Venice is “a place for the soul”. A city to enjoy with no hurry, where with no hurry to be surprised, enchanted, awe-struck, moved. For all the ones who, despite her commercialization, are able to capture her beauty, her extraordinary testimonies of the glorious past and that of her narrow “calli” where your only companion will be your own shadow and the sound of your steps.
Why to consider a guided tour in Venice? Because nobody else rather than a local guide can unveil the sense and meaning hidden behind what you see and to accompany you as a spectator in an exploration of the city as an open air theatre. The official guides, who have been given the license by a special committee after a in depth test of their knowledge in a professional examination, are the only one permitted to guide inside the historic sites and able to avoid some of the lines and time wasted queuing. They are also an important resource to turn to in order to optimise the time spent in the city, often short, offering a local point of view and a valuable support to get the best out of any visit.
My name is Monica. I was born in Venice where I graduated in English Language and Literature at the Ca’ Foscari University. I became a licensed city guide in 2007. That was the beginning of a new professional adventure after having been doing something else in my “former” life. I spent 13 years in Milan, the Italian business city, where I worked in the communication area, dealing with advertising and public relations campaigns, events organization, press conferences and clients’ satisfaction. Then, in the year 1998, came the decision to come back to Venice. I was no longer happy there, I missed the beauty and the enchantment of my city. I love travelling everywhere in the world, especially in the Far East. I love books, art, good food and most of all …. my beautiful ballerina, Allegra, my daughter!
Among the itineraries that I love the most which I propose to my clients is this three hour walk to discovery the eastern “sestiere” of the city. A tour in which history, philosophy, magnificence, architectural fascination, combine with the peace, the silence of distant places where the authentic Venice still survives, with her neighbourhood life, a boat moored at a canal selling fruit and vegetables and the old women chatting outside their homes. This district was probably the first one of the would-be city to be inhabited by the refugees who, running away from the barbarian invaders, left the mainland and moved to the lagoon in between the V and VII century. Untouched by the Grand Canal, it covers a wide area of the city. Still densely populated, it has somewhat maintained the look and the atmosphere of a little village. The route, starting from Saint Mark’s square, will proceed eastwards through Campo Santa Maria Formosa and Campo SS. Giovanni e Paolo, home to the imposing gothic Basilica founded by the Dominicans and the magnificent Scuola Grande di San Marco, once the seat of a major confraternity, now part of the city’s hospital. Leaving behind the imaginative baroque façade of the church dei Derelitti, rebuilt next to a poorhouse that will become renowned for the choirs of the orphan girls housed there, the next stop will be the church of San Francesco della Vigna. Erected to the plans and vision of a Franciscan monk who wanted it to be inspired by universal harmony, it shows architectural proportions drawn on numbers of 3 and musical intervals. The exploration of the furthest boundaries will include the imposing entrance to the Arsenal, once the shipyard of the Republic of Venice, and Via Garibaldi, a colourful and lively area. From there, a bridge will ferry us over a secluded, intimate island owning its name to the church that towers over the small grassed area, the church of St. Peter, former cathedral of Venice before the Basilica di San Marco became itself the seat of the bishop at the beginning of the XIX century.