 5pm daily (Oct-Mar: to 4pm)

Official site

The original church on the site of Basilica di San Marco was constructed in the 9th century to enshrine the body of Apostle Mark which gives the name to the church. However it was destroyed by fire and reconstructed. The second was torn down by the Church for construction of another church that stands today here. It is hard to believe, but until 1807 it was a private chapel of worship for the Venice doges. Since 1075 all ships that were returning to their home city had to pay a certain tax for church improvements. These improvements include massive mosaics from the 12th and 13th centuries that cover 45,622 sq ft (4,240 sq m). Some of the latter works belong to Tintoretto and Titian. The layout and architecture are very similar in style to Byzantine Holy Sophia Cathedral in Istanbul (Constantinople).


Madonna dell'Orto (Venice)

Madonna dell'Orto (Venice)

Campo Madonna dell'Orto

Tel. 041 275 04 62

Open: 10am- 5pm Mon- Sat

Closed: Jan 1, Dec 25

Madonna dell'Orto is a Roman Catholic Church that date back to the 14th century. This Gothic building is dedicated to Saint Christopher who was believed to protect sailors and traders who ventured on long voyages across the seas.


Ca' d'Oro (Venice)

Calle Ca'd'Oro

Tel. 041 523 87 90

Open: 8:15am- 7:15pm (to 2pm Mon)

Ca' d'Oro or "Golden House" is a magnificent palace on the banks of the Grand Canal in Venice. It got its name after a fact that during its construction master used golf leafs for its finish. The official name of this magnificent residence situated in the Cannaregio district is Palazzo Santa Sofia or Palace of Santa Sofia. It is one of the finest examples of Venetian Gothic architecture.


Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari (Venice)

Campo dei Frari

Tel. 041 275 04 62

Open: 9am- 6pm Mon- Sat, 1-6 pm Sundays and Religious holidays

Closed: Jan 1, Dec 25

Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari or simply Frari as it is locally known is Roman Catholic church that was constructed in the mid- 15th century on a site of an older 13th century temple built by Franciscans. It is famous for beautiful wall frescoes and statues that were created over a course of centuries. This includes The Madonna and Child by master Bellini (1488), The Assumption of the Virgin over high altar of the church by Titan (1518) and many others. Marble pyramid shaped tomb in Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari was designed as a burial shrine for artist Canova by his students upon his death in 1822.


San Nicolo dei Mendicoli (Venice)

Campo San Nicolo

Tel. 041 275 03 82

Open: 10am- noon, 3- 5pm Mon- Sat




San Sebastiano (Venice)


Campo San Sebastiano

Tel. 041 275 04 62

Open: 10am- 5pm Mon- Sat

Closed: Jan 1, Dec 25


Santi Giovanni e Paolo (Venice)

Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo

Tel. 041- 523 75 10

Open: daily

Commonly known as San Zanipolo, this Gothic church also serves as a resting ground for over 25 doges or rulers of Venice. It was constructed in the 14th century by the Dominican order.


Grand Canal (Venice)

Grand Canal is the major highway of Venice. It is a good start for exploring the city. Most of the notable structures and landmarks either stand on the canal or visible from it.

Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni (Venice)

Calle Furlani

Tel. 041- 522 8828

Open: daily


Peggy Guggenheim Collection (Venice)

Palazzo Venier dei Leoni

Tel. 041- 240 5411

Open: Wed- Mon

Closed: Dec 25

Scuola Grande di San Rocco (Venice)

Campo San Rocco

Tel. 041- 523 48 64

Open: daily

Closed: Jan 1, Easter, Dec 25

Scuola Grande di San Rocco started as a charity organisation when it was constructed in 1515. It was dedicated to San Rocco or Saint Roch, a saint that became famous for his charitable acts towards the poor members of the community. Much of the funds were provided by common Venetians that hoped for protection of this respected saint.


Santa Maria della Salute (Venice)

Campo della Salute

Tel. 041- 523  79 51

Open: 9am- noon, 3-5:30pm daily

Santa Maria della Salute is a magnificent Roman Catholic church that towers over Grand Canal. Its construction began in 1630 by Baldassare Longhena. This Baroque temple was completed in 1687, five years after Longhena died.




Islands Around Venice

Torcello (Venice)

Santa Maria and Campanile (Venice)

Tel. 041 296 0630

Open: Mar- Oct 10:30am- 6pm daily

Nov- Feb 10am- 5pm dail

Museo dell's Estuario (Venice)

Tel. 041 73 0761

Open: Mar- Oct 10:30am- 5:30pm Tue- Sun

Nov- Feb 10am- 5pm Tue- Sun

Closed public holidays



July and August may be the worst time to visit. Summer months are very hot and often humid, there are mosquitoes flies. Additionally there are crowds of tourists and large crowds anywhere you go. Late spring and early autumn are probably best, a compromise between temperature (expect 5-15°C in March) and the tourist load. Between November and January, you may manage to feel you have Venice all to yourself, an interesting and quiet experience. Beware of the weather during the winter months: it can be quite cold, windy, and damp. Fog is an additional hazard if you are driving in or out, doubly so in the unlikely chance that you will pilot a boat. But if you've never been to Venice, it's better to go in summer than not to go. You won't regret it. Many cities are far worse in summer, and Venice has no cars, hence no smog.

