Sotoportego de la Furatola

The Bàcari and the Taverns of Rialto

Strolling around the Rialto area, on either side of the famous bridge, you may find alleyways with odd names: Aquila Nera (Black Eagle), Leon Bianco (White Lion), Do Spade (Two Swords), Simia (Monkey), and many more. These names originate from a number of taverns and inns that don’t exist anymore.
Osterie, malvasie, bàcari: let’s discover some interesting facts about the old wine shops of Venice!

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photo 16) Giovanni Bellini: detail with angels, instruments and saints from the Sacred Conversation (also known as St. Job Altarpiece, as it used to be located in the Church dedicated to the Saint)

Celestial harmonies: musical instruments in Venetian paintings currently on display at the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice

Music almost dates back to the time men and women first appeared on Earth, but it is only in Medieval times that paintings started suggesting Heaven was even more beautiful with angel musicians playing music. At the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice, we can see how ancient instruments (for which paintings often provide rare testimonies) were originally only played by angels, followed by brothers during processions and religious festivities and later also by poets or simple musicians.

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Venetian altana, Fondamenta Rio Marin o Garzotti, Venice

Life on an altana in Venice

The lagoon city is characterised by an endless number of “altane”, a feature of Venetian buildings which is often, and unjustly, overlooked. Having an altana is great if you want to hang out the washing in the sun, enjoy the fresh air or simply marvel at one of the greatest views on earth.

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