• Erika Argiolas

8 HIDDEN PLACES TO VISIT IN VENICE

I know, right now, the #Pandemic does not allow us to travel anywhere or move freely as we wish, but nothing prevents us from organizing ourselves for a future vacation. So here is a small guide with 8 hidden places to visit in Venice! You can take notes, if you want to.


Venice, a city of land and sea, with a thousand facets, is able to transform herself from a small provincial city to a large metropolis for major events - like Biennale Cinema, Art Biennale and so on. When we think about Her, our imagination wanders among small Calli (Calle is the name of the streets in Venice) grabbed by tourists, gondolas and gondoliers who pull their boats while singing famous Italian songs, children happily playing football around the city and Saint Mark Square of course. The only true square in Venice. And yeah, no cars, no tubestations, no weehled vehicles! Just gondolas, small boats, water taxis, and water buses!



But Venice is much more, like: the scent of coffee in the morning and the sound of seagulls flying near your window, sunset strolls on the Zattere or Punta della Dogana (famous places to visit) or evenings in company of friends between Bacari and cicchetti in the most famous taverns in the city. Summer walks along the huge beaches of the Lido of Venice and that immense and overwhelming feeling of nostalgia and happiness that only such a mysterious city can give you.


1. JEWISH GHETTO

The first place I recommend you to visit is the Jewish Ghetto. It is located a few steps from the Venice Santa Lucia railway station, one of the most fascinating and unexplored areas of the city. The Ghetto was born 500 years ago and is the perfect place to welcome and get to know a culture different from the Italian one. The Republic of Venice is known for its history of conquests that made the city a multicultural pole, but in the sixteenth century the city's Jews were all gathered in a single neighborhood, the Ghetto, an area that had previously been used as a foundry.



The Ghetto, is located on a separate island, connected to Venice only by two bridges, in this way in the past it was possible to check the area easily: in fact, the gates were closed at midnight and reopened in the morning.

The Ghetto area is divided into 3 parts: Ghetto Vecchio, Ghetto Nuovo and Ghetto Nuovissimo. The oldest area is that of the Ghetto Nuovo and it was the first to be inhabited by Jews. The houses in this area develop vertically because at the time they had to accommodate a large number of people: in fact, they reach up to eight floors in height.

Around the main square, we find five synagogues, a place of worship for the Jews. These are mainly found on the tops of buildings. From the outside it is not easy to recognize them, precisely because they do not have the typical and original architectural form of the synagogues that we know, being housed inside the Venetian-style houses. But there is a detail that will make them recognizable: the presence of five aligned windows, a symbol of the books of the Torah.

The synagogues and schools are still active and the former can be visited every thirty minutes starting at 10:00 in the morning.


Also in the square is the Jewish Museum which can be visited on the following days and times:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday: 10am - 5.30pm (last tour 4.30pm)

Friday: early closure (last guaranteed tour at 2.30pm)


The Ghetto district is a 15-minute walk from Venice Santa Lucia Station and is located immediately after the Ponte delle Guglie. The place is very easy to reach and worth a visit!


Website: www.museoebraico.it



2. TEATRO ITALIA

The beautiful historic builing, built around 1915 by architect Giovanni Sardi and frescoed in part by Umberto Bellotto and Alessandro Pomi, was first a theater, then a cinema and today a supermarket. The Italia theater is located on “Strada Nuova”, the street that connects Piazzale Roma to the Rialto Bridge, is open every day and obviously the visit is free.


3. SANTA SOFIA TRAGHETTO (Low Cost gondola ride)

Now I'll give you a tip that will change your lives forever! Joke, it is not such a fundamental thing, but since most tourists dream of a ride in a gondola and this same desire vanishes when they discover that the cost varies from 80 to 100 euros (for just 20 minutes!!!), this is probably the low cost solution. to experience the thrill of taking a gondola ride in Venice.


Leaving the Teatro Italia, maybe after a good breakfast there in the neighborhood with cappuccino and brioches, take the low cost gondola from the Santa Sofia Traghetto- it is located right next to the Ca Sagredo palace - which will take you from the Strada Nuova to the wonderful Venice Fish Market at Rialto.

