Venice, la Serenissima, is a unique city, not only for its breathtaking architecture and art, but also for its extraordinary geography.
With its 435 bridges, 118 islands and 176 canals, Venice is an intricate labyrinth of beauty and charm.
Not only the city of love
The city of love, enchanting canals and a rich history dating back centuries.
Besides the classic architectural and artistic beauties, there is much more to discover in this unique city full of charm and mystery.
In this article
In this article, we will dive into the most fascinating curiosities of Venice, revealing the secrets hidden behind its labyrinthine alleys and picturesque squares.
1.The city without cars: navigating the canals and bridges
In the center of Venice, you won't find cars, just a fascinating mix of gondolas, boats and ferries.
This city, with its 435 stone, wood and iron bridges, connects its 118 islands across 176 canals.
Here, canals replace roads, and boats become the main means of transportation.
A unique experience, where the magic of canals is intertwined with the architectural history of bridges.
2.Unique toponymy: piazzas, calli and campi
In the toponymy of Venice, each term has a unique meaning.
Piazza San Marco is the exception, while the wide spaces we call piazzas are called campi or campielli, open spaces in front of churches or surrounded by buildings.
Pedestrian streets are calli, and streets bordering canals are fondamenta. Wrinkles are particularly important calli, such as Ruga dei Oresi.
Navigating through these terms is a fascinating way to discover the soul of Venice.
3.Curiosity about Venice, in the alleys: calle Varisco and sotoportego Zurlin
Getting lost in the alleys of Venice means running into hidden wonders.
Calle Varisco, near Campo San Cancian, is the narrowest calle at 53 cm, a place that holds legends of walls closing to punish murderers.
Sotoportego Zurlin, in the Castello sestiere, is the lowest sotoportego, a place where only children can pass with extreme ease.
4.The underground canal and the origins of the "hello" greeting
Among the lesser-known places in Venice is the underground canal, which runs under the choir of the Church of Santo Stefano, an experience to be had via water.
And as we dive into the city's secrets, we discover that the most common greeting in Italy, "ciao," has Venetian origins.
From "s'ciavo vostro," an ancient reverential greeting, it became the informal greeting we all know today.
5.Curiosity about Venice, unique calendar: Venice and the change of months
Venice still follows a unique calendar dating back to the time of the Venetian Republic.
Before the introduction of the Gregorian calendar, March marked the beginning of the year and months were counted differently.
Even today, Venetian customs survive through "m.v." abbreviations in calendars, keeping the tradition alive.
6.Fact Venice, the city of coffee: the discovery of Venice
Finally, Venice was the first Italian city to discover and appreciate coffee. In 1570, Prospero Alpini brought it from his experience in Egypt, studying the benefits of roasted beans.
Just over a century later, he opened the first "coffee shop" in St. Mark's Square. Today, Caffè Florian continues to be an institution, the oldest coffee shop in Italy and the world.
In every alley, canal and square, Venice reveals its curiosities, giving visitors an unforgettable journey through history, myths and traditions unique in the world.
7. The Bridge of Sighs: prisoners and sighs of love
The Bridge of Sighs is one of Venice's iconic bridges, but its romantic name conceals a darker history.
It connects the Doge's Palace to the New Prisons and, according to legend, is named after the sighs of prisoners who crossed the bridge, admiring the outside world for the last time before being imprisoned.
However, another interpretation has it that the bridge witnesses promises of eternal love, and the sighs are those of lovers swearing eternal fidelity.
8. The Venice Biennale: contemporary art and innovation
The Venice Biennale is one of the most important cultural events in the world, attracting artists, critics and art lovers from all corners of the globe.
This festival, established in 1895, provides a platform for the exploration of contemporary art in various forms, from painting and dance to music and film.
Venice thus becomes a creative laboratory where artistic innovation blends with the city's historical heritage, creating a unique and unforgettable experience for those who visit.
9. The calli and campi: getting lost in the alleys of Venice
One of the most fascinating experiences in Venice is getting lost in its labyrinthine alleys, known as "calli," and its picturesque squares, called "campi."
Discovering hidden nooks and crannies, small artisan stores and cozy cafes is a perfect way to immerse yourself in the local culture and escape the more crowded tourism.
Conclusion: Venice, a world of curiosities to discover
Venice is much more than a city of canals and gondolas; it is a place rich in history, mystery and beauty.
Every alley, every square, and every palace tells a unique story, and the curiosities that lurk around every corner make this city a fascinating and unforgettable destination.
Enjoy your trip
So when planning your visit to Venice, take the time to explore beyond the main tourist attractions and be surprised by the hidden wonders of La Serenissima.
Enjoy your trip in Venice!