Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Blog

grand canal

Punta della Dogana

Punta della Dogana: a strategic building Punta della Dogana separates the Grand Canal from the Giudecca Canal. For its strategic location it was the house of the Custom and of the Salt Warehouses. During the fifteenth century, the Sea Customs House, which had previously been near the Arsenale, was transferred to the western point of Dorsoduro borough….

The Gondola and Venice Canals

The Gondola The gondola has always fascinated and inspired artists and writers from all over the world with its elegance and its aura of mystery. It has been compared to everything from a coffin to a shell, from a violin to a snake and even a floating slipper. What does it remind you of? The first gondolas date back to a thousand years ago, although initially they were shorter and wider; it was only in the early 1700s that the gondola acquired its present…

The Gondoliers, Paline and Pirati and Palazzo Dario

The Gondoliers It is said that Venetians only enter a gondola twice in their life: their wedding and their funeral. Until the 18th centurygondolas were once mainly owned by noblemen under whose employ gondoliers would work for rather low pay. They were essentially taxi drivers, and so always abreast of the gossip  surrounding the city’s elite members, who went to brothelsgambling houses, or simply spent private time with their lovers inside…

Gritti Palace, Chiesa della Salute and Punta della Dogana

Gritti Palace Ernest Hemingway called the Gritti Palace “the greatest hotel in a city of great hotels”: what you see in fact is the wonderful terrace of the hotel’s restaurant. It is hard to imagine a better spot in the world for a romantic dinner with delicious local food and wine.  The building itself was the residence of Venice’s Doge Andrea Gritti in…

Ca’ Rezzonico, Palazzetto Pisani and Peggy Guggenheim Collection

Ca’ Rezzonico Ca’ Rezzonico, today Museum of Venice’s 18th century art, is one of the largest palaces on the Grand Canal. The ground floor and first floor were built by Baldassarre Longhena who died in 1682; the Bon family, who owned the palace, found itself in dire economic straits and had to sell it to the Rezzonico family, who had Giorgio Massari finished constructing it in the mid-18th century. The house had various…

Ca’ D’Oro, Ca’ Farsetti and Palazzo Grimani

Ca’ D’Oro Considered by many to be the most beautiful palace on the Grand Canal, the Ca’ D’Oro was built by expert stonemasons in the 15th century, mostly nameless artisans under the direction of the great architect Bartolomeo Bon. It is undoubtedly the jewel of Venetian gothic architecture. The façade resembles a refined piece oriental embroidery, crowned by the battlements once covered in golden leaves. After passing through several…

5 Non-touristy Things to Do in Venice

With a ridiculous number of things to do, and an obscene millions of tourists, it’s a great idea to be a well-organized tourist while looking for non-touristy things to do in Venice. The Venice City Tours app has itineraries to bring you on self-guided tours of to all the mega tourist spots in Venice, and…

Ten Unique Things to Do in Venice

It is always reductive to draw up a list of things to do in Venice. Actually, there are so many insights that talking about one seems inevitably wrong to the other. It is also true that in a world-famous city like Venice the “tourist” highlights end up by darkening its more unusual- but no less…

The Church of Santa Maria Formosa, Campo Santa Maria Formosa and Museo Querini Stampalia

The Church of Santa Maria Formosa As many early churches in Venice, this too originally came from an apparition in a dream. The Bishop Alberto Magno arrived in Venice in the 7th century AD, and allegedly dreamt that the Holy Mary had told him to look out for a cloud stopping still in the sky; wherever its shadow beat on was where…

Marco Polo’s House, Fondaco dei Tedeschi and the Rialto Bridge

Marco Polo’s House In Corte Seconda del Milion you’ll see a plaque dedicated to Marco Polo, who apparently live in this house. The great explorer left Venice as a teenager in 1271 on a voyage that has become legendary. Together with his father and uncle, after three and a half years he reached the city of Khanbaliq, which we today call Beijing, in China. On…