S.Croce - Dorsoduro

S.Croce - Dorsoduro

meeting point : Rialto Mercato /  last of the tour h 2

Our second tour starts from the district of Sta Croce to end up in one of Dorsoduro and our meeting point will be Rialto and his cheerful and noisy market. From here we head towards the Pescaria (fish market) and the Campo of Becarie (literally butchers) where there were meat shops as well as fish. From here we move towards the street of Boteri (barrels), street where there were workshops who made barrels for wine and at the end of the road turn right. In the middle of the street, at the n1562, it is worth stopping in a very oriental corner, that takes you back in time, a small Moroccan styled shop. It has no name but you will recognize it by its magic lanterns on display, brightly colored objects for the home and carpets.

From here began the red light district during the period of the Venetian Republic, which in 1360, gathered the prostitutes who were in and around the city in this area. A witness to the fact there is a bridge from the unmistakable name, which is called Bridge of Tits: the prostitutes, to promote their activity, could expose their breasts out from the brothels' balconies. The area is best known as Ca'Rampane from the name of the family; little note: ca' is the short way to say casa home. Also in this area you will find many rio terà, originally these were canals after filled with grounds. On the side of the bridge there is the Fondamenta de la Stua, here there were pubblic baths.

Going straight and made two small bridges with characteristic views, we head to the Frari, Frari Square. It's well worth a small detour to Campo S.Giacomo Dall'Orio, a characteristic and typical Venetian square with its beautiful church, one of the oldest in Venice. Here there are still old restaurants and buzzing Venetian life.

Let's get back to the Campo dei Frari, (square) with its beautiful church.The church was so nominated because the order of Franciscan friars, who arrived to town in 1222. The church was begun in 1340 in Gothic style. At the beginning of the 1400 the church looked like it can be seen now. Inside there are paintings of the most important painters of the time: Tintoretto, Titian, Bellini and are buried many famous Venetian doges, artists and leaders. Few minutes walking from here, it's worth to visit the School of San Rocco, which was built between 1489 and 1549, but its present appearance is the result of various interventions followed over time. When the building was finished, a competition was held to choose the painter who would have decorated the rooms. It was chosen the famous Venetian painter Tintoretto.

We follow the walk to the beautiful Campo Santa Margherita (square), where in the middle of the square there is an isolated building, called the Scuola dei Varoteri, (tanners), which was built in 1725. On one side of the school, we find the plate which, like in the Rialto market, indicates the minimum measures that fishes had to be sold at the market. Even today, in fact,  there is a small fish market. Continuing to the Accademia, we are at the Ponte dei Pugni, where the center there are four white footprints. These were the footprints indicating the starting position of the competition between the districts' factions. During this period the fights were frequent and took place on the bridges of the city. These fights sometimes involving hundreds of citizens were not punished by the government, but regulated. The fights took place between September and Christmas and followed a precise scheme: once launched the challenge and the referee decided the bridge for the fight. Each faction arrived at the sound of trumpets with its champions, which were engaged for individuals or small groups competitions. The fights often ended in a colletive brawl!

At the foot of the bridge there is moored boat selling fruit and vegetables.
We continue to the Accademia bridge, where there are the famous galleries.
On the top of the bridge you will enjoy the breathtaking view of the Grand Canal.
Down the bridge, turn left and then immediately right direction Campo S.Samuele (square), with its ancient Roman bell tower of the 12th cent. still intact. Overlooking the Grand Canal you can admire the Palazzo Grassi, which, in 1687, was commissioned by the famous architect Giorgio Massari. From there to date the Palace had many destinations and owners

The last one in  2005 it was purchased by an art collector François Pinault.
Continuing our walk, just around the corner there is a plaque commemorating the birth house of one of the emblems of the city: Giacomo Casanova. Refined man, who is considered the seducer per excellence, but what exactly he is  18th cent. European icon, with its vices and virtues. Continuing the salizada S.Samuele, on right we find the street of the Boteghe (shops street) and a shoe on the wall indicates where the laboratory of the Calegheri, German shoemakers was. This street leads to one of the  largest and most beautiful areas of Venice, S.to Stefano with its Gothic church.

Have a nice break in this beautiful campo in one of the many coffee-bar and enjoy the view.

by Roberta Michieletto