La Serenissima, the magical city of Venice, is both inspiration to many artists and the home to wonderful artworks. From Titian to Veronese, painters have filled he city with proclamations of beauty and genius, finds Amina Diab. It is the perfect city to explore and get lost in.
Built on water, Venice has for centuries mesmerized artists, writers, poets and wanderers. The sumptuous vistas of ornate palazzos and domes, bell towers, bridges, churches and squares, have been captured and celebrated by many. The sisteri of San Marco, San Polo, Castello, Cannaregio, Dorsoduro and Santa Croce make up the lagoon city, known as La Serenissima. San Marco encloses the vast eponymous square, enclosed with an arcade, St Mark’s Basilica, and the Doge’s Palace that overlooks the Grand Canal. The drama of St Mark’s facade and its frescoed walls dominate San Marco; indeed, the cathedral is the spiritual heart of Venice.
“The water, lapping on the steps of buildings, mirrors everything around it, the architecture, the palazzi, the gondolas, the bricole, the sky, the light, your thoughts and feelings."
Further afield, architectural gems such as the Rialto Bridge, Ca’d’Oro and the Palazzo Papadopoli, strongly influenced by Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio (1508–1580), are dotted across the lagoon. The layers of history, culture, art, architecture, are visible in every corner. Artworks by Giorgione, Titian, Bellini, Tintoretto and Veronese, frescoed walls, proclamations from Doges carved into walls and Gothic sculptures on facades and squares make La Serenissima such a special place, full of life.
Sauntering and getting lost in the labyrinth of calli, campi and canali holds endless possibilities; it doesn’t matter where you go, these quiet and undiscovered corners are places to slow down and to savor the surrounding beauty. As Ruskin once wrote, the brilliance and cheerfulness that delight us in Venice are truly sights to behold.
"Caffè Florian, one of the oldest and traditional coffee houses, dating from 1720, is a perfect place to take it all in."