We are in the heart of Venice, a city famous for its bridges, which number 417, and canals that run between 118 small islands.
This is the Grand Canal, Venices major waterway.
This canal is lined with some of the citys most ornate and prestigious palazzi dating from as far back as the 13th century.
Gondolas, another symbol of Venice, are now mainly used as a tourist attraction, although they were once the most common form of transport in the city.
Watch how the gondoliers propel the boat with their oar that rests in a special rowlock called a frcola. These are handmade in a few artisan workshops in Venice.
Boats are the main mode of transportation around Venice, an island city surrounded by a lagoon.
Visitors can use the vaporetto, or public waterbus, to get around Venice. This is the Rialto stop. Vaporetti can take you to other islands in the Venetian lagoon as well like Murano and Burano.
This area we are in, the Rialto, used to be the commercial and financial hub of Venice and is still home to daily food markets.
The Grand Canal passes beneath the iconic Rialto Bridge. Built between 1588 and 1591, it is the oldest of the 4 bridges that cross the Grand Canal.
There are two carved stone sculptures, one on each side of the Rialto bridge.
On the left is the Angel Gabriel and on the right the Virgin Mary. It is a scene of the Annunciation. Here it is used metaphorically.
Boats are used to transport almost everything in Venice, from Amazon packages to artworks. This boat is probably delivering supplies to a restaurant.
The first bridge at this location was a wooden pontoon bridge constructed in 1173.
The Rialto Bridge's 7.5-meter (24-foot) arch was designed to allow passage of galleys.
From the Rialto Bridge you can look down the wide Grand Canal, which is used by all kinds of boat traffic from waterbuses to taxis to boats for rubbish collection.
The Grand Canal is 3.8 km long and connects the railway station of Santa Lucia at one end of Venice to St Marks Basin.
This area was originally named Rivo Alto, or high bank, which became Rialto.
Here you can see the sculpture of the Angel Gabriel on the Rialto Bridge.
Taxis are a fast and efficient way to get around Venice, but they can be pricey.
Now we are heading down the Riva del Vin.
Here is another gondola. These are a traditional Venetian rowing boat.
They are flat-bottomed and asymmetrical helping them to glide through the shallow waters of the lagoon. A gondola can cost around 40,000 euros to construct.
Venices founding date and story is still unclear and often colored by legends.
It was likely founded after the fall of the Roman Empire in the West when inhabitants of terra firma cities like Padua and Treviso were fleeing from the Huns and sought safety on the marshy islands out in the nearby lagoon.
The Grand Canal is actually one of the few canals you can walk alongside in Venice. It is lined with plenty of restaurants but they are often overpriced because of the view.
Most of the palazzi along the Grand Canal open directly onto the canal, meaning these entrances are only accessible by boat.
Guests staying in hotels along the Grand Canal will often arrive in this way.
Directly in front of us is Palazzo of Ca Loredan currently home to the city's municipal council.
The marble-fronted building is Palazzo Grimani di San Luca dating from the mid-16th century and currently the seat of Venices Appeal Court.
In Medieval times, Venice was a great sea power. The maritime republic was known as La Serenissima, the most serene.
The Republic of Venice traded with countries in Asia and the Middle East, and goods were often sold here at the markets in the Rialto, the mercantile heart of the city.
This great maritime republic, which lasted from 697 AD until 1797 AD, also owned other territories in Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Greece, Albania and Cyprus.
Venices successes in trade gave rise to a wealthy merchant class who commissioned prestigious works of art and architecture, which now adorn the canal city.
The central part of the Rialto Bridge is lined with shops, most famously selling jewelry and Murano glass. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many are currently closed.
Going this way, you head towards Piazza San Marco along the Merceria, a route lined with offices of important banks and still the citys traditional banking quarter.
At street stalls, you can buy cheap masks and other souvenirs but these will not be made in Venice.
Now we are in Campo San Bartolomeo. You can see a statue of Venetian playwright Carlo Goldoni.
This building is the T Fondaco dei Tedeschi. It is now a luxury department store but it used to be the warehouse for the German community in Venice and then a post office.
The building now has a free roof terrace affording a view over the Rialto Bridge and Grand Canal. We will visit this later on.
