Visit to Venice

Visit to Venice

THEATER, CINEMA, AND ART EXHIBITIONS

Teatro Goldoni, Calle del Teatro, S. Marco 4650B (041 240 20 11; teatrogold-ini@libero.it), near the Ponte di Rialto, showcases varying types of productions, often with a seasonal theme. Check with the theater for upcoming listings. The Mostra Internazionale di Cinema (Venice International Film Festival), held annually from late August to early September, is a worldwide cinema affair, drawing established names and rising phenoms. Movies are shown in the original language. (041 521 88 78. Tickets ‚20, sold throughout the city. Some late-night outdoor showings are free.) The famed Biennale di Venezia (041 521 18 98; www.labiennale.org), an international contemporary art exhibition, covers the Giardini Pubblici and the Arsenal with provocative art.

FESTIVALS

Banned by the church for several centuries, Venice’s famous Carnevale was successfully reinstated in the early 1970s. During the 10 days preceding Ash Wednesday, masked figures jam the streets and outdoor concerts and street performances spring up throughout the city. During Mardi Gras, the population of the city doubles. Contact the tourist office in December or January for details and make lodging arrangements far ahead. Venice’s second-most colorful festival is the Festa del Redentore (3rd Su in July), originally held to celebrate the end of a 16th-century plague. It kicks off with a magnificent fireworks display at 11:30pm the Saturday before. The next day maintenance craftsmen build a pontoon bridge, open to the public, across the Giudecca Canal, connecting II Redentore to the Zattere. On the first Sunday in September, Venice stages its classic regata storica, a gondola race down the Grand Canal. During the religious Festa della Salute (3rd Su in Nov.), which also originated as a celebration of the end of a plague, the city celebrates with the construction of another pontoon bridge, this time over the Grand Canal.

Inishark Irish Pub, Calle Mondo Novo Castello 5787. Most creative and authentic-look-ing Irish pub in Venice. Guinness ‚4.20. Open Tu-Su 6pm-l:30am.

Bar Santa Lucia, Lista di Spagna, Cannaregio 282B. This tiny bar stays crowded and noisy long into the night with a mix of Italians and tourists. A few outdoor tables available. Guinness ‚5. Wine ‚2.10. Open M-Sa 6pm-2am.

PADUA (PADOVA)

Ancient Padua (pop. 205,000) was a wealthy center of commerce, but centuries of barbarian attacks and natural disasters left few of her architectural treasures intact. Padua’s university, founded in 1222 and second in seniority only to Bologna’s, brings book-toting students to the city’s statue-lined piazze. The iiCappella degll Scrovegni, P. Eremitani 8, contains Giotto’s breathtaking 38-panel fresco cycle, illustrating the lives of Mary and Jesus. Buy tickets at the attached Musei Civici Erimltani, which displays an overwhelming art collection, including a beautiful crucifix by Giotto that once adorned the Scrovegni Chapel. (Open Feb.-Oct. daily 9am-7pm; Nov.-Jan. 9am-6pm. ‚9, students ‚4.) Thousands of pilgrims are drawn to Saint Anthony’s jawbone and well-pre-served tongue on display at the Basilica di Sant’Antonio, in P. del Santo, a medieval conglomeration of eight domes filled with beautiful frescoes. (Dress code enforced. Open Apr.-Sept. daily 9am-12:30pm and 2:30pm-7pm; Nov.-Mar. reduced hours. ‚2, students ‚1.50.) From the basilica, follow signs to Orto Botanico, V. Orto Botanico 18, which tempts visitors with water lilies, medicinal herbs, and a 417-year-old palm tree that still offers shade. (Open daily Apr.-Sept. 9am-lpm and 3-6pm; Oct.-Mar. M-F 9am-lpm. ‚4, students ‚1) Next to the duomo, in P. Duomo, lies the 12th-century Battistero, with a dome covered in frescoes. (Open M-Sa 7:30am-noon and 3:45-7:45pm, Su 7:45am-lpm and 3:45-8:30pm. ‚2.50, students ‚1.50.) Ancient buildings from the university are scattered throughout the city, especially near Palazzo Bo. At night, much of the action is nearby. The Highlander Pub, V.S. Martino 69, is a particularly popular establishment. (Open daily 7pm-2am.)

Trains depart from P. Stazione for: Bologna (l2hr. 1-2 per hr. ‚6); Milan (2’2hr. 1-2 per hr. ‚17); Venice (30min. 3-4 per hr. ‚2.30); and Verona (lhr.

1-2 per hr. ‚4.50). Buses 049 820 68 11) leave from P. Boschetti for Venice (45min. 2 per hr. ‚2.20). The tourist office is in the train station ( 049 875 20 77. Open M-Sa 9am-7pm, Su 8:30am-12:30pm.) Follow the main street through town from the train station and turn right on V. Rogati. Go to V. Aleardi and turn left; walk to the end of the block and Ostello Citta di Padova (HI) O, V. Aleardi 30, will be on the left. (049 875 22 19. Internet ‚5.20 per hr. Reception daily 7-9:30am and 2:30-1 lpm. Curfew 11pm. Reserve at least 1 week in advance. Dorms ‚14.) Locanda la Perla , V. Cesarotti 67, has large, airy rooms in a great location. ( 049 87 55 89 39. Closed last 2 weeks in Aug. Singles ‚28, doubles ‚38.) Join a lively crowd at Pizzeria Al Borgo , V.L. Belludi 56, near the Basilica di S. Antonio. (Pizzas from ‚3.70. Cover ‚2. Open Su and W-Sa noon-3pm and 7-11:30pm.) Postal Code: 35100.

VERONA

A glorious combination of majestic Roman ruins, colorful Venetian facades, and orange rooftops, Verona (pop. 245,000) is one of the most beautiful cities in Northern Italy. Gazing at the town from one of its many bridges at sunset sets the tone for romantic evenings befitting the home of Romeo and Juliet. Meanwhile, its artistic and historical treasures fill days with rewarding sightseeing.

LIKE A BRIDGE OVER…VENICE

Every summer, Venetians anticipate the season’s biggest party short of Carnivale: The Festa del Redentore, held to honor of the end of a long plague that swept Venice in the late sixteenth century. In an attempt to make amends with God, the Doge of Venice vowed to build a temple on the nearby island of Giudecca. Shortly after the first stone was laid, the plague began to abate, and the Doge proclaimed that Venice had been cured. Venetians built a temporary bridge across the lagoon so the Doge could lead processions to the church.

These days, the celebration begins on the night of the third Saturday in July with a magnificent fireworks display. Venetians crowd the lagoon with their boats, partying all night before journeying out to Lido to watch the sunrise. The other main component of the festival is the reconstruction of the bridge to Giudecca, which is open to the public the night before and the day of the festival. The giant pontoon bridge is quite a feat of construction; it measures 333.7 meters long and 3.6 meters wide, with an opening 4 meters high for water traffic to pass through. During the day, regattas race around Giudecca. Despite the festival’s bleak origins, it makes for a fun-filled weekend unlike anything anywhere else in the world.

Visit to Venice Photo Gallery



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