Saint Mark’s Square will be the starting point of this tour, no other place summarizes the greatness of Venice as the ‘piazza’ (as the locals simply call it) does. This is the broadest urban space in town encompassing all the most important buildings and all worth a description to introduce you to the main government bodies which once ruled the city and the Venetian state.
We’ll enter St. Mark’s Church where you’ll get a description of both the Byzantine architecture and the marble and mosaic decorations considered the greatest in Western Europe in its kind. The present cathedral is also the best place where to recall the early days of Venice and the events that brought to its foundation.
Later on will enter and experience the city walking through its narrow alleys, crossing numerous bridges and admiring the grand palaces that once upon a time had three functions, private private abodes, commercial offices and warehouses. The tour will cover three of the main districts in Venice san Marco, Castello and Cannaregio providing then an ample overview of the central part of town. Among other areas we’ll walk through the campos (squares) of santa Maria Farmosa and san Giovanni e Paolo. We’ll reach then the northern shore of Venice from which a great vista over the open lagoon can be enjoyed. The last great feature will be the imposing façade of the Jesuits’ church before ending by the busiest ferry crossing points on the Gran Canal.
And now is time to talk about the artisans. During the walk described above will first stop in a great mask artisan workshop one of the first ones to open since carnival was re-established in 1979. Besides understanding the process of mask making you’ll also know about the significance of mask and carnival in the past.
Comin next is a glass making workshop where the artisan produces small objects in glass ranging from beads to figurines. Alternatively we can see another workshop where the artist produces the smallest animals and insects ever made out of glass with incredible vivid details.
To complete the tour we’ll also visit a printing workshop, indeed one the last ones that still uses original printing machines. In here will praise the fame of Venice as the main driving centers of printing in the early 16th century.
2015 was Aldo Manuzio’s anniversary, he was the greatest European printer in the late 15th cent.
If you have kids we propose you a city introduction walk and two artisans that will entertain them best, a mask and a puppet workshop. In both place the kids will learn step by step the making of masks and their use during Carnival and the making of puppets and the technique to stringing.