Venice Italy attractions
in the Cannaregio district
I keep on talking about another itinerary that will let you know the best worth seeing Venice Italy attractions.
I recommend this itinerary, which is inside one of the six sestieri (districts) of Venice, if you want go off the tourist track and dip into the autenthic venetian life, the one that does not live only for tourism, and still exists even in the Venice tourism mecca.
Venice Italy attractions #6 The Venice Jewish ghetto
It is not far away from the train station, just a few minutes walk.
If your itinerary starts at the train station, you can take the Fondamenta di San Giobbe on your left.
You will often find the word Fondamenta in Venice.
What is it? It is a stretch of a pedestrian path which runs along many venetian canals.
You will go past the fifteenth-century Chiesa di San Giobbe (San Giobbe Church).
After the Ponte dei tre Archi (three archs bridge), move forward along the Fondamenta di Cannaregio.
If you happen visit in the morning, you can take advantage of the boats full of fruits and vegetables crowding the canal.
Walking along, at a certain point you will pass under a dark arcade and see a yellow sign marking that you have arrived to the Ghetto Ebraico, i.e the Jewish ghetto..
Venice, as I’ve already mentioned, was one of the most cosmopolitan towns in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
In the Venice ghetto, since 1500, lived a big Jewish community, nowadays just a few hundreds people.
First the German Jewish arrived, then the Italian ones, the Levantines and finally the Spanish.
Worth seeing is the four synagogues of the 1500’s, and the jewish museum with an exhibit of fine goldsmith art and fabrics of the jewish tradition.
A curiosity: where does the word ghetto stem from?
The word ghetto stems from the venetian getto - pronounced j-ae-tto-.
In the ancient venetian jewish district there were some foundries. What is done in a foundry, as what the old Venetians did, was to gettare i.e, translated from the venetian-italian, to pour molten metal.
The Jewish of german descent used to pronounce the word in the german way, i.e with a guttural g
Hence, with the time, the venetian word from getto
, according to the venetian-italian phonetic transcription of the german pronunciation.
Venice Italy attractions #7 Campo dei Mori
Leave the ghetto and walk towards the heart of the Cannaregio sestiere.
It is a quiet neighbourhood , where you can stroll and discover palaces, churches and picturesque corners.
Here you can still find the authentic Venice, and you can stop at some of the most typical venetian bacari. A bacaro is a small traditional tavern where people can taste some appetizers and sip an ombra (venetian slang for glass of wine).
Go past Campo dei Mori, where you will see a couple of statues of two people wearing turkish-style clothes.
Venice Italy attractions #8 Chiesa della Madonna dell’Orto
(Church of our Lady of the Garden)
Continue forward across another bridge to an important example of venetian gothic architecture, the Chiesa della Madonna dell’Orto, with a terracotta facade, and built in the second half of 1300s’.
Inside you can admire paintings of a certain significance, among them four canvas of Tintoretto, one of the most celebrated venetian and italian renaissance artists.
Venice Italy attractions #9 Palazzo Contarini dal Zaffo and Abbey
Continue forward past the Contarini da Zaffo palace, where the renaissance artists and scholars used to gather.
After a while you will arrive at the small Campo dell’Abazia (Abbey small Square), which still keeps the ancient terracotta pavement. In the Campo you find the Scuola Vecchia della Misericordia and the Abbey of Santa Maria della Misericordia.
The facade of this church while having kept the original gothic forms inside, has a lavish baroque style outside.
Interesting also is the Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Miracoli, built between 1481 and 1489, with the external facade and the internal walls covered with precious marble.
It’s about one of the very first renaissance architecture buildings in Venice.
Read about other amazing attractions in Venice, like the great Grand Canal Tour
Another must see Venice attraction is the unmistakable San marco Square
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