Venice is to be considered one of the most famous and sought-after touristic destinations. Everyone wants to visit it, breath it, live it at last once in a lifetime. Although its most popular features remain the highlights that still attracts and arouse the curiosity of the visitors through time, I’ve learned to appreciate it also for the less famous things. Sometimes I find myself preferring to take a free walk in the city and see where it takes me, let it surprising me with new spots, corners and calli.
We have to admit that the great and constant attention upon the city also brings its downside. Venice and tourism overcrowding is a long time issue, an increasing phenomenon that touches the very heart of this fragile city. During the last decades, the evolving of mass tourism and most of all of the cruise industry have brought controversial ecological, cultural and urbanistic impact. Problems of such relevance and importance to draw the attention of one of the biggest stylists and icons of our century: Vivienne Westwood. In January 2016 she used her show in Milan for Man Autumn/Winter 2016-17 collection to convey a bigger message, a campaign called Be Specific. The movement tries to raise the collective consciousness to act in defence of the greatest goods we have: “Save our Ocean – Save Venice – Save our Forest” is its motto. Venice is here considered as “a magnificent mirror on the world”, a treasure to be looked after and preserve. In her vision, outlined by the slogan “Venice for the Venetians. Venice for the world“, Vivienne embraces the cry for help of Venetian citizens about topic issues such as the giant cruise boats that are destroying the entire ecological balance of the lagoon, reaching the very heart of the city, and the lack of appropriate infrastructures to manage something like 30 million visitors per year that are literally sinking it. By joining the call of the Association We are here Venice, Vivienne wants to stress the importance of a sustainable tourism, willing to respect the host city and its frail equilibrium.
The problems emerging in the specific case of Venice are, of course, not isolated: many other cities in the world suffer from the same complications. This is why is so important to ask and act for a change in order to give a strong signal to all the other similar realities in the world. Venice is a heritage to the entire world and it’s up to everyone who visits it to guard and preserve its beauty. We all can make a difference in this, through our choices and behaviour. We can decide not to participate in intrusive cruises, to collaborate in keeping the city clean or to indulge ourselves in a less “touristic” itinerary, for example. Another smart thing to do is going to visit famous and usually overcrowded areas or specific places in strange hours. I find very effective the early morning (from 8 am to about 9.30 am) and noon; you will lose one hour of sleep or you’ll have to change your lunch time but you’ll surely find fewer people around and you’ll have the chance to enjoy much better what you are about to see.
Another astute thing to do is going to visit famous and usually overcrowded areas or specific places in strange hours. I find very effective the early morning (from 8 AM to about 9.30 AM) and Noon; you will lose one hour of sleep or you’ll have to change your lunch time but you’ll surely find fewer people around and you’ll enjoy much better what you are about to see.
Today I would like to show you a little itinerary that, yet touching some crucial points of Venice, will show you some other places that, I bet, most of you don’t know.
The cats of Venice are legendary. These live by an equally legendary bookshop: Acqua Alta
The access to the bookshop, situated at the following address: Sestiere Castello, 5176/B, 30122 Venezia
Again, these cats are the guardians of the place 🐱
As you can see this place is a real mine of books of every kind and genre: books are everywhere
In this unbelievable place shelves are no the traditional ones: gondolas, pieces of boats, thanks have been readapted to contain the books
Books, books, books…
If you wish you can also read a book sitting in an armchair with a view on the canal
A gondola full of books
In the back of the shop, there is also a stair made of books to reach another beautiful view on the canal
As we are moving towards Piazza San Marco we cannot love the superb panorama that can be seen from the roof of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, a new luxury shopping mall born in Venice.
It is very likely that you won’t buy anything but the view from here is worth to stop by
The shopping centre doesn’t have one year of life and yet the word has spread, so it’s highly probable that you’ll find a queue to have access to the roof
…again, find yourself there when the place opens (10 AM)
Tourists enjoying their lunch
On our way to San Marco we came across another absolutely magnificent place: Teatro La Fenice
Born in 1795, the famous theatre has been the home of world premieres during the 19th and the 20th centuries
Attending to the opera or to a concert could be quite complicated, but you can easily visit the marvellous palace
San Marco and its campanile
San Marco’s decorations are a real collection of pieces from eastern disassembled buildings, brought to Venice by the merchants
The portrait of the four Tetrarchs is quite a unique piece of its kind. The sculpture group made of red porphyry represents the four Roman emperors and dates back to 300 AD when it was supposed to be in Constantinople
Where San Marco and Doge’s Palace meet
Lunch time: a lot of people but still an handleable situation
Palazzo Ducale/Doge’s Palace
Detail of the capital of a column, Doge’s Palace
Ebbrezza di Noè/Joy of Noah, 14th century Lombard sculptors
Once overcame Piazza San Marco, suddenly the number of people coming across will start to decrease
Riva degli Schiavoni
Saint George’s Island seen from Riva degli Schiavoni
Saint George’s Church and the Campanile seen from distance
A unique window on the Venetian real life
Sightings from Riva dei Sette Martiri
The colours of Venice
Reaching southernmost point of Venice
Splendid houses near the Venetian Gardens
Did you know that Venice too has gardens? I think this is the most quite place in all Venice
Just few tourist from the Biennale, local people, students
A place to relax, enjoy the sun, have a picnic, take shelter from the heat, read a book
Called Napoleonic Gardens or Giardini della Biennale, they are the public gardens of Venice. They were built in 1807 when Napoleon himself wanted Venice to have its green park
On our way back we decided to pass nearby the Arsenal
Its construction began in about 1104 to become the biggest and most famous factory of naval and merchant ships and, of course, the very symbol of Venice’s naval power.
This painting by Canaletto shows us the entrance of the Arsenal as it was in 1732 (picture credits)
Now, that is what is called a navy blue! 😉
It was a real opus magnum, if we realize the it is considered the earliest industrial centre for its complexity and efficiency. All of this just centuries before the 19th Century!
The Porta magna
…to the next! xo
● Bluebird enamel earrings ● Vintage foulard ● Navy blue dress by Zalando (similar) ● Vintage cotton coat ● Terranova red bag ● Calzedonia collant ● Old H&M ballerinas ● My grandma’s belt ●
❃ Pics by Antonio and me ❃