Venice is possibly one of the most unique cities in the world, because of its Architecture, culture and of course history. Besides the famous touristic spots of Basilica San Marco, Rialto Bridge & Doge’s Palace, there are day trips to neighboring islands of Murano & Burano that are host to the extraordinary talents of local glass makers. A tour of these facilities to watch these craftsmen at work is a wonderful treat. The gondola rides go through a maze of canals, passing by the Ca’ Falletti, which is the residence of Mozart and Casanova’s house and haunts. There is also the traveling exhibit dedicated to the works of Salvadore Dali with rare drawings and other works. Most touristic areas are packed with Romanian Refugees inciting endless pity, so it’s always good to escape to eateries and nooks where locals hangout. These include Dodo Caffe’, Osteria Al Bacco for seafood straight from the Adriatic and the fish market by Rialto Bridge. Ai Do Draghi is also a great place to visit specially at night where hoards of students hang out.
Architecturally the city offers lessons in planning and use of materials & construction technology that are as relevant today as hundreds of years ago. The city was built in the early 1500’s on foundations made of wood stakes that sink deep into the subsoil. The city is not built entirely on water, instead on 117 islands in the shallow Lagoon, about 200 square miles wide. The wood stakes support a horizontal wooden platform called “zatterone”, which is topped with foundation walls of large Kirmenjak stone blocks. This stone has very low water absorption and is able to support large buildings. The buildings are mostly made with brick and have marble facades. Architecture in Venice is based on the work of Renaissance Architect Andrea Palladio, who designed some of the most influential villas in the area and is credited with the Palladianism movement. In general, Architecture in Venice is a hybrid of Gothic, Byzantine and Ottoman influences, exemplified in the Doge’s Palace.
Read our blog “Historic Preservation Efforts in San Francisco and Venice” to read about the efforts to preserve the city against the rising water levels.