In the very shadow of the elegant palace of the Grand Canal and famous monuments, hide the favorite places of Venice. However since they are not on the main tourist routes, you will only see them, sneaking under the arches through the maze of alleyways, and across stone bridges.
Follow their footsteps and you will probably feel like Alice following the White Rabbit into Wonderland. Venice as the Venetians know, any real adventure begins and Venetian ends with a glass of Prosecco. Just follow this guide and you will know where to go, morning, noon and evening in Venice.
When the tour guides speak of Rialto, this is usually the Rialto Bridge, the Renaissance dazzling views by Antonio da Ponte, crossing the Grand Canal. But when the Venetians mention Rialto, they are talking about the markets. These markets are from the historical foundation of Venice, around the year 809, when Venice was a body of water without the Byzantine palace but with fish and much ambition.
The current Pescaria (fish market) is the 19th century version of the original Venetian fish market that lasted 600 years until 1000’s of years of walking eventually wore down the cobblestones. Under the gargoyles sloping roofs, representing fish, the rules for fishing in the lagoon are literally carved in stone on a carved panel.
By late morning, the fishermen who get up before 3am are definitely ready for their breakfast with a glass of Prosecco. Join them near the stalls and merchants Pescaria Rialto, in bacari alleys, bars that have served customers for almost 500 years. Those who arrive just before noon at All’Arco (Calle dell’Arco, San Polo 436), the Pronto Pronto Pesce (Pescaria, San Polo 319) and Dai Zemei, have the freshest of choice or Venetian tapas: a succulent selection of products of the lagoon from the market, meats, cheeses and salads full of creativity.
In the Dorsoduro, the banks of the Grand Canal égrainent there are art museums and glorious Baroque ceilings by Tiepolo. But advancing a little further towards the shore of Giudecca Canal, known as the place of Zattere, you’ll meet hikers basking in the Venetian sun.
Along this sunny place we find the Magazzini del Sale, the historic warehouses of salt, recently reinvented in public gallery by Renzo Piano and the late, great Expressionist painter Emilio Vedova, inviting local artists alongside international artists such as Anselm Keifer and Louise Bourgeois.
Exit the Zatttere to reach the Chiesa di San Sebastiano, a small church covered from floor to ceiling with painted masterpieces for three decades by Paolo Veronese. Legend has it that the Renaissance master found refuge here to escape murder charges in his hometown of Verona in 1555 and offered his gratitude to this church. After a bridge from San Sebastiano, is the Calle Lunga San Barnaba, a narrow alley houses some of the most affordable pizzerias Venetian osteria specialties and meat that is rare in the lagoon city.
As the Venetians know during the high season there is an influx of tourists during the day in Venice. The wisdom of those who fear the crowds is that they plan their visits to Venice at any time except in June, at the opening of the Venice Biennale (held in odd-numbered years), during Annual Festival Venice Film (September) and during the two weeks of bacchanalia that is the Carnival of Venice (February). But to see Venice as a Venetian, you need to stay the night.
Less than a third of visitors to Venice will remain in place after sunset and romantic dinners are missing along the Canal and family cottages hidden behind the main pedestrian street Strada Nova in Cannaregio. This picturesque area is home to the most charming Venetian Gothic church, the Chiesa della Madonna dell ‘Orto, decorated by Tintoretto and the ghetto of Venice.
The bridges leading to the Ghetto, officially closed the night, there was a time, are open to walkers at night so they could visit bookstores, art galleries and antique dealers – at least until the cicchetti arrive on counters in bars along Fondamenta degli Ormesini, the canal bank through the Ghetto. Toast with the Venetians to the sound of live music at Al Timon (Fondamenta degli Ormesini, Cannaregio), but do not be late for your reservation at the nearby Dalla Marisa (Fondamenta San Giobbe 652b): seafood from the lagoon and local meats are always fresh and when there are more, we no longer receiving person. Among the lively group of captains, the famous architects, the champions of the train, get your glasses la bella vita.
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