Venice is an amazing experience. You can fall in love with this city at every glimpse, just watching the gondolas passing by in the Canal.
The birth of a myth: a brief history of Venice
The thousand-year old History of Venice must be known by those who want to visit and fully experience it.
Venice has been for over 1100 years the capital of the Venetian Republic of the Serenissima, for this reason it is known as La Serenissima, La Dominante or the Queen of the Adriatic.
Built on the Venetian lagoon, taking ground from the sea with a pioneering brilliant system for the time; apparently there were human settlements since prehistoric times, given the richness of resources that favoured activities as hunting and fishing.
But it was only during the barbarian invasions that originated the first steady settlements: in the VII century, some inhabitants of the small centre of Altino settled in this area of the lagoon, where today stands the island of Torcello, to escape from hordes of barbarians. A strategic position that made the area almost unassailable, being difficult for foreigners the navigation in these swamplands. Here Venice has its origin, before the core of Rivo Alto - today Rialto - and it is here, that started its inexorable rise.
The importance of trade and the relations with the East
Thanks to the relations with the East, the Serenissima became the Queen of Seas, representing the gateway between the world of the East and that of the West: Venice became gradually an international and cosmopolitan city, and was soon included among the Maritime Republics.
From the greatest splendour to the present day
For the entire Sixteenth Century up to the end of the Eighteenth Century, Venice was considered among the most modern, refined and cutting-edge cities of the whole Europe, with a strong influence on art, architecture and literature of the time.
The long history of the Republic of Venice was interrupted after more than thousand years of independence: exactly the 12th May 1797 when the Doge Ludovico Manin and The Great Council of Venice were forced by Napoleon Bonaparte to abdicate, in order to proclaim the “Provisional Government of the Municipality of Venice”.
During that period of time, that deprived the city from its sovereignty and independence, many restoration works were made and transformed completely the image the city had until then.
Nowadays, together with the industrial and touristic development, Venice is once again the cosmopolitan and international city that has always been.
We suggest you to stroll around its Campi and Campielli, to get up and down its small bridges and …to get lost …this is the only way to fully experience the city!
Saint Mark’s Square
Saint Mark’s Square is certainly one of the most interesting places of the Serenissima. It overlooks Saint Mark’s basin where the water traffic animates the city. In the square stands out its famous bell tower, reference point of all Venetians.
The Bridge of Sighs
It’s absolutely one of the most famous bridges of the city. Realized by order of the Doge Grimani, it was built in Istrian stone and in Baroque style. The Bridge of Sighs is one of the most photographed of the world, especially from two points, that is: from the side of the Ponte della Canonica and from the side of the Ponte della Paglia.
According to tradition, while crossing the bridge, the prisoners used to sigh, thinking that it was the last time they saw the world outside.
The Grand Canal
The main Canal of Venice divides the city in two parts: from the Ponte della Libertà to the basin of Saint Mark.
The Rialto Bridge
The most ancient of the four bridges on the Grand Canal. For years, it has been the heart of the economy of the city. It was built between 1588 and 1591, on a project by the Architect Antonio Da Ponte, to substitute the previous wooden structure, collapsed two times and burnt in various occasions.
The Rialto Market
If you cross the bridge from San Marco, you will reach the Market of Rialto, a colourful place where fruits and vegetables are sold. The Market has ancient origins and takes place here since 1097. It opens every day from 9am to 12pm in the Campo de la Pescaria.
The Jewish Ghetto
The Jewish Ghetto, in the district of Cannaregio, certainly deserves a visit. Five synagogues, a Museum and the tower houses to discover how the Jews of Venice have lived for three centuries, from 1516 to 1797.
Today it is a dynamic district, full of life, in which still live 500 representatives of the Jewish Community, guardians of an ancient culture and of stories which reveal restrictions suffered first by the Serenissima Republic of Venice and, more than a century later, in 1938, by the Fascist Regime.