You can count on Rick Steves to tell you what you really need to know when visiting the island city of Venice.Following the self-guided tours in this book, you'll explore Venice's most important landmarks and cruise the Grand Canal for a close-up look at the elegant palaces, bridges, and churches. At this hotel, I'm splurging to enjoy that prince for a day feeling in the lounge, a bedroom with all the comforts, and a terrace with a view of the Grand Canal. Sign in to YouTube. A palace served all the family's needs — import/export warehouse at water level, business offices above that, and plush living quarters above that — all under one roof. Practicalities. While the Frari has great art in situ — for me, the entire city is art in situ. Nearby, in an artisan's workshop, visitors are welcome to observe as he provides for the city's 400 gondoliers. Took this tour about 12 years ago . The popular museum of far-out art, housed in the American heiress' former retirement palazzo, offers one of Europe's best reviews of the art of the first half of the 20th century. Visiting, you can imagine it as Peggy's retirement dream home — with the heiress and her Picassos greeting guests in the entryway. Life is good. Rick Steves is on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and you can follow @RickSteves on Twitter. In Rick Steves Venice you'll find in-depth Rick-tested information on: . Among the many palaces you'll see lining the Grand Canal, only one looks modern: the former mansion of Peggy Guggenheim. Easy-to-follow maps (including color maps of Italy, the St. Mark's Square area, the Rialto Area, and a Venetian overview) Trip planning: When to go, pre-trip checklist, festivals and holidays, recommended books and movies The interior of the basilica glitters with its gold-leaf mosaic work. You can pop in to watch Paolo carving both fórcole and traditional oars. Venice, more than any other European city, has a seductive charm. This is a great way to try a variety of dishes. Originally simple and spacious, over time, it was embellished with chapels, added by wealthy groups or families who hired leading artists to leave their mark. For an ear-shattering experience, be here at the top of the hour. For four centuries, this was the most powerful piece of real estate in Europe. European Cruising 101 The "Church of the Friars" was built by the Franciscan order and the art that decorates it feels warmed by the spirit of St. Francis. Their counterparts on the mainland had to fortify their places with heavy stone and tall towers. To cross the Grand Canal where there's no bridge handy, save time and energy by hopping a traghetto — one of the ferry gondolas, which shuttle pedestrians back and forth at strategic locations. Rick Steves, Venice Bites Updates . All the full length Rick Steves Europe PBS Episodes that I could find. ©2021 Rick Steves' Europe, Inc. | All this precious art is carefully maintained in the church's mosaic workshop. Alessandro: Yes, yes, to find in the market in the morning. Venice Travel Guide by Rick Steves For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, see our FAQ . Lonely bridges, canals without sidewalks, and reflections of once-upon-a-time grandeur. To gain religious importance and a kind of legitimacy, the Venetians needed some important relics. To enhance your art experience, you can find a clip related to this artwork at Rick Steves Classroom Europe; just search for “St. Later the Venetians grabbed them, only to have Napoleon swipe them to decorate an arch in Paris. I'm Rick Steves, surrendering to the timeless charms of Venice. Today, they're back in what Venetians believe is their rightful home. Here, Bellini places them in a physical setting so beautiful it creates its own mood of serene holiness. As Venetian nobles traded their way into fabulous wealth, they built luxurious palaces like this one, which has been owned by the Pisani family for nearly 400 years. )Europe is effectively off-limits to American travelers … (Here's hoping that very soon, Venice will once again be crowded. Everything we'll see is within a 10-minute walk of the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Square. Cruise the Canal Grande all the way to St. Mark's Square, starting at the train station (Ferrovia) or the bus station (Piazzale Roma). Alessandro: These are fantastic. With a good regional wine in a rustic setting, you can eat cheaply and make new friends or enjoy old ones. European Travel Skills Surveying the domes and towers of the city's skyline, it's amazing to think that all this sits on a foundation of pilings...millions of tree trunks driven deep into the clay. These much-coveted and exquisitely cast bronze horses are a trophy befitting the city's power. From the outside, it's a riot of domes, columns, and statues, completely unlike the towering Gothic churches of northern Europe or the heavy Baroque of much of the rest of Italy. Power in Venice also came from some ancient bones. With mountains of capital, plenty of traders with ready ships, and an awesome military, Venice was a commercial powerhouse — one of the six biggest cities in Europe. Today many former palazzos survive