Things to see and do - Venice
Around the Ghetto (Cannaregio) :
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Around the Ghetto (Cannaregio)
Around the Ghetto (Cannaregio)Pedestrian, 4 km, 1 day
The first Jewish quarter in the history of the West, the Ghetto of Venice - originally its proper name before becoming a common name synonymous with mourning - is a piece of hidden Cannaregio. Although its atmosphere is quite similar to that of the Sacca della Misericordia, it differs in its history and, of course, religion.Customise this route and add it to My travel book
A strange atmosphere reigns in this neighborhood with buildings taller than all the rest in Venice; it exudes a lot of emotion. Perhaps this is due to everything the word Ghetto evokes, a word that was once used simply and innocently to name a neighborhood in Venice where the Jews lived. It is not less true for this place as for others, that the Jews were soon forced to live only in this Ghetto that it became a ghetto... This is why the buildings are so tall, the vertical space available used to deal with demographics. And here, like elsewhere, they were locked into their neighborhood at night and didn't have the right to have certain professions: second-hand clothes dealers, doctors and bankers. Today not much is left of this unfortunate past (thank goodness!) in the Ghetto in Venice. You will experience a certain atmosphere, simply and discretely pointed out here and there by Hebraic characters, by an Oriental bakery, a Kosher bakery, synagogues located inside apartment buildings, which are only given away by five windows on the upper floors (in other words, just like the Torah has five books) and the lanterns placed on top of the roofs. Five synagogues survive today: the Spanish, the Levantine, the German, the Italian and the Canton synagogue (which has nothing to do with China!).
This museum contains precious objects of worship, whether ornamental or for handling the Scrolls.
This vast square was witness to the tragic hour of World War II and the Deportation: a stele by the Lithuanian artist Blatas (1979) and the monument in memory of the deported Jews are a reminder that the Jews of Venice paid a heavy price in the name of barbarity. The tranquillity and serene atmosphere that reign in the area only accentuate the tragic dimension of the events; and the knowledge that you are in Venice, but a Venice different from that of palaces and gondolas...
Decorated with simple obelisks, this bridge was opened in 1580 on the Cannaregio canal, in front of the Labia palace, and it must taken by all those who, on their way from the station, are walking to the Strada Nuova and the Rialto bridge.
This is an elegant palace, built along the Cannaregio Canal, somewhat removed from the Grand Canal. The facade is ornamented with bosses on the ground floor level and with Ionic and Corinthian pillars for the upper floors. Under the roof, eagles symbolize Labia family pride. Rumor has it that these people found no better way to show off their riches than to throw out the window and into the canal the dishes and gold flatware used for the sumptuous receptions they gave in their palace. Nastier rumors yet added that prior to this, they had placed nets in the canal in order to discreetly gather up the goods, thus adding avarice to ostentation. But we know better than to listen to malicious gossip... To this day their palace shows three facades: one facing Campo S. Geremia, another on the Cannaregio canal and the third looks out onto a small campo that runs down to the Grand Canal: building one's palace right on the canal was a privilege of nobility - the true, the old nobility - not for people who, like the Labias, had bought their title. Though very run down in the 19th C., it was fortunately restored, and is today used for meetings and conventions. The Grand Ballroom is decorated with frescoes by Tiepolo that represent the love affair between Antony and Cleopatra. The Hall of Mirrors and its walls decorated with trompe-l'oeil, the Mapamundi Hall and its adjoining chapel, a hallway covered with Cordova leather, halls ornamented with stucco and tapestries enable you to imagine the richness of a Venetian palace.
Richard Wagner lived and died in this Renaissance palace, built on the Grand Canal by the architect Mauro Codussi, who created a beautiful example of a reinterpretation of Byzantine and Gothic architecture. Fans of the author of Lohengrin should be sure to visit the hall dedicated to the musician... Other visitors might bet a few chips at the winter casino... But waste no time: a new function for this site is being considered.
This peaceful square is adorned with statues with an enigmatic look on their faces, attached to the facades. They are said to represent the Mastelli brothers, known as the Moors. The character with the iron nose is Antonio Rioba, the "Pasquino of Venice": a sort of buffoon on whose nose the locals would hang notes revealing the base acts of the local renowned individuals. Not far from there, on the fondamenta (No. 3399) , a house where Tintoretto lived until his death in 1594.
An intimate "campo", a harmonious facade made of bricks and decorated with statues: this church has a miraculous statue of the Virgin found in a garden, and is known as the church of Tintoretto: the painter lived nearby and is buried here, also some of his paintings are here, including The Adoration of the golden calf, the most remarkable. Also notice a Saint John the Baptist, masterpiece of Cima da Conegliano.
You must enter this church devoted to Saint Louis of Anjou (Alvise is the Venetian version of Louis), son of the King of Naples, Charles II, who rejected the throne to enter the orders, and died as Archbishop of Toulouse... at 23 years old. The relationship with Venice? He appeared in the dreams of a local noble woman. On the flat ceiling, you will see the frescoes by Antonio Torri and Pietro Ricchi which are a fascinating trompe-l'oeil. Numerous paintings including three by Tiepolo.