Acqua alta (high water) has become a fact of life in Venice. The lagoon water level occasionally rises above the level of the squares and streets, flooding them. This can happen several times a year, at irregular intervals, usually in the colder months. Acqua alta usually lasts a few hours and coincides with high tide. You'll see raised walkways in side alleys ready to be pulled out when acqua alta hits. When the city begins to flood, sirens will sound to warn residents and businesses. If you speak fluent Italian, tune into news programs since their predictions of the times the flood begins and ends are usually accurate. Normally, the tide rises and falls in six-hour cycles.

You can get an acqua alta map at the tourist offices either at the railway station or St Mark's Square. This will show you the higher, dry routes and the ones with walkways set up during the various flood alerts. There is a tide measuring station at the Rialto vaporetto piers, and a noticeboard at the base of the Campanile in the Piazza San Marco that shows a live tide reading and predictions for the next few days.



History in Venice

The Venetian lagoon was formed in the eighth century BC by a previous fluvial-marsh environment and it is assumed that here there were human settlements since prehistoric times given the wealth of resources that favored hunting and fishing. In pre-Roman times, ie during the Paleoveneto period , civilization was well established in the area with populations dedicated to fishing, salt production, maritime transport and other related mercantile activities. A junction of intense commercial traffic that connected the Adriatic with the center and northern Europe, in this period some settlements are developing, among which the center of Altino stands out, now with a protourban physiognomy. The coming of the Romans only reinforces this situation. The port system is strengthened (Chioggia dates back to this period), while the hinterland is reclaimed and centuriated, which is still visible in the current layout of roads and ditches. The lagoon became a holiday resort for the nobility, as evidenced by some findings.


Beginning as early as AD 166–168, the Quadi and Marcomanni destroyed the main center in the area, the current Oderzo. The Roman defences were again overthrown in the early 5th century by the Visigoths and, some 50 years later, by the Huns led by Attila. The last and most enduring immigration into the north of the Italian peninsula, that of the Lombards in 568, left the Eastern Roman Empire a small strip of coast in the current Veneto, including Venice. The Roman/Byzantine territory was organized as the Exarchate of Ravenna, administered from that ancient port and overseen by a viceroy (the Exarch) appointed by the Emperor in Constantinople, but Ravenna and Venice were connected only by sea routes; and with the Venetians' isolated position came increasing autonomy. New ports were built, including those at Malamocco and Torcello in the Venetian lagoon. The tribuni maiores, the earliest central standing governing committee of the islands in the Lagoon, dated from c. 568

According to the Chronicon Altinate (eleventh century) the first settlement in Venice on the Riva Alta (Rialto ) dates back to March 25, 421 with the consecration of the church of San Giacometo on the banks of the current Grand Canal : recent studies have shown that St. James Rialto is much later, dating back to the mid- twelfth century. The inhabitants of the mainland sought refuge in the lagoons as a result of the various waves of barbarian invasions that took place from the fifth century , in particular that of the Huns (452) and the Lombards (568). However Venice presented itself then as a group of small settlements still very heterogeneous, while greater importance assume some neighboring centers such as Torcello, Ammiana, Metamauco. At the same time, the major religious institutions are being transferred to the lagoon, such as the Patriarch of Aquileia in Grado and the bishop of Altino in Torcello.


Gathered together with all of Italy to the empire with the pragmatic sanction of Justinian of 554, the Triveneto is again overwhelmed by the descent of the Longobards of 568. The Byzantines lose much of the area, keeping only the coastal strip. It is from this moment that the term Venetia, once referred to the whole of Veneto, indicates only the lagoon area.

Venice was erected in 697 as a duchy dependent on the Exarchate of Ravenna , with capital first to Eracliana and then to Metamauco . Following the attempted frank invasion of Pipino (Carlomanno), in 821 the safest Rialto became the capital of the Duchy of Venice , assuming over time the very name of the territory and of the State and finally becoming Venice.

The proximity to the Frankish Empire, the privileged relationship with the Byzantine East and at the same time the distance from Constantinople made it one of the main ports of exchange between the West and the East, allowing the development of a dynamic and enterprising merchant class that over the course of four centuries or so, it transformed the city from a remote settlement and imperial outpost to the mistrust of the seas, now totally independent.


The head of the government was the Doge (from the Latin dux ), who saw, over time, his power increasingly bound by new institutional bodies. Many Doges, especially before the year one thousand, were forced to take vows because the citizens considered them too hungry for power: some were also killed or dazzled.

At the height of its power in the thirteenth century, Venice dominated most of the Adriatic coast, regions such as Dalmatia, Istria , many of the Aegean islands, Crete, Cyprus, Corfu, and was the most important military power and among the main mercantile forces in the Middle East . In the fifteenth century the territory of the Republic extended from the Adda to Istria, and from the present province of Belluno, to the Veneto Polesine. But the decline began to be felt as early as the fifteenth century: historical events such as the increase in Ottoman power and the shift of trade to the Americas , hit hard the maritime vocation of the city that ended up turning its economic interests towards the hinterland.





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