The iconic Rialto Bridge is mentioned in Shakespeares The Merchant of Venice, when businessman Salanio asks: What news on the Rialto?
From this side of the Rialto Bridge you can see the T Fondaco dei Tedeschi department store on the right and Palazzo dei Camerlenghi on the left.
By the late 13th century, Venice had become the wealthiest city in Europe thanks to its extensive trading routes and powerful navy that prevented pirate attacks.
However, the citys slow decline began in the 15th century with the costly Ottoman-Venetian wars, the opening up of trade between India and European countries like England and France, and plagues in the 16th century that decimated the population.
The Republic of Venice fell in 1797 as Napoleon fought to expand the newly-formed French Republic.
On this side of the Rialto bridge the stone sculptures represent St Mark, the patron saint of Venice, and St Theodore, the citys ex-patron saint.
We are now entering the area of the Rialto markets.
This area has some good bars and is a popular place for an evening aperitif.
This church is San Giacomo di Rialto. Its first mentioned in a document dating from 1152 but legend has it it was consecrated in 421.
In 1514 the entire island of the Rialto was consumed by fire apart from this church, which remained miraculously intact.
The ornate clock face dates from the 15th century. The church is now a museum of musical instruments.
Now we are back alongside the Grand Canal.
Most of Venices gondoliers are men, It wasnt until 2010 that Venice had its first female gondolier.
On 12 May, 1797, the Republic of Venice was officially abolished. The last doge or head of state, Ludovico Manin, renounced his position.
After coming under the control of the Austrians and the French, Venice finally became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1866.
Now we are heading towards the daily fruit and vegetable market. Many Venetians shop here.
You will find produce from the island of SantErasmo here, another island in the Venetian lagoon and nicknamed Venices vegetable garden.
The artichokes and asparagus grown on this island are especially tasty.
SantErasmo is a rural, sparsely populated island that can be reached by vaporetto.
Can you see what looks like a gondola crossing the canal here? This is a traghetto, a ferry service that takes passengers from one side of the canal to the other.
As you can see, passengers traditionally stand during the crossing.
This building houses the Rialto fish market. We will be there shortly.
The Fishmarket sells all kinds of produce caught in the lagoon, including squid, cuttlefish, crabs, mussels and clams.
The presence of markets in the Rialto area can be dated as far back as 1097.
The Fishmarket is open in the mornings Tuesday to Saturday.
Early in the morning you can sometimes see fishermen returning with their catch and delivering it straight to sellers in the market.
Now we are walking down the Ruga dei Spezieri, meaning the street of spice shops.
Many streets in this area have names referring to the trading and mercantile businesses centered here in the past.
With trade flourishing with countries in Asia and the Middle East, exotic spices could be found in Venice and have influenced the traditional Venetian cuisine.
Now we are walking down the Ruga Vecchia S. Giovanni.
Street names can give a clue to the character of the street.
While a calle is a typical Venetian street, a salizada refers to a street that was one of the first to be paved in the past suggesting it was important, a fondamenta runs alongside a canal, and a rio ter refers to a filled-in canal.
Ruga usually describes a street that is lined with shops, workshops, and other commercial activities.
You can see that this ruga is quite wide and still lined with plenty of shops and houses.
An ostaria refers to a casual restaurant normally serving traditional food.
This is a shop selling masks, a typical Venetian product. Masks are traditionally worn at Carnival time in February.
This is the church of SantAponal. It was built in 1407 in the Gothic style.
We are currently walking down the Calle de Mezo.
Rates for gondola rides are fixed and should be displayed on a sign like this. A daytime tour costs 80 while a night tour costs 100.
Although not a requirement, gondoliers may sing folk songs or give some colorful narration while they are rowing you.
We are now entering the Calle de la Madoneta.
We are currently in the San Polo sestiere, or district. Venice has six sestieri: San Polo, Santa Croce, Cannaregio, San Marco, Dorsoduro and Castello.
We are arriving in the heart of the San Polo district, the historic square of Campo San Polo.
Campo San Polo is the second largest public square in Venice after Piazza San Marco.
