Italy Find a gondolier whose personality you enjoy, settle on a price, and hop in. You help yourself, one for you, one for me, a little for you, a little for me, and they try you see, look yeah. This is your best chance in Italy (outside of Ravenna) to glimpse a forgotten and somewhat mysterious part of the human story — Byzantium. Alessandro: This is cicchetto…a little thing that you grab with the hand; has to be finger food. (Here's hoping that very soon, Venice will once again be crowded. Ride the elevator 325 feet to the top of the bell tower for the best view in Venice (especially at sunset). She made her mark as a friend, patron — and lover — of modern artists. Get ready to be immersed in the wonder of this continent's most romantic city: Venice. The city is actually a car-free maze of about 100 islands, laced together by several hundred bridges and a vast web of alleys and canalside walkways. But, with their natural lagoon defenses, Venetian palazzos could be sumptuous rather than fortified. Originally, Venice had two major centers of power: one at San Marco, and one here at Rialto. 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. Enjoy the building. With aggressive trade policies and clever alliances, for Venice, the eastern Mediterranean was a virtual free-trade zone. Wait till early evening, when the crowds are gone, and the light is right. Until a few weeks ago, Venice was inundated with tourists. And each walnut fórcula — the stylized oarlock — is like a sculpture: hand crafted, one of a kind, and honoring the city's heritage. 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. Today many former palazzos survive as hotels. You can walk across it, from head to tail, in about an hour. Everything we'll see is within a 10-minute walk of the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Square. Today an elevator zips you effortlessly to the top to enjoy a commanding view. For centuries, it was nicknamed La Serenissima, "The Most Serenely Beautiful One" — and for good reason. Alessandro: That's good! Turkey, ©2021 Rick Steves' Europe, Inc. | Because of its former wealth, Venice is a city of palaces. Its formidable navy saw lots of action. ... VOLTERRA on Italy's Great Hill Towns by Rick Steves by VolterraTelevision. Crown-shaped La Salute was the crowning achievement of architect Baldassare Longhena (who also did St. Mark's Square's "new" wing and the Ca' Rezzonico), and the last grand Venetian structure built before Venice's decline began. They're cleaning and resetting old stones and cutting new ones as necessary — all according to the exact medieval original. All this precious art is carefully maintained in the church's mosaic workshop. 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. To navigate over shifting sand bars, the boats were flat-bottomed, and the captains stood up to see. ©2021 Rick Steves' Europe, Inc. | They're built with a slight curve, so that a single oar on the side propels them in a straight line. Rick Steves, Venice Bites Updates . Spain This is just one more way to yield to the enchanting wonders of this "most serene" city. Today the palazzo houses the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, filled with groundbreaking 20th-century masterpieces. The Pala d'Oro, or Golden Altarpiece, is a medieval masterpiece. Took this tour about 12 years ago . The vast Hall of the Great Council could host a meeting of 2,500 nobles. These four guys are a favorite of mine. For an ear-shattering experience, be here at the top of the hour. Rialto, which left the politics to San Marco, has long been the commercial district of Venice. According to legend, St. Mark actually traveled here, personally bringing Christianity to the region. Alessandro: If you keep going for three, four bars, yes. And for further encouragement, the famous Bridge of Sighs led directly from the palace to its infamous prison. Venice, more than any other European city, has a seductive charm. It's customary to stand. Along with economic might, the splendor of Venice was built upon a foundation of military power. My guidebooks outline a stop-by-stop tour, as does my free audio tour of the canal. By Rick Steves and Gene Openshaw. And she supported young artists, helping turn a struggling Jackson Pollock — with his Abstract Expressionism — into a celebrity. There's no place like it. 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. Lonely bridges, canals without sidewalks, and reflections of once-upon-a-time grandeur. Its main drag — the Grand Canal — starts at the fish's mouth and winds through the center. Glorious paintings throughout the palace reminded Venetians of their heritage and divinely ordained greatness. The palace kept an armory on display — an intentionally intimidating array of weaponry designed to dishearten potential adversaries. )Europe is effectively off-limits to American travelers … Mark”. 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. This prison — with its discouraging bars — held commoners and nobles alike. 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. All the full length Rick Steves Europe PBS Episodes that I could find. (If you think of this tour as a light dinner with a local friend, it's a particularly good value.). Donatello was a Florentine working here in Venice at the dawn of the Renaissance. The long, lofty nave, flooded with light, was ideal for large gatherings to hear sermons. Ireland Alessandro: This, this one they are cooked in the oven. The style? (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.). 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. 