as hotels. Gondolas are moored everywhere. As they've done for a thousand years, artisans here are patiently restoring a damaged piece of mosaic. Mark — looking pretty grumpy after the long voyage — became the city's patron saint, and his symbol, the winged lion, became the symbol of Venice. But I particularly enjoy seeing art in the setting for which it was designed — that's in situ — like at the Chiesa dei Frari. The grandest of these is the Rialto. His bones would be perfect. Alessandro's tours include sampling cicchetti with wines at three different bacari. Alessandro: If you keep going for three, four bars, yes. Two mighty columns welcome you to a power without equal and the most exquisite downtown imaginable in its day. It features the work of three great Renaissance masters: Donatello, Giovanni Bellini, and Titian — each showing worshippers the glory of God in human terms. Today's boats still come with gondoliers standing up and no rudder or keel. Cantina Do Spade: Highly recommended by a local AND Rick Steves - See 2,182 traveler reviews, 912 candid photos, and great deals for Venice, Italy, at Tripadvisor. Every morning, she could sit here on her terrace, sipping her coffee, taking in the Grand Canal, living the Venetian dream. Video: Carnival in Venice It’s Carnival time! The long, lofty nave, flooded with light, was ideal for large gatherings to hear sermons. In Donatello's wood carving of St. John the Baptist, the prophet of the desert — dressed in animal skins and almost anorexic from his diet of bugs 'n' honey — announces the coming of the Messiah. The grand church of St. Mark's was built in a distinctly Eastern style. They're cleaning and resetting old stones and cutting new ones as necessary — all according to the exact medieval original. Venice, more than any other city, is the place to get out early and stay out late — to be swept away. Then, after a quick glide down this canal, the vessel was completely outfitted and ready to bolster Venetian dominance of the Mediterranean. ... Venice, Italy: A Boat Tour of the Lagoon by Rick Steves' Europe. Tintoretto's Triumph of Venice shows the city — always represented blond and virtuous — in heaven among the Greek gods, receiving the wealth of the sea. Entire cities made great and desperate deals with God in hopes that he'd spare them from the dreaded disease. He organizes two-hour Venetian pub tours (better to book by email than by phone). Can't afford a private gondola? According to legend, St. Mark actually traveled here, personally bringing Christianity to the region. From the start, boats were the way to get around among the island communities of the lagoon. Along with a powerful collection of weapons — state of the art in its day — it comes with some fun curiosities: tiny crossbows, thumbscrews, and a particularly effective chastity belt. Ireland This was the Venetian Republic's religious and political center: St. Mark's Square, or Piazza San Marco, with the Basilica of St. Mark and the Doge's Palace. Alessandro says it's alright to just point at what you want, but your selection will be limited to what's fresh from the market that day. Venice Lagoon: Zattere waterfront, Italy. Along the way we'll feast on Venetian treats, get a splash of modern art, then glide on a gondola through this city of elegant decay. 2:17. Thanks for joining us. The Franciscans, inspired by St. Francis, were non-materialists — part of a reform movement that spread across Europe in the early 1200s. Palaces like these remind us that Venetian merchants amassed lots of capital. Ciao! While it didn't have vast land holdings, Venice was a mighty trading empire — built upon a network of ports and a mastery of the sea. And, until the 16th century, when explorers like Vasco da Gama and Columbus opened up the world leaving Venice stuck in a geographic hole, Venice did dominate. Oh, that's an explosion of taste! You'll see the evolution of warships, displays on old fishing boats, and gondolas (all described in English). The sprawling palace is a maze of richly decorated rooms. The city's main thoroughfare is busy with traffic. The Arsenal put the "fear of Venice" into visiting rulers. That tower crumbled into a pile of bricks in 1902, a thousand years after it was built. And talk about well-traveled: According to legend, they were cast for Alexander the Great in the fourth century B.C., taken by Nero to Rome, then brought by Constantine to his new capital in the East, Constantinople. For centuries it was nicknamed "La Serenissima," the most serene place — and you're about to see why. The Pala d'Oro, or Golden Altarpiece, is a medieval masterpiece. Go inside to buy tickets; the kiosk in front just rents audioguides and is operated by a private company. Get ready to be immersed in the wonder of this continent's most romantic city: Venice. A gondola ride is a traditional must for romantics. Technically, he was a noble selected by other nobles to oversee the carrying out of their laws and decisions. Until a few weeks ago, Venice was inundated with tourists. The art of the gondola survives in the quiet back canals. Stroll through styles represented by artists whom Peggy knew