We hope that you are enjoying our series of articles and guest articles on Italian tourist attractions, covering the entire country except for its major cities. In a sense we have left the best for last. We will describe what to see in Italy’s great cities neighborhood by neighborhood. You may not realize it, but Venice is divided into 8 districts. And each and every one of these districts boasts its own sightseeing attractions. If you have time, visit them all. In any case, read these articles to help plan your trip to this unique city. You may be in for some real surprises.
San Marco in the heart of the city is Venice’s best-known area, one famous around the world. At the heart is the Piazza San Marco that Napoleon called “the world’s most beautiful drawing room.” Don’t be surprised that this is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in all Italy. Many buildings date back to the early Sixteenth Century. The original church that became the Basilica di San Marco was built in 828 to house the remains of Saint Mark the Evangelist. About 150 years later it was virtually destroyed by fire. Its replacement was known as the Chiesa d’Oro (Golden Church), a monument to luxury, Venetian luxury. The building contains about an acre of spectacular mosaics, at their best in the midday light. The Pala d'Oro (altar screen) is covered with thousands of precious stones. For a different vision go to the top of the Campanile (Bell Tower), whose bells pealed at all important moments in this city’s history. Would you believe that the tower collapsed one night over a century ago without causing any deaths or damages?
Beautiful arcades called Le Procuratie, honoring the Procuratori of San Marco, number two in the Venetian pecking order after the Doge himself, surround the Piazza. After seeing the sights that include churches, museums, and palaces, or perhaps some fancy shopping relax in Venice’s oldest café, the world famous Caffé Florian, founded in 1720 or the Caffé Quadri in an arcade across the square. Another popular (and of course pricey) choice is Harry’s Bar, an upstart that is still in its first century of operations.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website www.travelitalytravel.com devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.
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