My time in Venice, a world of canals

Venice hardly needs an introduction. A remarkable city, full of romance, European hospitality and of course, gondolas! On our first day, we arrived into Venice by train in the late morning, and the first thing we do is book a ticket for Sailing in front of Venice Santa Lucia station.

At 50 Euro per head, the Venice card gives you access to public transport, the city toilets, and municipal museums. Our hotel search also begins near the station, in a long, narrow, alley there is the Abbey Hotel; small but nice and clean, with young, helpful staff. They made our room and took care of our bags while we started our tour of the Venetian.

I had never seen Venice before and was excited about the vacation ahead. Three days in a city full of romantic possibilities. Our lodging was close to the barefoot bridge, and from there our journey began. When we arrived, we walked through the narrow streets and canals to the Rialto Bridge, a very well renowned beginning indeed.

Rialto is a very pretty part of Venice chic; with restaurants, gondolas, and the canal, filled by people. There are so many shops on the bridge and tourists from all over the globe; I was so excited I took what seemed like thousands of pictures. The view from the deck is beautiful, as the gondolas in the canal area great thrill to capture.

You can help but get wrapped up in the romanticism of the streets, with colored lights switched on, even during the day, and the atmosphere is warm, despite the cloudy sky above. Undeterred by the weather, we continue our journey. Before arriving in Piazza San Marco we stopped in remote corners of the city where time has stopped, where small canals are filled with water flowing over and around us, creating a giant water city; the lagoon that is Venice, a unique proposition in the world.

Old buildings are immersed in canals and bridges, surrounded by courtyards, churches, and gardens. At lunch time, it seems that our chosen restaurant with summer terrace is run by men the two lunch time we eat in a small restaurant with summer terrace, the place is run by men and foreigners to boot – every single one of them. We ate the menu of the day we feed, before getting back on the road an hour later to continue on to the city’s most famous square, Piazza San Marco.

When we came out, the streets were ecstatic, full of energy, and I am speechless. This city is indeed, grand and beautiful. Churches and clock towers, and a grand canal which offers a beautiful view towards the islands across the square. The public transport system is serviced by fast ferries that run every 5 minutes and stop at numerous landings along major canals. They pretty much go everywhere; like a mini metro line, but in the water.

Meanwhile, with a bit fun in the sun between pictures and sighs, we visit the Ducal Palace, an interesting and captivating attraction. The walk along the canal continues to the famous bridge with well-admired views. The visit to the Palazzo Ducale also leads us onto the bridge and its towers. Released by the visit, we end up queued to visit the clock tower with a distinct elevator that leads to the top, from where there is a breathtaking view of Venice.

We leave and continue our journey in the crowded streets of Piazza San Marco, navigating the stalls of masks, T-shirt vendors, and other various nik-naks that in one way or another bring traders to Venice. I admired the city and its sights, the famous Lion of Venice, and watching people going by in gondolas. In the late afternoon, we returned to the hotel for a shower and by that time we were almost ready for dinner. Walking through hotel, we found a pizzeria and got sold by the waiter who wanted us to come inside.

Dinner regular was a regular occurrence; leaving the restaurant at about eleven pm, with adventures for the next day awaiting us. We fell asleep in no time at all, exhausted by the day. Our alarm clock went off at seven and a royal breakfast awaited us.

We started our day by visiting in the Grand Canals, which allowed me to make beautiful pictures; each image containing a light drizzle of rain, in the area of town famous for the production of glass ornaments. The island is large enough for a half day visit, and it immediately catapulted into the world of Murano glass masters. We witnessed the creation of blown glass decorative balls and a horse made; how amazing!

In the exit, there is a small glass gift items shop, so of course, we had to dwell for a while to buy a few things. The island itself is very pretty, and we stopped for a coffee to take pictures in a beautiful green park which led to the Grand Canal. Walking back towards the center we passed the naval museum and decided to stop at a bar on the promenade to grab a bite to eat on the terrace.

Upon arrival in Burano, we found the houses to be quite fascinating. They are small and colorful; for me, it was impossible not to photograph them. The Lace Museum in Burano was already closed by the time we got there, however, we did see a lady in a shop still sewing lace, despite the gloomy weather outside. Exhausted, we tried to be courageous and walk back to the hotel, but we get lost in the streets; they all looked the same I’m afraid!

