I left yesterday morning for the first time to Venice. Seen as one of the most romantic cities of the world, it kept its promises and I am going to tell you all my adventures and discoveries in this wonderful city.
In this article, I have chosen to talk about the history of the city, how I prepared my travel and my own experience as a real tourist ^^
The first tracks of occupation found in the lagoon go back to the Roman period. These first inhabitants lived of it sin. This region was a part of the Roman Empire.
During the Vth and the VIth century, barbaric invasions urge the populations to find refuge in these zones difficult to access. Officially, Venice was established in 421. In 520, Venice belongs to the Bizantin Empire.
El Rialto, in Venice, became the political center of all this small islands.
Basilique Saint Marc _ Alfred Sisley
In 828, saint Marc's body is stolen in Alexandria by traders and returned in Venice. The invaluable relic will be kept in the Basilica of the same name.
At about the year 1000, Venice is independent. Its strengh is its position. The lagoon protects her from her enemies. Its situation between the east and the west allows it to serve as commercial bridge between these two regions, assuring the fortune of the city.
During the XII and XIIIth centuries Venice takes advantage of the many crusades by exchanging its maritime services and by negotiating lands and advantages on the conquests realized by the crusaders. In 1204, Venice manages to divert the 4th crusade in its profit by asking to the crusaders to conquer Constantinople before Jerusalem. Consgtantinople is so taken and plundered, a Latin empire of east is born for a few years. This tragic event will precipitate the definitive fall of the Byzantine Empire which will be conquered by the Turks.
Venice returns of the plunder of Constantinople a lot of treasures, which will among to enrich the city. The famous horses on the Basilica Saint Marc result from this plunder.
|Photo : venise-tourisme.com|
Gradually, the Doge has less power. The various boards holds the full powers and this system will allow Venice to keep such a political stability in the course of the centuries. Other important point of the political life is that the church is not actively involved of the Venetian power unlike the other European countries. We already have here a real separation of the church and the state.
The XIVth century was the one big dangers for Venice. Because of its situation geographical and economic advantageous,Venice has numerous enemies like the pope, Hungary, Austria, and Genoa, and a lot of war are going to take place between the various peoples.
In 1348, the black plague beats down on the city, half of the population dies from it …
The fall of Constantinople in 1453 sees the backward movement of Venice in East.
In 1492, the discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus also announces a modification of the commercial flows and the loss of influence of Venice.
During the XVIth century, Venice is made of numerous enemies, and thanks to a set of alliance,
got back its territories lost on dry land thanks to François Ier! Nevertheless, the power of Venice was definitively weakened. Between 1575 and 1577 Venice knows a terrible epidemic of cholera which causes more than 50 000 deaths among its 170 000 inhabitants.
In the XVIIth century, Venice has to face the European countrie, in particular Spain which tries repeatedly the conquest of the city.
The situation outside of the city is very perturbed just like its internal situation. The population is once again struck by the plague. More, the aristocracy didn't have to defend its privileges and so, chooses the pleasure as unique occupation. In the XVIIIth century, Venice is the casino or the dive Europe, and the life is reduced to it in a perpetual carnival; it finishes in the nonchalance and the sensual delight.
On May 12th, 1797 Napoleon annexes Venice then exchanged it for Belgium. Venetian Republic so lost its independence. Then Napoleon took back Venice and joined it into the kingdom of Italy in 1805. Austria Hungary Empire annexed Lombardy and Venetia in 1815 thanks to the Treaty of Vienna and kept it until 1866. Austria Hungary Empire lost it against the prusso-Italian alliance. Venice became Italian due to the defeat of the Austrians to Sadowa.
I did not prepared a lot my travel. I just wanted to relax a few days. My suitcase was not full because I love returned full of things (very useless).
The author summarizes his own tale in this way:
"In Venice, then invaded by the napoleonic troops, Johannes Karelsky, French soldier, hurt in the fight and talented violinist, is taken in by a mysterious luthier, a crazy chess player and amateur of brandy. A strong relation is formed between these two men of the secret, made by respect, by silence and by music. A novel writes in a concise and poetic language."
I found this tale really mesmerizing; it gives you the desire to know the history of Venice.
It is rather romantic, and easy to read. It was ideal for this journey.
This website list some good books on Venice.
I Have taken the overnight train to go to Venice to make the most of it ! I have chosen a small hotel just next to the train station.
It was very pleasant, not much noise, services and price correct: In summer we can have a room for approximately 135€ for a couple.
We dropped our stuff in the hotel room and we were ooking for a nice place to eat.
I went to this cutie little restaurant : Trattoria Sempione. Beautiful facade giving onto one of the numerous canals of Venice, we had one table with direct viewon the channel canal.
The place is fabulous but dishes are not up to it.
The dish was not exceptional and products seemed poor quality. This restaurant gets closer more than a tourist trap than a real traditional restaurant.
All day long, we walked along the river. There is a lot of people in streets, especially many tourists... It doen't happen often to meet real venitian.
After a long day in the sun and fresh air, we went to a restaurant not far from the train station : el Ristorante Pedrocchi.
A really good atmosphere with a nice and friendly staff. They serve basic Italian dishes : pizzas, pastas... Pizzas were tasty and lavish, but pastas were not exceptional...
Menus between 10€ and 60€.
see more : ristorante-pedrocchi
All thanks to : www.venise-tourisme.com