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Free Walk in Venice tours - Cannaregio and the Jewish Ghetto

 The Jewish Ghetto, the world's oldest, remains intact and is still marked by dark porticoes, peeling paint, laundry hung out to dry, and windows placed so close above one another that you're back aches just thinking about the low ceiling.

Until the 14th century, Jews were allowed to come to Venice for money-lending activities, but were not allowed permanent residents permits. The first Jews were allowed to settle in Venice only in 1385, when the city was involved in a war against neighbouring Chioggia and needed loans from the Jewish money-lenders.
But racism persisted, and in 1516 Venice's ruling council confined all the Jews in a smallen getti, or foundries. The gates were locked at night, and restrictions were placed on Jewish economic activities. Jews were only allowed to operate pawn shops and lend money, trade in textiles, and practice medicine.
They were allowed to area not far from today's train station, where there had be leave the Ghetto during the day, but were marked as Jews: Men wore a yellow circle stitched on the left shoulder of their cloaks or jackets, while women wore a yellow scarf. Later on, the men's circle became a yellow beret and still later a red one.
The first Jews to settle in the Ghetto were the central European Ashkenazim. They built two Synagogues. the Scola Grande Tedesca in 1528-29 and the Scola Canton in 1531-32. They are on the top floors of adjacent buildings, above the Jewish museum and from the outside, are not easily distinguishable from the apartments around them.
Space was limited, and according to Jewish law it is forbidden to have any thing between the Synagogue and the sky - hence their strange attic location. The canton Synagogue was probably added to house the large number of Jews already in the Ghetto.
Next came the Levantine Jews, who practiced the Sepharadic rite. When they got their own neighbourhood, an extension of the Venetian Ghetto granted in 1541, they were wealthy enough to build a Synagogue on the ground, rather than in cramped top floor apartments. The rich red and gold interior of the Levantine Synagogue is particularly beautiful. If you're their in the summer and get to see it. note the intricately carved wooden bimah , or pulpit, and the carved wooden decorations on the ceiling.
Mixed in with the poorer Ashkenazim were Italian Jews who had migrated north to Venice from central and southern Italy. In 1575, they built their own Synagogue on top of some apartments in the same square as the German shul. The Scola Italiana has a cupola, barely visible from the square outside, and a portico with columns marking it's entrance. Inside, there's another exquisitely carved wooden ark of the covenant, housing the Torah.
Levatines and Ashkenazim, Italian and Spanish Jews all lived together in the Ghetto through hard times - including the plague of 1630 - and better times, until Napoleon threw open the gates in 1797 and recognized equal rights to the Jews of Venice. At its height, around 1650, the Ghetto housed about 4,000 people in a space roughly equivalent to 2-1/2 city blocks. Before World War II there were still about 1,300 Jews in the Ghetto, but 289 were deported by the Nazis and only seven returned.

 

Info: http://www.jewishvenice.org/

 

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CAMPO SAN POLO FREE WALK IN VENICE meeting point on November and December

Free Walk in Venice, free tours. This is one of our meeting points: Campo San Polo. Quiet, elegant and simple, the biggest campo (not square!) of your beloved Venice. Redbenches make the campo a perfect places for relax, in each season of the year!

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Free Walk in Venice tours loves the sestier de Cannaregio!

As well as the Sestiere of Castello it is the largest and most populated "sestier" of Venice, it takes the whole northern part of the city, it is delimited by the Lagoon, the Grand Canal and the Castello and San Marco (Saint Mark) Sestiere. The Cannaregio canal is the most important water way of the quarter right after the Grand Canal and it is the only inner canal crossed by the ACTV (public transport company) boat, our vaporetti. Cannaregio is linked to the mainland by a bridge, it is the long railroad bridge from the Santa Lucia Train station to the mainland, the bridge of the Liberty (about 3 850 m) once called ponte Littorio.

The cannaregio name comes probably by the fact that here there where many reed thicket. This appear also on a book date 1410. This is a popular quarter of Venice, well know for the presence of the Jewish getto (the oldest in Europe). The majority of the artworks in this part of the city can be admired inside churches.

It's an area full of our Bacari, typical places for eating and drinking in Venice!

 

Do you want discover more? Join us!

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Il blog dei nostri Venice free tours.

 

La Serenissiam è stata definita la miglior forma di Repubblica esistente, + anche vero che la giustizia qui a Venezia era molto severa, anche se dava,(specialmente dopo l’episodio del famoso fornaretto) garanzie precise per quanto poteva riguardare la difesa degli accusati di crimini.

Ma crimini efferati ve ne furono, e proprio nella natura stessa della Repubblica questi dovevano essere immediatamente puniti con precisa e mirata violenza, per dare al popolo la sicurezza e il monito che chiunque si macchiasse di cruenti crimini veniva puntualmente punito, dando soddisfazione alle vittime o ai loro parenti, ma , in egual modo, far presente che la lunga mano della quarantia criminal sarebbe stata presente, e la punizione inesorabile e terribile.

L’esecuzione  dei condannati a morte avveniva sempre tra le colonne di Marco e Todaro a S. Marco, ma prima, perchè l’impatto “educativo” fosse ancor più efficace, il colpevole doveva subire determinati, terribili torture.

colonna di s.croceUna delle tappe più drammatiche avveniva, dopo il trasporto in una gondola sul canal grande dalle prigioni venivano portati a S. Croce, presso una colonna unica rimasta di un Monastero che aveva sede alla Giudecca e che venne smantellato, e che venne quindi incastrata tra la Fondamenta della Croce e la Fondamenta del Monastero.