Before too long the dark was upon us, and we still had not found our way. At a quarter past nine, we decided to eat in a chic restaurant near the bridge of the barefoot and the place is very nice. The Povoledo offered us the menu of they day, and well, what else did we expect; no surprises, the bill was huge!


On our third and final day, we started in the city museum. I thought it was incredibly interesting, and at the exit, I stopped to admire the reflection of the sun on the canal. So many people walk the promenade, many Japanese and Germans tourists. I think they also come to view the treasures of the basilica, and with that, we are not so different.

At two o’clock we embarked on a gondola found just a short walk away from Piazza San Marco. The nice gondolier led us around the internal channels of the city of Venice, taking us on an interesting and romantic ride.

When we passed under bridges, we were admired by people; our gondola was certainly beautiful, and we could not resist taking another one thousand photos. Before we went to pick up our luggage from the hotel we opted for one last little trip; the island of St. George. Equipped with a church, the sun was now warming the stones of the courtyard.

We arrived back at the hotel just in time to pick up and pay. The train for our return was 17:49 and our train was ready and waiting for us to depart. We leave our time in Venice with a bunch of memories, smiles, and fatigue; and thousands of photographs!

What are the best museums in Venice?

Venice is one of Italy’s most visited cities because of the wealth of national treasures, art, and history that it holds; not only in its ancient buildings and monuments scattered around the city but also in its museums.

In this article, we list the main museums of Venice, accompanied by the relevant information that will help guide you through the Venetian museum system between public and private exhibitions, as well as ancient and modern times, and finally, the history of textiles and costumes museum.

 History of textiles and costumes museum

Palazzo Mocenigo at San Stae is a splendid example of private Venetian architecture from the early 17th century. It contains precious furnishings and antique paintings from the Study Centre of the History of Textiles and Costume Museum.

Peggy Guggenheim collection

The European and American art of the twentieth-century museum houses the personal collection of art from Peggy Guggenheim . It is headquartered in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, an ancient, unfinished building on the Grand Canal, in what was for decades the American heiress home.

Civic museum of natural history

The Natural History Museum is located on the Grand Canal in the Fontego dei Turchi, and is one of the most famous civil buildings in Venice. It houses many natural and ethnographic collections, as well as a research center in the lagoon of Venice and an expansive library.

Naval history museum

Founded in 1919 after the 1st World War, the Naval History Museum of Venice is located in Campo San Biagio, in the vicinity of the Ancient Arsenal of Venice; contained within a building of the Granary Serenissima that is still under the jurisdiction of the Italian military and navy. The Naval History Museum of Venice is the most important of its kind in Italy.

Fortuny museum

The museum is located in the old Gothic palace of the same name, in Campo San Beneto. It first belonged to the Pesaro family and was later bought by Mariano Fortuny to make their own photography studio, set design and art directive; creating textiles and paintings of all these functions. The building has retained its rooms and structures, upholstery and collections. Of all these features, the property maintains an excellent exhibition space.

Diocesan museum of sacred art of santa apollonia

The property was owned by Diocese of Venice and promoted by Pope John Paul I (Albino Luciani, 1912-1978), when he was Patriarch of Venice. The museum collects works of art, which has been restored or is currently being restored, from churches of Venice. The museum is housed in the former Benedictine monastery of St. Apollonia, and was built between the 12th and 13th century. It has a room dedicated to the storage of silver goods, while another comprises of the items donated by parish priests, like the Madonnas dressed in traditional Venetian robes.

Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Da ‘D’oro

Located in the Ca ‘D’oro , the most beautiful flamboyant Gothic palace on the Grand Canal, the Giorgio Franchetti Gallery collects sculptures, bronzes, ceramics, furniture and paintings of Tuscan schools, anywhere from the Flemish and Venetian works of Mantegna, through to Giorgione and Titian from Fondaco of Germans.

Gallerie dell’accademia

The exhibition of paintings which is located inside the Accademia Gallery is the most significant collection of Venetian painting from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century.

Museum of glass

In the old Palace of the Bishops of Torcello, the Museum of Glass comprises an itinerary of great historical-artistic interest in glass production from Murano, capturing its history from origin to the present day.