This square was historically and still a popular venue for Carnival festivities and other outdoor events
We are walking alongside the Church of San Polo. The bell tower, detached from the church, was built in 1362.
The church houses artworks by Venetian masters such as Jacopo Tintoretto and Paolo Veronese.
Since the fall of the Venetian Republic, the city has become a mecca for artists, writers, and travelers seeking inspiration from the citys shimmering waters, majestic architecture and centuries of art splendors.
Venice has always had a darker side too, a sense of decadence and foreboding captured in novels like Thomas Manns Death in Venice or Daphne du Mauriers Dont Look Now.
We are currently walking down a rio ter, meaning a street that used to be a canal.
We have just turned onto the Fondamenta Frari, heading towards the Basilica Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari.
Often just called the Frari, this church is considered to be one of the richest for art in Venice. It contains paintings by Titian and Giovanni Bellini.
The church is built in Venetian Gothic style and dates from the 14th-15th centuries.
It costs 3 to enter, but filming is not allowed inside.
Titian, who painted during the 16th century and is one of Venices most famous artists, is buried in the church.
Titians altarpiece in this church, depicting the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, is the largest altarpiece in Venice.
We are now walking towards the Scuola Grande di San Rocco and the Church of San Rocco, the white building directly ahead.
The Scuole Grande di San Rocco was the headquarters of the confraternity dedicated to St Roch.
They were in possession of the saints remains and so the cult of St Roch gained enormous popularity in the city.
As such, these monumental headquarters were constructed and illustrious Venetian artist Jacopo Tintoretto was engaged to decorate them.
The Church of San Rocco also contains artworks by Tintoretto.
There were several scuole grandi in Venice, which were confraternities and religious organizations for the laity.
We are now walking around the back of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco. The building contains 60 paintings by Tintoretto, and many are considered his finest works.
We are now returning up the other side of the Scuola. Its confraternity still engages in charitable work in the city.
This street is called Calle Tintoretto, after the artist behind the magnificent paintings inside the Scuola Grande di San Rocco.
We are now walking along Ramo Camesin.
We are at the edge of the San Polo sestiere here, and we will soon be passing into a different district.
By crossing this bridge we will enter the sestiere of Santa Croce.
This district has a medieval heart but stretches all the way to the modern railway station and Piazzale Roma, where cars can circulate.
This area is home to one of Venices universities, the Istituto Universitario di Architettura.
Ahead of us is the Church of San Nicola da Tolentino.
On the left are two tiny bars. Bacareto da Lele is considered a Venetian institution and is very popular with locals.
This church was begun in 1590 by Vincenzo Scamozzi but was only finally completed in 1714. The impressive Corinthian temple front was designed by Andrea Tirali.
Going in this direction leads you to Piazzale Roma, where there are car parks and buses and trams that will take you to the mainland.
To the right are the Giardini Papadopoli. Their proximity to the bus and tram stops means they are useful if you need a quiet, shaded place to wait.
This bridge leads over to Piazzale Roma.
Here you can just see the Ponte di Costituzione, a new bridge disliked by many Venetians!
Now we are in Piazzale Roma. There are regular trams and buses to Mestre, the nearest city on the mainland.
Many visitors choose to stay in accommodation in Mestre because it is cheaper than in the historic center of Venice.
Ahead of you is a ticket office where you can buy passes for the vaporetto.
The Ponte di Costituzione is normally referred to as the Ponte di Calatrava by Venetians.
The bridge was designed by architect Santiago Calatrava and installed in 2008.
It is disliked for its uncomfortably spaced steps and surface which becomes treacherously slippery when covered in snow or even rain.
The Grand Canal
The big green dome belongs to the Church of San Simeon Piccolo.
Coming up on the left is the Santa Lucia railway station.
The church of San Simeon Piccolo was built between 1718 and 1738 in Neoclassical style. Beneath the church, there is an extensive crypt decorated with frescoes.
Here you can see a vaporetto docking at a stop to allow passengers to get on and off.
From this vaporetto stop ahead you can catch the number 1, which chugs all the way down the Grand Canal.
This is the 17th-century church of Santa Maria di Nazareth, also known as the Church of the Scalzi.
