Free Walk in Venice tours are glad to present you: Saint Mark Horses
The horses you can see on the pic are the copy created in 1982, the original are inside the beautiful Sain Mark museum.
The original four horses at St. Mark’s Basilica, Venice, can only be described with one word: beauty. They are called the bronze horses, but they are actually pure copper. If you have the opportunity to stare at them long enough, they almost seem real. The two horses pictured above are looking at each other like they are sharing a secret, and we are left in the dark. It’s a miracle of history, time, and circumstance that these horses exist today. We are able to stand and admire their craftsmanship because of a long history of looting, theft, and historic preservation. Do you want when have they been created?
It seems they may have been created by a very famous sculptor, Lyssippos, in the fourth century BCE. However, we must tell you that recent studies suggest that the horses have a Roman and not greek origin. If the antiquity of the horses is not enough to produce a feeling of awe, then the story of how they made their way from Constantinople to Venice will surely amaze. From at least the ninth century CE, and possibly much earlier, the horses stood on top of the Hippodrome in Constantinople. In 1204 CE, Constantinople was totally sacked by Crusaders, and many of the treasures, including the four horses, were shipped to western Europe. This is part of the history.
From 1204 CE, these four beautiful horses grace the terrace at St. Mark’s Basilica. In 1797 CE, Napoleon and the French troop decided that he wanted horses and carried them off to Paris (and not only them). They were returned to Venice a short time later in 1815 CE. There they stood on the terrace until the 1980s, when they were moved inside to save them from pollution. Today on the terrace you can view the replicas, but the real treasure is located inside. The horses stand guard just inside the entrance and look like they are in motion, prancing towards the visitors to greet them. There they will stand for future generations to admire their beauty and realism. Photography is not allowed and the cost of the ticket is 5 euro, totally worth it!
Curious remarks in Venice: Palazzo Grimani di San Luca
This palace was built in the mid-16th century for the procurator Gerolamo Grimani by the architect Nichele Sanmicheli and completed after his death by the architect Gian Giacomo de' Grigi, known as the Bergamasco.
A legend connects these large openings to an episode rekating to a young Grimani. The young man wanted to marry a young lady of the Tiepolo family, so he asked for her hand, receiving this reply from her father:
"It shall never be said true that I gave the hand of my daughter to a desperate man that has no palace on the (Grand) Canal".
At that, young Grimani promiused that he would have built a house with windows larger that the doorway of Ca' Tiepolo, and so it was.
Did you like this curiosity? Join Free Walk in Venice and our tours will help you to discover more and more !
Where? San Marco, fondamenta della Chiesa 4041
Vaporetto waterbus stop: 1-2-N RIALTO
4 meeting points, unlimited knowledge and fun. Join our Venice free tours !
T Fondaco dei tedeschi is a endless source of surprise. The terrace suspended over the Rialto roofs and dominating the city is a breathtaking viewpoint. From here is possible to see far across the Venetian lagoon even to the peaks of the nearby Italian Alps. This unique panoramic view will win the hearts of all those who love Venice !
The building, renovated by Rem Koolhaas, celebrates the traditional elements, textures and shapes of Venice where in the past we had the historical Fondaco dei Tedeschi. Nowadays this is a new luxury department store and a cultural hub for Venice, promoting events and exhibitions.
This and many other suggestions during our Free Walk in Venice tours. Join us !
In Venice the life of the city found in the clock an irreplaceable controller of the hundreds of activities taking place.
The Venetian Governament's decision to assign to the clock of San Geremia, alongside that of San marco (construction of which was completed in 911), that of the Frari (erected from 1361 to 1396) and that of San Francesco della Vigna (completely rebuilt, ending in 1581), the task od advising with strokes of their bells when the Maggior Consiglio, that is to say the highest political body of the Republic of Venice was going to meet was of enormous importance. Gradually the citizens (about one hundred thousand people) learnt to appreciate how handy it was to associate the division of time as tolled by the bells with the rhythm of their working day.
