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The FONDACO DEI TURCHI is a typical example of a storage house of the Veneto-Byzantine era. It was built in the 14th century by Giacomo Palmieri, it was for a time the residence of the Duke of Ferrara and then rented to Turkish merchants from 1621 to 1838. The interior decorations were so beautiful and impressive that the Palace has been used frequently by the Venetian Senate for official receptions. Despite of that it was one of the most important "casa-fondaco" (storage houses) of Venice. When the house was practically on the verge of collapsing into irrecoverable ruins, it was rebuilt mid 19th century. Unfortunately "rebuilt" is a wrong term, since the original style of the edifice was completely denatured. Since 1924 it is the museum of Natural Sciences (Museo Civico di Storia Naturale). Dusty collections of fossils and stuffed animals, even a genuine dinosaur skeleton.


ST. MARK’S BASILICA This awesome Basilica, built on a Greek cross plan and crowned with five huge domes, is the third church to stand on thise site. The first, built to enshrine the body of St. Mark in the 9th century, was destroyed by fire. The second was pulled down in the 11th century in order to make way for a more spectacular edifice designed by an unknown architect (1063-1094); reflecting the escalating power of the republic. INSIDE Dark, mysterious and enriched with the spoils of conquest, the Basilica is a unique blend of Eastern and Western influences. This oriental extravaganza, embellished over a period of six centuries with fabulous mosaics, marble and carvings, made a fitting location for the ceremonies of the Serene Republic. MOSAICS Clothing the domes, walls and floor of the basilica are over 4,000 sq m of gleaming golden mosaics. The earliest, dating from the 12th century, were the work of mosaicists from the east. Their techniques were adopted by Venetian craftsmen who gradually took over the decoration, combining Byzantine inspiration with western influences.


BASILICA S. MARCO MUSEO MARCIANO A precarious stairway from the atrium, marked Loggia dei Cavalli, takes you up to the church museum. The gallery gives a splendid view into the basilica, while from the exterior loggia you can survey the Piazza St. Marco and take a close look at the replica horses on the church façade. THE PALA D’ORO Beyond the Chapel of St. Clement, tickets are sold to view the most valuable treasure of San Marco: the Pala d’Oro. This jewel-spangled altarpiece situated behind the high altar consists of 250 enamel paintings on gold foil, enclosed within a gilded silver Gothic frame.


Andrea Gritti was the Doge of Venice from 1523 to 1538 A. Gritti painted by Tiziano


Torcello is a small community in the lagoon of Venice. It holds now only 24 inhabitants, but around the Vth century it was very important place: it reached a population of 20,000 people. At the moment interesting to visit the Church of Santa Maria Assunta and the Church of Santa Fosca. The Church of Santa Maria Assunta has one of the walls completely covered with a wonderful Byzantine mosaic representing "Il Giudizio Universale". The Church of Santa Fosca has outwardly an octagonal frame with three apses. The central one has two rows of arcades and an harmonious colonnade. On the altar you can admire a beautiful sculpture from XV century which represents Santa Fosca


DIVERTIMENTI Carnival: The most famous festival in Venice attracts thousands of visitors every year and is centred on a different theme each time. The heart of the Festival is in St Mark’s Square where there is a dazzling array of performances and parades. Two weeks to pass in the midst of masks, entertainment, fun and the beautiful city of Venice. The 25th of April is the feast of St Mark, patron of the city of Venice. In olden times on this feast there was a famous procession which religious and civil leaders and craftsmen took part. These days, the feast is celebrated with a procession in the Basilica. The Feast of the Ascension (La Sensa) is the festivity re-enacting Venice’s Marriage to the Sea when the Doge embarks on the Bucintoro, the golden ceremonial barge of the Serenissima, and throws his ring into the sea at the mouth of the port near San Nicolò. Today the role of the Doge is played by the city’s Mayor. The Regatta of the Historic Marine Republics is a competition that takes place every year in one of the old republics, Amalfi, Genoa, Pisa or Venice, celebrating their splendours and the extraordinary adventures of the days when their fleets dominated the Mediterranean.


The Vogalonga – long-haul rowing regatta – takes place on the second Sunday of May and is a 32 kilometre-long non-competitive marathon around the islands of the lagoon and back to the Grand Canal with the finishing line at the Church of the Salute. The regatta was founded 31 years ago by a group of Venetian boating enthusiasts and since then has become amazingly popular and a good chance to discover the lagoon environment. The Feast of the Redentore takes place in July in the Church of the Redentore and from there spreads out to the whole of Venice, culminating in the traditional Regatta and fireworks in the Basin of St Mark. San Pietro di Castello is the suburb where there stands the Cathedral of San Pietro which was the Cathedral of Venice until 1807. The Festival takes place in the last week of June and is a local feast for tasting local products under the stars and by lamplight. The Historic Regatta is one of the most spectacular and picturesque events and is popular with locals and tourists alike. The pageant tells of the arrival in Venice of the Venetian Queen of Cyprus, Caterina Cornaro, signalling the beginning of the Republic’s domination over the island. The festival begins with the pageant of historic vessels and concludes with the regatta which is the most important series of boat races during the year. The Festival of the Salute (Our Lady of Good Health) is the most popular religious festival and recalls the time that Venice was saved from the Plague of 1630 and the city built a church in thanksgiving.

Santa Maria della Salute : 

Santa Maria della Salute The great baroque church of Santa Maria della Salute, standing at the entrance of the Grand Canal, is one of the most imposing architectural landmarcks of Venice. Henry James likened the church to “some great lady on the threshold of her salon…with her domes and scrolls, her scalopped buttres and statues forming a pompous crown and her wide spets disposed on the ground like the train of a robe”. The church was built in thanksgiving for the deliverance of the city from the plaghe of 1630, hence the name Salute, meaning healt and salvation. Every 21st november, in celebration, worshippers approach across a bridge of boats wich span the mouth of the gran canal for the occasion. Baldassare Longhena started the church in 1630 and worked on it for the rest of his life. It was completed in 1687, 5 years after his death. The interior is comparetively sober. It consists of a large octagonal space below the cupola and 6 chapels radiating from the ambulatory. The large domed chancel and grandiose high altar dominate the view from the main door. The altar’s sculptural group by Giusto Le Corte represenrs the Virgin and child giving Venice protection from the plague. Unfortunately, some of the best works, such as Titian’s ceiling paintings of Cain and Abel, the sacrifice of Abraham and Isaac and David and Goliath, are behind the altar, where visitors are nor allowed. In the sacresty, to the left of the altar, is Titian’s early altar piece of St.Enthroned with saints cosmos, Damian, Roch and Sebastian, while on the wall opposite the entrance the wedding at Cana (1551), a major work by Tintoretto. Jessica Tosi - Gloria Nisato

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