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. A gondola ride is a traditional must for romantics. Boats come by every few minutes, so you can hop off and on all along the way. 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. And the theme is made clear at the high altar: The Virgin Mary is approached for help by a humble Lady Venice. Renaissance humanism demanded Madonnas and saints that were accessible and human. Hi, I'm Rick Steves, back with more of the best of Europe. She married the painter Max Ernst. Power in Venice also came from some ancient bones. We had the great pleasure of hosting American travel writer and television personality Rick Steves in late April. While lots of towns made plague monuments, Venice built this entire church in hopes of surviving a disease that hit in 1630, and within 14 months killed a third of its people. Gondolas are moored everywhere. Scandinavia The grand church of St. Mark's was built in a distinctly Eastern style. In Rick Steves Venice you'll find in-depth Rick-tested information on: . 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. Scotland Photo credit: Courtesy of Rick Steves. The art of the gondola survives in the quiet back canals. 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. Mary then sends an angel baby to drive away Old Lady Plague. About 25 miles of canals crisscross the city, flowing like streams into the Grand Canal. +39-041-522-4064). Rick started his first television show, Travels in Europe With Rick Steves, which aired from 1991 to 1998. 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. A tower has stood here, like an exclamation point, proclaiming the power and greatness of the Venetian Empire, for 1,200 years. Opponents of the government were dealt with swiftly and decisively. It WAS more expensive than travelling independently , and was in fact only part of our 28 day visit to Europe . While the Frari has great art in situ — for me, the entire city is art in situ. And perhaps the best way to appreciate that is gliding through its picturesque canals on a gondola. Her dining room, with its original table, is still decorated with masterpieces by Brancusi, Braque, and others. With a good regional wine in a rustic setting, you can eat cheaply and make new friends or enjoy old ones. Among the many palaces you'll see lining the Grand Canal, only one looks modern: the former mansion of Peggy Guggenheim. Venice is small. The doge lived with his family on the first floor up, near the halls of power. Joy riding through the town is one of Europe's unforgettable treats. The creation dome tells the story of Genesis with Adam and Eve and the original sin. You'll see the evolution of warships, displays on old fishing boats, and gondolas (all described in English). Visiting here, many feel that they're experiencing beauty, people, and even life itself at a more intense level. To enhance your art experience, you can find a clip related to this artwork at Rick Steves Classroom Europe; just search for “St. To see the work in action, visit the wood-carving shop of Paolo Brandolisio. Debonair guide Alessandro Schezzini is a connoisseur of Venetian bacari — classic old bars serving wine and traditional cicchetti snacks. The golden archangel Gabriel at the top always faces into the wind. Sign in to YouTube. The winged lion is the symbol of Mark, the patron saint of Venice. As they've done for a thousand years, artisans here are patiently restoring a damaged piece of mosaic. Karel: Deep breath, deep breath…. Alessandro: These are fantastic. Venice, more than any other city, is the place to get out early and stay out late — to be swept away. Can't afford a private gondola? Tuscany's Dolce Vita by Rick Steves' Europe. Get ready to be immersed in the wonder of this continent's most romantic city: Venice. The grandest of these is the Rialto. So much to see, so little time. Palaces like these remind us that Venetian merchants amassed lots of capital. While these are copies, the originals are inside. Europe for Foodies I'm Rick Steves, surrendering to the timeless charms of Venice. Rick: The great Venetian rogue Casanova did time…this is so cool, I can't believe it… Rick: Look at that! The goods — in the case of this family, furs, salt, cotton, and coffee — came off ships through this loading dock. 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. See the Travel Details above for recommendations highlighted in bold, excerpted from Rick's guidebooks. From here, you can see how Venice is an island lying in the center of a vast lagoon. Then, after a quick glide down this canal, the vessel was completely outfitted and ready to bolster Venetian dominance of the Mediterranean. 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. For me, this church offers the best art-appreciation experience in Venice, because so much of its great art is in situ — right where it was designed to be seen, rather than hanging in museums. Rick: So, what is cicchetti? Andy FaceTimed me from the Cinque Terre, and I got to wave to 25 happy travelers on the Rick Steves Best of Europe in 21 Days Tour he is leading. I'd call it "Early Ransack.". I’m one happy dad right now — because both my kids called me today from Europe. Sign in. Tintoretto's monsterpiece, Paradise — the largest oil painting anywhere — reminded lawmakers that making wise decisions would ultimately put you in the company of 500 saints. 2:17. With astonishing foresight, she assembled a Who's Who of her generation's greatest art. Venice, more than any other European city, has a seductive charm. Among Europe's churches, St. Mark's is peerless. The group was all smiles, tanned, rested, and ready for their Italian seafood feast. On a gondola, you glide through your own private Venice — far from the hubbub of modern tourism. 