The Jewish Ghetto

The Jewish Ghetto

The Jewish ghetto of Venice, the first ever built, was established in March 1516. Although documentation chronicles the presence of a Jewish community in Venice from before the year 1000, it was only during the 16th century, due to political unrest in Europe and a significant increase in non-Christian immigrants that, for the first time, the Venetian Senate, issued a decree stating that the Jewish population should move to a specific part of the city, where they could be better ‘controlled’.

For this reason, the Ghetto was located in a secluded Sestiere (neighborhood) of Cannaregio in a remote northwestern corner of Venice, an abandoned site of a 14th-century foundry. An interesting fact: the word ‘ghetto’ derives from the Yiddish pronunciation ‘geto’, old Venetian dialect for ‘foundry’. This word would soon be used throughout Europe and the world to depict an area where isolated minority groups lived.

The Venetian Ghetto nevertheless became a thriving, vibrant district. In 1797, when Napoleon rolled into town, the ghetto was disbanded as an institution, and Jews were free to move elsewhere. However, even in modern days, it is still the center of Venice’s ever-diminishing community of Jewish families.

Still today, a walk through ‘calli’, ‘campi’ and ‘campielli’ allows visitors to soak up a magical, cocoon-like atmosphere that brings to mind Shakespeare’s play the ‘Merchant of Venice’. Here you can admire ancient synagogues, the ‘schole’ (literally schools), each one built for every ethnic-linguist group inhabiting the ghetto, the ‘tower’ houses, and the workshops.

The Jewish Ghetto


Palazzo Mastelli

Palazzo Mastelli “del Cammello” Cannaregio

A few steps from our Hotel Heureka, just on the opposite side of the Canal, you can find Palazzo Mastelli, a place full of history and legends.

The Palace is commonly known by Venetians as the camel’s house, for the high relief placed on the facade of the building overlooking the canal, which shows a man leading a camel.
The legend says that a wealthy middle eastern merchant, who was forced to leave his country to move to Venice, decided to place on the front of his new house the relief with the camel. In order to try make it recognizable to the woman he loved. The woman unfortunately had not agreed to marry him, but in case she changed her mind and decided to join him at last in Venice, the last words of the man to his loved one before leaving seem to have been: “if one day you will want to join me in Venice, you can simply ask where the camel’s house is”. Apparently, however, she never showed up.

In reality, the Palace was built by the Mastelli family. The three brothers, Rioba, Santi, and Alfani, who were also called the Moors by the local venetians, were silk and spices merchants from Morea, and they moved to Venice in 1112.
The three statues in the nearby Campo dei Mori depict them.
In the lower right corner of the front of the house, there is a small fountain in Arabian style, that until a few years ago, could be used to drink water while staying on the boat or gondola.

Palazzo Mastelli “del Cammello”


The Basilica dei Frari

The “Basilica dei Frari” 

After the Basilica of St. Mark’s, the Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari is the most remarkable ecclesiastical complex in Venice, as well as being one of the most important Franciscan foundations in Italy.

Originally built between 1236 and 1338 by the Franciscan Conventual Friars, the structure was thoroughly re-modelled in the XIV century and given its present most magnificent form of central nave, two side aisles and seven apsidal chapels after the Franciscan-Gothic style.

Over the centuries the Basilica has become a veritable treasure-chest of exceptional works of art.
Any discussion on the art within the church has, of course, to start with what is perhaps the most famous masterpiece of Titian’s early maturity: “The Assumption” (1516-1518). What not to be forgotten is also Titian’s famous “Virgin Mary from Cà Pesaro” (1526).
In the sacristy the “Triptych with Virgin Mary and Saints” by Giovanni Bellini (1488) of the Pesaro chapel, considered one of the various masterpieces of the Venetian paintings from the ‘4oo’s, is ideally accompanied by the “Triptych of Saint Mark’s (1474) by Bartolomeo Vivarini which now hangs in the elegant Corner chapel.

