Venetian Lagoon

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Cannaregio – Venice

Venice - Cannaregio - Canal
Venice - Cannaregio - ViewVenice - Cannaregio - Ponte delle GuglieVenice - Cannaregio - Pescaria

Cannaregio is one of the six Venice’s oldest sestriere (areas). Located in the northern side of the city its perimeter is delimited by the Lagoon, the Gran Canal and the Castello and St. Mark sestrieri.

The name Cannaregio probably came from the Cannaregio Canal that means Royal Canal (from the Italian Canal Regio). The district was built during the 11th century and its importance was strictly connected with its Canal, it was the principal route into the city for centuries. The district was mainly inhabited by working class people because the rich Venetian always built their Palaces facing the Gran Canal. At the beginning of the 16th century when the Venetian Jews were forced to live all together in what it will become the first European Ghetto, Cannaregio was the location chose by the government to house it. Part of the area was closed with gates and controlled by guard in order to be sure that no Jews could leave the district between sunset and sunrise. At the end of the 18th century during the Napoleon government the ghetto was abolished and everybody was free to choose where to live. A century later the construction of the Strada Nuova (New Street) started here in Cannaregio. Both a railway and a road bridges were built in order to connect Venice to the mainland.

Cannaregio experienced a vast development during the 15th century so its construction was deeply influenced by the renaissance style. The area is very different from the Medieval Venice and its unique look is testified by the fact that artists like Titian and Tintoretto had chosen to live here.

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Today the Cannaregio Canal is one of the most important in Venice, the only inner one crossed by the public transportation boats. However except for few areas Cannaregio is still very quiet and it is possible to enjoy a peaceful and relaxing walk around its beautiful streets. The area offers also many nice and quiet shops, traditional bakeries and artisanal gelaterie (ice-cream shops).

Also the historic Island of St. Michael’s Cemetery is linked with the Cannaregio sestriere.

Mazzorbo – Venice

Mazzorbo - Church of St Pietro and St Caterina
Mazzorbo - QuayMazzorbo - CanalMazzorbo - Bridge

The island of Mazzorbo is a little hidden gem located next to the more famous Burano. The two islands are connected by a narrow pedestrian wooden bridge called the Ponte Lungo.

Mazzorbo compared to the other islands of the area is still not touch by mass tourism. Its economy is based on agriculture, its vineyards in particular are very popular.

The city was found during the barbarian invasion and its name means literally great city; this small town was in fact once inhabited by thousands of people. When the island of Torcello was the economical center of the lagoon thanks to its proximity Mazzorbo could count onto a flourishing economy. Its importance grew until the 10th century when Venice started to grow and Torcello gradually lost importance. The island slowly became a getaway for the rich Venetians.

Things to see

The unique Santa Caterina Monastery is the perfect example of the golden age of this little gem. The original church was built in 783, the one that we can admire today is a 13th century building. The church’s bell is one of the oldest of the entire lagoon.

During the summer Santa Catarina’s churchyard hosts a country fair where it is possible to try the mouth-watering typical dishes like Luganega e Costesine (sausages and ribs) and roasted polenta, while drinking a glass of local red wine!

Burano – Venice

Burano - Houses
Burano - Church of San MartinoBurano - CanalBurano - Houses

Located in the Northern Venetian Lagoon Burano is an island famous for its colored houses and lace productions.

The city was founded in the 6th century by the inhabitants of Altino, they had to leave their town in order to escape the barbarian invasion. Burano was the name of one of Altino’s door. The island start to grew economically only during the 16th century when the fantastic lace works made by the local women became extremely popular around the world.

The island is divided in six sestrieri (areas): San Martino Destro, San Martino Sinistro, San Mauro, Giucecca, Terranova and the little island of Mazzorbo, which it is connected to Burano by a narrow wooden bridge.

As soon as you will arrive in Burano the unique colored houses and the green waters of the canals will take your breath away! The typical houses are usually square shaped and divided in two floors. The main characteristic is the color of the buildings: each house in fact is painted in a different bright hue! The legend says that fishermen chose to use this technique in order to be able to see the houses from the sea. In reality this was a practical way to delimit the properties. Today if a Burano’s inhabitant wants to paint his house is necessary a permit from the government!

 

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The lacemaking is still the leading craftsmanship attraction of Burano, however the city economy was also influenced by the neighboring island of Murano famous all around the world for its glass working. In Burano is easy to admire artisans that utilize the Murano glass technique.

In Burano is possible to taste mouth-watering local dishes; the most famous ones are fish dishes like the risotto de go’, made with the go’ a fish typical of this area.

Additional attractions of Burano are the Church of San Martino with the Crucifixion painted by Gian Battista Tiepolo, the Santa Barbara Chapel’s and the little Museum and School of Lacemaking.