Glass Design: from the Furnaces of Murano to Renaissance Canvases (and back)

Let us take a special tour of the Accademia Galleries to discover the beautiful glass objects painted in some masterpieces of the Venetian Renaissance. You will find out that an artist like Veronese is copied by modern designers, and that some very ancient shapes are still produced nowadays in the furnaces of Murano!

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Peace Rose in the garden of a Venetian palace

The Peace Rose with its delicate ivory-yellow colour tending to cream with slightly crimson-pink edged petals is considered one of the most famous roses. Read how Mr Meilland bred the rose in France shortly before ww2 and how it survived being given different names. Admire it in a private Venetian garden.

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Shoemaking industry: an ancient tradition still alive in Venice. Stories of artisans, saints and maecenas

The history of the guild of shoemakers proves that in past centuries the presence of guilds in Venice was important for lower classes who thus became part of the commercial system of the city. Read about how the seat of these Venetian ‘calegheri’, shoemakers and how this ancient tradition continues still nowadays thanks to Mr Luigino Rossi in the museum of the Villa Foscarini and in several other activities.

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Walking in Venice on a ‘marble carpet’

Ancient Venetian floors resemble precious carpets made of marble and stone; the oldest examples with geometrical patterns or allegorical figures can be admired in the churches of Murano, Torcello and San Marco in Venice. Learn about Venetian ‘terrazzo’ and ‘pastellon’ floors, about the marvellous floors in Ca’ D’Oro planned by Baron Franchetti and about the modern floors with mosaics of Carlo Scarpa in the Querini Stampalia Foundation.

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Summit on climate change

The problem of climate change is a very important one for Venice, because it is so strictly connected with the future of the city. At the beginning of March a summit was organized in Venice, regarding such a theme. In addition on the Giudecca island there is an exhibition going on ‘Artico ultima frontiera’, connected with such a subject. If you wish to have an idea of what was discussed and debated, read more…

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Gardens of Venice: the ‘Palace Gardens’

Discover the evolution of ‘palace gardens’ in Venice and their function over the centuries from mere vegetable gardens with fruit trees and vegetables to real botanical gardens with rare plants imported from distant places. Later on traditional gardens were replaced by English informal, romantic gardens where artificial elements were added to surprise visitors.

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‘Dressing the sea’: The tailor of nautical upholstery

It is very likely that visitors when in Venice will sooner or later enjoy a ride on a water taxi and admire from the water the city. In a second moment clients will realize the beauty of the shining varnishes and luxurious interiors of their wooden boat, the result of skilled hands of Venetian artisans such as Paolo Munari. He has dedicated his life to ‘dress the sea’ designing all sorts of nautical upholstery.

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Come with me to Casa Goldoni: Theatre and… many curiosities!

An unusual itinerary between theatrical literature and curious tales of Venice in the 18th Century. We visit Ca’ Centani, the Gothic palace where the great Venetian playwright Carlo Goldoni grew up, in the district of San Polo. His birthplace houses now an interesting museum dedicated to Carlo Goldoni, giving an idea of life in Venice in the 18th Century with an intact puppet theatre with several puppets, pieces of furniture, clothing and masks.

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The secrets of Venetian churches – San Marcuola

All churches in Venice reveal interesting details about the people who lived there and contributed to art, history and culture. The Church of San Marcuola in Cannaregio brings us back to the 18th Century and the life of a beautiful, intelligent enlightened poetess Caterina Dolfin. She fought against her arranged marriage, obtaining its annulment and also published sonnets. She led a prestigious literary salon, married and supported the powerful politician Procurator Tron and had to face the Venetian Inquisition.

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The Contarini Family and their Snail Staircase in Venice

The noble family Contarini decided in the 15th Century to embellish their pre-existing Gothic palazzo, located in a strategic position, but unfortunately not on the prestigious Grand Canal. So after having frescoed their palace, a unique external spiral staircase was added, with a mere decorative purpose. Learn about the undertaking, the materials and the extraordinary result.

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Lord George Byron in Venice: an interesting story

Venice was a source of inspiration for Lord George Gordon Byron, the English poet who spent a few years in Venice, ‘a fairy city of the heart’, he learnt first about it as a little child. He was much involved in the life of the Armenian monastery on the island of San Lazzaro, and he had a special feeling for the Florian Cafe and appreciated La Fenice Theatre and learn of course about the Bridge of Sighs!

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The fish market in Venice

The Rialto fish market has almost one thousand years of history: thousands of tons of fish were and still are sold and bought here. Our journey starts however in the wholesale market – off limits to outsiders – where negotiations take place early in the morning before the fish is then transported with special boats, called ‘topi’ over to the retail market and meticulously displayed on ice.

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