Venice

There is nothing like Venice anywhere in the world. Founded about fifteen hundred years ago on a series of islands in the lagoon, its development was conditioned by its geographical position, marking it apart from other Italian and European cities, at a time when the whole of Europe was an uninhabited region covered in marshes and forests.

The Venetians built up one of the Renaissance’s most powerful economies and filled their town with thousands of works of art, so much so that Venice is recognised today as the world capital of art.

We would like to propose a list of  ”must-sees" to include in your travel notes. The best known of  the monumental churches is the Basilica of St. Mark, which stands in a square of the same name.

The majestic Gothic basilicas of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari and Saints John and Paul are veritable church-museums due to the vast amount of works of art in them.

The church of Maria della Salute is a jewel of Venetian Baroque architecture with fascinating curved shapes and volutes visible from the Grand Canal.

Renaissance masterpieces include the little church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli, which abounds in precious stones and gems, and the church of San Zaccaria, which contains clear traces of passing eras.

Public buildings not to be missed are the Doges’ Palace, with its art collections and historic remains, the Gothic marvel of Ca’ d’Oro, best viewed from the Grand Canal, and the Schools, which were actually meeting places for the town’s folk involved in charity work.

Among the most important are: the Great School of San Rocco, where plague victims and the sick were tended, now a museum housing the largest collection of works by Jacopo Tintoretto; the Great Schools of St. John the Evangelist and St. Mark, with their interesting architecture; and the School of St. George of the Slaves, which contains a collection of  amazing canvasses by Vittore Carpaccio.

Also worthy of note is the Renaissance architecture of Ca' Vendramin Calergi, now the Municipal Casino.

The many museums include: the Academy Gallery, with its vast collection of paintings by the Venetian school from its origins to the 18th century; the Archaeological Museum in St. Mark Square, which contains numerous Greek and Roman statues, Roman frescoes, Greek and Etruscan ceramics, Egyptian mummies and much many other interesting exhibits; the Correr Museum, with its many Venetian paintings dating from the Renaissance to the 19th century, and an interesting collection of maps, coins, Doges’ costumes, ceramic ornaments, engraved ivories, weapons and uniforms.

Then there are: the International Gallery of Modern Art (Ca' Pesaro), which holds an interesting collection of Venetian and Italian art dating back to the late 19th and early 20th century; the Franchetti Art Gallery, in Ca’ d’Oro, with works by Mantegna, Bellini, Carpaccio and Titian; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Ca' Vernier dei Leoni on the Grand Canal, which boasts one of the most important collections of contemporary works of art from Italy and abroad; the Querini Stampalia Art Gallery, housed at the Foundation of the same name, which displays a vast collection of 15th to 18th century Venetian paintings.

Lastly comes the Venetian 18th Century Museum, in Ca’ Rezzonico, a splendid Baroque palace, where visitors can step back into the outstanding century of Venetian art, with works by Pietro and Alessandro Longhi, Piazzetta, Gianbattista and Giandomenico Tiepolo, Rosalba Carriera, and Francesco and Gianantonio Guardi.