St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice – Basilica di San Marco

San Marco’s basement stands on the mud of Rivoalto’s island and the legends about Venice history.

While the resizing of eastern Roman’s Empire at the beginning of IX century, the Dodge Giustiniano Partcipazio thought necessary to update those traditions acquired from that culture, in order to build up the people spirit of belonging to the Republic of Venice.

The sunset of Byzantine influence, pushed Venice on the search for Its identity, starting from the patron of the city.

St.Mark, already venerated by the population, perfectly matched this role, mirroring Venecian’s values and devotion.

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Walking into the history of Venice

The history of Venice is even more fascinating if you let the city itself tell it to you.

Beyond the majestic palaces facing the canals, the splendour of Venice is visible in the many small details that have survived to the present day and tell us the history of Venice as one of the most unique cities in the world.

Some of these details are very obvious such as the nizioleti, the street signs, that remind us of the people who worked in that street or which Venetian family lived there; eg: In the Sestiere of Cannaregio the underpass of the ‘Iron Den’ was the workplace of those specialising in the finishing of metal objects, especially those used to make gondolas.

In Castello, in the calle of the cutters there were stonecutters who worked the rough stone that would be used in the construction of palaces and churches.

San Marco, where the merchant’s boats landed, was the right place to look for hospitality for the night, more precisely in Calle de la Vida or the Locande.

These are just 3 of the four thousand nizioleti you can find in Venice, each of them with a story to tell, too numerous to describe here! 

The most attentive visitors, often remain fascinated by some of the carved symbols you can see when walking around the city, less obvious in their meaning than the nizioleti, and more profound to interpret.

If the history of Venice was a film, among the main protagonists you would certainly see the Venetian workers who, divided into different categories – the schools – supported the development of the city; the traces of their contribution are still visible if you can recognise their symbols:

In Saint Mark: the school of the spade makers, the School of Merchants, the school of masons; In Cannaregio: The school of painters, the sewing school; In Dorsoduro wool weaving school

The importance of work in the history of Venice was such that it has earned itself a prominent space in the heart of the city; an example of this are the sculptures at the base of the two large columns at the gates of Piazza San Marco that represent: the wine merchants, the fishmongers, the blacksmiths and the salinieri, together with the base of one of the columns in the ground floor porch of the Palazzo Ducale which is dedicated to the arts and to trades.

This article certainly only tells a small part of the history of Venice.

If you’re interested in this topic, take part in one of our Adventure Theater shows for a real journey through time in the company of professional actors who will show you the city and its history in an unusual experience away from the crowds!


Something to know before visiting Venice Arsenale

The crown jewel of Serenissima Republic: Venice Arsenale

Venice Arsenale is a big area of Castello’s Sestiere where, super skilled workers produced the ships that made Venice navy and trade power that great.

Within the year 1100, marine craft were produced by small shipyards scattered between the islands of Venice lagoon and called “Squero”. They could produce those boats needed to cross the lagoon and no more.

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Campo San Stae – Challenging Bernini

Campo San Stae – San Stae square

Campo San Stae owes its name to Sant Eustacchio church, which occupies the majority of it’s space pressing on the left the ancient Tiraoro and Battioro School that goes almost unnoticed for the statues which animate the facade of the church attracting the attention of visitors.

The church has very ancient origins and there are very few testimonies about its structure before Doge Alvise Mocenigo commissioned reconstruction at his own expense in the early 1700s.

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San Simeon Piccolo – the unexplored crypt

San Simeon Piccolo still keeps Its secrets

The church of San Simeon Piccolo in Venice welcomes visitors coming out from the train station, on the other side of Grand Canal.

Commissioned to make Venice “back-door” richer, the architect Scalfarotto found inspiration by Roman’s Pantheon temple and at the end of 1700 renewed this church as we can see it today.

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