personally — Cubism (Picasso, Braque), Surrealism (Dalí, Ernst), Futurism (Boccioni), American Abstract Expressionism (Pollock), and a sprinkling of Klee, Calder, and Chagall. ... VOLTERRA on Italy's Great Hill Towns by Rick Steves by VolterraTelevision. You grab it, they sell it from the tail — Travel with a Mobile Device I feel like I'm, uh…I feel like the village idiot but I'm smiling! The entrance hall features an elaborate and cohesive series of Old Testament scenes. Alessandro: This, this one they are cooked in the oven. With Rick Steves’ Venice 2007, travelers can experience everything Venice has to offer—economically and hassle-free. The seat of the Venetian government and home of its ruling duke, or doge, this was the most powerful half-acre in Europe for 400 years. For centuries, it was nicknamed La Serenissima, "The Most Serenely Beautiful One" — and for good reason. Titian's complex composition draws you upward — from man on earth, to triumphant Mary, and on up as she rises to join God in heaven. You could take two round-trips on this for the cost of an ice cream cone. After sorting through the monuments of Venice's powerful past, we'll cruise the Grand Canal and be dazzled by masterpieces of the Venetian Renaissance. Travel as a Political Act, England & Wales Her dining room, with its original table, is still decorated with masterpieces by Brancusi, Braque, and others. Venice is a great place to fall in love, enjoy a honeymoon...or a special anniversary. The goods — in the case of this family, furs, salt, cotton, and coffee — came off ships through this loading dock. St. Mark's bell tower — or campanile — soars 300 feet over the square. The group was all smiles, tanned, rested, and ready for their Italian seafood feast. So, in 828, Venetian merchants smuggled Mark's remains out of Egypt and into the church — shown here as it looked in the 13th century. Get ready to be immersed in the wonder of this continent's most romantic city: Venice. (If you think of this tour as a light dinner with a local friend, it's a particularly good value.). Rick: The great Venetian rogue Casanova did time…this is so cool, I can't believe it… The most lavish face the Grand Canal. Wait till early evening, when the crowds are gone, and the light is right. Spain In this travel class, Rick Steves outlines the glories of Venice, from the Grand Canal to the Rialto Bridge to St. Mark's Square — including art-filled churches, opulent palazzos, twilit gondola rides, and three other cities in the northeast Italian region of Veneto: Padua, Verona, and Ravenna. The golden archangel Gabriel at the top always faces into the wind. While there are a number of luxurious big hotels in town, my favorites are the smaller, family-run ones — which combine historic character, a warm and friendly welcome, and plenty of travel tips. That's why they maintain a refreshing alpine-feel in this delightful little corner of Venice. Here's a breakdown of a few of the must-do's he points out while visiting the city in this episode of "Rick Steves' Europe." Located in Italy, at the north end of the Adriatic Sea, is Venice. Rick: And it can make a small meal. But, with their natural lagoon defenses, Venetian palazzos could be sumptuous rather than fortified. Adjacent, Giovanni Bellini's Madonna and Saints was painted by the father of the Venetian Renaissance in a softer, more Venetian style. Germany & Austria Europe for Foodies Alessandro: That's good! His shop is just behind St. Mark's Square, inland from the Church of San Zaccaria on Fondamenta de l'Osmarin — look for it down an alley from the Ca' del Sol mask shop. Rick: So, what is cicchetti? Where the Grand Canal opens up into the lagoon stands one of Venice's most distinctive landmarks, the church dedicated to Santa Maria della Salute, Our Lady of Health. Give the freebies a try, and if you ... Venice: City of Dreams Naples and Pompeii Budapest: The Best of Hungary Rick Steves' Andalucía: The remains of St. Mark lie beneath the high altar. From his once-lavish (now sparse) quarters, you'll follow the one-way tour through the public rooms of the top floor, finishing with the Bridge of Sighs and the prison. Rick Steves Istanbul Youtube They also have what they call a Give Away Page, which is over two hundred of their most popular titles, audio books, technical books, and books made into movies. The palace kept an armory on display — an intentionally intimidating array of weaponry designed to dishearten potential adversaries. Today an elevator zips you effortlessly to the top to enjoy a commanding view. see our FAQ. You may see construction work being done to strengthen the base of the rebuilt tower. Rick Steves' Europe, was his second show which debuted in 2000. The style? To help you plan your sightseeing, we've listed our ideal itineraries for Venice, whether you're going for one day, two days, three days, or more. You can see Venice's most picturesque gondola workshop (from the outside; it's not open to the public) in the Accademia neighborhood. Inside is a decor of mosaics, colored marbles, and oriental treasures that's rarely seen elsewhere. These four guys are a favorite of mine. In this