The vault was once decorated with an important Giambattista Tiepolo fresco, but it was destroyed during the Austrian bombing in 1915.
Fragments of the masterpiece can be seen in the Gallerie dellAccademia.
This is the Ponte degli Scalzi, another of the four bridges that cross the Grand Canal.
The facade of the Church of the Scalzi was designed by Giuseppe Sardi in Venetian Late Baroque style.
As we return back down the bridge, we re-enter the district of Cannaregio.
Cannaregio has the largest resident population of the six neighborhoods.
Now we are walking down the Strada Nova, a busy thoroughfare with many tourist shops and restaurants.
Quanto Basta on the left is one of the few quality food outlets on this street.
By following this street you can easily navigate your way into the historic center of Venice, but it is a modern route without much character.
On the right in this square is the church of San Geremia containing the relics of St Lucy.
This is Campo San Geremia.
Can you see the sign on the yellow wall ahead saying Per Rialto? Many signs like this will lead you to important landmarks like the Rialto Bridge and Piazza San Marco.
The walkway on the right along this canal leads towards Venices Jewish Ghetto.
Now we are continuing along the Strada Nova. Technically, parts of this route have other names, but the Venetians refer to the whole stretch from the railway station as the Strada Nova.
This is Campo San Leonardo and the church of San Leonardo. There is often a fruit and vegetable market held here.
By taking various calle off to the right along this route you can reach the Grand Canal.
Taking a left at the fork here, you will reach the Fondamenta dei Ormesini, lined with popular bars or bacari in Venetian.
Pasticceria Nobile on the right is a Venetian institution and a favorite for breakfast or an afternoon pastry.
On the left is a building called Teatro Italia. This is not actually a theatre, but a supermarket. It was once a theatre, however, and some of the interior decorations have been retained.
There were once dozens of theatres in Venice, the most important being the Teatro La Fenice which is still operating.
La Fenice was burnt down three different times, the last being in 1996. It underwent extensive restoration and reopened in 2004.
This is the church of Santa Maria Maddalena built in 1780. Its round floor plan was inspired by the Pantheon in Rome.
Ahead is the church of Santa Fosca dating from the 18th century.
In the center of the square is a statue of Paolo Sarpi, a scholar and historian who was attacked on that very spot.
There are around 200 churches in Venice, including its islands.
Ahead of us is the church of San Felice. The bones of the eponymous saint are conserved within.
Inside the church is an early painting by Venetian master Tintoretto.
We are still walking through the Cannaregio neighborhood.
Cannaregio is the most northerly of the districts. It includes the historic cemetery island of San Michele to the north.
This little bridge is very important. It is one of only two left (the other is on the island of Torcello) with no balustrades or railings.
All bridges used to be like this in Venice until it was deemed safer to put some protection along the sides.
This is the Scuola Grande di Santa Maria della Misericordia (another headquarters of a religious institution).
The building is used sporadically for art exhibitions and events.
We are now walking along the Fondamenta della Misericordia, a wide sunny walkway that runs all the way down this canal.
On the left is the church of San Marziale. Inside is an artwork by Jacopo Tintoretto.
This street is very popular with residents who frequent the small bars or bacari for an aperitivo at lunchtime or before dinner.
The area has a very local feel. People greet each other as they are walking by and there are plenty of locally owned businesses.
The bars here are a good place to sample the Venetian drink of choice - spritz. This is a mix of prosecco, seltz and a bitter including Aperol, Campari or Select, the latter being produced in Venice.
Opposite, on the corner, is a squero. This is a boat workshop where gondolas and other boats are built and repaired.
There is now a museum inside, the Arzan Association, where you can learn about traditional Venetian boats.
While gondolas are emblematic of Venice, there are several other kinds of traditional rowing boat including the sandolo and the san pierota.
Historically, Venice was also a prolific producer of warships and merchant vessels essential for establishing the Republics naval power.
These ships were produced in the Arsenale, the shipyards, in the Castello district.
Production was so immense that the Arsenale is considered the largest industrial complex in Europe prior to the Industrial Revolution.
We will soon be entering the area that was once the Jewish Ghetto. Look out for a yellow sign written in Hebrew on the orange building directly ahead.
