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Wednesday, 23 November 2016 18:38

Discover Dorsoduro ... The Pugni Bridge!

Discover Dorsoduro, Venice - The Pugni Bridge !

Departing from Campo San Barnaba, turn left. After a short walk along fondamenta Gerardini, you will come to the "barca", a floating fruits and vegetable shop.

But let's talk about the Pugni bridge. In the past, until 1705, the citizens of Venice were divided into two different factions, the Castellani (those who lived in the Castello, St. Mark - San Marco and Dorsoduro zones) and the Nicolotti (who lived in the Cannaregio, San Polo and Santa Croce areas).

Clashes were frequent and often took place on the city's bridge. These fights, which at times involved hundreds of people, were not repressed or punished by the government, who merely decided the rules. The congflicts could only take place between September and Christmas and they followed a precise set of rules. Once the challenge had been made, referees were chosen, as was the bridge where the fight would take place. On the chosen day, each faction would arrive to a roll of drums and the sounding of trumpets and would present its champion who either fought alone or in small groups.

The real war only began after this. It consisted of a gigantic free-for-all with hundreds of men battling to get to and claim the centre of the bridge.

Fisticuffs were allowed and, until 1574, sticks too. These were sharp people died. The picture you found on the bridge is the shape of a foot which marked teh contestant's startimg point.

 

 

Do you want to know more our beautiful Venice? Join our free walk !

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Let's discover Piazza San Marco - Saint Mark's square!

piazza san marco free walk in venice free tours

 

All the squares in Venice are called "campi" except the most important of all, Piazza San marco, Saint Mark's square.

 

This square was the centre of political life and all the buildings that surround it were connected to the governement of the Serenissima. It was here that all the most important feasts, celebrations and games in the city took place. In the IX century the doge decided to move his residence here and he had a kind of castle built, the Palazzo Ducale.

In those days the square was much smaller than it is now. In the centre there was a canal, the Batario rio, beyond which there was an orchard "brolo", with vines and fruit trees. Where thne Clock tower stands now there was a sanbuca tree, which the merchands used for tying up their horses. There was a bell tower too, but it was about half the size of the present one and it was mostrly used a watch tower.

The water of the lagoon went aroud the doge's palace-cum-castle, beside the bell tower and as far as a small church, which was the doge's private chapel. Over the centuries the square changed, Artist Gentile Bellini (1429-1507) painted a picture of the procession that took place in the square on April 25th (St. Mark's feast day) 1496.

It is like a photograph of the past. The Palazzo Ducale had by then lost its fortress look. The best defence of the city was the lagoon, which separated it from the enemy like a wall.

 

Gentile bellini processione in piazza san marco free walk in venice free tour

 

During our tours we don't cover San Marco square but during your Venice holiday we'll give you a lot of info related to all Venice points of interest. What are you waiting for? Choose our free tour FREE WALK IN VENICE!

 

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Shopping in Venice for Xmas and you want to know what to do in Venice? A must see stop is at T Fondaco dei Tedeschi by DFS, located on Calle Fontego dei Tedeschi near Rialto Bridge. Enjoy the stunning panoramic view from the terrace of this recently opened historical luxury commercial center.  Booking is necessary just in "hot days"at: +39 0413142000.

 

More information about the T Fondaco dei Tedeschi by DFS at: https://www.dfsgroup.com/en/about-dfs/dfs-worldwide-network/t-galleria/t-fondaco-dei-tedeschi

After shopping choose a citywalk with us and we'll explaining you what to see in Venice during our free walking tour !

 

fondaco tedeschi www.freewalkinvenice.org FREE WALK IN VENICE tours. jpgfondaco tedeschi www.freewalkinvenice.org FREE WALK IN VENICE tours venice attractions. jpg

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Monday, 29 August 2016 07:03

Take care of our Venice!

 

 

Important advice for tourists



Venice is a city utterly over-run by tourists. But Venice is also home to thousands of people going about their everyday business (and they're not all dependent on tourists for their livelihoods). So visitors should bear in mind that that is what they are - visitors - and make an effort to behave appropriately.

Plaintive little pleas from the council are plastered around the tourist sights urging tourists to behave with decorum. There is even a new awareness-raising 'decorum week' with a parade of boats down the Grand Canal. And the threat of fines for picnickers and bare-chested men. I won't advise you not to drop litter; that goes without saying. But some local 'rules' of behaviour are less obvious so I've done my best to come up with some advice that will help you to give tourists a good name.

Walk on the right

This is the norm in Italy, and in several other countries too. Visitors from the UK, where we favour freestyle walking, can take a long time to tumble to this. In Venice, where the narrow lanes are thoroughfares used by all, tourists and busy locals, this is absolutely vital. You should keep to the right, always allowing room for others to pass (stick to single file when necessary). Keep to a brisk pace on busy paths. If you want to stop to look in a shop window or consult your map, pull in, removing yourself from the stream of traffic just as you would if you were driving. Spare a few moments to imagine what it must be like for those who have to take these tourist routes every day to get to their office or run urgent errands.

Don't block bridges and don't picnic

On a similar note, don't obstruct bridges. If you must stop on a narrow bridge to admire the view (and in picturesque areas, it's hard not to), keep out of the way and don't cause a traffic jam. Do not sit on bridges to eat your lunch unless you want to infuriate hundreds of passers-by. Public picnicking, incidentally, is frowned on in general and in some areas it's banned. From time to time the police threaten to fine people attempting to eat in public places around St. Mark's Square; I've seen picnickers being moved on. Try to find an out-of-the-way spot where you can sit decorously on a bench.

