Venice

“There is no place that does not have something romantic, but Venice, like Oxford, has preserved the setting for a novel, and for the genuine romantic, the setting is everything, or almost everything”.  (Oscar Wilde)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ka-ZgwCXKho Expedia – A Guide to Venice ENG with Italian subtitles

For special urban features and the inestimable artistic heritage, Venice is universally considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and has been recorded as a site of “exceptional universal value” in the World Heritage list drawn up by the UNESCO.

Elegant, precious, inimitable and romantic, this is Venice, a gem of the Venetian and Italian tourist scene, where churches, palaces, ancient bridges, monuments and squares relate the artistic and cultural life that has marked and still marks the history of this city.

The city of art is divided into 6 districts and counts 150 canals or waterways that link up the islands. The canals flow into the Grand Canal, which divides the city into two parts.

For a quick view of the city, we suggest the following websites:

http://www.veneziaunica.it/en    official website for tourist information about Venice

http://www.visitmuve.it/en/home/ official website of the Venice Museum Foundation

 

5 must see sites:

St. Mark’s Square

The Doge’s Palace

The Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge

The Academia Gallery of Fine Arts

The Frari Basilica

 

A FASCINATING STORY ON THE VALUE OF WOOD FOR THE CITY

The Serenissima was built when, in 451 AD, some people from Venetian cities took refuge on a group of more than one hundred islands situated in the midst of the marshy lagoon to defend themselves from Barbarian invasions.

The Venetians developed original construction techniques to build in such challenging conditions by resorting to waterproof stones supported by larch rafts and pine wood poles. The wooden poles in alder, oak, larch and many other wood species were driven for up to 7.5 m into a solid layer of clay called “caranto” in the bed of the lagoon. The method has proved to be extremely effective in the course of time. Crowded in asphyxiating conditions, these poles have performed their work for more than 500 years.

We can, therefore, imagine the value of wood for Venice, also because one of the city’s most important commercial activities was the construction of ships. All were experts in the construction of vessels that could travel in the lagoon or along the river, and the Serenissima’s fleet has dominated the entire Mediterranean Sea for centuries.

Wood reached the city conveyed on rafts along rivers that directly accessed the lagoon. The probable landing place was the area called “Zattere”.

As a mere curious detail and to witness the huge importance of the Cansiglio forest, the woodland area that provided most of the wood, the age and estimated cutting date was noted on every tree. Strict punishments were envisaged for transgressors. Moreover, it was established by law that the daughter of the forester could marry a Venetian nobleman, despite not being an aristocrat herself.

A typical trait of the Venetian and lagoon landscape are the numberless poles, called “briccole”, that mark the waterways for vessels travelling in the lagoon. They dot the water, varying in terms of colour and shape, according to a precise traffic signal code.