Let’s find out how to spend a whole weekend in Venice with “Detourism: The Newsletter of Venice” – the official Town of Venice Tourism Office Newsletter. Enjoy your reading!
Are you planning a weekend in Venice? Here are some sources of inspiration, including art, shopping, food and outdoor activities, for exploring Venice’s best hidden gems, split by area of the city.
1. Renaissance painting and a secret garden in Santa Croce
For those who are looking for quiet spots, hidden gems and ancient churches, the tiny district of Santa Croce is one not to miss. It has some of the oldest churches in Venice, such as that of San Giacomo dell’Orio. Founded in the 9th century, it has a beautiful ship’s-keel roof and is home of many exquisite works of art, including Jacopo Palma the Younger, Lorenzo Lotto and Paolo Veronese. Not far away, overlooking Rio Marin, there is one of Venice’s most beautiful gardens, the 17th century garden of Palazzo Soranzo Cappello (take a look at the video). Some descriptions of this garden are found in the novel Il Fuoco by Gabriele d’Annunzio and The Aspern Papers by Henry James. The garden is open to the public several days a year for special events, more details on the Soprintendenza website.
2. Tintoretto’s masterpieces in San Polo and Cannaregio
The Scuola Grande di San Rocco, in San Polo, is a well known spot but at the same time quite off the beaten path. Tintoretto worked here for over twenty years and decorated the building with more than sixty vast canvases. In Cannaregio you will discover the Madonna dell’Orto, a lovely Gothic church known as the Tintoretto church, as it is near the house where he lived in Fondamenta dei Mori, and is rich in his works. He is buried here with his family.
3.The synagogues and the Jewish cuisine in Cannaregio
The Venice Jewish Ghetto, the oldest Jewish quarter in Europe, has over 500 years of history. Established on March 29, 1516 by Doge Leonardo Loredan, today is one of the liveliest areas of the city. A visit to the Jewish Museum of Venice and the five synagogues is a must. If you want to discover more about the traditions of the Jewish community of Venice, do not miss to taste the Venice’s Jewish cooking. In the Venice’s ghetto, cooking is exotic and cosmopolitan, reflects the local regional style as well as those of the foreign refugees who joined the Venice community over the centuries.
4. A walk in the park in Castello
With its pedestrian-only historic city centre, Venice is an ideal city for outdoor activities, from walking to running. Castello is one of the greenest areas of Venice: you can explore the Napoleonic Gardens, the largest green area in the city centre (about two-thirds occupied by the Biennale), and the Sant’Elena Pinewood, one of the most popular Venice’s running spots. The Fondamenta delle Zattere is a straightforward 3km route from San Basilio to Punta della Dogana, along the Giudecca canal, making it an ideal location for runners. It is one of the final stretches of the Venice Marathon which takes place every year in October.
5. A rooftop view and a tour of the Fenice Opera house in San Marco
If you’ve got a head for heights, how about climbing to the top of the Scala of Palazzo Contarini, the most impressive spiral staircase in Venice? Known as Bovolo, meaning snail or spiral, it is a hidden gem near Campo Manin, in the San Marco district. The grandiose Piazza San Marco, with the Doge’s Palace, the Basilica and the Bell Tower, is a Venetian must-see, but you should not miss the Teatro la Fenice, long-regarded as one of the great theatres in Europe. You can explore its sumptuous rooms with a guided tour and visit the permanent exhibition dedicated to Maria Callas and her years in Venice. If you are a lover of art galleries, design ateliers, small artisan shops and modern antique shops, take a walk from Campo San Fantin to Palazzo Grassi, in Campo San Samuele.
6. Aperitif, art and shopping in Dorsoduro
The bars overlooking Campo Santa Margherita are one of the favorite outdoor spots where university students grab a spritz, the popular Venetian aperitif (read its history), and eat cichéti, snacks and small plates such as baccalà mantecato (Venetian style creamed cod served as an appetizer on slices of crusty bread), polpette (fried meatballs) and sarde in saòr, sweet-and-sour sardines. Known as Venice’s art district, Dorsoduro has many great museums, galleries and churches, and is rich in art treasures and hidden gems. Walking in this area of the city, you will also come across a couple of bookstores, where you can go and browse in search of particular books: the whole historic center of Venice is full of small and independent bookstores, specialized in art books or out of print.
Find out more about Art & Culture Walking Tours in the Heart of Venice
[source: La newsletter di Venezia, N° 09/2021 del 06.05.2021]
[picture: Gioielli Nascosti di Venezia / Fondazione Venezia Servizi alla Persona]
We are proud to publish some selected contents of such newsletter (see previous post: “Detourism for the Up and Down the Bridges“). On our website, in several episodes, we will only present some samples (see all posts in our archive page “Detourism Newsletter“), but the invitation addressed to all the friends of the Up and Down the Bridges is to subscribe to the newsletter directly.
Special thanks to the Councillor for Tourism for having enthusiastically welcomed this new important collaboration between TGS Eurogroup and the Tourism Office of the Town of Venice and for giving us the precious opportunity to publish on the pages of this blog some extracts from this newsletter, both in Italian and in English.
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