Venice- La Serenissima
Your personal sightseeing guide to Europe
Venice, la Serenissima, the most serene Republic - the city where one journalist cabled home “Streets full of water, please advise”. Venice is unique, built entirely on water and surrounded by water - a defensive barrier that allowed the city to develop its own style of architecture, unaffected by the need for defence that affected other Italian cities. Trading with Byzantium and the east, Venice assimilated influences from the court in Constantinople as well as from the Italian mainland, creating a rich and colourful style all its own.
Venice is far too big a city for a single Podtour™, so we've written several.
San Marco to San Zanipolo takes you from the great basilica and the Doge's palace, at the centre of the city's life, to the fine gothic pantheon of the Doges and finally to a tiny Renaissance jewel, Santa Maria dei Miracoli. It's a tour which visits many of the great sights of Venice and shows you the glories of the church and state from Byzantium to the Baroque. We've made a plan on Google Maps to show you the route.
Venice - Cannaregio visits one of the lesser known areas of the city, the working class district of the Cannaregio. There aren't many palaces but there's a surprising number of marvellous churches, from the medieval Gothic Madonna dell'Orto to the baroque theatricality of the Gesuiti. And on the way we pass through the Ghetto, site of Jewish life in Venice for centuries and still a focus for the Jewish community. Look at the Google Map to see where the tour will take you.
Along the Grand Canal is a free PDF guide, which takes you all the way from the railway station to the extreme eastern end of the city. It's absolutely not a sight-seeing tour of the traditional kind, but if you've been to Venice before it might show you some back streets you've not seen before - and let you get away from the crowds.
And finally, we've put together a list of some of our favourite off-beat sights, curiosities, and oddities.
- Verona - a podtour of this city, from Roman times through to fine Gothic frescoes and amazing Renaissance palaces. The page includes a free Podtour of San Zeno, a huge Romanesque basilica a little way outside the city centre.