During the year a lot of world wide events take place in Venice: the Carnival, the Historical Regata, the Biennale of Arts, and many other important exhibitions held in various museums.
Most of holidays and big events take place in the spring and summertime:
- San Marco on April 25th
- The day of Sensa (ascension) in late spring with the evocation of the “marriage of the sea”
- In may the Vogalonga, big regatta day in town
- The redeemer day (Redentore) on the 3rd Sunday in July, with the traditional night trip by boat and fire games in the laguna
- On the first Sunday in September the spectacular historical Regatta in the Canal Grande
- The Biennale of arts at Giardini (Gardens) in summer every two years
- The Festival of Cinema at the Lido and the literature award Supercampiello in the frame of Palazzo Ducale
In the autumn and winter time, too there are lots of occasions of feast and amusement:
- The Madonna della Salute holiday on November 21, one of the cherished by the inhabitants
- Carnival in Venice has risen up from its ashes and become a huge event, able to attract curiosity and visitors from all over the world.
Teatro la Fenice, Venice
The Venetian opera house was inaugurated in 1792 with “I giochi di Agrigento” by Giovanni Paisiello (1740-1816). Destroyed by fire in 1836 and rebuilt identical to the original, in the 19th century it staged numerous opera premierei like Gioacchino Rossini’s Tancredi (1813), Vincenzo Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda (1832), and Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi (1851) who was however t oexperience the disastrous fiasco of Traviata when it opened in this theatre in 1853. Home to a rich opera season and an international Festival of Contemporary Music the theatre was once again destroyed by fire in 1996. True to its name, the new Fenice was completely rebuilt and inaugurated in December 2003.
Arena di Verona
The Arena Opera Festival came into existence thanks to the efforts of a tenor and various business man, and institutions have continued his work until the present day. In the summer of 1913, the tenor Giovanni Zenatello and the theatre business man Ottone Rovato took on the financial risk of promoting a magnificent opera festival to celebrate the centennial of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi. With the staging of Aida, the Arena of Verona became the biggest open-air house in the world, a supremacy that it still holds today.
From S. Pietro in Castello to Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo
The history of the settlement on the islands that make up Venice began in the 5th century AD. The barbarian tribes that overran the territories inhabited by the Veneti and the sack of Eracleaand Torcello bye the Lombards, convinced the local populations to abandon their home towns and install the first duke or “doge” on Malamocco. The area later known as Castello was the first to be settled and the basilica that later rose in S. Pietro in Castello was to be the first cathedral of Venice. When crossing the bridge that leads to the church, look for a flagstone that is lighter than the sourroundings ones – it marks the exact spot where the Doge, when visiting the Patriarch, relinquished his power to yield the greater power of the Church. From S. Pietro in Castello, walk along the lagoon edge down Riva degli Schiavoni, as far as the church of S. Zaccaria, an important monument both because of the particular beautyof its architecture and the great masterpieces it contains. One of the highlights is certainly the celebrated altarpiece by Bellini “The Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints and Angels”, but do not miss the lower-level chapel of St. Anastasius where the shrine containing the saint’s relics now in the church was originally kept and where you can see the original primitive church with his floor now underwater.A few minutes walk will take you to Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo. This large square was the second most important area after St. Mark’s Square. The backdrop to the square is the Scuola di S. Marco, now housing the city hospital, before which stands the famous equestrian statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni by Verrocchio. The great church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo is also known as the Venetian Pantheon because so many doges and heroes of the Serenissima are buried there and because of the great art masterpieces decorating its walls.
From Accademia to Madonna dell’Orto
If you are looking for a pictorial rendition of ancient Venice, a visit to the Accademia Gallery is a must. Now housed in the former great school of the Battuti, the Flagellants, it displays paintings by Bellini, Carpaccio, Giorgione, Vivarini, Palma the Elder, Veronese, Titian and Tintoretto.
Particularly evocative is the collection of works by Carpaccio which will throw the viewer back into the Venice of her medieval heyday. The Rialto, then the port of the city and its trading center, was spanned by the old wooden bridge with the top part that could be raised to allow the taller ships to pass.
Another church housing the funeral monuments of Doges and famous Venetians is S. Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, the highest example of gothic architecture in Venice. The church contains many world-famous work of art (by Titian, Donatello, Vivarini, Bellini) and magnificent wooden stalls in the chancel. A pleasant walk through the Cannaregio district will take you to the Jewish Ghetto of Venice. The Jewish population of Venice was relegated here starting from 1527 from the island of Giudecca where the most of the community resided before. In earlier days, an ironworks had stood in the area, and cannon where cast (“gettati”) here. Ghetto then probably come from “getto” foundrym and the word soon spread to embrace all such communities in Italy abroad.
There are five Synagogues in the Venice ghetto, characterized bye the different rituals they use: the Schola Spagnola andh che Schola Levantina stand in the old Ghetto; the Schola Italiana, the Schola del Canton, and the Schola Tedesca in the New Ghetto.
From the Ghetto, you can easily reach the church of Madonna dell’Orto, where you can admire the huge paintings by Tintoretto at the sides of the chancel; again by Tintoretto, the wonderful “Presentation of Mary in the Temple” above the door to the chapel of S. Mauro. On leaving the church turn left and you will soon be in one of the quaintest and most secluded corners of Venice, the traditional boatyard on the Sensa Canal: and while you are at it, why not take a few pictures of this authentic scene of everyday life in the lagoon city ?
La Riviera del Brenta
Starting from the 15th century, the Venetian noblemen began building their magnificent villas along the banks of the Brenta River, making it almost an extension of Venice on the mainland. Palladio, Veronese, Scamozzi, Tiepolo are just the most celebrated names of some of the artists that left the indelible mark of their artistic genius on the splendid villas sourrounded by gardens, in which the main façade is the one facing the water and whose function is to offer recreation fot the mind, away from the mercantile vocation of the city.
“Trevigi is a town situated in the plains, in a pleasant location, with mild and wholesome air, and a plenty of clear, fresh, sweet-tasting water” There are the words used by the famous 18th century Venetian geographer Salmon to describe Treviso. The town rises at the watersmeet of two streams, Cagnan and Roggia (Siletto), and the river Sile, navigable from Treviso to its mouth in the Venetian lagoon, runs through its center. In the Middle Ages Treviso was surrounded by a curtain wall, and it is inside the walled town that the sights are concentrated. The hearth ot the town is the great square, Piazza dei Signori, with Palazzo dei Trecento and its frescoed loggia. Behind the square stands the historical palace of Monte di Pietà, (the municipal pawn bank) from which a maze of narrow streets and alleys radiate to reach the canals, offering glimpse of the picturesque arcades of the portico dei Buranelli, and the fish market. Brightly lit Calzamaggiore, the old Roman street, runs between Piazza dei Signori and Piazza del Duomo, lined with smart shops and elegant facades; other smaller squares, like piazza Pola, piazza San Vito and piazza Rinaldi, recall the structure of the Venetian campiello. The greatest art treasures of Treviso are to be found in its churches, like the cycle of frescoes dedicated to St. Ursula in the church of Santa Caterina and those in the Capther Hall at the church of San Nicolò; two other churches are worth mentioning: San Francesco and San Vito. The works of many great artists adorn other churches in the town, like the important altaipiece by Titian in the Chatedral. Not to be missed are also the collections of the Museo Civico “L. Bailo” and the temporary exhibitions at the Casa dei Carraresi.