The cost of the ticket is € 0.70 for those with the Venezia Unica card and € 2.00 for those without one. You can see pretty myche the cost difference right?


Venezia Unica website: www.veneziaunica.it



4. CALLE VARISCO

After getting off the gondola and admiring the Rialto Bridge with its panorama from above, head towards the Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli, towards Fondamenta Nove, halfway you will find a very narrow calle, Calle Varisco, follow it to the end, up to reach the point of only 50 centimeters wide!


Calle Varisco is the narrowest street in Venice and is certainly one of the most secret areas to venture into. In this Sestiere (Sestiere is a subdivision of certain Italian towns and cities like in Venice), wherever you go, you will find many peculiarities.


5. RIO TETTA - CASA CON 3 LATI SULL’ACQUA

A wrought iron bridge hides the view of the only house in Venice that is located on 3 sides towards the canal, this house can be found walking from Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo towards Rio Santa Marina. At the Rio Santa Marina forking,

between Rio Tetta and Rio di San Giovanni Laterano you will find yourself in front of this peculiarity. This house is one of the most famous in the city, but it is well hidden from the eyes of tourists and the classic itineraries proposed.


6. LIBRERIA ACQUA ALTA

If you want to get lost in the maze of a magical place dedicated to literature, Libreria Acqua Alta is the place for you. "Acqua alta" means "high water" in Italian and, in Venice, it is not only the name of this bookshop, but also of the floods that Venice suffers every year.

Libreria Acqua Alta, Venice © Erika Argiolas

Running a bookstore in a city famous for its floods (and more, but a bookstore that literally opens right onto a canal) is obviously a risk management exercise. Libreria Acqua Alta literally translates into "high water library". You'll finde books kept in bathtubs, rowboats, canoes, and most importantly, a gondola, as well as high shelves.

Libreria Acqua Alta, Venice © Erika Argiolas

On the back porch of the Acqua Alta bookshop is his most famous photographic point: a staircase made of damaged and no longer usable books.

Climb the stairs and you will be rewarded with a splendid view of one of the canals of Venice and, if you are lucky, by one or two passing gondolas!

If you then head towards the "fire exit" of the Acqua Alta bookshop, you will come to a canal.

There's a comfortable chair on the porch that's perfect for photos, and sometimes, if you're lucky, a gondola parked right outside.


How to get there:

Calle Longa S. Maria Formosa, 5176 / b

Opening Times:

Every day from 9.00 to 20.00



7. SCALA CONTARINI DEL BOVOLO

Scala Contarini del Bovolo, Venice © Erika Argiolas

If you are strolling close to Campo Manin, entering the streets you can reach a small Venetian jewel, Palazzo Contarini. A fifteenth-century building with a typical Gothic facade, it faces outwards in a very elegant but at the same time simple way. The internal courtyard, called Corte del Maltese, is characterized by arcades distributed over 5 floors, decorated with round arches in Istrian stone, contrasting with the brick masonry. The real characteristic, however, is the external tower made magical by the refined architectural play of full and empty spaces.

The helical staircase, called "Bovolo" - which in Venetian indicates the spiral - is 27 meters high. Arches and columns will accompany you up to the dome, where you will be amazed by a unique view of Venice: you can admire the bell tower of San Marco and the roofs of the venetian houses from above.

Landscape from Scala Contarini del Bovolo, Venice © Erika Argiolas

8. SUNSET AT FONDAMENTA DELLE ZATTERE

Sunset from Terminal San Basilio, Fondamenta delle Zattere, Venice © Erika Argiolas

Then take a walk up to Fondamenta delle Zattere to admire the sunset. During the walk heading there, enjoy art exhibitions of famous exhibition spaces in that area like Contini Art Gallery, Punta della Dogana, Magazzini del Sale. A visit to the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute is also mandatory. Once you arrive at Fondamenta delle Zattere, treat yourself with a short refreshment and a cuddle with the “gianduitto” ice cream from Gelateria Nico, then admire the fabulous and romantic colours of the sunset in the lagoon that will leave you breathless.


The city has many wonderful places, these were the slightly more hidden ones but which worth the trip together with the classic monuments


Let me know your opinion with a comment or contact me on social channels or by email. Your feedback is essential!


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