The chapel of Fiorentini also contains the only Venetian work by Donatello: his magnificent wooden statue of “St. John the Baptist”.
The splendid wooden choir and the numerous sepulchral monuments of personae illustrated in the city’s history, furthermore, makes the Basilica dei Frari an extraordinary collection of Venetian sculpture, with absolute masterpieces such as the Foscari and Tron monuments in the presbytery, and Alessandro Vittoria’s statue of St. Jerome on the Zane altar.

Basilica dei Frari


Burano and Mazzorbo

Burano and Mazzorbo

The island of Burano is certainly one of the most fascinating places in the entire Venice lagoon. It is known for its picturesque colored houses and its precious laces, true masterpieces of dexterity. Even nowadays it is possible to admire fishermen who hoist the fresh fish just fished from their typical boats. Thanks to these traditions, Burano is also famous for its restaurants and it is an ideal destination for tasting the typical dishes of the Venetian tradition. For fish lovers, a visit to “Da Romano” or “Gatto Nero” cannot be missed. Just a few steps away, on Mazzorbo Island, we suggest an enogastronomic tour at Venissa in order to taste the Dorona di Venezia wine variety with one-of-a-kind characteristics found nowhere else in the world.

Burano


Scuola Grande di San Rocco

Scuola Grande di San Rocco

In the heart of Venice where art, culture and devotion meet The Scuola Grande di San Rocco is a lay confraternity founded in 1478. The popularity of the cult of St. Roch, whose remains had been in the possession of the brotherhood since 1485, contributed to the group’s rapid expansion to the extent that it became the richest Scuola in the city.
At that point, the brotherhood decided to build a monumental new headquarters and engaged Tintoretto to decorate it with his most celebrated pictorial cycle, illustrating episodes from the New and Old Testaments. It is the only one of the historic Scuole Grandi to have survived the fall of the republic.
It is a unique site, where over 60 paintings are preserved in their original setting in a building that has hardly undergone any alteration since its construction.
The confraternity is still active today, carrying out its traditional charitable duties as well as looking after its extraordinary artistic patrimony.

Campo San Rocco, San Polo 3052, 30125 Venezia VE

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Website: www.scuolagrandesanrocco.org

Telephone: +39.041.52.34.864

Hours: 09.30 – 17.30

Address: Campo San Rocco, San Polo, 3052 – 30125 Venezia

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Lido di Venezia

Lido di Venezia

One of the best-known islands of the Venetian lagoon. The Lido is a 12 km stretch of sand, strategically positioned between the Lagoon and the open sea, and is only connected to the city and dry land by “vaporetti” or Ferries.
The Lido became famous at the beginning of the 20th century as a holiday resort for European monarchy, aristocracy and artists that loved to stay at the Grand Hotels of the Island, the Hotel Excelsior and the Grand Hotel Des Bains.
Its wonderful sandy beaches are the ideal refuge from the summer heath of the city and are a beloved resort for Venetian and tourists.
Famous for its wonderful liberty architecture and breath-taking sunshine’s.
At the end of summer, the oldest film festival in the world turns the sleepy Lido into a mini Hollywood. The festival revolves around the Palazzo del cinema and the hotel Excelsior to which actors and celebrities from all over the world, flock.
To discover the hidden and a real authentic village of the lagoon, make sure to visit Malamocco, an ancient town that gives the impression of being in a time warp.
Among other attractions the area of Alberoni, at the very south part of the island, is home to the Venice Golf Club. Henry Ford, commissioned the course in 1928, when he discovered to his disappointment that there was nowhere for him to play golf in Italy.
Now it is the oldest and one of the most beautiful Golf Clubs in Italy.