Boat etiquette

And next, be considerate on boats. Venice's ferries get very crowded. Boatmen will often urge passengers to move forwards ('avanti!') and to find space inside the boat. Tourists who hang around near the gangplanks will prevent other passengers from getting on and off, and will win themselves no friends. Don't be too worried about getting through the crowds when you reach your stop. Once your ferry has moved off from the preceding stop, head for the exit, uttering a firm 'permesso' when you need to pass someone. Take off your rucksack when you're on a boat.

Dress decently

This is necessary if you want to enter churches or monuments. Women and men should basically be covered from the collar-bone to the knee, or as near as possible. Shorts and bare shoulders will give offence and may result in you being barred from religious sites, though a scarf or sarong can save the day. I've seen tourists with sleeveless tops turned away after queuing at St. Mark's.

Don't dress for the seaside. If you're visiting the beaches at the Lido, by all means (un)dress appropriately. But away from the sea, Italian men do not go bare-chested, and both men and women tend to cover themselves up more than the British or Americans. (Women often dress provocatively but not in a whole-expanse-of-skin way like Anglo-Saxons). Some Italian towns are so offended by scantily-clad tourists that they have introduced by-laws banning bikinis and bare chests on the streets. Venice joined them in 2007: men - if you go bare-chested you will offend other people and you could get hit by a big fine.

Be polite

It’s only good manners to learn a few phrases in Italian - at the very least, you should master 'please', 'thank you' and 'do you speak English?'. 

 

Thank you : Italy Heaven

 

 

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Tuesday, 16 August 2016 19:32

Do you know our beaches?

Do you know our beaches ? Join Free Walk in Venice - by Isola Tour and we'll explain you the history of this island !

 

Venice Lido (Lido di Venezia) is an island, usually just referred to as 'the Lido'. It is the narrow strip of land which separates the central part of the Venetian lagoon from the Adriatic Sea. Once just a natural barrier, the Lido is now Venice's seaside. It's also the origin of the word 'lido' as used in the English-speaking world to describe bathing establishments. It was developed as a seaside resort at the beginning of the twentieth century, and has been popular for beach holidays ever since.

The Lido is Venice, yet not Venice. For residents, it's a compromise between the practical mainland and the historic city. The atmosphere on the Lido is very different from Venice: there are leafy residential avenues, roads, cars, cyclists and pavements. Out of season it feels 'normal', with reasonably-priced shops and restaurants, and locals taking their children for walks. There are lovely views over the lagoon to Venice, and in winter and spring you may be lucky enough, on a clear day, to see the snow-capped summits of the Dolomites behind the city's towers and rooftops. As summer approaches the big hotels open for the season, streams of beach-goers cross from the lagoon, and there are ice-cream shops on every corner.

 

In this wondeul pic you can see Paul Newman in 1963. At age 38, he visited the Lido to show off Hud, Martin Ritt's drama in which he played a Texas bad boy.

 

Join us to know more !

www.freewalkinvenice.org - Free Walk in Venice by Isola Tour the free tour in Venice by locals.

 

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Wednesday, 03 August 2016 18:35

Join us !

Do you want to know people coming from different parts of the world, discovering the real hidden Venice? Wear your best smile and join FREE WALK IN VENICE, our free tour in Venice! - English activities Everyday - italiano su richiesta - www.freewalkinvenice.org
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Here in Venice during our free tours, FREE WALK IN VENICE,  we use to speak about the venetian animals ;)

Nevertheless today Venice is known as the city of dogs, here cats have always played a key role, since they were very helpful to keep mice away (!!!) from the holds of ships, but they were also very popular as a pet.

Among the famous Venetian cats we must surely remember in particular the one that belonged to the 17th century Doge Francesco Morosini (former a great Admiral of the Venetian fleet ).

The great leader, who for his great deeds in Greece was nicknamed ‘the Peloponnesian’, had a very special character: he never married (he was indeed suffering from an almost pathological misogyny) and left his entire fortune to the descendants of his brothers, as long as they forever called their sons Francesco; his only great love was a cat, which he never parted from and with which he had a portrait of himself made. When the kitten died, Morosini had her embalmed with a mouse between its legs.

Where you can see the cat of the Doge Francesco Morosini?

The casket with the precious animal passed through the descendants of Morosini until 1800, when all the collections of the great admiral were donated to the city. At the moment, it can be seen in the halls of the Natural History Museum.

Join our FREE WALK IN VENICE, the free tour in Venice, and we’ll explain you how visiting this amazing museum!

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Wednesday, 06 July 2016 01:51

Chimneys in Venice!

 

If you have three full days to explore Venice, you encountered a delight you’d never read about in any of the many accounts of the city’s history you’d perused, a wonderful legacy of the craft workers who built the city!

Apparently the masons who built Venice brick by brick took special delight in adding a unique fillip to the designs of some of the greatest architects of the age, literally crowning their creations with an extravagant array of chimneys, each unique in its own way.

Venice has about 7,000 chimneys! The chimneys — from the funnel-shaped to those that resemble a twisted pasta noodle — come in 10 different styles. If you’re wondering why anyone would count them all, it’s because they’re part of Venice’s fascinating architectural heritage…could be possible to make a walking tour just to search them!

A distinct architectural characteristic of Venice is found in its chimneys. Try walking around Venice with your nose in the air and you will see an intriguing skyline, punctuated by chimneys of various strange sizes and shapes. These are the same chimneys that can be seen in paintings by Carpaccio and Canaletto among others, and form a vital element of this incredible city’s character, topping off the elegant palaces like so many party hats. There is a practical reason for their odd shapes, however. Their peculiar forms prevent the escape of sparks into the air by whirling them around their inner walls until they fall, spent, to a collecting space at the base of the chimney. A necessary measure in a city that uses abundant amounts of wood in its palazzi!

 

Do you want to discover more ? Join our Free Walk in Venice, an amazing free tour in Venice !

 

 

chimneys

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