Casa di carlo goldoni

In the gothic palace of Ca ‘Centanni at San Polo, this is the house where on February 25, 1707, the famous playwright, Carlo Goldoni, was born. The building houses a small museum of Goldoni rich in modern teaching suggestions, and a library that preserves extensive documentation of Goldoni’s works, as well as the International Institute for theater research. In addition, the famous puppet theater from Ca ‘Grimani ai Servi is included as a part of the Ca ‘Rezzonico collections.

Venice at war in Europe

Venice at war in Europe

The territorial expansion of the Serenissima opposed the expansionist intentions of Pope Julius II, Louis XII , Maximilian of Austria and the new Pope Julius II (Giuliano della Rovere). These gentlemen came together on 22 September 1504, linked by the Treaty of Blois that against the Serenissima.

Faced with this triple alliance, the government of Venice stalled proceedings, but in vain: for it was Julius II who started the hostilities. The Pope then withdrew, fearing the superiority of the Venetian military.

In 1508, Emperor Maximilian of Austria entered the Trentino and the Venetian militia Bartolomeo d’Alviano rejected him; forcing him to seek a truce. This victory helped to complete Venice’s isolation.

Northern Italy Card in 1494

On 10 December 1508, the League of Cambrai unified Pope Julius II, King Louis XII of France, Emperor Maximilian, King Ferdinand II of Aragon, The England, the Savoy Mantua and Ferrara, while Florence remained neutral, occupied as it was to bend the resistance of Pisa. Beaten by foreign and Italian enemies, abandoned by nobles and wealthy citizens of the mainland cities, the republic fell on hard days.

In Agnadel on 14 May 1509, the Venetians were severely beaten by the French, because of the decision of the Senate to split the army between Bartolomeo d’Alviano and Niccolò di Pitigliano. The first impetuous, the second caution, the French attacked the rear guard commanded by Bartolomeo d’Alviano, who would not support the Count of Pitigliano.

Local people and peasants rebelled against the foreign government and Treviso, after the people knew the intention of the local nobility to cede the city to the French leader named Marco Caligaro. Excited, the people cried for “Viva San Marco” and asked for reinforcements from camp Mestre, who sent him 700 soldiers.

The Republic against the change attacked and recaptured Padua with the help of the people who did not accept the imperial government which was assisted by several hundred infantry and fifty riders. Maximilian sent an army of 30,000 to the conquest of Padua, but the city was ready to seat; inside, many Venetian nobles were present, including the two sons of the Doge, supported by several thousand infantry and cavalry with large amounts of food, ammunition and artillery.

Strengh brings joy to Venice

The imperial army was defeated, causing great joy to Venice. The French domination of northern Italy, a consequence of the battle, was seen as a threat by Julius II, who made peace with the Venetians.

In 1511 Venice came with England, Spain and the Empire in the Holy League wanted by the Pope against France. The league forced the withdrawal of the French army. Maximilian claimed the possession of Venetia if she did not pay him a tribute of 200,000 florins, followed by an annual pension of 30,000 florins.

The pope tried to convince the Venetians to accept the request of the emperor. The Republic refused and approached France, in order to drive the imperial Verona and the Veneto Lombardy from their throne, as it was still under imperial rule.

On 23 March 1513, at Blois, a treaty was signed between Louis XII and the Republic, the army of the league conquered all the territories of the Duchy of Milan , but an assault of Switzerland during the siege of Novara destroyed the French army who was forced to withdraw.

The war was conducted without force by the knights of the Emperor, who made good on their promises of obtaining castle relics by looting them for themselves. The imperial militias controlled by Cristoforo Frangipane, known for their cruelty, as well as for torturing and mutilating civilians and peasants, led the Serenissima to allow Friulians to go, in order that they not to suffer the fate, feared so much.

In Osoppo, Girolamo Savorgnan refused to surrender to Frangipane, who besieged the fortress; this allowed the Venetian army, commanded by Bartolomeo d’Alviano, to join Osoppo and destroy the German army, capturing Frangipane and then recapturing Friuli.

On the defence

The Venetians stood on the defensive, but in 1514, Pope Leo X in his election made peace with France, Spain and the Empire. The only war that was pursued and that which opposed Maximilian in Venice.

