Venice is a city that is to be discovered step-by-step, following either the traditional or the off-the-beaten-path itinerary – always enchanting and inviting. Walking among the churches, palaces and pathways that follow the canals, your marvelous visit to this great city will have the feel of another era…
This tour begins from the long Fondamenta delle Zattere. Its name derives from the boats transporting the wood from the forest of Cadore (the Mountains belonging to the Venetian Republic). On the other side of the Giudecca Canal you can see the same named island with the churches by Palladio and San Giorgio Island. On the Zattere you can visit the church of the Gesuati, dedicated to Santa Maria del Rosario, with paintings by Tiepolo, Tintoretto and Piazzetta. Next to it, the Church of Santa Maria della Visitazione, one of the finest examples of Rococo art in Venice.
From here turning along the Fondamenta Nani you will notice on the other side one of the oldest and characteristic “squeri” where boats and gondolas are still made. A little further is the church of San Trovaso: inside, in the presbytery, two large paintings, Tintoretto’s works, here brought from the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, now demolished. Continuing along the Fondamenta Bontini you reach the church of Ognissanti, a Renaissance work and the former convent now housing a hospital.
Straight on, after crossing the bridge the church of San Sebastiano which is inseparably linked to the name of Paolo Veronese, who is buried here.
On the right side of the church is the campo Leading to the church of the Angelo Raffaele. Inside, the organ loft is a 18th century masterpiece by Guardi. Turning round the church, you walk along the Fondamenta di Pescheria; across the bridge turn left to Fundament Liz and you will get to the Church of San Nicolò dei Mendicoli. This is one of the oldest churches in Venice (7th cent.) in an old working-class area.
Over the centuries, in fact, this, area has undergone various transformations, the most recent of which was the building of numerous factories after the arrival of the railway. Among them, in front of the church, you can see the Cotonificio, dating back to the 19th century, now housing part of Venice University. Few steps off the Campo San Nicolò, on the right side stands the church delle Terese, better known as Santa Marta.
Inside a remarkable 1bth century painting cycle from the Venetian school Opposite the church, on the other side of the canal, are the Case Tron, 18lh century terraced houses. Turning right and then left, along the Fondamenta Barbarigo you will reach Palazzo Zenobio, an outstanding example of Baroque architecture, seat of the Armenian College of the Mekhitarists since 1850.
The Fondamenta del Soccorso continues to the Church of the Carmini. Inside the “Adoration of the Shepherds” by Cima da Conegliano. To the left side of the church stands the Scuola Gran dei Carmini with masterpieces by Longhena, Tiepolo and Piazzetta. A few steps and you are in Campo Santa Margherita: in the centre the building of the Scuola dei Varoteri, the meeting house of the furriers guild since 1725; at the end the former church of Santa Margherita now used as a Lecture hall by Venice University. Cross the bridge and reach the Church of San Pantalon with the remarkable ceiling of the nave by Fumiani.
After the bridge over the Rio della Frescada, you will get from the back side the Scuola Grande di San Rocco dating back to the first half of the 16th cent.
Inside in the Salone Maggiore the famous cycle of paintings by Tintoretto. Opposite the Scuola stands the Church of San Rocco with works by Tintoretto and Ricci and, very close to it, the apse of the Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, in Gothic style. The entrance is on the same named campo. The interior is adorned with splendid works of inestimable value, as the famous “Assumption of the Vergin” Titian d masterpiece, the “San Giovanni Battista” by Donatello and the “Trittico” by Bellini and impressing monuments to many Venetian nobles. Also the elaborated wooden choir is of splendid beauty.
Its bell tower is one of the highest in Venice. On the right side of the facade stands the Convent which houses the State Archives. On the other side of the Rio dei Frari, across the Campo San Stin you will reach the ScuoLa Grande di San Giovanni EvangeLista and its church with the monumental portal and grand stair case by Codussi.
Behind the Scuola the Sottoportico della Laca Leads on the Left to the Calle del Campazzo. From there you get to the former Monastery of the Tolentini, now housing the faculty of Architecture of Venice University. Opposite the Monastery stands the Church of the Tolentini with its vey classical facade made up of a portico with eight Corinthian columns, on a project in parts revised by Palladio. Continuing across the Giardini Papadopoli, formerly attached to the 1bth century Palazzo Papadopoli you reach Piazzale Roma, autopark and bus terminal, built in 1931 as an link between the mainland and the city.
This tour crosses the north part of the city.
It begins at S. Lucia Railway Station, whose area had undergone many transformations since 1841, when the bridge across the lagoon w ad built.
At the foot of the large bridge which Crosses of the Grand Canal stand the church of the Scalzi, dedicated to S.ta Maria di Nazareth, which is one of the most balanced examples of Baroque art in Venice with remarkable frescoes by Tiepolo in its interior.
From here continue on to the Lista di Spagna and reach the late Baroque church of San Geremia which contains the relics of the Virgin-martyr St. Lucy of Syracuse. Next to the church stands the sumptuous Palazzo Labia, the interior of which is adorned with splendid frescoes by Tiepolo. Across the Ponte delle Guglie, so called because of the obelisks placed on the balustrades (guglie means spires), turn left onto the Fondamenta di Cannaregio. The second calle on the right leads to the Ghetto, since the 16th century the obligatory residence of the Jews. The impossibility of expanding outside the Ghetto led to build here the highest houses in town.
Of remarkable interest are the five synagogues and the Museo d’Arte Ebraica, a museum gathering the most significant artefacts produced in the Venetian Jewish tradition.
From Campo de’ Ghetto Nuovo, a cross the Rio della Sensa and, after Calle dei Riformati, a cross the Rio of the same name, you reach the former Monastery of the Discalced Carmelites.