Over this bridge ahead is the entrance to the Ghetto.
Can you see the sign reading Sotoportegho de Gheto Novo? This is written in Venetian dialect, as are most street signs.
This is the main square, the Campo del Ghetto Nuovo.
Banco Rosso is a small museum. It was once a Jewish bank and pawnshop and has been restored. You can learn about the history of Jewish moneylending in Venice here.
There are still many Jewish people living in this quarter and many have moved here from all around the world.
In this square, you can find two synagogues, visitable through the museum we will see in a moment.
This is the entrance to the Jewish Museum of Venice. Inside are a collection of artworks, artifacts, ancient texts and religious objects that tell the story of the Jewish community in Venice.
Over this bridge, we head into the Ghetto Vecchio.
There are several delightful little art galleries here.
Just here on the right is one such art gallery where the paintings feature scenes of the Ghetto, of Jewish traditions, and of the numerous cats that populate this area.
Along this street, there are a couple of takeaways and restaurants selling authentic kosher food.
We are now leaving the Ghetto.
We are now back at the Ponte delle Guglie.
Now we have returned to the Strada Nova.
The many touristy bars, restaurants and souvenir shops that line this street exemplify the boom in tourism that Venice has experienced over the last few decades.
More recently, this tourism has become over-tourism, with the daily number of tourists frequently outnumbering the resident population.
Venices residents and authorities have been trying to discourage day-tripper tourism, which provides little economic benefit to the city, and instead encourage longer visits.
Cruise ships have been responsible for a great number of day-trippers flocking into the city.
Large cruise liners are also prompting serious environmental concerns for the fragile lagoon and have caused accidents in the past.
In the midst of the growing anger at the unsustainable tourism in Venice, the coronavirus pandemic hit, plunging Venice into a very different crisis.
With so many businesses reliant on tourism, the economic situation in the city is dire.
On the glass-making island of Murano, for example, many historic glass blowing factories are closed and may never reopen.
Many Venetians hope this hiatus in tourism will prove an opportunity to change the citys relationship with tourism and help find more sustainable ways to manage the influx of visitors.
Solutions vary from a daily tourist tax to capping visitor numbers.
But there is also a desperate need for more inhabitants in the historic city. With more residents, businesses could rely on local clientele as well as tourists.
Unfortunately, the cost of housing is sky-high because so many properties are bought up and rented out as tourist accommodation.
Many students at Venices universities struggle to find affordable accommodation in the city.
In the square just to the right, you can catch the traghetto, the ferry gondola, which takes you across the Grand Canal to the Rialto Fishmarket.
There used to be several traghetto crossings over the Grand Canal because the bridges that cross it are far apart. However, few of these traghetto services are still in operation.
This is the church of the Santi Apostoli di Cristo dating from the 7th century, making it one of the oldest churches in Venice, although it has undergone considerable reconstruction.
Here along the south bank of the canal stands the Stele of Bread, a large stone with inscriptions on both sides.
The Bread Stele dates back to 1727 and states that bread can only be baked and sold in the shops of the bakers.
Piazza San Marco is officially the only piazza in Venice. All other squares are given the title of Campo, meaning field.
There are 417 bridges in Venice, of which 72 are private.
Church of St. Giovanni Crisostomo
Gondolas have been used in Venice since the 11th century and at one point there were over 10,000 gondolas floating in the canals.
Today, there are about 350 gondolas in Venice and 400 gondolieri.
This observation deck is free but an online reservation is required at www.dfs.com.
The Grand Canal is 4 km long and is lined with over 170 buildings built between the 13th and 18th century.
These little roof terraces are called altane and are commonly found in Venice.
On a clear day, you can see right out to some of the nearby islands from this terrace.
We are overlooking the Grand Canal, which we walked down earlier. Its serpentine curves reflect its natural course.
It is currently 1:15 pm and the temperature is 90F.
This is the oldest and most famous district in the city, known as the Sestiere of Saint Mark.
While this is the smallest district in Venice, it contains many of the city's landmarks.
The district bears the name of Venices patron saint, St Mark.
The narrow streets of this neighborhood often get very crowded with tourists.
