Secret Venice: a world of beauty and intriguing facts
Six sestieri with dozens of churches, palaces, deserted courtyards, mysterious alleyways, secret gardens, ancient schools, a fascinating world overflowing with history and stories waiting to be told, curiosities and everyday life; walking along these back streets is living the real Venice.
Special bookshops with the combined scent of old tomes and the tang of salt water lead to winding paths between alleyways and small squares, the centre of everyday life in the past, and still a favourite meeting point for Venetians.
Legends and stories handed down through the generations and curious characters become the protagonists of a journey that touches places full of intriguing and mysterious atmospheres.
TheScala Contarini del Bovolo, an authentic gem of the Venetian Gothic style, is the most beautiful spiral staircase in Italy ("bovolo" means snail in the Venetian dialect) and climbing to the top to enjoy the view of the roofs of Venice is an absolute must.
The visit to the Great Scuole, the ancient guilds, shows us pictorial cycles and architectural works of extraordinary value.
The Secret Gardens offer an oasis of tranquillity; from palace gardens to those of the convents and monasteries, from "philosophical" gardens to those designed by landscaping artists, each has its own history.
Finally, the Ghetto, a city within the city, the oldest and best preserved of the Jewish quarters in the Old Continent, is teeming with everyday activities and fascinates the visitor with its 5 synagogues as austere on the outside as they are sumptuous inside.