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A day out in Venice

Venice is a city in North Eastern Italy and it is the capital of the Veneto region. Venice is made up of a group of 117 small islands, that are separated by canals and linked by bridges.

These islands are in the Venetian Lagoon. Some parts of Venice are renowned for their architecture and the beauty of their settings. The lagoon and a part of the city are listed as a World Heritage Site.The first stop for a perfect day out in Venice is the Ponte di Rialto

PONTE DI RIALTO

The Rialto Bridge is one of the four bridges on the Grand Canal in Venice. It is the oldest bridge across the canal. The first dry crossing of the Grand Canal was a pontoon bridge built in 1181 by Niccolò Barattieri. It was called Ponte della Moneta, presumably because there was a mint near its eastern entrance. The development and importance of the Rialto market on the eastern bank increased traffic on this pontoon bridge, so it was replaced in 1255 by a wooden bridge. This structure had two inclined ramps meeting at a movable central section; this central part was opened when tall ships had to pass. Later the bridge changed its name to Ponte di Rialto, because it was near the Rialto Market.During the first half of the 15th Century, two rows of shops were built on the bridge. The rents for the shops were used to maintain the bridge. Maintenance was vital for the timber bridge. It was partly burnt once and it collapsed twice in its history.In the 16th Century the Venetians decided to rebuild the bridge in stone. Several important architects proposed their plans, that were not accepted because they proposed traditional structures with arches.The current stone bridge has a single span; it was designed by Antonio da Ponte and was finally completed in 1591. It is similar to the previous wooden bridge. Two inclined ramps lead up to a central portico. On both parts of the portico, the covered ramps have rows of shops. The engineering of the bridge was considered so audacious, that architect Vincenzo Scamozzi predicted future ruin. The bridge has defied its critics to become one of the architectural icons of Venice.Go there and enjoy the view!!The second stop for a perfect day out in Venice is Piazza San Marco and the Cathedral of Saint Mark.

ST. MARK BASILICA

The cathedral of St. Mark is the most important church in Venice and one of the best know example of Italo-Byzantine architecture. The building that you can see today was begun in 1063 to receive the body of St. Mark.The exterior is divided in three register: lower, upper and domes. In the lower register there are five round-arched portals with marble columns. In the upper level there are mosaics with scenes of the life of Christ. In the upper register there are also statues of Theological and Cardinals Virtues and the famous horses of St. Mark. These horses in bronze came from Costantinople. Now on the façade there are some copies and the originals are in the museum inside the Basilica. Go inside and watch them! They are great! On the third level there are the five domes.The interior of the cathedral is based on a Greek cross. On the ceiling there are many mosaics made with gold background. The mosaics cover an area of about 8000 square meters. The cathedral of St. Mark is in Piazza San Marco. During the Carnival all the important events of the city. Take place in this square Napoleon called it “The drawing room of Europe”. In this square there is the bell tower; one of the symbols of Venice, and there is also the long arcade where there are many famous and historical bars like: Caffè Florian and Caffè Quadri. The third stop can be the Ponte dei Sospiri

PONTE DEI SOSPIRI

This characteristic bridge of Venice is near Piazza San Marco and it passes over the Rio di Palazzo connecting, with a double passage, the Doge’s Palace to the New Prisons. It’s so famous and tourists can photograph it from only two places: the Canonica Bridge and the Bridge of Straw (della Paglia).It name is an invention of Romantic literature; legend says that during the Serenissima the prisoners, crossing it, used to sigh at the prospect of seeing the outside world for the last time. The term “sighs” indicates the last breaths of the convict in the free world because, once convicted in the Doges’ Republic they could not go back.Go inside the Doge’s Palace and visit it!The last stop for a perfect day out in Venice is Murano.

MURANO

Murano is a town in the Venetian Lagoon, located in the north-east of Venice and made up of seven islands. It is part of the municipality of Venice. With about 4500 inhabitants, Murano is one of the most populous centers in the Venetian lagoon.The islands where which Murano stands are along the ‘canale dei Mariani’ and are divided by channels and connected by bridges; their territory is totally urbanized.Murano is famous for its glass making. The history of Murano Glass was founded in 1921 when it was ruled that the glassworks in Venice were transferred to Murano since the laboratory ovens were often responsible for disastrous wildfires, became particularly serious because at the time buildings were made of wood. Spend a whole day in Murano!

Alessandro S.  Sebastiano A.  Matteo D.G.  Alessandro F.

Redazione Classe 2AA day out in Venice
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