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 ) . Alessandro: By the tail, and you eat it, just you want, they are fantastic…dopo di me! For centuries it was nicknamed "La Serenissima," the most serene place — and you're about to see why. With Rick Steves’ Venice 2007, travelers can experience everything Venice has to offer—economically and hassle-free. Terms of Service | Privacy. Greece You grab it, they sell it from the tail — 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. Over the high altar, glowing red and gold like a stained-glass window, Titian's Assumption of the Virgin Mary sets the tone of exuberant beauty found in this church. 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 For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, 25:05. Ciao! Rick: Eat with your fingers, with your wine. Rick: So this is representative of what Francisco found in the market good this morning. ... Venice, Italy: A Boat Tour of the Lagoon by Rick Steves' Europe. He organizes two-hour Venetian pub tours (better to book by email than by phone). Eating cicchetti is a tasty opportunity to try something new and unusual. Today, they're back in what Venetians believe is their rightful home. Rick: And it can make a small meal. Verona, Italy: Joy of the Veneto by Rick Steves' Europe. Life is good. Hi, I'm Rick Steves, back with more of the best of Europe. 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. Rick: Mmm. 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 Arsenal put the "fear of Venice" into visiting rulers. Survey the city by cruising the Grand Canal on a boat called a vaporetto. They were all about poverty, simplicity, and obedience — with an emphasis on the humanity of Jesus. But don't forget, according to Alessandro, you only eat cicchetti so you can have more of the main course: wine. Germany & Austria The city was driven by an interest in dominating Mediterranean trade. You can pop in to watch Paolo carving both fórcole and traditional oars. see our FAQ. Their counterparts on the mainland had to fortify their places with heavy stone and tall towers. It's perfect for a romantic anniversary, and owner Matteo makes guests feel like royalty. The basilica is decorated with a ragtag assortment of mismatched columns and statues from different eras, much of it pillaged from Venice's rivals. 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. There were 120 doges over 1,100 years. The Franciscans, inspired by St. Francis, were non-materialists — part of a reform movement that spread across Europe in the early 1200s. Working with traditional tools, graceful oars are carefully planed to be true and properly balanced. Travel as a Political Act, England & Wales But I particularly enjoy seeing art in the setting for which it was designed — that's in situ — like at the Chiesa dei Frari. Venice, more than any other European city, has an endlessly seductive charm. Of all the loot ornamenting this church, its grandest prize is a set of horses, which for centuries looked out over the square. Two mighty columns welcome you to a power without equal and the most exquisite downtown imaginable in its day. In a scene-by-scene storyboard, we see Adam lonely in the garden, the creation of Eve, and then trouble: from apple…to fig leaf…to banishment. 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. Thanks for joining us. Today's boats still come with gondoliers standing up and no rudder or keel. Be thankful…and keep on travelin'. Nice little hotel with 25-30 rooms situated in an 800 year old building and located just a stone's throw from the Rialto Mercato vaporetto stop (a huge advantage when hauling luggage) and a very short walk from the Rialto Bridge-- … 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. 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. Cruise the Canal Grande all the way to St. Mark's Square, starting at the train station (Ferrovia) or the bus station (Piazzale Roma). There's no place like it. Technically, he was a noble selected by other nobles to oversee the carrying out of their laws and decisions. Located in Italy, at the north end of the Adriatic Sea, is Venice. The city's main thoroughfare is busy with traffic. Take a joyride and introduce yourself to Venice by boat. These much-coveted and exquisitely cast bronze horses are a trophy befitting the city's power. His bones would be perfect. The Doge's Palace — the ruling center and residence of Venice's duke — was built to show off the power and wealth of the Republic and to remind visitors that Venice was number one. Terms of Service | Privacy, Venice, Italy: Grand Canal and La Salute Church. The most lavish face the Grand Canal. Older than most of Europe's churches, it feels like a remnant of a lost world. The city's ceremonial front door was unfortified and faced the sea. 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. But my local friend Piero has a knack for explaining the real Venice. To gain religious importance and a kind of legitimacy, the Venetians needed some important relics. France You can see Venice's most picturesque gondola workshop (from the outside; it's not open to the public) in the Accademia neighborhood. Go inside to buy tickets; the kiosk in front just rents audioguides and is operated by a private company. But all the magic sits on a practical foundation of political and economic might. This city also has several palaces now functioning as art galleries, which are packed with old Venetian masterpieces. When the king of France came to town, he was taken here for a humbling spectacle: the creation of an entire warship before his very eyes. 