1st Day - Venice: Arsenale, San Marco square, Ca d’oro palace, and the Hebrew ghetto
Arrival and check-in at the hotel. The itinerary in Venice begins from the sestiere of Castello (the word “sestiere” refers to the sixth part of the city as once used to be divided, now is synonym of “neighbourhood”), more specifically from the Arsenal, where the antique riches belonging to glorious Serenissima are being guarded. From here, it follows along the Riva degli Schiavoni (“shores of the Schiavoni”) and then towards the internal area to Campo Santa Maria Formosa to admire the monumental and splendid church. The itinerary suggests the continuation towards the sestiere of San Marco, the smallest; however, most precious in Venice. Here, San Marco Square is the centre of the sestiere, “the most beautiful living room on the world” as someone has once defined, is surrounded by incredible architectural icons including the Ducal Palace, San Marco Basilica, the Bell Tower the Procuratie (three historic buildings with arches by the square) which house the interesting Correr Museum. From San Marco square, the visitor may take N°1 steamboat to travel along the channel directing to Piazzale Roma (“Rome Courtyard”), the stop along the channel where the visitor is to get off is called Ca’ d’Oro, it is situated in the sestiere of Cannaregio. Once off the embankment, on the left, there is the entrance to Ca d’Oro Palace, one of the most precious gems in Venice. Then, along Strada Nuova (“new street”) towards Rio Terra San Leonardo. At the feet of Guglie Bridge the visitor may turn right towards the antique Hebrew ghetto, one of the most striking places of the city. On the other side of the Ghetto there is the Fondamenta (“embankment street”) della Misericordia area, here there are plenty of small restaurants offering traditional local or ethnic dishes. To crown the evening in Venice there is always the chance of some live music at a bar. Night’s stay at the hotel.
2nd Day - Venice: Ca’ Pesaro Palace, Rialto, the Frari’s Basilica, Venier dai Leoni Palace, Le Zattere
On the second day, the second part of the itinerary suggests beginning from the sestiere of Santa Croce. N° 1 steamboat will take the visitor to San Stae stop. This is the right stop to reach all the best known places of the area. To begin with, it is worth taking a look at the façade of Ca’ d’Oro Palace, shortly after, most beautiful Church of San Stae and the antique palace of Ca’ Pesaro which houses the Modern Art and the Eastern Art museums. From the museums the suggested itinerary continues on foot to San Polo Campo, one of the biggest squares in Venice. This is the sestiere of San Polo where the liveliest part of the city is. Lively and busy Rialto. By strolling at one’s leisure along the long street that passes by the Church of San Stae, the visitor will find enchanting small shops and inns to eventually reach the open market of Rialto at the feet of Rialto bridge. Once on the bridge, the traveller will discover the beauty of Canal Grande (“big channel”). On the other side, having crossed Rialto Bridge visitors should take their right towards the Riva del Ferro (“iron shores”) to the central stop of the steamboats. Take N°1 or N°2 vaporetto directing to the Lido and take off at the stop of San Tomà. Once on the embankment ask for directions or look at the city map to get to the Frari’s Basilica. It is a minute away from the stop. Lunch time: lunch is not scheduled. This area offers very much interesting options for a lovely meal. Having rested and regained some energy the traveller may continue his/her way to the Accademia. This Fine Arts Accademy houses majestic artworks including those of Tiziano and Tintoretto, after some XVII century’s works the visitor will have the chance of some modern art such as the works of Picasso, Boccioni, Mondrian, kandinsky and many others included in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection housed at the Venier dai Leoni Palace. The aristocrat and calm atmosphere of this elegant sestiere offers as well Longhena’s masterpiece: the Basilica of La Salute (“the basilica of health”) overlooking the final end of Canal Grande. Along the embankment of Canal Grande the visitor reaches Punta della Salute. From here the most outstanding panoramic view possible in Venice: before one’s eyes San Marco’s basin with the Ducal Palace, Riva of the Schiavoni and St. Gorge’s Island where Venetian park their sailboats. Then, right from here, a Venetian punt ride along Canal Grande, the most romantic ride ever! Along the Giudecca channel running parallel to Canal Grande travellers will feel a strange sensation of unique dimension. Russian writer Iosif Brodskij described this emotion in his “Fondamenta (embankment street) degli incurabili” Right in front of the channel there lies the island of Giudecca. There used to be a prison here and the name “Giudecca” is connected with a peculiar story related with this prison. Dinner time: dinner is unscheduled. Night’s stay at the hotel.
