Lives in Miami, Florida
Since May 2010
50-64 year old male
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One of the first Caffe in the world! Visited by poets, artists, celebrities, royals, dignitaries, all people alike have enjoyed beverages and delicacies in this place for hundreds of years. Opened in 1720 by Floriano Francesconi with the name of "Alla Venezia Trionfante". They were the first caffe in europe where women were allowed to enter and order drinks. Amid its richly decorated walls, conspiracies against invading enemies like the French and the Austrians were forged and planned here. During Carnevale in February each year people lines up for hours here for a chance to see and be seen, and off course, no costume, no entry!
Here look 360 degrees in all directions, up and down, you may even would need to seat down and look carefully. Observe the drama, the motions, the history. A true jewel of art and architecture. Initially started a charitable brotherhood institution in 1478 by wealthy Venetians to help with public calamities and religious acts. Today continues to have a role in religion but mainly it hosts art related activities, due to its large collection of invaluable pieces of art. You can find here the works of Tintoretto, Palma the Young, Tiziano, etc. Unfortunately, many of its original paintings, treasures and work of art was looted by Napoleon in 1807 in his "rape of Venice" as known to the locals on that time.
Here is the main "avenue", everyone wants to book a room with its view. Once in a lifetime, you must stay and contemplate these waters. At least, take the vaporetto or waterbus # 1 in any direction thru the Canal Grande at both night and day; it is a unique experience. Every year in the first days of September the Grand Canal stops all traffic to give way to the celebration of the Historical Regatta, an event celebrated since the 13th century where gondoliers compete with passion and pride in a race for supremacy on their rowing skills. Definitely, not to be missed.
"Il padrone" or the landlord how it is known to the locals, the highest point in Venice is also a symbol of the city's spirit. In 1609 Galileo Galilei presented to the Dodge and to the world his new invention, the telescope. Incredible views, magic memories, see all what you can walk and experience. There is no getting lost in this island. Strategically the best point in the city to watch the festivities of "Il Redentore" or the Redeemer, a yearly 3-days holiday in which the city turns from day masses to night spectacular fireworks and concerts.
The Venetian empire's central government body resided here. It is a gothic masterpiece of incredible significance in time since the 13th and 14th century to the renaissance. Housed the most complex and advanced organizational form of government of its time. World history was changed from here. Amazing paintings, vast and richly decorated rooms will leave you breathless. Each room has its own history, the treasure, the prison and its bridge, the secret rooms and passages, there is so much to see that it could take you a week to explore all in details.
Beautiful church and one of the most painted or photographed structures in Venice by world's most renown artists. An amazing work of Andrea Palladio. The interior contains works of great masters such as Tintoretto, Palma the Younger, and Carpaccio. Finished from 1576 to 1611, its original design has been modified and new areas have been added. The views from the campanile are amazingly beautiful. In 2011 right behind the church, the Giorgio Cini foundation opened the Borges labyrinth garden to the public.
La Basilica, as known to the locals, is the biggest monument to the rich history of Venice, as depicted in its grandeur facade and its inside, all of Byzantine style with incredible mosaic works covering every wall and roof, telling stories of Saint Mark but also from the bible. The splendor of the Venetian republic during the centuries was always reflected in the enrichment of the Basilica by the locals bringing precious artifacts, gold and stones from remote parts of the world. April 25th Venice celebrates the Feast of S. Mark, the patron saint of the city. Here rests the relics of this Saint which were stolen in the year 828 from Alexandria in Egypt by two Venetian merchants. On this day a big procession and crowds floods the main square, making it as one of the most important festivities in Venice.
The bridge represents the heart of the city, built to cross the canal at the point that it was for centuries and still is today the most active business and traffic area in the lagoon. It was built in 1181 and also the very first bridge in the island; initially was a simple pontoon bridge called Quartarolo or bridge of "la moneta" due to the toll charged by the ferry on those days. The bridge has being demolished and rebuilt many times thru out the centuries and numerous famous builders like Michelangelo, Palladio e Sansovino tried their luck in putting their names to the structure's best and final design. Thanks to the works of painters during the centuries there is testament of the many faces it has endured. To watch or mingle with the locals, eating and drinking, just cross the bridge to the northern side and head to the Market and its vicinities.