The area of San Marco is one of the most expensive for tourist accommodation.
A steep rise in tourism has increased the cost of living for the residents of Venice.
The rapid increase of tourist accommodations has compelled many residents to leave.
Church of San Zulian
Over the last 50 years, the population of Venice has decreased from 120,000 to 60,000.
Approximately 20 million tourists visit Venice each year.
We are about to enter Venices most famous square, Piazza San Marco.
Napoleon allegedly called Piazza San Marco the drawing room of Europe.
The basilica contains the relics of St. Mark which were stolen from Alexandria in 828 by Venetian merchants.
The building dates from the 11th century. It is a prime example of Byzantine architecture in Italy.
The cathedral is filled with golden mosaics and precious relics and artifacts frequently plundered from abroad during the crusades.
The four horses you see here are copies. The four original bronze horses are inside the Basilica in the museum. They were looted from Constantinople in 1204.
We are now going to climb up the Campanile.
Now we are looking down on St Marks Basilica. You can see the large domes inspired by Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. The domes were originally shallower but were increased in height in the 13th century.
This is the Doges Palace, where the head of the Republic of Venice would have once lived and ruled.
Here you can see the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, dominated by the church of San Giorgio Maggiore designed by Andrea Palladio. Inside are two renowned paintings by Jacopo Tintoretto. You can climb up the belltower here too.
Next to San Giorgio Maggiore is the long, narrow island of the Giudecca, which forms part of the Dorsoduro sestiere.
This Campanile we are currently looking out from was originally built in the 9th century but collapsed in 1902.
The tower was reconstructed exactly as it was before and reopened in 1912.
The building with a large dome is the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, a Baroque architectural masterpiece. It was built in 1631 to give thanks for the citys deliverance from the plague.
In 1962, a permanent elevator was installed.
On the right is the Clock tower dating from the 15th century. There are two large bronze figures of Moors on the terrace of the tower who strike a bell to markl the hours.
The Doges Palace is a spectacular example of Venetian Gothic architecture.
This statue, called the Portrait of the Four Tetrarchs, dates back to around 300 AD.
The missing foot was discovered by archaeologists in the 1960s in Instanbul.
The missing foot is now part of the Istanbul Archaeology Museum.
The two large pillars at the end of the Piazza are the Columns of San Marco and San Todaro.
San Todaro, or Theodore, was originally Venices patron saint, but the city felt it needed a more prestigious saint to represent Venices importance, and so it adopted St Mark the Evangelist and sent merchants to steal his body from Alexandria.
This area of water is known as St Marks Basin.
The Doges Palace contains some stunning works by Jacopo Tintoretto, including Il Paradiso, one of the largest canvas paintings in the world.
Venices architecture is elegant and delicate as opposed to strong and defensive because the surrounding lagoon acted as a very effective defense against invasion!
These magnificent buildings were constructed on the swampy land of the lagoon by driving wooden piles into the ground to form a stable foundation.
The wood has not rotted partly because it is kept underwater and not exposed to air and partly because the wood has absorbed sediment from the lagoon and petrified into something akin to stone.
Here we are looking at the Bridge of Sighs, so called because as criminals were taken from the interrogation rooms in the Doges Palace over to the prisons using this bridge, they would look out the windows and sigh over their last view of Venice.
Here is that view.
The Republic of Venice greatly feared a single figure or family becoming too powerful, so the process of selecting a new Doge was incredibly convoluted and involved multiple rounds of voting.
Doges usually ruled until their death. The last doge was Ludovico Manin, who renounced in position in 1797 with the conquest of Venice by Napoleon.
Ahead is a monument to Vittorio Emmanuele II, the first king of Italy after its unification.
On the right is the church of San Zaccaria.
The church contains one of Giovanni Bellinis most famous artworks as well as paintings by Jacopo Tintoretto and Palma Vecchio.
This is Campo Santi Filippo e Giacomo.
We are now looking at the Bridge of Sighs from the other side.
Now we are heading back towards St Marks Square.
Entering from this side, we come into the Piazzetta dei Leoncini.
It is so named because of these two porphyry lion sculptures.
