Stained glass windows in Venice and Murano

Stained glass windows in the history of Venice Stained glass windows in Venice have been known since the end of the 13th century, after glass blowers moved their furnaces to Murano. Florence, [...]

Who founded Venice? The controversial origins of a city built in a lagoon

Who founded Venice is a challenging question. You will need patience, some scepticism and, believe it or not, some sense of humour, too. The foundation of Venice in the year 421 The legendary [...]

Bridges in Venice and what makes them unique

Bridges in Venice are all unique and different from each other. The Rialto bridge Just consider the old Rialto bridge, a draw-bridge in wood as it shows in Vittore Carpaccio, the Miracle of the [...]

The southern Venice lagoon on a sailboat

The southern Venice lagoon, passing by the islands of Lido and Pellestrina all the way towards the fishing town of Chioggia, has a completely different flavour from what you see north of Venice. [...]

Cruising the northern lagoon of Venice

Cruising the lagoon of Venice evokes the dramatic events of 2019 when a cruise ship crashed against another ship docked at the Marittima port, or when a few weeks later one more of these sea [...]

Iron art works in Venice and their restoration

Iron is the name of a major side-walk in Venice, by the Rialto bridge: “riva del ferro”. This area is close to the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, the ancient warehouse of the Northern European merchants, [...]

Gondola builders in Venice: the courage of the Tramontin sisters

Gondola builders and the true icon of Venice Gondola builders: they are the ones that turned the gondola into the most iconic image of Venice. Is there still anybody that doesn’t connect it to [...]

Music on a Gondola: Boat Songs or Venetian Ballads

Music in Venice along the canals Music on a gondola? You visited Venice and discovered that gondoliers do not sing. Wondering if they ever did, or if it was a movie, or only in Las Vegas, right? [...]

Giudecca and Hériot’s villas among gardens and modern history

Giudecca and its industrial development Giudecca’s hidden beauty lies in its modernity. Located on the southern side of the canal leading to the tourist port, this island in Venice changed a lot [...]

When swimming in Venice was not a crime

Swimming in a city of water is useful Swimming in Venice has always been necessary. Galliccioli in his chronicles of the 18th century connected life longevity to constant exercise in the water [...]

Blackamoors in paintings, sculptures and jewels of Venice

Blackamoors and Diamonds Blackamoors appear on brooches only in the best jewellery shops in Venice, proudly featuring as pure Venetian tradition. Amidst gold, shining diamonds and precious [...]

A boat that helped create a miracle called Venice, the trabacolo

A boat as an icon of Venice A boat is for sure the most iconic thing you can imagine describing the city of Venice. I am sure you are thinking of a black lacquered, slow and silent gondola, [...]

Powder in Venice between status and theatrical subversion

A name for extra fine face powder Face or hair powder in Italian sounds “cipria”. The Italian word evokes the island of Cyprus where Venus, the goddess of love, came from. In Venice, Cyprus was [...]

The birds of the lagoon of Venice

I watch the birds migrating in the sky across the Venetian lagoon. In the horizon the Dolomites are all blue, just like in Titian’s paintings or Cima da Conegliano’s. I simply find it moving. And [...]

Silk velvet weaving and weavers in Venice

Weaving a story about silk velvet in Venice has been a fascinating experience. So much involved. Technology, inventiveness, courage and challenges. And emotions. Weaving is… rhythm and sounds In [...]

What can a dream do for the future of Venice?

“How can I help Venice?” When thinking of her new book, “Dream of Venice Architecture“, JoAnn Locktov never let this difficult question slip away from her mind. The result [...]

More tours about accessible Venice in a wheelchair

My last post on accessible Venice tours in a wheelchair attracted some interest! So here are some other insights. I hope it will help enjoy our city! Use boats in Venice when you visit in a [...]

Dogs in Venetian art museums

Recently the discussion regarding dogs in Italian museums arose in the news as some institutions in Turin let our beloved pets accompany us during our visits. Is it a sign of a civilized country [...]

Doors in Venice: among water, art and architecture

In Venice, a city of tiny islands surrounded by water, where frontiers get liquid and blurred, can we talk about doors? This is something that has always fascinated me about Venice since I was a [...]

Addicted to Books: Aldo Manuzio in Venice

When I was a child, I loved going to the school library and wandering around the white metal bookshelves. I loved the Einaudi editions. They had a white cover and a beautiful red line around. I [...]

Reflections on Murano glass mirrors

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all? A symbol for self acknowledgement better than any selfie, a symbol for the deformation of reality, a means to connect to a magical [...]

Crystal glass wonders at your banquet

In 1739 the Council of Ten, the powerful court of the Venetian Republic, received a peculiar request from a glass blower from Murano. It was well known that those ten judges would face important [...]

Venetian glass beads and jewels today!

Almost 30 years ago, in 1988, the Società Veneziana delle Conterie e Cristallerie (the Venetian company of Glass beads and Crystal) stopped its activity. Recently its abandoned space was [...]

When Venetian glass replaced money

While everybody knows that Murano glass is synonym for luxury, are we all aware that it could even be used as money? We are not talking about vases, chandeliers, mirrors or goblets though. We are [...]

Fashion in Venice, step one: starting from the feet!

One day, while preaching in Egypt, the patron of Venice St Mark had quite a major problem if you need to walk: the strap of his shoe fell off. He then met a cobbler and asked him if he could [...]

Confettis for all parties!

Carnival ended a week ago. Even this year I met enthusiastic visitors, some for the first time in Venice during these days, from Europe, Asia and America. Figures talk about 80,000 tourists in st [...]

Oars and rowlocks in the lagoon

I do not recall the first time I entered Saverio’s’ workshop of rowlocks, maybe because it felt very familiar, as if I had always known that place. But maybe it was also the smell of the [...]

What is a stool in Venice?

What is a stool in Venice? … please be patient and read it till the end 🙂 I am reading an interesting booklet written by Salvatore Settis (I am afraid available only in Italian) and [...]