Here is one of the most photographed objects in Venice. Made of white Istrian stone in 1602 and commissioned by Doge Marino Grimani to link the main offices (the Palazzo Ducale) to the new prisons. Here is from where the famous Casanova is said to have escaped. Popularly known as the Bridge of Sighs because the prisoners passing in their way to the cells could see the light thru its small windows and see the beautiful lagoon for the last time, sighing for the terrible fate awaiting them.
Known as "the golden island of Venice", the Lido is a long and narrow stretch of terrain that separates the Venetian Lagoon and the Adriatic Sea. Most favored for its miles of long, shallow and warm-water beach in which you can bathe from March to October. Early poets and renowned artist have enjoyed the island since the late 1700's and today are still erect many building representing those golden times. Located here is the "Palazzo del Cinema" where every year the world famous cinema exhibitions takes place. Here is where many elegant tourists go for relaxing times. Apart from sport events for tennis, equestrian and swimming races, plus golf, life in the island is mostly quiet. Long walks and ice-cream are your main events other than an occasional cultural event. Contrary to the main island of Venice, you will find cars here but the locals prefer the bicycles. You can bring your automobile directly from Piazzale Roma in Venice by ferryboat.
This famous clock overlooking La Piazza, as known to the locals, is probably the second most famous clock in the world after the Big Ben in London. Giving the archway to the Mercerie street shopping area this widely decorated tower gives the time on the hour since 1775. The clock, enameled in blue gold, was designed for the sailors and it shows the passing of the seasons, the hours, the lunar phases and the zodiac. A notable feature is the procession of the Magic Kings. The three Kings pass in front of the Madonna and Child and bowed, preceded by the Angel Announcer playing the trumpet.
One of the main Icons for its distinctive Palladio-style architecture and position, it has become one of the symbols to identify the city. La Salute, an all marble edification was built in 1631 in giving thanks to the Virgin for sparing Venice of the black plague raging on those times. Its architectural magnificence and unique baroque Venetian and Byzantine work of art is adorned by impressive works from Titian and Tintoretto. One very distinctive item to note is its floors for its intricate patterns on marble of dozens of colors. To ward off the good health and as a sign of true devotion, the church becomes a destination for pilgrimage and festivities every year on November 21st. On this day the city celebrates the "Madonna della Salute", where masses pray and light candles on its six altars, but after leaving, it all turns into a festival with music, stalls overflowing with pancakes, cotton candy and sweets of all kinds.
Offering impressive views of the Gran Canal, this bridge is a popular destination for photographers and all those going from San Marco to Dorsoduro district. It is one of the best spots to watch a sunrise in Venice and testimony of this is the many photographers gathering up for a spot on the bridge very early in the morning. Completed in 1854 by the Austrian invading forces (1848-1866). The original design was made of wood but since then it has been renovated with the additions of metal segments to improve structural strength. Its original name was Ponte della Carita for the adjacent Church of Charity and later on with the inauguration of the Galleria dell'Accademia, it was renamed as such.
Sumptuousness and sophistication are adjectives to best describe this magnificent and impressive 18th century palace. It houses a valuable collection of objects, paintings and furniture that expands from the 400's to the 900's. Of great interest are the magnificent rooms with frescoes from Tiepolo, Guarana and Guardi. Most notable is the Pinacoteca donated by Egidio Martini with almost 300 works from Cima da Conegliano, Vivarini, Tintoretto, Palma the Young, Strozzi, Caffi, and Ciardi just to name a few. Historic mascaraed parties were given in this palace. Some rooms have a magical feeling when you enter them.
