Islands of the Lagoon
Murano is famous for its glasss-blowing
workshops that started in the 13th century. Many palaces in Venice
contain elaborate multicoloured chandeliers from this island. There
are several places in Murano where you can watch the artisans at
work in their forges and workshops. The Museo Vetraio contains some
exquisite pieces and are the best examples of the work. There is
also the Modern and Contemporany Glass Museum that exhibits more
recent pieces. In the Church of Maria e Donato you can see fragments
of Murano glass in the 12th century. The church's fantastic mosaic
pavement and an impressive mosaic of the Virgin Mary are both from
the 12th century.
Lace-making is a big art and
trade in Burano. All over the island you will find several schools
that teach Lace Making with exquisite examples of it for sale. Scuola
dei Merletti is one such school where you can watch people at work.
This is one of the few schools that helped rejuventate the craft
which had all but died out. An attraction in Burano is the church
of S.Martino with its Crucifixion by Tiepolo. Also worth a visit
is the little island of San Francesco del Deserto with his monastery.
If you plan to buy lace on the island, choose with care and discretion
a lot of imitation lace are available for cheap.
The Island of Giudecca was an
escapist zone during the age of the Venice Republic. Its now a city
with nice residences and gardens, with a nice dock that forms a
pleasant boulevard to walk and where to enjoy the wonderful sight
over Venice. Jewish community lived in this region in the 13th century
and is probably where the city got its name from. Rich and famous
Italians later built their villas on the island. The main attraction
is the Redentore church, built
by Palladio in 1577 after the city was saved from a savage out break
of plague. The festival of the Redentore is one of the most important
event in Venice.
San Giorgio Maggiore
On the island of Chiesa
di San Giorgio Maggiore is a church with the same name. The
Church had one of the most prominent positions in Venice and had
a significant influence on Renaissance architecture. Built in 1565,
the church has an austere interior, an interesting contrast to its
bold façade. Some of its treasured exhibits include a Deposition
in the Cappella dei Morti and works by Tintoretto: a Last
Supper and the Shower of
Manna on the walls of the high altar.
Torcello is a pretty little island
with old buildings and monuments dating back to the 7th to 13th
centuries. During this time the island was the seat of the Bishop
of Altinum and home to some 20,000 people. Some of the remnants
of this city include two beautiful churches. One is the Duomo di
Santa Maria dell'Assunta, has splendid mosaics covering the floor
as well as the walls built in Byzantine style. The other church,
San Fosca is just as ancient. Near the cathedral is the Museo dell'Estuario
which contains artifacts from the ruins of the old city. War with
Venice and a number of epidemics reduced the island's splendor and
its population. Very few people live on the island today.
The Lido is more of a strip
of land between Venice and the open sea rather than an island. It
is both the residential suburb and the unique beach of the city.
It is connected to Venice by a Steamer Service and is the only Island
to have streets and vehicles. Every year at the end of summer an
International Venice Film Festival is held that attracts a lot of
visitors. Lido became a fashionable seaside resort with rows of
modern apartments and hotels. There is a steady stream of tourists
particularly holidaying Italians and Germans that visit Lido ensuring
that the beaches are crowded.
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