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. In 1948, the American-born heiress retired here in Venice. Travel with a Mobile Device 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. His weekly public radio program, Travel with Rick Steves first aired in 2005 and is still successfully running. 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. 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. These work like city buses except that they never get a flat, the stops are docks, and if you get off between stops, you'll drown. 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. By the time she retired, Peggy herself had become a celebrity. This is a great way to try a variety of dishes. Go behind the camera with Rick and his crew for the shoot of his 2006 Milan and Lake Como episode as Rick shares all the tricks of his trade in TV production. Its domes and elaborate exterior remind us of Venice's close ties with the Greek, Byzantine, and Muslim worlds. Practicalities. 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. European Cruising 101 Venice is a great place to fall in love, enjoy a honeymoon...or a special anniversary. St. Mark's bell tower — or campanile — soars 300 feet over the square. 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. In this first of two episodes on Venice, we'll sample the splendor of the Doge in his palace, take a pilgrimage to St. Mark's Basilica, see some famous horses, enjoy a grand but noisy view, feast on Venetian treats, get a splash of modern art, be dazzled by masterpieces of the Venetian Renaissance, and get intimate with the city of Casanova...on a gondola. Don't worry too much about the great art. 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. Alessandro's tours include sampling cicchetti with wines at three different bacari. Because you can't drive a car in Venice it's perfectly suited to bar hopping like this. 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. In this shop the workmen — who needed to be good with wood — were traditionally from Italy's mountains. With a shrinking population and in a state of elegant decay, Venice survives on the artificial respirator of tourism. 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. Its lacy exterior, a distinct blend of east and west, is Venetian Gothic. Every morning, she could sit here on her terrace, sipping her coffee, taking in the Grand Canal, living the Venetian dream. It's an ancient Roman statue carved of precious purple porphyry stone — symbolic of power — pillaged from far away, probably Constantinople, and placed here proudly as spoils of war. 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. 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. Nearby stand the imposing gates of the Arsenal — Europe's first great military-industrial complex. The Grand Canal cuts Venice in half, and has only four bridges. Rick Steves is on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and you can follow @RickSteves on Twitter. It features the work of three great Renaissance masters: Donatello, Giovanni Bellini, and Titian — each showing worshippers the glory of God in human terms. Rick: By the tail! 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. Video: Carnival in Venice It’s Carnival time! Portugal Alessandro: Yes, yes, to find in the market in the morning. The church is covered with glass and gold mosaics. Thanks for joining us. Its stunning golden wall of 250 painted enamels features prophets and saints, and, at its center: Jesus, as the Ruler of the Cosmos. The Republic's fortified shipyard, with 3,000 workers using an early form of assembly-line production and standardized parts, it could produce one warship a day. Here in the Senate Hall, nobles gathered to address their colleagues, debate, and pass laws. see our FAQ. Visiting, you can imagine it as Peggy's retirement dream home — with the heiress and her Picassos greeting guests in the entryway. The Christian symbolism is unfamiliar to Western eyes, done in the style of Byzantine icons and even Islamic designs. For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, This exquisite, professional, and small hotel has nine plush rooms, a velvety royal living/breakfast room, and its own dock for water taxi arrivals. Rick Steves' Europe, was his second show which debuted in 2000. The great Venetian rogue Casanova did time here. Alessandro: It is a small bite, you know, that you normally have when you have a glass of wine with a friend. The interior of the basilica glitters with its gold-leaf mosaic work. Inside is a decor of mosaics, colored marbles, and oriental treasures that's rarely seen elsewhere. Plagues decimated communities throughout Europe. Nearby, in an artisan's workshop, visitors are welcome to observe as he provides for the city's 400 gondoliers. They were a huge concern. You could take two round-trips on this for the cost of an ice cream cone. And, in good medieval style, they come with religious lessons. At its peak, in the early 15th century, of its 180,000 citizens, nearly 1,000 were fabulously wealthy. 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. The doge was something of an elected king, which only makes sense in an aristocratic republic like Venice. 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. Here in the doge's lavish apartment, a map illustrates the reach of the Venetian maritime empire — which stretched across most of the eastern Mediterranean. 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. 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