The "Casa di oro" or Ca' d'Oro (golden house) in the Venetian dialect is of the many sumptuously decorated palaces along the Grand Canal dating back to the 1400s. This one actually had some facade sections laminated in gold long ago. Its Gothic and byzantine intricate designs makes it for one of the most beautiful structures facing the canal. The porch in the ground floor has incredible and elaborated geometric design works in marble found only on other churches from the islands of Murano and Torcello. Its Giorgio Franchetti gallery contains valuable works from Mantegna, Palmezzano, Titian, Guardi and others.
San Zanipolo as the Venetian dialect called centuries ago started in 1246 and it was finished in the middle of the 15th century. A true masterpiece of gothic Venetian, along with the Frari is one of the two most impressive and majestic churches in Venice. The church contains many interesting monuments to Doges that governed the island throughout the centuries. Works by Bellini and Lotto can be admired on its walls.
La Giudecca is the longest island of the city of Venice. Here the human interaction is completely different than of the historic center (San Marco) for its garden and boat storage and repair activities. Life turns here in relaxation mode. Thanks to its isolation, the island has been a resort for wealthy artists and business class for centuries. A Jewish community was established here from the 9th century and today many buildings and small businesses are still owned by their descendants.
A true "jewel" of Venice, one of the most beautifully designs both in and out, this little church is loved by the locals like no other. Both its exteriors and interiors are not the most richly decorated but their intricate and colorful designs in marble makes for the locals their favorite church for getting married. In the 15th century, inspired on the miracles and answered prayers of a painting of the Virgin Mary on a house wall nearby, the residents of the area decided to pay homage by gathering funds to build a church worth the Icon of their devotions.
Away from the crowds and with very little traffic in its surroundings, this little island enjoys almost absolute tranquility. It was here when the first colony of those escaping the barbarian invasions of the north established themselves and started what once was a true maritime empire. The main two structures in the island are the cathedral and church of Santa Maria Assunta, founded by the year 639. Most of the island is inhabited with wild grasses and private little farms. Some fishermen today work the area with boats and methods of fishing that were designed many centuries ago. A little away from San Marco but not too far in a vaporetto (Venetian ferry).
An amazing structure and grandiose decor found on its floors, walls and roof designs of exquisite taste and geometric patterns. The museum offers an exiting discovery journey of the history of La Serenissima with paintings and drawings by many artists thru the centuries. All thanks to the donation of Teodoro Correr in 1830 to the city. Its floor's marble designs have influenced some of worlds famous architects like Michelangelo and they also have been imitated at many other buildings in 19th and 20th century. The structure houses rich historic events thru 19th century and today also host contemporary expositions.
This little church with a rough and unfinished facade near the lively Campo Santa Margherita, hides an amazing work of art that maintains people absorbed in its incredible visual illusion. On its ceiling, one of the largest canvas in the world, San Pantalone's martyrdom and glory, blends the real architecture of the church with the one on the painting. Fumiani's masterwork took over 20 years to complete between 1680 and 1704, although the church itself was built around the year 1161. In its interiors there are other works by Veronese, Palma il Giovane, Vivarini and Veneziano.
Apart from all the gold, precious stones and artwork in Venice, this library is the true jewel of the city. Originally designed by Sansovino and finished in the 1500's, it was built to store Greek and Latin manuscripts donated to the Republic by Cardinal Bessarion in 1468. Enriched by the works of many famous artists it is an example of architectural masterwork with rare marbles and intricate patterns and designs. The library forms today, along with the office Mint, where there are reading rooms and an invaluable collection of (B.C.) texts, the monumental headquarters of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana. In reality, the visitor wonders at first sight if the place is really a library or a museum, for all the Roman and Greek statues and art work all around. If there is a place to get lost in Venice, this is it, but lost in reading history of the world, the Venetian Republic, manuscripts of the many Doges and lawmakers thru the centuries, or simple business transactions with other powers, it is endless.
