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Visiting Venice is a total immersion into a dream world of beautiful churches, majestic palaces, and impressive plazas that stand proudly on the banks of the Grand Canal. You also have access to some of the world’s greatest art treasures, including the artistic treasures of Venetian painters Tiziano, Tintoretto or Tiepolo. And along with its ancient streets, and charming squares, this great city invites the visitor into a time travel machine of sorts to experience the splendor of the Italian Renaissance. Join us in a tour of Venice’s less known monuments, museums, and special venues where mass tourism has not arrived yet—if that is possible. We’ll visit the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, the Church of San Giovanni in Bragora, Palazzo Ca´Rezzonico and the Island of Torcello.
Venice is divided into six districts located on different islands: San Marcos in the center, Santa Croce and San Polo in the northwest, Cannaregio District in the north, Dorsoduro Giudecca in the south and Castello to the east. But travelers, in general, are concentrated in the so-called “Golden Mile”, in the District of San Marcos where we find the cathedral, the Ducal Palace, and the city’s main streets.
Scuola Grande di San Rocco
Located in the heart of Venice, particularly in the San Polo neighborhood of San Polo, we find this impressive palace completed in 1478 and occupied by a lay brotherhood that was dedicated to charitable deeds. On the first floor, there are more than 60 paintings of the great Venetian artist Tintoretto, featuring episodes from the Old and the New Testament. It is probably, along with the Academy Gallery, the region’s most comprehensive pictorial museum and at the same time the least known in the city.
Church of San Giovanni in Bragora
This small temple, situated in a beautiful square in the District of Castello, had its last complete restoration in 1505 and houses the works of the great Renaissance painters Cima da Conegliano and Alvise Vivarini. The composer, Antonio Vivaldi was baptized here in the year 1678 since his family lived close to the church. In the plaza adjacent to the temple, there are cozy bars and restaurants where the Venetians taste the famous and delicious Cicchetti, along with sophisticated small bites that come accompanied by wines from the Veneto region or with artisanal vermouth.
The Palazzo Ca´Rezzonico stands along the Grand Canal in Dorsoduro and houses the collections of the Museum of the Venetian XVIII century or Settecento Veneziano. It is a particularly notable example of the 18th century Venetian baroque and rococo architecture and interior decoration and it should not be missed due to its large courtyard, the monumental staircase and the grand ballroom, which occupies the entire width of the building.
A ride in an enchanting Vaporetto or waterbus leads you to the Island of Torcello, located in a Venetian lagoon and one of the first inhabited islands since the VII century, even before the creation of the city of Venice. Its main points of interest are the Devil’s Bridge, which according to legend was built by Lucifer in a single night, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta built in the year 639, and the Church of Santa Fosca built in 1008. The latter hosts a beautiful mosaic from the year 1100 in the Byzantine-Venetian school of art that represents the Apotheosis of Christ and the Final Judgment. ■