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The Venetian diarist, Marin Sanudo (1466-1536), summed up one of the paradoxes of Venice when he wrote: "Venexia è in aqua et non ha aqua" (Venice is in water and it doesn't have water).
|Natural History Museum|
|Ca' d' Oro|
|Corte S. Andrea|
|Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo|
Aren't you very surprised to see this photo showing a fountain in the Piazza San Marco?!
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Venice Lido (Lido di Venezia) is an island, usually just referred to as 'the Lido'. It is the narrow strip of land which separates the central part of the Venetian lagoon from the Adriatic Sea. Once just a natural barrier, the Lido is now Venice's seaside. It's also the origin of the word 'lido' as used in the English-speaking world to describe bathing establishments. It was developed as a seaside resort at the beginning of the twentieth century, and has been popular for beach holidays ever since.
The Lido is Venice, yet not Venice. For residents, it's a compromise between the practical mainland and the historic city. The atmosphere on the Lido is very different from Venice: there are leafy residential avenues, roads, cars, cyclists and pavements. Out of season it feels 'normal', with reasonably-priced shops and restaurants, and locals taking their children for walks. There are lovely views over the lagoon to Venice, and in winter and spring you may be lucky enough, on a clear day, to see the snow-capped summits of the Dolomites behind the city's towers and rooftops. As summer approaches the big hotels open for the season, streams of beach-goers cross from the lagoon, and there are ice-cream shops on every corner.
In this wondeul pic you can see Paul Newman in 1963. At age 38, he visited the Lido to show off Hud, Martin Ritt's drama in which he played a Texas bad boy.
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The bell tower of the san Polo church is a typical example of a medieval Venetian bell tower with a cone spire; the front door is surmounted by two special sculptures in a Romanesque style: a lion grasping a snake and another lion holding with the front legs a human head. Medieval ecclesiastical buildings were often decorated with monsters or wild animals, often to emphasize the difference between the outside of the church, where there was bad, and the interior, the house of God.
Popular tradition has given the two figures, however, a very different meaning, linked to the history of Venice. The snake caught between the claws of one of the lions represents the conspiracy of Tiepolo Baiamonte, "crushed" by the Council of Ten. In 1310 Baiamonte Tiepolo took charge of a conspiracy of young Venetian nobles to overthrow the government of the Republic of Venice, but on that occasion he was discovered and, to ensure the internal security of the state, the Council of Ten was created, which sadly became famous for its ruthlessness in eliminating any possible enemy of Venice.
The human head on the other lion could be Bussone Francis, Count of Carmagnola, captain of the Venetian troops in the war against Milan (1425). In 1432 the Venetian Senate, however, accused him of treason and had him beheaded.
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During our free tour, FREE WALK IN VENICE, when we start from our San Geremia meeting point (we have 4 different ones) we go also to discover the Venice Jewish Ghetto.
So, do you know that Venice is also famous because the first ‘Jewish Ghetto’ in the world was based here?
It is the area where the Jews were forced to live and that has shaped many other European cities! When visiting the Venice Ghetto one learns that since the 16th century there have been five synagogues, but today it is almost impossible to recognize them in the tall buildings if you do not know what to look for. In this district, there are, in fact, monumental buildings separated from the rest of the houses, since the Jews in Venice only had a small space around the squares of the Ghetto Nuovo and the Old Ghetto, and it is for this reason the buildings are very high, because it developed as the population grew.
Synagogues were then built on top of the normal housing because, according to the teachings of the Talmud, places of prayer should rise over the city, and from outside they are only recognizable by counting the windows. In fact, all the synagogues of Venice have five large windows, to provide them with more light. According to the Talmud light is fundamental to a synagogue because it is a symbol of life, and therefore, of God. On the choice of the number five there are various interpretations, but the most likely is connected to the distribution of Talmud, precisely divided into five parts, which represent the manifestations of light.
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Do you know that Venice is not just one big island?