The true power of the Venetian Republic and its naval empire comes from this little area in the city. Doge Falier established this shipyard in 1104 and it developed into the most productive and advance ones for centuries. So advanced that they kept in secrecy their trade, walled and housed their workforce around it, and ran it with military precision. This was the source of the commerce and military powers that made Venice an empire for centuries. The ships made in the Arsenale participated in many significant naval battles, conquered countries and cities and helped shape the history of mankind. Today it harbors not only an important naval museum but some of the modern Italian navy vessels. Other areas are open to cultural activities such as expositions and performances, especially in June, where the grand Biennale d'Arte gather gather artists and exposition from all over the world. At the end of August thru September gather here the world famous Biennale di Architettura that extends thru out its gardens.
The history of this monumental and artistic complex is rooted in the 1200s where the first monks, followers of Francis of Assisi, came first to Venice. Second only to the one of San Marco, this enormous building houses masterwork sculptures and grand paintings like no other; even today is one of the most important centers of the Franciscan Friars in Italy. At first sight, there is a pyramid inside a sacred church, but how? It serves as a funeral monument to the sculptor Antonio Canova built by his students. This church has served an important role in the life of the city thru out centuries and today it continues to do so. The Franciscan monastery annexed to this church houses the archives of the Venetian state with 15 million manuscripts, book and documents; making it the third largest after the Vatican.
Venice 1789, it published a call to architects for plans to build a theater with "the most pleasing to the eye and ear of the audience". Indeed, it is one of Europe's most richly decorated, beautiful, sophisticated and best theater today. Since its inauguration it has burn down to the ground and rebuilt twice with its original decor, sumptuousness and quality. The theater hosts all sorts of cultural events thru out the year but it is most busy during February and March for the Biennale di Teatro. Special mention deserves the December's New Year celebration televised all over Italy and western Europe.
About eight miles long, a couple of hundred yards wide, populated by narrow streets, and small squares, this miniature version of Venice is a heaven for tranquility seekers. No snobs or nobility found here, just plain and simple hard working people, divided in three neighborhoods showing great passion on their rivalry that has lasted hundreds of years: rowing racings. Like a rainbow over the lagoon, here the houses are all painted with bright different colors and adorned with fishermen's nets. With a population of about 5000, life here is all about fishing and fine lacemaking. Traditions have passed here over the centuries and today are live and well. There are no luxurious and very little accommodations places here but the seafood is the freshest in the region. Life, as the locals say, has remained as typical as back to the 15th century. For those seeking a truly peaceful atmosphere in the lagoon, away from the tourist mobs and noisy boats, this is it! Life is best enjoyed here with a book, an aperitif sprinkled with Campari or Aperol by the sea. For those visiting in May, do not miss the opportunity to watch one of Venice most important event: "La Festa della Sensa" or the celebration of the Ascension of Christ. For centuries, each year Venice celebrates their marriage to the sea and their heritage. Countless boats go rowing from this island to participate on this event.
An impressive edification both inside and out, with very elaborated marble and stucco works in the northern part of the city. The church was originally built around the 12th century and bought by the Jesuits in 1657. It has recently been renovated to its original splendor, making it for one of the most beautiful churches in the island.
Nothing liberates you more from labels of social class, gender, age, religion or race than wearing a mask. Indeed, does the Carnevale in Venice. Although today's general idea is to be a procession of masks and costumes, its origin dates back to the first century, where wearing a mask was permissible during several days or weeks thru out the year during other festivities. Today, other than to the locals, it is little known fact of the existence of other celebrations and activities that takes place in Venice that culminates in the big procession, such one, as the Election of the Mary. This event alone is as ancient as Carnevale itself, where twelve young maidens are chosen by the people to represent the city, but only one could be elected based on her attributes of kindness and beauty. This elected girl is then chosen to become the angel in the "Flight of the Angel" ceremony, where wearing a special winged costume and hidden hardness she slides down from a cable that unites the top of the Campanile to the Piazza San Marco. Another little known fact to most is that the classic Venetian masks each has a special meaning and representation along with a specific costume and weare on certain days.