At the end of the Fondamenta is the church of Sant’Alvise built on an early Gothic plan; inside three famous paintings by Tiepolo.
From here you reach Campo della Madonna dell’Orto, where on the left is the former Scuola dei Mercanti. The church, of ancient origins, is notable for its brick façade; inside paintings by Cima da Conegliano and The Last Judgement by Tintoretto, who is buried here.
Across Campo dei Mori, going along the Fondamenta dell’Abbazzia, you reach the former Scuola Vecchia di Santa Maria della Misericordia and the church in the Campo which still has its original brick paving. After crossing the bridge is the new venue of the Scuola della Misericordia, planned by J. Sansovino with its infinished facade. The Campo della Misericordia is overlooked by the Palazzo Lezze, a splendid building by Longhena.
Continuing along the Fondamenta, after crossing the Rio, you reach the church of San Marziale, which contains paintings by Titian and canvases by S. Ricci. After two bridges, towards Campo Santa Fosca, you reach the so called Strada Nova which is the main street connecting the Railway station to Rialto, opened in 1871.
Towards Rialto you can stop in front of Palazzo Correr-Contarini, now Used for auctions.Further on stands Palazzo Giovanelli.
After crossing the Ponte Pasqualigo you get at the Renaissance church of San Felice. A few steps ahead, turn right to the Ca’ d’Oro, on the Grand Canal a beautiful palace adorned with elegant marble lace.
Have a look at the middle-age church of Santa Sofia which was incorporated in a 19th century civil building.
Towards Campo SS. Apostoli: on the right is the Scuola dell’Angelo Custode which is now a Lutheran church; on the left stands the church of Santi Apostoli of very ancient origins and built on one of the first inhabited islands of Venice.
Continuing beyond the church and going onto the Rio Terà SS. Apostoli you arrive at Campo dei Gesuiti.
This campo is overlooked by the Oratorio dei Crociferi which houses an important cycle of paintings by Palma il Giovane; and the church of the Gesuiti with its imposing Baroque facade and Corinthian columns.
The interior is adorned with a fascinating decoration of green and white marble marquetry and contains works by Titian and Palma il Giovane.
From here you can easy reach the Fondamenta Nuove; beyond them you can see the northern lagoon with the island of S.Michele, the cemetery, and Murano, the island of the Venetian glass.
This route begins at the Fondamenta Nuove and crosses the district of Castello, the largest in Venice. Following the signs for Rialto you proceed through the maze of narrow streets as far as the church of San Canciano. After crossing Campo Santa Maria Nova, you reach the church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli, a renaissance jewel in the heart of Venice with its facade completely adorned with polychrome marble; inside a painting of the Madonna executed in 1408. Next to the church is the late Gothic Palazzo Soranzo van Axel.
Turn left into the Calle delle Erbe which leads to campo SS. Giovanni e Paolo.In this campo are the Monastery and the Basilica of SS. Giovanni e Paolo and the Scuola di San Marco, now housing a hospital; many works of art formerly contained here are now in the Gallerie dell’Accademia. In the middle of the campo is the equestrian monument to Bartolomeo Colleoni sculpted by Andrea Verrocchio. The Basilica of SS. Giovanni e Paolo, as well as the Basilica Dei Frari, provides a remarkable example of a grand Venetian sacred Gothic architecture. The former has traditionally been the burial place of the Doges.
Inside there are artworks by Bellini and Piazzetta. Beyond the basilica stands the small church of Santa d Derelitti also called dellìOspedaletto, planned by Longhena. Continue on to the calle Barbarie delle Tole, along which there is a series of fascinating palaces, such as Palazzo Morosini, palazzo Muazzo and Palazzo Gradenigo with its private bridge. Beyond the brige, in the campo stands the former church of Santa Giustina.
Proceed along calle del Tedeum and calle San Francesco which leads to the church of San Francesco della Vigna, planned by Sansovino, although the facade was after completed by Palladio. Beyond the church, after crossing Campo della Celestia and the Rio with the same name, through Campo Santa Ternita, into Calle dell’Olio, the Salizada delle Gatte leads to the Campiello Ugo Foscolo; here stands the house where the poet lived as an adolescent.
Further ahead there is the Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni which houses the St. George cycle of paintings by Carpaccio, in the lower hall.
Beyond Rio della Pietà you reach an area where the community of the Greeks settled after the fall of Costantinople in 1453. They still practise the Greek Orthodox rite in the Church of San Giorgio.
Calle Bosello leads to Campo San Giovanni in Bragora; the Gothic church with the dame name houses some masterpieces by Vivarini and Cima da Conegliano. After calle della Crosera, calle Erizzo leads to Campo San Martino. The church with the same name Wad planned by Sansovino.
Next to the church stands the former Scuola di San Martino, premises of the Confraternity of caulkers working in the nearby Arsenale. It was there that the ships of the Venetian Republic were built. The sumptuous portal provides the first example of Renaissance art in Venice. The Arsenale is not opened to the public, you can however visit the Museo Storico Navale housed in the old granaries of the Republic. From St. Mark’s Basin you can see the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore with its Palladian church, San Clemente, San Lazzaro and the Lido. After crossing the bridge begins Via Garibaldi, an extraordinary large street in Venice. Towards the end of the street you get to the Island of San Pietro, premises of the former Venice Cathedral from 1451 to 1807.
On the picturesque campo, with grass and trees, stands the bell tower planned by Codussi and the cloister of the ancient Patriarchal Palace. This route ends on the Riva dei Sette Martiri, in front of the Giardini della Biennale.