During our free tours in Venice, FREE WALK IN VENICE, we use to speak about the strange shape of our Venice!
it is thanks to Tiziano Scarpa that we use to say that Venice has the shape of a fish! When you are landing in the Marco Polo Airport you can see how many islands there are here!
But how many islands are them? In Venice there are about 116, 118 or 124 islands (there are different opinions about that!) linked by more than 400 bridges !
The first settlement was on the highest ground of Venice, called Rialto. There is a day that we consider as the Birthday of Venice that is the 25th March 421. In this day the church of San Giacometo was consecrated on the banks of the Grand Canal. But the latest studies on the origins of Venice tell us something different. Was the church built later?
For sure today we know that Venice had its origins during the barbaric invasions. In the 5th century the Huns and the Longobards invaded the territory of Altino and surroundings, in the mainland. So the inhabitants escaped from their houses to take refuge in the islands of the near lagoon. Here we had just empty islands, none lived there, all was new for everyone. Torcello was one of the first islands to host someone. If you visit it today you can see that the inhabitants are really a few, but in the past thousands of people lived there.
Now the buildings are a few as its inhabitants, but you have to try to think about the Venice of the past! Here you can visit the cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta with the beautiful Last Judgment mosaic, the church of Santa Fosca and the museum. You can’t’ say to have been in Torcello without trying to sit on the “Attila’s throne” and crossing the “Devil’s Bridge”. Do you know what are they?
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During our FREE WALK IN VENICE, free tours, we speak about our many islands in Venice. But do you know the history behind the San Servolo island?
Do you want to know more about islands in Venice ?
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During our Free Walk in Venice travellers use to take lots of pic of laudry, we suppose because until that moment it's something they haven't seen very often at home.
But it's not just "laudry" it's the way we usw to dry it that you love! Not having a clothes dryer we develop a knowledge about the weather and its capacity to dry garments that you can't imagine !
Looking out the window during the morning we can easily understand if today is the welcome "Laundry day!".
The perfect day is a sunny one, less humidity, a certain kind of breeze not so strong but steady!
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Free Walk in Venice is just the first project of the Isola Tour non-profit Association, officially registered in 2014 by Venice lovers and professionals in the tourism sector as well as cultural and heritage managers.
During our free tours we help our guest and supporters of our Association to know the real and hidden Venice that we love!
We are friendly, greeters and passionate ambassadors of the city, and we’ll help you to discover the most amazing spots, beautiful areas faraway from the tourist ones.
We believe in fairness and our mission is to make you feel at ease during your stay.
This is why we promote only Venetian cuisine giving you the best tips about it and providing information about the best ways to transportation and to choose tickets to museum and various attractions.
We don’t believe in boredom and this is why we love interaction and exchange with our guests for a nice and relaxing walk speaking about the most curious and hidden aspects of the city.
If you have three full days to explore Venice, you encountered a delight you’d never read about in any of the many accounts of the city’s history you’d perused, a wonderful legacy of the craft workers who built the city!
Apparently the masons who built Venice brick by brick took special delight in adding a unique fillip to the designs of some of the greatest architects of the age, literally crowning their creations with an extravagant array of chimneys, each unique in its own way.
Venice has about 7,000 chimneys! The chimneys — from the funnel-shaped to those that resemble a twisted pasta noodle — come in 10 different styles. If you’re wondering why anyone would count them all, it’s because they’re part of Venice’s fascinating architectural heritage…could be possible to make a walking tour just to search them!
A distinct architectural characteristic of Venice is found in its chimneys. Try walking around Venice with your nose in the air and you will see an intriguing skyline, punctuated by chimneys of various strange sizes and shapes. These are the same chimneys that can be seen in paintings by Carpaccio and Canaletto among others, and form a vital element of this incredible city’s character, topping off the elegant palaces like so many party hats. There is a practical reason for their odd shapes, however. Their peculiar forms prevent the escape of sparks into the air by whirling them around their inner walls until they fall, spent, to a collecting space at the base of the chimney. A necessary measure in a city that uses abundant amounts of wood in its palazzi!
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