episode, Rick Steves explores three historic capitals of Iran: Persepolis, with its splendid monuments; Shiraz, with the tombs of Iran's most beloved poets; and Esfahan, with its extraordinary mosques and endearing people. And perhaps the best way to appreciate that is gliding through its picturesque canals on a gondola. (Walk down the Accademia side of the canal called Rio San Trovaso; as you approach Giudecca Canal, you'll glimpse the beached gondolas on your right across the canal.). To navigate over shifting sand bars, the boats were flat-bottomed, and the captains stood up to see. Beat the crowds and enjoy the crisp morning air at 9:00 or the cool evening breeze at 18:00 (but closes earlier in winter, tel. Along with economic might, the splendor of Venice was built upon a foundation of military power. You help yourself, one for you, one for me, a little for you, a little for me, and they try you see, look yeah. Today the palazzo houses the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, filled with groundbreaking 20th-century masterpieces. With a huge span and foundations stretching about 200 yards on either side, it was an engineering marvel back in the 1500s. There's no place like it. see our FAQ. Venice's sleek and graceful gondolas are a symbol of the city. I have taken one tour - and that was the 14 Family Europe Rick steve’s Tour , with one of my three kids ( my 11 yr old daughter ) . Donatello was a Florentine working here in Venice at the dawn of the Renaissance. You can walk across it, from head to tail, in about an hour. Greece Terms of Service | Privacy, Venice, Italy: Grand Canal and La Salute Church. Rialto, which left the politics to San Marco, has long been the commercial district of Venice. The city's ceremonial front door was unfortified and faced the sea. Plagues decimated communities throughout Europe. Its stunning golden wall of 250 painted enamels features prophets and saints, and, at its center: Jesus, as the Ruler of the Cosmos. Sign in. Rick started his first television show, Travels in Europe With Rick Steves, which aired from 1991 to 1998. She married the painter Max Ernst. This is your best chance in Italy (outside of Ravenna) to glimpse a forgotten and somewhat mysterious part of the human story — Byzantium. It's a fish-shaped island connected to the mainland by a long causeway. Traveling New Hampshire Rick Steves style, we’d miss out on seeing the tower of flame that rose to our fifth story apartment window in Rome when a certain organization set a luxury car on fire. By the time she retired, Peggy herself had become a celebrity. On every square is a surprise, and around each corner is an excuse to savor the unique charms of the city. These are the videos that Rick posts on his blog, where he shares his travel experiences, candid opinions, and what's on his mind. Get inspired with Rick Steves’ recommended places to go and things to do, with tips, photos, videos, and travel information on Venice. Posted on March 24, 2020 April 29, 2020 Daily Dose of Europe: Piero’s Venice She made her mark as a friend, patron — and lover — of modern artists. Alessandro: With your finger, with your wine, yeah. And she supported young artists, helping turn a struggling Jackson Pollock — with his Abstract Expressionism — into a celebrity. Hi, I'm Rick Steves, back with more of the best of Europe. Opponents of the government were dealt with swiftly and decisively. With water taxis, police boats, delivery boats, post boats, and over 400 gondoliers all navigating around the churning vaporetti, there's a lot of congestion on the Grand Canal. But my local friend Piero has a knack for explaining the real Venice. Find a gondolier whose personality you enjoy, settle on a price, and hop in. The Doge's Palace was built to show off the power and wealth of the Republic. And in this clip from my public television special Rick Steves’ European Easter , we don masquerade masks to drop in on “Carnevale” festivities in Venice. In 1948, the American-born heiress retired here in Venice. Working with traditional tools, graceful oars are carefully planed to be true and properly balanced. 25:05. Alessandro: When you come here to the bar, you have to order what they find in the market in the morning; has to be fresh. According to the romantic legend, gazing out the window, prisoners tried to enjoy their last view of Venetian beauty, sighed…and were taken to their cell. In this shop the workmen — who needed to be good with wood — were traditionally from Italy's mountains. France It's perfect for a romantic anniversary, and owner Matteo makes guests feel like royalty. The Grand Canal cuts Venice in half, and has only four bridges. Rick: Mmm. This prison — with its discouraging bars — held commoners and nobles alike. Iceland While this prison was considered relatively comfortable in its day, wasting away in here, with so much beauty so close, must have been a particularly cruel punishment. Be thankful…and keep on travelin'. Debonair guide Alessandro Schezzini is a connoisseur of Venetian bacari — classic old bars serving wine and traditional cicchetti snacks. 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