At the end of the wars of Italy, Venice had consolidated its territories, but was surrounded by the continental powers – Spain in the Duchy of Milan, the empire of the Habsburgs in the north, the Ottoman Empire – which prohibited him further expansion, and in the case of the Ottoman Empire, remained a threat to their maritime possessions.

An in depth profile of the city of Venice

The first traces of occupation relate back to the Roman period. The first inhabitants of the lagoon region lived on fishing and the exploitation of salt, but settlements remained scattered and did not form an urbanized center. This area was part of the Roman Empire.

Then, there were the barbarian invasions of the fifth century, and in the sixth, people pushed to seek refuge in these difficult areas. Officially, Venice was founded on March 25, 421 AD, although the actual date is probably later.

The Western Roman Empire had collapsed, and it is the Roman Empire of the East who gets on the offensive and releases Italy in 540 AD for a short period. This conquest by the Byzantine general Belisarius is significant because it places Venice under the control of Byzantium. Venice will choose to remain faithful to his mistress, and from far away too, when resisting invasions of the Franks.

Populations continue to settle on several islands of the lagoon, some of which become real cities. The city of Torcello became the Episcopal center of the region with its cathedral founded in 639 AD. These residential centers were scattered, eventually uniting into the Rialto area of Venice, as a political center. This is when Venice then starts to become a real major urban center.

The lagoon gradually develops but experiences its first major crisis when Charlemagne sent his son Pepin to conquer Venetia. Resistance against the attempted sea control makes him fail in his conquest. The empire of Charlemagne and the Byzantine Empire signed a peace treaty.

Charlemagne renounces his views of Venice which remains under Byzantine domination. This is a major event in the history of Venice as this treaty allowed him to officially remain in the Byzantine area, limiting the risk of invasions of its neighbors. In addition, these special ties with Byzantium enabled him to establish a successful business relationship with one of the richest cities in the world!

It was after these events that Rialto region began to grow, to accommodate political power and form a city that will eventually become Venice. In the early days, Doges are appointed by Byzantium and directly elected by the Venetians.

In 828 AD, the body of St. Mark in Alexandria is stolen by merchants and brought back to Venice. The precious relic is kept in the Basilica of the same name. Saint Marc is the patron saint of the city, replacing Saint Theodore, also marking this way his independence is taken over by Byzantium. The winged lion is now the symbol of Venice.

The body of St. Mark arrives at the Mosaic Saint Mark’s Basilica
Around 1000, and Venice is completely independent. Its main asset is its position. The lagoon protects it from its enemies and makes it difficult to capture. Its location between the East and the West allows it to serve as a commercial bridge between these two regions, ensuring the fortune of the city.

Importantly, whenever possible, Venice remains neutral in conflicts between neighbors, but fights against sea pirates and installs trading posts in the Mediterranean.

Venice also knows how to impose a diplomatic point of view. In 1177, it acted as a mediator between Pope Alexander III and the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa , who had been at war for years. Reconciliation was sealed in Venice, a major event in the Venetian diplomatic life that allows the city to impose itself on the international stage.

The 12th and 13th centuries were the Crusades, whereby Venice took advantage by marketing its marine services and negotiating land and benefits of the conquests made by the Crusaders. In 1204, Venice managed to divert the 4th Crusade in its favor by asking the Crusaders to conquer Constantinople before Jerusalem. The capital of Eastern Christendom is well taken and plundered, an east Latin Empire was born a few years. This tragic event will precipitate the final fall of the Byzantine Empire to be conquered by the Turks.

The capital of Eastern Christendom is well taken and plundered; an east Latin Empire was born a few years. This tragic event will precipitate the final fall of the Byzantine Empire to be conquered by the Turks. Venice brings the plunder of Constantinople treasures in huge quantity, which among other things, enriched and beautified the city.

It was also during these times that the political system of Venice begins to take final form. This will continue until the eventual fall of the Republic. First elected by the people, the Doge is then elected by a board, which will be increasingly controlled by the noble families of the city.

Throughout the history of Venice, the guideline will be to appoint Doge by counsel, to make this the safest choice possible to prevent the establishment of dynasties. Gradually, the real power of the Doge decreases in favor of various boards.

This system was put in place to allow Venice to keep such political stability over the centuries. The other important point of political life is that the church is not a party to the Venetian, unlike other European countries. Here we have already a real separation of church and state.