3rd Day – Venice: Murano
The last excursion in Venice offers the excitement of other Islands, famous historical islands: Murano, Burano and Torcello. Of the three islands, Murano is the best-known and the one with the most important role in Venice. In 1291 all the glass production of Venice was ordered to be moved to Murano for fear of fires; the ovens were a menace for the city. In order to get to the island it is necessary to take either steamboat N° 41 or N° 42 at Fondamenta Nuova. On the journey to Murano, the visitor will be able to see the island of St. Michael, the cemetery of Venice, where some illustrious personages are buried including Stravinskij and Diaghilev. Once on Murano, the visitor is suggested to get off at Colonna stop and go to the “Fondamenta dei Vetrai” (“Embankment Street of the glass makers”) where all the glass workshops are. Some of them are open to the public; then, it is possible to enjoy the artistic process of artistic blown glass making craft. It is also possible to buy these glass objects from shops in the area. There are some Murano glass brands which have become famous with the passing of time; such is the case of Venini Murano glass whose pieces are exhibited in many museums of Contemporary Art all over the world. Before reaching Vivarini Bridge, on the left, there lies the Church of St. Peter Martyr where the visitor will be able to enjoy some frescoes by Bellini, Tintoretto and Veronese. Once across the bridge, the itinerary continues along the Fondamenta Cavour (“embankment street Cavour”) where the Glass Museum is. Here, with over 4000 pieces, it is possible to admire the way in which the craft of glass making has evolved along the centuries. Among the most outstanding pieces: the splendid Barovier cup made of enamelled blown glass and decorated with allegoric images. A few meters away from the museum, the Basilica of the Saints Maria and Donato which were built in the VIII century, inside, there is a beautiful golden mosaic of preying Virgin Mary (“Vergine Orante”) Dinner time: Dinner is not scheduled. Night’s stay at the hotel.
4th Day: Del Brenta Valley, Ravenna, Gradara, Conero Riviera
The itinerary continues by car to Ancona and the Conero Riviera. In the morning, after breakfast, the visitor will be able to collect the rental car from the train station in Mestre. On the way to Ancona there are different spots deserving a stop: the Brenta valley with its Dogi of Venice and Padova. The Basilica of San Vital in Ravenna, one of the most important monuments of pre-Christian Byzantine art. For those in search of more romantic atmosphere the suggestion is Gradara Castle, immortalized by writers and poets including Dante Alighieri in his Divine Comedy. World famous tragic love story between Paolo Malatesta and Francesca from Rimini took place inside the walls of this castle. Check-in in the afternoon at a hotel on the Conero Riviera. The position of the hotel is adequate in order to easily reach the Conero’s beauties including cliffs, lovely beaches and evening attractions. Dinner time: dinner is unscheduled. Night’s stay at the hotel.
5th Day: Sailboat excursion along the Conero Riviera, Portonovo, Due Sorelle Mediterranean promontories
After breakfast, an exceptional sailboat experience along the enchanting crystal clear waters of the Conero Riviera. The high cliffs and reefs dropping into sea are spectacular views on the central Adriatic shores. The rocky crests are mantled by the mountainous lush brush of the Conero Park. An enchanting coastline with plenty of fisher villages on the hillsides overlooking adorable Mediterranean coves and bays including the villages of Sirolo and Numana. There are also antique fortresses (the Napoleonic fortress is in Portonovo), watch towers and sweet embankments. Pirates and fishers’ caves, creeks and promontories (the Due Sorelle: “the two sisters”). The dominant majestic awesome of St. Ciriac cathedral from the highest area of Ancona. The entire day will be devoted to the fascinating experiences of the off-shore excursion. Sea life at its best on a sailboat along the Conero Riviera. There is also the possibility of practicing some sailing techniques; what’s more, those who would like further improvements or instructions, professional skipper services are available on request. Departure time for the sailboat excursion: Porto di MARINA DORICA in Ancona. Night’s stay at the hotel.
6th. Day: Stirolo and Ancona
The Conero lands are incredible protected wild riches which are worth exploring and feeling under one’s feet as well. There are numerous paths amidst incredible lush green and rocky reefs reaching the white sandy and white pebbled beaches. From the enchanting fisher village of Sirolo there are different paths and panoramic natural balconies with excellent viewpoints on the Mediterranean. In the evening, the stunning sunsets from the highest points of Ancona, such as St. Ciriac cathedral dome with the sight of an incredible Roman Traian Arch is a regenerating experience for mind and soul. In the distance the unfailing sounds of a twice millennial natural harbour tell about the incredibly active commercial story of these shores. Ancona was founded in 387 B.C on the Guasco mount by the Doric Greeks. They gave this natural harbour the name Ankon (elbow) because of the form of the coastline. Ever since, the atmosphere of this city is to be captured within the concept of a twice millennial commercial harbour. Pirates, Greek and Roman fleets, commercial ships of every type, Napoleon’s fleet... took active part on these shores of Picenum culture (first millennium B:C). Upon request, a visit to the Archaeological Museum of Ancona and a guided tour of the city are also available. Dinner time: dinner is unscheduled. Night’s stay at the hotel.
7th Day: On the tracks of the Rosso Conero, the Caves of Camerano
On this seventh day as an alternative to these enchanting off- the-beaten-track shores, it is also possible to follow a different itinerary: “on the tracks of the Rosso Conero” On this itinerary it is possible to visit different wineries where to taste most awarded and world famous luscious local excellences whereas learning about their production processes. Other options: the fascinating underground Caves of Camerano, the Christians’ shrine of Loreto; the medieval village of Osimo and the medieval fortress of Offagna.
8th Day: Check-out. Venice
Breakfast. Check-out. Back in Venice, the traveller will return the car at the train station of Mestre.