From Padua you can reach Venice in only 27 minutes by train. It costs 3.55 € one way.

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Ghetto

The term ‘ghetto’ derives from the foundries that were found in the area in which the metal was ‘gettato’ or melted. In 1509 it became the part of the city that was reserved for the Jews. They built their ‘schole’ or synagogues here. the first one was the Schola Tedesca (German Synagogue), which was built in 1528. It was followed by the Schola Canton and the Schola Italiana. The Schola Spagnola was rebuilt by Baldassarre Longhena. The German synagogue houses the museum of Jewish art and contains many fine religious exhibits. www.museoebraico.it

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Ca’ d’Oro

This palazzo was built between 1428 and 1430 by Marino Contarini, member of an important Venetian family. It’s one of the best examples of the venetian floral gothic style. It also hosts an interesting museum with paintings by Mantegna, Carpaccio, Tiziano, Giorgione, Guardi, as well as Renaissance bronze statues and medals. www.cadoro.org

 

Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

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This basilica was erected between 1236 and 1338 through the efforts of the Conventual Franciscan Friars Minor. Tt was replaced by a grandiose Gothic Franciscan-style edifice in the 14th century, with a nave and two aisles and seven apsidal chapels.

The imposing 14th century brick bell tower is one of the highest in Venice.

The Basilica is one of the most important sacred buildings owing to the wealth of artworks that it houses.

The interior, a latin cross in plan, features precious paintings such as one of the masterpieces of Titian’s mature work, the Altarpiece of the Assumption (1516-1518), intended by the artist for the high altar.

Other works worthy of note are the Triptych of the Virgin and Saints by Giovanni Bellini (1488), located in the Pesaro Chapel of the Sacresty and considered as one of the masterpieces of 15th century Venetian art, and the wooden statue of St John the Baptist, a superb work by Donatello. www.basilicadeifrari.it

Scuola Grande di San Rocco

Built in the first half of the 16th C, the Guildhall of San Rocco is home of an extraordinary cycle of canvases by Jacopo Tintoretto, among which eight on the ground floor portray Scenes from the New Testament. Tintoretto dedicated scenes taken from the Old Testament on the ceiling of the Upper Hall, while on the walls the cycle of paintings includes the great painter’s self-portrait.  www.scuolagrandesanrocco.it

 

rialtoRialto Bridge

This is the oldest bridge and spans the Grand Canal. It probably dates back to 1172 and was originally in wood. In 1557 the Venetian Republic put out a tender for rebuilting the bridge in stone. The architects who competed for the tender includes Palladio and Sanmichieli. The tender was awarded by Antonio da Ponte and in 1591 the bridge was inaugurated

 

Saint Mark’s Square

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It is Venice’s only square. It consists of an artistic complex of buildings in different styles that over time have created an harmonious setting to the square.

It is trapezoidal, and the Procuratie Vecchie and Procuratie Nuove run along the two extensive sides. They are known as old (‘vecchie’) and new (‘nuove’) on the basis of the age of the buildings over the arcades of the ground-level porticoes.

 

 

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The Doge’s Palace

 

The monumental entrance, the Porta della Carta, is an enchanting example of floral Gothic style. The courtyard behind is surrounded by porticoes with a top loggia. On the eastern side there is the Scala dei Giganti (Giants’ Staircase). It is thus called because of the two enormous statues by Sansovino at the sides. The stairway goes up to the loggia but to reach the top floors we go up the Scala d’Oro (‘Golden staircase’). It owes the name to the lavish frescoes and gilded stuccowork. It was from the Doge’s Palace that the Venetian Republic was ruled and it is still the highest expression of Venetian art. It was the residence of the Doge and the seat of the main government departments. As one walks through its rooms the history and glory of the Venetian Republic is revealed in its paintings and sculptures, reaching their apogee in the enormous Paradise by Tintoretto on the wall of the Sala del Maggior Consiglio. www.palazzoducale.visitmuve.it/

 

 

 

St Mark’s Basilica

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It’s a superb example of the Romanesque-Byzantine style with five cupolas, it was built (10thC) to house the body of the St Mark the Evangelist. The facade features five portals decorated in splendid marbles and mosaics, and with a terrace dividing it into two halves. On the terrace stand Four Horses of gilded copper (copies – the originals are now preserved inside) that were sent from Constantinople to Doge Enrico Dandolo in 1204. Splendid mosaics in the atrium relate the stories of the Bible. The imposing interior in the form of a Greek cross contains a wealth of images and sculptures. Of particular interest are mosaics of Veneto-Byzantine origin, some of them reconstructed from drawings by Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese. The Bell Tower adjacent to the basilica was once a lighthouse for ships. At the foot of the tower is a 16th century loggia by Jacopo Sansovino. www.basilicasanmarco.it

