The quiet island of Mazzorbo in the northern lagoon of Venice

Mazzorbo is a small island, neglected by tourists, in the northern part of the Venetian lagoon. The Church of St. Catherine is the one only surviving of the 10 once existing, testimony of the rich past history of this island that was described as a major city, and nowadays has less than 300 inhabitants. A modern social housing estate and a contemporary vineyard await us in Mazzorbo.

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When in Venice, in Saint Mark’s Square, the vault of the Library collapsed – The Republic of Venice and the Renaissance architecture

Venice, Saint Mark’s Square, 1545, December 18th: it was on that night that the vault under construction for the new majestic Library collapsed. It was a blow to the architect Jacopo Sansovino and to his bold ambition to introduce in Venice the architectural magnificence of ancient Rome.

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Votive shrines in Venice

In Venice there are countless votive shrines that embody local religious worship; they express a feeling of piety that originates in the streets and squares and then embraces the whole city. The shrines tell us stories of joy and pain, of labor and hope, and finally they tell us about the daily life of the people that preceded us on these cobblestone alleyways.

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Blacksmith Tenderini: the art of fire

We discover the Arts & Crafts of Venice. Ironworking in Venice was already codified with rules and laws as soon as the 1000s. The ‘Arte dei Favri’ (the Blacksmiths’ Guild) was well rooted in Venice and in the 1700s counted as many as 200 workshops. The Blacksmith Workshop Tenderini has survived over time and is today the oldest in town.

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Giovanni Vezzi: the third porcelain manufacture of Europe in Venice in the Ca’ Rezzonico Museum

The Rezzonico Museum on the Grand Canal is a former private palazzo that houses since 1935 a museum giving the idea of Venetian art and life in the 18th Century. Among frescos, portraits, chandeliers and mirrors the first and the second Piano Nobile display exquisite pieces of porcelain by Giovanni Vezzi. Admire his pieces and learn how he started the third European porcelain production in the world.

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Pietà now as then

Pietà is a truly moving institution that has existed ever since it was first established in 1346 to help those children – initially exclusively from poor families – who were abandoned in the streets of Venice, a city that suffered from this plague like many others.
But it is also touching for its extraordinary developments, both involving or not involving music, connected to private and public generosity and, at the same time, for teaching its “daughters” a lot thanks to the work of composers and musicians such as Vivaldi who dedicated almost forty years of his life to them.

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Hidden treasures in the Frari Church: the stained-glass windows of the Corner Chapel

The Frari Church contains several masterpieces, but also amazing hidden treasures such as twelve glass panels in the Corner Chapel. The upper ones representing different saints were elaborated by an artist whose identity is still unknown; while the lower ones are a unique example of Liberty-style windows in Venice by Giovanni Beltrami.

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