Fondamenta de la CroceQui venivano loro mozzate le mani che venivano poi legate al collo, quindi il condannato veniva portato presso il luogo  dell’esecuzione, e qui, finalmente veniva posta fine alla sua vita, con lo sguardo rivolto all’orologio della torre, giusto per far capire loro che quella era l’ora della loro morte. Si ricorda difatti il detto "Te fasso veder mi, che ora che xe"!

Sicuramente fortemente cruento e drammatico, ma questo era ritenuto  un modo per rendere la giustizia più giusta Colonne di Marco e Todaro(all’epoca) e allo stesso tempo dare un insegnamento ai veneziani del peso della legge! Da non dimenticare!

Free Walk in Venice tour ! Venice is a small, pedestrian-friendly city (remember, we don't have cars and it's forbidden ride a bike - for adults). If you're willing to walk or if you decide to  buy a 12-24 or 48 hours vaporetto pass, you can easily get around on your own. 

Join our guided tour :) it  can be worthwhile if you're pressed for time or if you want to discover something different from a local point of view and for sure  if you want to learn more about Venice than you could learn from a guidebook! :)

 

 

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Repost from la Biennale website

 

The 74th Venice International Film Festival, organized by La Biennale di Venezia, will run at Venice Lido from August 30th to September 9th, 2017, directed by Alberto Barbera. The Festival is officially recognised by the FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Association).

The aim of the Festival is to raise awareness and promote the various aspects of international cinema in all its forms: as art, entertainment and as an industry, in a spirit of freedom and dialogue. The Festival also organises retrospectives and tributes to major figures as a contribution towards a better understanding of the history of cinema.

 

The Venice Biennale has been for over 120 years one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world. Established in 1895, the Biennale has an attendance today of over 500,000 visitors at the Art Exhibition. The history of the La Biennale di Venezia dates back from 1895, when the first International Art Exhibition was organized. In the 1930s new festivals were born: Music, Cinema, and Theatre (the Venice Film Festival in 1932 was the first film festival in history). In 1980 the first International Architecture Exhibition took place, and in 1999 Dance made its debut at La Biennale.

 

Here below the link to the program:

http://www.labiennale.org/en/cinema/2017/program-cinema-2017?date=2017-08-30

venice free tous grand canal

Venice free tours - blog

The Grand Canal, Venice's magnificent water street is also called the “Canalazzo“. This is one of the real canals of Venice and it is the most important water way of Venice. Its lenght is about 3800 meters and it splits the city in two sides, "de citra" and "de utra".

You know, Venice looks like a fish, not bad for a city on the lagoon! The Grand Canal it's like a thick dark line that creates a kind of "big S" inside the fish.

By each sideof the Grand Canal you can see  many different and magnificent palazzi (from a period dated between XII and XVII century) that testify the richness and beauty of the art during  the “Serenissima“ Republic.

The Grand Canal  was the centre of the trades of the Republic since the Middle Age. Here ships (some were over 400 tons) used to sail by: in fact, it is right on the Grand Canal that the “Fondaci” were born. They were a sort of big warehouses and inns for merchants coming from every part of the world. One if this fondaci is: Fondaco dei Tedeschi, now houses luxury shops but..also a magnificent terrace where you can enjoy one of the best view of Venice!

There are 4 bridges crossing the Grand Canal, each built in different eras. The most recent one is the “Ponte della Costituzione” (the Constitution Bridge), known also as the “Calatrava Bridge” (from the name of the Spanish Architect who presented the project) and inaugurated on September  11th 2008. It links the Santa LuciaTrain Station with Piazzale Roma (bus station). Right after it, there is the “Ponte degli Scalzi ("Barefoot Bridge") . Proceeding towards Saint Mark's Square we find the Rialto Bridge, certainly the most famous one, once made of wood "Ponte delle monete". It used to be a drawbridge that allowed the crossing of the canal to sailing ships, when Rialto was the ancient port of the city. The last bridge we meet is the Accademia Bridge, still a temporary structure made out of wood. It is a very important link between Dorsoduro area (and the Accademia museum) and Saint Mark's district.

These four bridges are not the only way to cross the Canal Grande: a quite cheap gondola our public ferry - traghetto) service takes people, tourists and locals, from one side to the other.

The Grand Canal ends in Saint Mark's where the spectacular view of the basin opens wide in front of us. On the right side the Salute church and the “Punta della Dogana” (Custom Point),on the left the extraordinary view of Saint Marks’ Square, the Doge's Palace, the Basilica, and the dominating belltower, our  so called “El paron de Casa”.

The Grand Canal was, and still is, the most ambitious place to live. All palaces on this water way (no pedestrian access from the Canal) were built and embellished by the most important nobles families of the City. The best way (the only one !!) to see all the palaces is by water bus: sit back, relax and enjoy the splendour passing by!

If you want more tips related to the Grand Canal your our free tour, for a local point of view! :)

During our Free Walk in Venice tours we always repeat that Venice, because of its uniqueness, is a fragile city.
The increasing number of travellers who walk every day along its calli makes it necessary to remember some rules to be respected by all visitors. This way, discovering the city will be easier, respecting Venice itself and its citizens!

Thank you !

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