The fourteenth century was the century of great peril for Venice. The first crisis of the century appears in 1309 for control of the city of Ferrara, claimed by several members of the same family. The Pope, siding with the opposite side of that of Venice, throws the ban on the city! The enemies of the city confiscate their property, ships are attacked, merchants prisoners … it is the ruin of the Venetian

The enemies of the city confiscate their property, ships are attacked, merchants are taken prisoner. Tt is the ruin of the Venetian economy, however, it does not yield. Venice is on the verge of civil war between the supporters of peace and those who want to continue the war.

A coup was organized against the Doge, which is foiled. This leads to the creation of the famous Council of Ten, body with special powers, making decisions with the Doge and his six councilors. Its decisions had the same value as that of the Grand Council, to finally have a quick decision circuit.

It was only in 1313, with another Doge at the head of the republic, as Venice capitulates to Pope enabling the city to resume operations serenely and regain some years of peace and prosperity. But the power of Italian neighbors of Venice was growing. The Verona territory stretched around Venice, blocking its trade routes. An alliance allowed to defeat the threat and especially in Venice to expand its possessions on the mainland, something it had never desired so far.


At the same time, new tensions arise with the city’s rival, Genoa, as the two wrestled trading posts in the dying Byzantine Empire. The war with Genoa erupts again in 1378. A serious naval defeat left Venice defenseless on the marine side. Fighting the armies of the Hungarian and Padua, Genoa and its allied land is reclaimed, but Venice cannot be reached, as it is protected by the lagoon. Following this, Venice builds defenses around the city.

Chioggia, to the south, falls into the hands of the enemies of the Republic. Despite the critical situation in Venice, the city manages to build some galleys and to resume the offensive. During the winter, the Genoese troops find themselves actually themselves besieged in Chioggia, the second war fleet arriving in Venice of the East! The situation was critical for both camps but it was the Genoese who surrender. Peace is signed and Venice gains nothing but the ability to recover fairly quickly, unlike its enemy, Genoa, who declined and eventually was incorporated under the French empire.

The fifteenth century is the expansion and the golden age of Venice. Venice decided to conquer its hinterland. By mid-century, its empire on land then extends over Istria and Dalmatia in the East, the Po in the West and the Alps in the North.

The year of 1453 marks the fall of Constantinople, as it was conquered by the Turks. The situation becomes much more difficult for Venice who must deal with these conquerors, who are much less flexible than the Byzantines. The second half of the century saw the decline of Venice in the East, the conquering Turks held several islands and ports belonging to the Serenissima.


The sixteenth century began badly for Venice, which had become too ambitious in its claim on surrounding land. In 1508 Venice declared war against the League of Cambrai, combining France, the Pope, the Holy Roman Empire and Aragon. The Venice territories were quickly won over by the alliance and Venice found itself besieged, all but protected by the lagoon.

Venice eventually capitulate to the Pope but other alliance members continued the war, raising fears the fall of the Serenissima. Finally the alliance of Cambrai disintegrated by itself and the Pope recreated a new alliance; this time with Venice, and against France! It is finally with a new change of alliance that France finds itself allied to Venice in 1516; Venice was finally recovering its lost territory on the mainland thanks to French!
Despite this, the power of Venice was definitely weakened.

The rest of the century saw the rise of the Turks in Europe and in the Mediterranean, while Venice lost the island of Cyprus in 1571. Meanwhile, Venice established an alliance with the Pope and Spain, which led to a great naval victory, the battle Lepanto in 1571, which is glorified on many Venetian artworks. Unfortunately, it will be a hollow victory and one of the last of the Republic against the Turks.


In the seventeenth century, Venice must now face the European countries. Indeed, the various states forming Italy were absorbed or were controlled by neighboring countries (for example Milan under Spanish rule). Venice escaped an attempted conquest by guile in 1618. The Spaniards were gradually introduced in small groups in the city and even tried to take over the city, a fleet of ships arriving just in time.

In 1630, Venice, French allies oppose the Spanish attempt to takeover Mantua. With the French victory, Mantua, although ravaged remains free. But a plague eventually killed three-quarters of the population and spread to Venice where it suffered more than 45,000 deaths, In the Mediterranean, Crete will eventually be lost to the Turks in 1669. Venice still tries to fight against the Turks, taking up to a few years post Morea, but Venice will no longer be able to compete militarily.