Lions, being the symbol of the citys patron saint, St Mark, can be seen all over Venice.
Here is another lion, this time winged.
In Piazza San Marco, you can find the Museo Correr and the National Archeological Museum of Venice.
This square is known for its elegant cafs with live musicians.
The most famous of the cafs is Caff Florian, the oldest caf in the world. It was frequented by prominent artists, writers and thinkers, such as Goethe, Lord Byron and Charles Dickens.
The Museo Correr is located inside a series of sumptuously decorated Neoclassical interiors.
St Marks Square is the lowest-lying urban area in Venice so it is frequently flooded when there is a high tide.
Flooding occurs in Venice when a high tide coincides with strong winds pushing water into the lagoon.
In November 2019, Venice experienced its worst flood since 1966. Over 80% of the city was underwater.
St Marks Square had to be closed off because the water level was so high. St Marks Basilica suffered millions of euros worth of damage.
This is the church of San Mois containing artworks by Palma il Giovane and Jacopo Tintoretto.
Last July, construction was finally finished on a series of flood gates, called MOSE. These are 78 mobile barriers placed in the three inlets to the lagoon that can be raised up to block high tides.
The project was delayed by years and riddled with corruption scandals, but they are now in use and are preventing some flooding in Venice.
Unfortunately, they are only raised when a tide is predicted at 130cm or above (possibly soon lowering to 110cm), meaning that St Marks Square (at 90cm) and the Basilica will still experience frequent flooding.
We are entering the Campiello Santa Maria Zobenigo, and the magnificent white Baroque church on the right is Santa Maria del Giglio.
This is Campo San Maurizio. Antique markets are held here around once a month.
Inside this church, San Maurizio, you will find a Music Museum displaying centuries-old violins, cellos, double bases and harps. One lute dates back to 1603.
This is Campo Santo Stefano.
The statue is of Niccol Tommaseo, a notable Italian linguist.
Ahead is the church of San Vidal.
Inside this church is an altarpiece by Vittore Carpaccio, a 16th-century Venetian painter. The church is deconsecrated and now holds concerts almost every evening.
We are approaching the Ponte dellAccademia, another of the 4 bridges that span the Grand Canal.
While the earliest bridge on this site could date from 1488, this wooden construction dates from 1933.
From this picturesque vista down the Grand Canal we see the Basilica della Salute, which has become an iconic feature in artistic depictions of Venice.
On this other side of this bridge to the right are the Gallerie dellAccademia, housing one of the finest collections of art in Venice and the world.
We are now entering the Dorsoduro sestiere. The name translates as hard ridge, probably referring to its elevated, firm ground.
We are now walking along the Calle Nuova SantAgnese.
On the left is the Palazzo Cini art gallery. It houses notable works by Piero della Francesca, Fra Angelico and Sandro Botticelli.
Rio de San Vio
This white building is St Georges Anglican Church, a regular performing space for Venetian Baroque ensemble Venice Music Project.
Rio de le Toreseie
The playful wooden sculptures of Loris Marazzi.
This area has many independent contemporary galleries and art workshops.
This gateway is the entrance to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, with a rich display of modern artworks by artists such as Jackson Pollock, Ren Magritte, and Marcel Duchamp.
Peggy Guggenheim lived in the 18th-century palazzo that now houses the collection for three decades.
Guggenheim collected works of emerging artists in Europe and America in the 30s and 40s and helped artists such as Jackson Pollock gain international recognition.
This is the church of San Gregorio. It was deconsecrated in the early 19th century and subsequently became a mint laboratory and then an art restoration center. It is now disused.
We are now arriving at the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute.
The scrolls just beneath the dome are one of its most distinctive Baroque features.
The church was designed by notable Baroque architect Baldassare Longhena.
Inside the Sacristry are artworks by Jacopo Tintoretto and Titian.
The building on the right is the Punta della Dogana. It used to be a customs house but has been converted into a modern art gallery.
From this promenade, you can see over to St Marks Square.
We finish our tour here, at the panoramic Punta della Dogana, with views over the St Marks Basin to the Doges Palace and the Campanile of St Marks Square, and over the Giudecca canal to the island of San Giorgio Maggiore.
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