Recommended Reading on Today-Venice

I’m very proud to have assisted journalist Neil Robbins in the final reading of his thoughtful book: Venice, an Odyssey.

Memories of the city he had seen when he was a student cross the different reality of Venice today.

A profound reportage on the environmental, social, and economic challenges of Venice today. I warmly recommend it to anyone interested in the complicated relationship between cultural heritage, economic profit, and environmental issues.

Here you find the video presenting the book.

Available also on Amazon.

Deutscher Text:

Es freut mich sehr, den Journalisten Neil Robbins beim Schreiben seines nachdenklichen Buches unterstützt zu haben: Venice, an Odyssey.
Eine tiefgreifende Reportage über die ökologischen, sozialen und wirtschaftlichen Herausforderungen Venedigs heute.

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Venice Architects and Stonemasons

Some famous architectures built by Lombard and Swiss architects.
Foto credits: Bridge of Sighs, Palazzo X Savi, San Zaccaria and Scalzi: D. Descouens, Wikipedia

Deutscher Text am Ende

Venice was one of the most international and vibrant capitals in ancient Europe. Many craftspeople and artists were attracted by the wealth that was invested to build new churches and palaces and embellish them with artworks, sculptures, funeral monuments, wooden ceilings, and fabrics of any sort.

Who built among the most extraordinary architectures of Venice?

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Canaletto, Tiepolo and the artists of 18th century Venice

A rich exhibition of 18thcentury Venetian art will bring you closer to the light and gentle spirit of the Rococo.

Masterpieces by great artists like Canaletto and Tiepolo dominates in the former apartment of the Doge; you can admire the bright pastel palette of Tiepolo and the cityscapes full of air and light of Canaletto. You can indulge in details that show daily life in the 18thcentury in the vedute and be captivated by the sensuousness of the figures in mythological stories. 

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Santa Maria dei Miracoli: a Jewel Box

MIracoli

Santa Maria dei Miracoli

Deutscher Text am Ende.

Ezra Pound called it a ‘jewel box’; today it is one of the most popular churches to celebrate a wedding. The Miracoli church is intimate and at the same time spectacular hidden shrine of Venice.

Dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, but called by everyone Our Lady of the Miracles because of a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary standing above the main altar, this late 15th- century church is a symbol of the Venice of that time: rich, with a sophisticated sense of beauty, proud to carry on the classical legacy of the antique world, and proud of its very miracle: to stand on the water, like the church itself.

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The Treasures of the Doge – A new Itinerary in the Doge’s Palace

Doge's Palace

Giant’s Staircase, courtyard of the Doge’s Palace.

The Doge’s Palace of Venice is a shrine with lavishing gilt ceilings, great masterpieces by Veronese and Tiepolo, and hundreds of years of history visible on its many paintings but now there is a new reason to visit it.

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An architectural Walk: the Giudecca Island in Venice

Cino Zucchi, new construction on the Giudecca island, 1996-2003

Deutsche Version am Ende

People often think that Venice is a city where history has stopped with the fall of the Republic; a city that has not been touched by modernity.

On the contrary, throughout the 19th and 20th century, there have been intensive discussions on new urban plans that would help to develop the economy; thousands of buildings were pulled down and reconstructed in new forms.

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The Church of the Jesuits in Venice

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Deutsche Zusammenfassung am Ende

On the northern side of Venice, in the Cannaregio district, you can find the Jesuits Church, which is richly ornate, and austere at the same time.

The order of the Jesuits was founded in 1534 by Ignatius of Loyola. The Spanish Saint had a military background and conceived the order as a well-organized structure open to men who wanted to “serve as soldiers of God”. Their aim was “the defense and propagation of the faith”.

Their sacral buildings are usually very imposing, with overwhelming decorations, aiming to show the power of the Catholic Church.

Jesuits, interior

In Venice the Jesuits wanted to show their connections with the Venetian government as well as with the Vatican. The construction was commissioned to the best architect (Domenico Rossi) and artists (Louis Dorigny, Giuseppe Torretti) of that time.

Gesuiti church, detail of angel

The interior is covered by an extraordinary variety of marbles, part of them are carved and inlaid (like the one by the altar that looks like a carpet). Black and white marble inlaid on the columns looks like fabric.
The altar has a baldacchino with barley-twist columns and concealed lighting.

Gesuiti church, main altar

The ceiling is covered with gilded plasterwork and frescoes.

Gesuiti church, ceiling

Among the artworks in the Gesuiti church there is an Assumption of the Virgin Mary by Tintoretto and an extraordinary Martyrdom of St. Lawrence by Titian. The painting (1548-57), made in a late phase of Titian’s life, when the artist couldn’t see very well and used his hands to put colors on the canvas, is one of the most astonishing night scene, of European Renaissance Art.

Titian, Martyrdom of St. Lawrence, 1548-57

The Gesuiti Church is not as famous as the Frari or San Zaccaria but it is one of those many hidden ‘jewels’ that make Venice so special at every step.

Text auf deutsch
Auf der Nordseite von Venedig, im Stadtteil Cannaregio, befindet sich die reich verzierte und gleichzeitig strenge Jesuitenkirche.
Der Orden der Jesuiten wurde 1534 von Ignatius von Loyola gegründet. Der spanische Heilige hatte einen militärischen Hintergrund und konzipierte den Orden als eine gut organisierte Struktur, die Männern offen stand, die “als Soldaten Gottes dienen” wollten.
Ihre sakralen Gebäude sind normalerweise sehr imposant, mit überwältigenden Verzierungen, um die Macht der katholischen Kirche zu demonstrieren.

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Private and urban gardens in Venice

The orchard of the Franciscan Church Redentore on the Giudecca island.

A city with no land to expand could not afford to waste vast areas for gardens. In spite of this logical issue, the garden was a must, a status symbol.

Garden in the former Palazzo Contarini dal Zaffo now a nunnery.

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