The quiet island of Mazzorbo in the northern lagoon of Venice

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.

Votive shrines in Venice

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.

Walking in Venice on a ‘marble carpet’

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.

The Contarini Family and their Snail Staircase in Venice

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.