In the eighteenth century, the decline of the city is now clearly visible, and it will remain mostly neutral in conflicts between its larger neighbors. It succeeded during the War of Spanish Succession, but still struggled with Austria against the Turks. The Treaty of Passarowitz ends this war and sets the last frontiers of Venice. Its territory extends up to Bergamo in Italy, but also Friuli, Istria and Dalmatia. In the Mediterranean, it still has a few islands like Corfu and Paxos. The bulk of the century is quiet for Venice but it still prospers.

Venice tries to remain neutral during the French Revolution and the battles of General Napoleon Bonaparte in Italy against Austria. Venice refuses the suggested alliance with France. Having conquered Austria, Venice takes on too much and gets overtaken, ending its reign as a Republic. Venice is occupied for the first time in its history.

In the nineteenth century, Venice was ceded to Austria by Bonaparte before being integrated into the kingdom of Italy by Napoleon. Venice will nevertheless be returned to Austria from 1815 to 1866 when Venice joins the Kingdom of Italy. It is here that we stop the history of Venice, which is now part of Italy.

There’s a tonne of interesting things to do in Venice, and here they are

There are many great things to do in Venice. Here are some of my favorites:

Theater phoenix

Theater Phoenix was built in the years 1790-92 by the noble neoclassical architect Company, Gianantonio Selva. The timing of completion was reduced but that does not dilute the groups’ arguments against the new theater, which points to their criticism about its location.

It brings bad luck stones

During the long history of Venice, they were born many legends about the city and its most peculiar places. Some have originated from real events, while others are the fruit of the imagination of the Venetians.

Great school of St. Rocco

Those who do not stop at least once in Campo San Rocco, to listen to the opera singer, or musician on duty, performing right in the entrance of the Church side, are missing out. And maybe you would like to just sit on the steps of the Great School to rest your legs, after a day spent in the lanes and squares, because basically that’s the beauty of Venice?

The Jewish ghetto

The word ghetto, unhappily known around the world, has Venetian origins. Born right here in the sixteenth century, the first isolation of the Jews whose name seems to have originated from the presence in the area of ancient public foundries where casting (ie blended) bombards. The word Venetian Geto, probably because of the ruling influenced German accent, gave rise to the word ghetto.

Salt stores

The salt has always been, for a man, a necessary product; indispensable both for feeding and for the preservation of food. Already in prehistoric times the first salt mines were exploited, such Hallstatt or at Hallein near Salzburg, but since ancient times to produce salt, were used mainly for saline, and growing special plants built in coastal waters.

The canal

The Grand Canal is the main waterway that runs through Venice, splitting it in two. The Grand Canal, which the Venetians call the “Grand Canal” and Philippe de Commynes has called “the most beautiful and best-built road that exists in the world”, the palazzi, churches and the most beautiful buildings in the city.


As with the rest of Italy, Venice has some amazing shopping. Everything from blown glass through to beautiful paintings, are available for purchase. If you are looking at acquiring something particularly expensive, we recommend using a currency exchange service such as TransferWise, so you don’t loose a lot of fees in your transaction. To see if it’s right for you, check out this opinion over at

Bridge of the constitution

The Constitution Bridge was opened on 11 September 2008. After the sixteenth century Rialto Bridge, the Scalzi bridge and the Accademia, which date back to the 1930s, the Constitution Bridge is a ilquarto bridge over the Grand Canal, which connects the Venice Saint Lucia railway station with Piazzale Roma.

Rialto bridge

The Rialto Bridge, which offers one of the most beautiful prospects of the Grand Canal, is the oldest and most famous bridge in Venice. It has now become one of the architectural symbols of the city. Along with the Accademia Bridge and the Scalzi Bridge, it is one of three bridges that cross the Grand Canal and up to 800 the only link between the two parts of the city.

Accademia bridge

The Accademia Bridge is one of the four bridges, together with the Ponte di Rialto, the Scalzi Bridge and the new Calatrava bridge, linking the two banks of the Grand Canal.

The barefoot bridge

The Scalzi Bridge, which the Venetians call it the railway bridge and the railway, for its proximity to the train station of Saint Lucia, was built in 1934 by engineer Eugenio Mozzi.