History and art of Venice

 

The Doge’s Palace and the secret itineraries - Tour 13

The Institutional Chambers and the Secret Trails

This enriching tour, for adults and children alike, has been designed to get you to the official and unofficial chambers of the Doge’s Palace, where your guide will help you unravel the secrets of Venice extraordinary past.

The Palace, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture,  was once a multifunctional building, where the government, the offices of the bureaucracy and justice were. In its interior it  still retains  magnificent decorations  from the 1500s, that highlight its  power and wealth. The paintings were commissioned by the Senate to  Renaissance artists being the most famous ones Titian, Veronese and Tintoretto. 

From the beauties of the palace you will walk to the jails crossing the bridge of Sigh, built when most of the prisons were transferred to a new building. Some of the old prisons, the most unpleasant ones, the wells and the leads are  still present in the palace and  are located in its secret part. The former ones are on the ground floor and are very humid, the latter ones are very hot because they are under the roof covered with lead. 

While visiting those jails you will find out how Giacomo Casanova lived in one  of those  and how he organized his adventurous escape from here. 

Passage-ways and corridors also give access to the administration offices, the old chancellery and the torture chamber, that are other interesting features of this itinerary.


Option: the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica

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The Accademia museum, the development of Venetian art- Tour 14

A great collection of paintings

Venice is an open-air museum, where you can admire its art no matter where you go!  If you are an art lover, and you like to visit at least one of the unforgettable museums of Venice, the Academy museum is your pick. 

It includes a collection of paintings that covers a period of five centuries from the 1300s to the late 1700s. In those five centuries Venice developed its own art keeping up with the times. Moreover, painters and artists combined elements that came from different cultures to produce their own art. They were also commissioned to decorate different buildings, from churches to private palaces, from brotherhoods to guilds. 

Walking through the museum rooms, you will appreciate the best of the art displayed here, that came from demolished churches, suppressed brotherhoods and guilds, and from donations.   

You will follow the development of different styles and art techniques, from the Byzantine early times to the Gothic era and from Renaissance and Mannerism into the 1600s, mostly a period of decline, on to the flourishing 1700s.

You will admire an amazing collection of art, that includes outstanding works by Venetian artists such as Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione, Tiziano, Tintoretto and Veronese, just to mention a few of the great names. 

If you choose this guided tour you will learn more about the characteristics of Venetian art combined with the great history that made Venice a unique city.

 

Options, ask for more information

Follow the footsteps of famous Venetian artists such as Tintoretto, Titian and Veronese in order to see other churches and museums.

 

Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari and the Scuola Grande di San Rocco can be combined in order to see Titian’s and Tintoretto’s paintings.

 
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Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice,  avant-garde and  modern art- Tour 15

A change in the way of communicating art.

The museum of modern art was founded by Peggy Guggenheim, the granddaughter of a wealthy American businessman and art collector, Solomon Guggenheim.  Following into his footsteps she became an art collector and a patron in turn and before settling in Venice she gathered art in Europe and America primarily from 1938 to 1946. In the 1950s she bought Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, an 18th palace along the Grand Canal, where she lived for three decades. 

Her collection includes paintings and sculptures from the vanguard movements born before the Great wars as well as post-wars American painters. Cubism, Futurism, Abstract Expressionism and Surrealism are some of the most important ones. Among the most famous artists there are Picasso, Braque, Kandinsky, Balla, Duchamp, Dali, Ernst just to mention a few!

Known for supporting some of the best artists’ careers, she helped Jackson Pollock, who revolutionized the potential for contemporary art and furthered the development of Abstract Expressionism.

Guggenheim’s collection was recently enlarged thanks to a donation made by an American couple called Hannelore and Rudolph Schulhof. Their collection features eighty works of Post War and abstract art from Europe and the United States.

For the reasons mentioned above, today the Guggenheim museum is still considered one of the most important museums of European and American art of the 20th century.

 
Ca' Rezzonico

Ca' Rezzonico Palace, life in Venice in the eighteenth century - Tour 16
 

A journey into 18th century Venice.

Ca’ Rezzonico is one of the most interesting museums of Dorsoduro district, a very impressive and elegant palace along the Grand Canal. It hosts the 18th century museum dealing with the last period of Venetian history.

Designed by the architect Baldassare Longhena in baroque style for a Venetian family, it was sold to the Rezzonico from the Lake Como, who engaged Giorgio Massari  to complete it. He added a superb large ballroom, that made the palace one of the most coveted ones for its size and  exquisite decorations.

Visiting it you will admire works of art by the most important artists of the 18th century, that followed different genres. You will see Giacomo and Giandomenico Tiepolo frescoes in light colours referring to the Rezzonico family and how they managed to be included in the Golden book, the formal directory of nobles in the Republic of Venice. Part of another genre Pietro Longhi's paintings evoked the atmosphere of every day’s life in Venice. Rosalba Carriera dedicated her life to miniature portraits painted in delicate pastels whether Canaletto reproduced views of Venice in an extremely precise way.

Beside paintings, in the palace there are other incredible treasure such as tapestry, furniture, sculptures, chandeliers, collections of porcelain of the period. This was all part of the luxury the family flaunted and typical of the last decades of independence of Venice.

 

Options: visit other palaces, ask for more info

Ca’ D’oro, Palazzo Grimani and  Palazzo Querini  Stampalia