Do you want to learn more? Join our Magnificent northern side of Venice and Jewish Ghetto tour! :)
Do you like the Italian coffee "espresso"?
Europeans got their first taste of coffee in 1615 when Venetian merchants who had become acquainted with the drink in Istanbul carried it back with them to Venice. Venetian merchants followed the sea routes that linked the far east with Venice and Naples, bringing the first bags of coffee in their city. At first, the beverage was sold on the street by lemonade vendors, but in 1645 the first coffeehouse opened in Italy. Coffeehouse soon sprang up all over the country and they become a platform for people, especially artists and students to come together and chat…then it is certain that Venice was the first place in Italy where people experienced the delicious aroma of coffee! Historical documents revealed that the ambassador in Costantinople Gianfrancesco Morosini was the first to mention the coffee in a report to the senate of Venice in 1585. Some ancient papers testify that in Venice the coffee was very expensive and considered a valuable medicine (prepared as infusion with powder of roasted coffee beans). Towards the end of the century, the infusion of coffee became so popular and required by the people, and the senate issued a special order and it procured and imported larger quantities of coffee for the city of Venice.
The first coffee shop was opened by Turkish traders in Saint Mark’s square under the Procuratie Nuove. Given the success in a short time it opened more than 200 coffee shop throughout the city. In 1720 was opened the CAFÉ’ FLORIAN , which boasted a long line of illustrious clients, such as: Giacomo Casanova, Carlo Goldoni and Lord Byron. Equally important are two other historic coffee in Saint Mark’s square: CAFFE’ QUADRI and CAFFE’ LAVENA , the first opened in 1775 and the second in 1750.
If you want to discover more about the daily life in Venice book your free tour by Isola Tour , the original Free Walk in Venice! :)
Enjoy a hot cup of coffee!
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.
We help our guest and supporters of our Association to know the real and hidden Venice that we love..through the original free tours of Venice!
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.
OUR GOALS ARE:
- Supporting the promotion of tourism and sightseeing.
- The development of contacts and cooperation between people.
- Helping people to save money and time during their stay
Do you want to know people coming from different parts of the world, discovering the real hidden Venice? Wear your best smile and join FREE WALK IN VENICE, our Venice free tour ! - English activities Everyday - italiano su richiesta per gruppi - www.freewalkinvenice.org
Soon we'll give you more info about new proposals for you.
So far.. just try to guess what Free Walk in Venice by Isola Tour is organising for you!
Well, we can start telling you about a hidden gem in Venice: Scala Contarini del Bovolo
In the history of cinema, since the beginning Venice has been chosen by many directors as a backdrop for movies, some are real masterpiece in the history of cinema.
For exemple, in 1949 the English director Orson Welles began filming a famous literary classic: Othello by William Shakespeare, whose first act was set in Venice.
A lack of funds was the first one between the many problems this movie had. Anyway, above all, the bad character of Orson Welles who even went as far as forcing five lead actresses in the role of Desdemona (the unhappy wife killed by Otello's, who was mad with jealousy) to abandon the set.
Because of the continuing delays, many scenes, which were supposed to be shot in Morocco, had to be shot in our Venice and therefore only saw the light in 1952.
As you know Shakespeare set the final act of the tragedy in Cyprus that was a Venetian colony and yet in the film we can see the Doge's Palace gate... but in the movie we can see also the famous Contarini spiral staircase of the Palazzo in San Luca, called Contarini del Bovolo ( in Venetian means spiral or snail).
This incredible staricase, dated 1499, was recently (this year) reopened to the public and you can climb the stairs; the view is absolutely worth the cost of the ticket (just 5 euro).
Venice is a real film location in the open air. In addition to Orson Wells' Othello many films or scenes that remain immortal in the history of cinema were shot... do you want to learn more? Stay tuned!