Beautiful lady Venice
First Venice state or "Doge domination" was established in 7th century and from 697 to 1797, 120 doges ruled the Venice. Byzantine Empire left its mark on Venice architecture and time of Renaissance inbreathed a soul in it. Settled in the Northern Italy, Venice is the capital of Veneto region divided in six rions (blocks) and it is unique city by its creation.
Venice was built on a sandy and insecure ground on a grid of logs and wooden columns that gradually sink to the lagoon through the centuries. City's elders were aware of this problem in 1501 and have long discussions about Venice water level. As the time passed by, some "new" ideas (flexible membranes, hard canons...) are served to Veniceans who waved their heads exhausted with eternal Venice water discussion.
Theodor Fontane, 19th century German poet and novelist, visited Venice in 1874 and wrote: "Venice need moonlight to be seen in half", comparing it with a beautiful lady who have unwashed neck. Maybe it lost its magic with time but its cultural heritage still speaks loudly from every corner.
"City of Water" and "City of Bridges" are just some of its names. But, let's be polite and step into water like born Veniceans, in a symbolic meaning. In Venice lagoon there are 118 islands which emerge throughout the water, 150 canals and more then 400 bridges. Some of the bridges have unusual names like Ponte delle Tette (Bridge of the Female Breast) where you can flair Venice the antic atmosphere or Ponte dei Sospiri (The Bridge of Sighs) built of Croatian white stone.
Legend says that from this place prisoners could take the last look on the outside world before they will be imprisoned. Ponte di Rialto, Ponte dell'Accademia and Ponte dell Scalzi, three main Canal Grande bridges, are picturesque Venice's places.
In the year of 1750 over 12000 gondolas floated on Venice canals, today there are around 400 of them. But, has Venice changed a lot in time? Either yes and no. One look on Basilica di San Marco, the most famous Venice church and the most beautiful example of Byzant architecture, will tell you everything. First thought that will occupy you mind will be relativity of a human being that more than in every place in the Earth in Venice floats around the city.
Palazzo Ducale (Doge palace) is one of the perfect gothic examples and the place where you can see pictures of many famous artists. Scuola Grande di San Rocco is the place famous by collection of more than 50 Tintorett's pictures. Numerous churches hide priceless artistic treasure. Salizzada San Mois and Calle Larga XXII Marzo are places where modern designers houses took place. Venice lagoon, place of more that hundred islands, just little bit far away from the centre of the city is silent, peaceful place. Mix of old and new is almost perfectly balanced.
If you go some 9 kilometres from Venice you will enter in Burano, a fisherman city. The city known by crooked church tower built on four lagoon island is also known by lace art that has its roots in 16th century. Place where you can rest and eat is Murano. Only a kilometre away from Venice it offers exceptional look on manufacturing and processing of the glass art.
Italy, a country of more than 300 sorts of cheese and very good espresso café which you will drink between walk, is the experience you should not miss. Little cichetti, small portions of food spiked on toothpick (little cube of mortadela, tomato filled with rice or small ball of rice filled with olives) and a small cup of wine will give you just enough energy before you go in restaurant to eat something more concrete. Grilled fried sardine in sweet-sour sauce that contains onion and raisins, and for savour spaghetti with anchovies and onion sauce. Flavours of Venice that will occupy your mouth for a long.
Less known fact is that Venice has city buses. But, walking or driving through numerous canals offers more pleasure to history thirsty tourists. Venice house numbers can reach 6000 and only postman’s are able to find the desired number. But, Veniceans love their city despite of all problems. For exacting tourists Venice is not their target place. For those who appreciate the architecture and have enough imagination to feel the atmosphere of the ancient Venice on Ponte delle Tette, yes, this is the town that will left a mark on their heart.
Or, as Charles Dickens once said: "Venice outvies the imagination of even the wildest fanatic." ■