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Venice, queen of the sea
Historical, elegant and refined: this is Venice, a city of art that tells and is included in many stories.
A TOUR OF THE CALLI, CAMPI AND CAMPIELLI
La Serenissima is a city to be admired on foot but also in a gondola, as Hemingway suggests in his "Across the river and into the trees." The majestic Grand Canal, which hosts the traditional Historical Regatta, divides the city in two and is a hubbub of gondolas and vaporetti coming and going. It is crossed by famous bridges. The most famous bridges are the Ponte degli Scalzi, the Ponte dell’Accademia, the Ponte della Costituzione, the work of the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, and the ancient Ponte di Rialto, made of Istria stone, one of the most popular destinations together with the picturesque Rialto market, where you can buy fresh fish, fruit and vegetables. The heart of the city is Piazza San Marco (St Mark's Square), the only one to be called "piazza" to distinguish it from the others that are simply "campi". From the Piazzetta dei Leoncini you can admire St Mark's Basilica and, opposite, the Campanile (Bell Tower), known affectionately as "el parón de casa" by the Venetians, from which Galileo demonstrated the telescope to the Seigniory of Venice, and on the top of which stands the rotating gold statue of an angel, which moves with the wind. To enjoy a wonderful view from on high, the Torre dell’Orologio (Clock Tower) is the ideal place. Its most extraordinary features are the gold and blue enamel astronomical clock and the Moors of Venice, two bronze statues of an old shepherd and a young one, who mark the hours by striking the bell with their hammers. The entrance to this splendid building is at the start of the Mercerie, where you will find shops, boutiques and souvenir stalls.
"Semel in anno licet insanire," "Once a year, it is lawful to go crazy" says an old Latin saying, ideal for describing the surreal atmosphere of the Venice Carnival, an internationally renowned carnival, together with the Rio de Janeiro Carnival. Carnival masksElegant masks and sumptuous costumes meet in the 'salon' of Piazza San Marco, which is transformed into an open-air stage for the occasion. Shows, concerts and recitals come one after the other before the traditional Flight of the Dove or Flight of the Angel,during which an acrobat descends from the St Mark's bell tower into the Piazza, before the enraptured eyes of the crowd. Everything comes to an end on Shrove Tuesday and the "Vogata del Silenzio" (Silent Rowing Parade), a promise to meet again next year. No art lover should miss the Venice Biennale, one of the most prestigious contemporary art events in the world, and the International Film Festival at Lido di Venezia, where the Golden Lion is awarded.
SPRITZ, CICHÉTI AND DELIGHTS OF THE PALATE
A visit to the city of the Doges cannot be complete without tasting Venetian cuisine. A spritz or an ombra de vin, accompanied by cichéti, typical Venetian snacks, are a compulsory ritual, which everyone who comes to the city must try in one of the many bàcari, where you usually eat and drink standing up. After a stroll through the calli and campi, we recommend that you treat yourself to a quick and easy snack: the tastiest choice is the Venetian sandwich, two slices of bread, softened with mayonnaise, containing delicious ingredients.
For a very traditional lunch, the most popular dishes are risi e bisi, the most famous Venetian soup, castraure, a variety of artichoke typical of the city, sarde in saor (sardines), Venetian-style liver, bigoli in salsa (Venetian pasta in sauce), stuffed duck and desserts such as bussolai, fugasse, fritole and galani. Everyone who visits Venice will find a view, a hidden corner or a work of art that they will take home in their heart. What are you waiting for? Book an Alitalia flight now and leave for Venice starting from 53€ one way, all inclusive.
© Matthias Hageman
© Jay Galvin
© Francesco Gigli
© Giorgio Minguzzi
© Stephen Walli