- Venice provides eternal inspiration for quiet contemplation.
- A city built of stone and washed by water, glittering under the sun and unforgettable in its misty embrace.
- The heart of Venice is St. Mark’s square, but to understand her, one needs to explore the rest of her body.
- To visit Venice without seeing her palaces is like going to the theatre without seeing a performance.
Born in Ukraine in 1974.
Graduated from Kherson Pedagogical University (Ukraine), faculty of Ukrainian and English languages and literature, in 1996.
A year of work as an English teacher at a school in Ternopil, Ukraine.
1997-2002 – a teacher of English at language courses; interpreter from English into Ukrainian and vice versa and English teacher at Lutheran seminary in Ternopil, Ukraine.
Since 2002 in Venice, Italy.
2002-2009 – Studying and work as a receptionist in various hotels in Venice.
2009 – Obtained tour escort guide licence.
2011 – Obtained licence as touristic guide in Venice, in Russian and Ukrainian.
2015 – Obtained licence of touristic guide in Venice, in English.
When a tourist comes to Venice for the first time he is often afraid of getting lost in the intricate maze of streets. I would suggest doing precisely this! Leave your map behind in the hotel and allows yourself to lose your bearings. Only by losing your way can you understand how different and truly unique Venice is. The nature of the city’s layout becomes apparent, you become intimately acquainted with the buildings and the fabric of the place, and at this point, Venice reveals her real treasures to you.
The “sestiere di Castello”, one of the six districts of Venice, may be explored from the island of San Pietro. “Campo San Pietro” has remained unchanged for centuries. Tourists rarely come here.
The scenario is spectacular: numerous boats belonging to locals are tied to wooden piles, the green meadow reminds us of how most “campos” looked centuries ago, people sit chatting on the benches, fishermen clean out their boats, washing hangs out to dry on lines strung from house to house, there is an atmosphere of quiet and serenity – a very different reality from the busy life of the city centre. To complete the panorama there is the white façade of the church of San Pietro di Castello. It used to be the church of the Patriarch and the relics of the first Patriarch of Venice, Saint Lorenzo Giustiniani, are still kept in the church. The church itself is more like a small museum, housing many works of art. There are frescoes by Girolamo Pellegrini, the chapel for the Vendramin family built by the famous architector Baldassare Longhena, and a late painting by Paolo Veronese.
Across the Quintavalle bridge is the only “street” in Venice – via Giuseppe Garibaldi. Again, few tourists are to be seen, only a few stragglers from the Biennale art exhibition that takes place in the nearby Giardini Pubblici. Here, every morning there is a small but picturesque fish market. The Venetian dialect is heard everywhere and you can buy fresh vegetables from the boat tied to the canalside. In San Domenico street a plaque marks the spot where G.B. Tiepolo, a famous painter of the 18th century, lived.
A little further on, we come to “fondamenta della Tana”. The name on the walls of the “Corderie della Tana” recalls the time during the Venetian Republic when ropes for ships were manufactured here, and the hemp was brought from the river Tana in Russia (the river is now called the Don).
To our right we can see Campo Arsenale. Two brick towers form the entrance to what was once the biggest complex of shipyards in Medieval Europe. Built in the 15th century, it looks like an Arch of Triumph. After the victory over the Turkish Empire in the battle of Lepanto, the entrance to the Arsenale was decorated with the statue of St. Giustina and the statue of the Winged Lion. The terrace with some allegorical statues was added later. The stone lions brought from Greece by Francesco Morosini are of particular interest. Can you find some runic inscriptions on one of them?
The bust of Dante Alighieri is placed above a few lines quoted from his Divine Comedy, in which he compared the pitch of Hell with the boiled pitch (used for caulking ships) in the Venetian Arsenal. This extraordinary building represented the true economic, political and military power of Venice.
To reach the campo di San Martino, we walk along a canalside called Purgatory. There are different legends that explain the gloomy name of this quay. Sometimes I wonder who can determine the line where myth ends and history begins, and vice versa. The majestic façade of the church of San Martino, rebuilt in the 17th century by Jacopo Sansovino, provides another piece of the history of Venice through the Lion’s Mouth (the box for denunciations against blasphemers). The interior of the church is enriched by frescoes by Jacopo Guarana, Fabio Canal and Antonio Zanchi in the sacristy. One of the doges of Venice, Francesco Erizzo, is buried here, although his heart is hidden near the tomb of St Mark in the Chancel of San Marco.
I have suggested a part of the itinerary for “exploring” Venice. I now invite you to find a local guide who will help you enter a world in which the past lives together with the present, and in which legends and true stories are deeply intertwined. A guide will help you lift the curtain on the city and experience life as a true Venetian.