12/1986 - Italy, Venice – 2nd part: Lagoon of Venice, Islands and events

Valle Figoni , Valle Zappa , Pellestrina Island, Island of the Armenians , Mekhitaristi , Nehmeket mummy , Lido , Island of St. Erasmus , Lio Piccolo Isle, Murano Island, Duomo di San Donato , Burano Island, Torcello Island, Island of San Francesco del Deserto, Festa del Redentore (Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer), the Historical Regata , Vogalonga , Carnival of Venice, “edicole” (religious niches)

We leave the Historical Centre and visit the Lagoon of Venice.

We begin to visit the western part of the lagoon.

There are numerous fishing lodges scattered in the Lagoon of Venice with “covegge” (hide sheds) and breedings.

The most characteristic Hunting House of the lagoon is in Valle Zappa (Western Laguna) .

The views of this part of the lagoon are quite suggestive; here the lagoon is still not popular among the pleasure crafts and its beauty has remained untouched.

Pellestrina Island is a fishermen’s residence; it is long and narrow and divides the sea from the lagoon . A special feature of the island is given by the houses painted in bright colours, as we will also see in the island of Burano .

The Island of the Armenians hosts the Mekhitaristi monks’ Monastery. It has a rich library (more than two hundred thousand volumes ) including Arabic, Indian and Egyptian manuscripts. It is worth to mention the presence of Nehmeket’s mummy dated 1000 BC

To begin the tour of the ‘historic’ islands you pass the Lido of Venice, then continue toward the island of St. Erasmo that I remember with a historical photo. The “Baracca” (shed), a meeting place for many Venetians, which has been closed since more than thirty years. Lio Piccolo Isle, despite having all the characteristics of the islands of the lagoon, is connected to the mainland .

The island of Murano is famous in the world for the artistic glass making. In Murano, there are important monuments such as the Church  of San Donato .

The island of Burano is famous for its lacework, but is also characteristic for its brightly coloured houses.

Torcello is a small island on the east side of Burano;  its imposing Cathedral (where you can admire important mosaics) witnesses that once it was one of the most important and populated islands of  the lagoon.

The island of San Francesco del Deserto is still place of a Franciscan Monastery and owes its name to short visit of San Francisco in the spring of 1220.

Among the main events that take place in Venice and date back to the sumptuous feasts organized during the Republic of Venice, we must quote, above all, the “Festa del Redentore” (Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer). It takes place on the third Saturday of July; a multitude of boats gather in the San Marco basin and people dine with  typical dishes waiting for the fireworks. For the occasion, they create a bridge of boats that from Fondamenta delle Zattere arrive to the Church of the Redeemer on Giudecca Island .

Another main event is the Historical Regata which takes place on the first Sunday of September. After the water parade with antique boats, where the characters are dressed with costumes of the Republican age, there are various boat racings among the champions who row according to “Voga alla Veneta” style (Venetian rowing).

Vogalonga began in 1974 and is an event that has constantly grown with the participation of several boat; at the beginning the boats were almost exclusively typical Venetian ones, some finely decorated with rowers in costume, nowadays there are boats and rowers from all over the world.

The Carnival of Venice , after more than two centuries of interruption, recovered importance  in 1979 . Initially, as happened to Vogalonga, it was a feast reserved to the Venetians . In the photo gallery I show some costumes of those early years.

Over the past twenty years, the Carnival has become more and more an international event. I’m pleased to show to my readers the 2007 Carnival, with pictures of my friend Giulio.

Walking around in Venice, you encounter many “edicole” (religious niches). I’ve taken pictures of those which attracted me as well as some details that I consider “curiosities”

I conclude this review of Venice representing some typical shop windows , from the butcher’s to the masks’ shop .