The Venice lagoon is a unique environment in the world.
Through over 1600 years of history some islands, widespread in a middle of a natural lagoon, became one of the main economic and cultural center in the whole world.
Strolling around the narrow Venice streets is an amazing experience, immersing in a timeless atmosphere and the stunning beauty amazes the eye at every corner.
The charm of the city consists not only in the popular places such as San Marco Square or Rialto Bridge, but it is hidden in silent corners and small canals. When you slowly walk or even better go through the channels on a typical venetian boat, you can watch the quiet flowing of life, savoring the sweet fish’s tastes and listening to the voices of the inhabitants.
So why do not get lost around to San Nicolò dei Mendicoli, heart of the ancient Venice devoted to the fishing, or paying a visit to the Madonna dell’Orto or to the evocative campo dell’Abazia where it is possible to feel the sensation to go back to the industrious city of the medieval times when the Serenissima benefited of an absolute preeminent position in the world?
To fully understand the greatness and also the Decadentism of this city placed on the water, it is essential to range in the old corners, looking at the old shops, listening to that strange dialect that appears so melodious, being bewitched, maybe take a rest in campo San Pietro di Castello and admiring that beautiful solitary cathedral so bolted from the city center.
The real beauty of the city is also enjoyable in the capacity of utterly understanding the deep cultural syncretism that marked Venice out for centuries where the East, first Byzantine and then Turkish, met themselves in a Western world which was developing its own cultural koinè.
The visitor can admire the Fondaco dei Turchi, which housed the first mosque in the Cristianity; San Giorgio dei Greci, the Orthodox temple in Venice; San Lazzaro degli Armeni, a monastery and study center among the most prestigious; and eventually the San Marco basilica that, in the original plan, should have reminded the missing church of Saint’Apostoles in Byzantium.
The beauty of the lagoon is not just carried out by the city but also in the islands surrounding it.
The island was the first refuge for the many inhabitants who escaped from the barbaric hordes who terrorized the Venetian backcountry; those strips of land constituted the founding unit of the Venetian civilization; those venues have still preserved their ancient beauty and distinctiveness; in some occasion the nature prevailed on the territory.
We may visit the Isola di Sant’Erasmo, traditionally the vegetable garden of Venice where is still possible to get the mixture of tastes and fragrances, the artichoke that perfectly represents the island’s typicality.
With a small boat, we can reach Burano with its traditional colored houses or Murano which perpetuates the glass maker tradition, started in the XIII century.
Why not to visit Torcello, first commercial nucleus of the lagoon, with its stunning religious building which keeps evident track of the strong bond with the Byzantine world?
The biggest islands such as San Pietro in Volta or Pellestrina keep that typicality of the small fishermen village, and we can find it in small restaurants which still offer fish cooked in the very simple but tasty way of Venetian heritage.
Our journey might ideally end up with Chioggia, since many centuries ago southern outpost of Serenissima; this is a place where it is possible admire a picturesque fish market that has preserved all the authenticity of the Venetian folks.