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The Clocktower

 

The Procuratie Vecchie runs along the north side of the square from the Clocktower and have kept their Renaissance features. They are followed by the Ala Napoleonica. This was built in 1810 by the architect Giuseppe Soli on the site of the demolished San Geminiano church, which was built Jacopo Sansovino. The Procuratie Nuove runs along the west side of the square and includes the Libreria di San Marco, which was designed by Jacopo Sansovino as well, at the request of the Venetian Republic, to house the codicils donated by Cardinal Bessarione. The clocktower is at the start of the Merceria, the road that leads from Saint Mark’s Square to the Campo di San Bartolomeo. The name Merceria refers to the many shops on both sides of it.

 

 

teatro_la_fenice_2Gran teatro la Fenice (Opera House)

 

Halfway down Calle Larga XXII we turn right into Campo San Fantin where the church of San Fantin stands. This dates back to the ninth century but was rebuilt in the sixteenth century by  Scarpagnino. Opposite stands La Fenice Opera House. This was originally built in 1790 to a design by Selva. It burnt down in 1836 but like the phoenix (‘fenice’ in Italian) it was rebuilt in the same style by Meduna in just over a year. The opera house reflected the spirit of Venice It was again destroyed by a fire in 1996 but the determination of the Venetians brought it back ‘the way it was’ in December 2003. Now it possible to visit the theatre.  www.teatrolafenice.it

 

 

Accademia Galleries

The monumental estate of the Accademia Galleries is located in the prestigious centre of the Scuola Grande of Santa Maria della Carità, one of the most ancient lay fraternal orders of the city. The homonymous church of Santa Maria and the monastery of the Canonici Lateranensi, built by Andrea Palladio, are integral parts of the Accademia.

A very rich collection of the Venetian School paintings, from the Bizantine and Gothic fourteenth century to the artists of the Renaissance (Bellini, Carpaccio, Giorgione, Veronese, Tintoretto and Tiziano) up to Gianbattista Tiepolo and the Vedutisti of the 18th Century ( Canaletto, Guardi, Bellotto, Longhi). These artists will influence the whole history of European painting. www.gallerieaccademia.org

 

Basilica della Salute

 

In 1630 Venice experienced an unusually devastating outbreak of the plague. As a votive offering for the city’s deliverance from the pestilence, the Republic of Venice vowed to build and dedicate a church to Our Lady of Health (or of Deliverance, Italian: Salute). The church was designed in the baroque style by Baldassare Longhena. Construction began in 1631. Most of the objects of art housed in the church bear references to the Black Death.

 

punta-della-doganaPunta della Dogana

Fraçois Pinault Foundation

 

With its triangular shape, Punta della Dogana split the Grand Canal from the Giudecca Canal. As center for contemporary art , the former monumental port of the city present a permanent exhibition of works from François Pinault Collection. www.palazzograssi.it

 

 

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Peggy Guggenheim Collection

It’s among the most important museums in Italy for European and American art of the first half of the 20th century. It is located in Peggy Guggenheim’s former home, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, on the Grand Canal in Venice. The museum presents Peggy Guggenheim’s personal collection, masterpieces from the Gianni Mattioli Collection, the Nasher Sculpture Garden, as well as temporary exhibitions.

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is owned and operated by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, which also operates the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and which is a partner of the Basque Regional Government for the programming of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao  www.guggenheim-venice.it.

 

Arsenale

According to tradition the Arsenal of Venice was founded in 1104; it has been enlarged over the centuries, coming to occupy a large part of the northeast area of the city.

The term Arsenale is a corruption of the Arab word darsina’a – a house of industry – and for centuries it was the largest in the world with over 16.000 employees at its peak when there were hundreds of galley ships in its basins, ready for war.

On the wall to the right of the entranceway is a bust depicting Dante Alighieri, recalling a visit the poet made to Venice in 1321. Still mainly closed to tourism, the Arsenale is sometimes used for notably important exhibitions and trade fairs.

 

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The Biennale

This is a major contemporary art exhibition, which takes places in odd years. The exhibition is based in the Biennale park, a marshland area drained during the French dominion by Napoleone Bonaparte. Here you can find many pavillions, belonging to different nations, but the event spreads throughout the city, with other exhibition areas being the Arsenale and other locations such as churches or palaces; unofficial locations are there too, including an ‘internet pavillion’. The exhibition, this year closes on November the 24th. www.labiennale.org

 

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