Lido di Venezia

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Querini Stampalia Palace

Querini Stampalia Palace

The Querini Stampalia Palace is near St. Mark’s Square and is considered one of the most interesting architectural structures of Venice.
The Museum of Fondazione Querini Stampalia is one of the most important examples of House-Museum, in the heart of Venice, and it is one of the best preserved in all Europe. The noble floor of the Palace recreates the the magnificent residence of the Querini Stampalia family. The ancient collections containing precious furniture, paintings, porcelains, globes, fabrics and sculptures create an inseparable connection in a refined atmosphere, with the luxurious rooms covered with plasters and frescos.
The Foundation is the only institution of the city that contains the entire heritage of this ancient and noble Venetian family. The collections containing precious furniture, paintings of Giovanni Bellini, Pietro Longhi, Giambattista Tiepolo, porcelains, globes, fabrics and sculptures that create an inseparable connection in a refined atmosphere.
Further redevelopments of the residence have been possible thanks to Carlo Scarpa, that had perfectly matched ancient and new elements with different materials.
His work was focused on the bridge, the entrance with the high-water barrier, on the portico and above all the garden, the jewel of the establishment.
The water is his benchmark: from the canal in front of the palace, water flows inside the walls, to coming up on a small tank and canal, surrounded by two carved alabaster and Istria stones labyrinths.

Campo Santa Maria Formosa, 5252, 30122 Venezia VE

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Website: www.querinistampalia.org

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Hours: from Tuesday to Sunday 10.00 – 18.00
Close on Monday

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Torcello and the cathedral

It was one of the first islands of the Venetian lagoon to be inhabited by the populations of Altino who escaped from the barbarian invasions, from the 5th to the 9th century it became an important urban center with churches, monasteries, a flourishing wool industry, salt production and a proper government and a high level of social and artistic life.

The swamping of the surrounding lagoon and the need for a safer refuge led the inhabitants of the island to leave Torcello to take refuge in Rivoaltum (todays Rialto Bridge area), which had become the capital of the ducal seat.
The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta in Torcello is the oldest building in the lagoon: founded in 639, it is a splendid example of Venetian-Byzantine style. Particular interesting the portico and the façade with the marbles and the splendid mosaics inside.

Torcello


The Glass Museum in Murano

The Glass Museum in Murano

The Glass Museum is located in Murano, an Island of the Venetian Lagoon, famous in the world for the art of glass, one of the reason to visit Venice!
The collection of the Glass Museum represents the largest historical collection of Murano glass in the world, but also includes notable Roman pieces.

The Murano Glass Museum collection is laid out chronologically on the first floor of the museum. Starting from an archaeological section on the ground floor, which contains noteworthy Roman works dating from the 1st to the 3rd century A.D., it follows to the largest historical collection of Murano glass in the world, with pieces dating from the 15th to the 20th century, many of them world-famous masterpieces.

Fondamenta Marco Giustinian, 8, 30141 Venezia VE

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Telephone: +39 041 739586

Hours:  10.00 – 17.00

Address: Fondamenta Marco Giustinian, 8, 30141 Venezia VE

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St. George’s island and Cini Foundation

St. George’s island and Cini Foundation

This extraordinary island facing the St. Mark’s lagoon is full of history and architecture. It was a monastery, then declined cause the Serenissima end abandoned. After 150 years of military occupation from Napoleon to the Austrian and again Italian army, the ex Benedictine Monastery was devastated.
Thank the Count Cini drive, in five years continuously works, from 1951 to 1956, the monastery establishment was giving back to his ancient glory. Today it hosts the Foundation

 

offices that take care of culture promotion and welcome prestigious events and meeting.

 

Do not miss the Cathedral, one of the masterpieces of Andrea Palladio and an unforgettable visit on the top of the bell tower with his wonderful 360 degrees panorama on Venice area and her lagoon.

Especially worth a visit the “Ultima cena” portrait of Tintoretto, this year will be celebrated the 500 years from his birth…stay tuned, we will get in touch with other news about this extraordinary artist…

www.cini.it

Isola di S.Giorgio Maggiore, 30133 Venezia VE

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Telephone: +39 

Hours: Saturday and Sunday  10.00 – 16.00

Address: Isola di S.Giorgio Maggiore, 30133 Venezia VE

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