Founded around 450 B.C. by populations escaping the mainland because of Attila's barbaric invasions, Venice was built on more than 100,000 piles embedded in mud to lay the solid foundations on which the magnificent buildings are built. A wood turned upside-down whose trees in absence of oxygen have with time become like stones and exactly its unique mysterious conformation and precariousness of such fearless work have made few parties announce for centuries its imminent death. But Venice has still survived intact for centuries...
So, built of stone and water, Venice is according to Le Corbusier "the most prodigious urbanistic event in the history of a man".
The creations and development of a city in the most hostile situations up to making it one of the European powers and a magnificent open-sky museum is one of the most beautiful lessons for humanity.
Venice has changed little since the times of grand tour until today and it gives us that sense of consolation knowing that the modernity doesn't destroy nor cancel at least in some places of the world. In fact, the lagoon city is still composed of an intact mirror where the old Europe contemplates its pre-industrial past and therefore its youth.
To wind up the memory threads of one city so rich in history, art, culture and traditions is a difficult task but it's obligatory if we don't want to blend everything and lose the culture of the past and of the men who made this prodigy possible.
This research of historic itineraries which we present helps a traveller careful not to fall in the pre-manufactured image of an organised bite-and-go travel and packaged product that reduces the travelling experience according to sheer consumption.
Today, we always expect more discovery, knowledge and understanding from a travel.
So, it becomes crucial to choose "non touristy" routes, not foreseen nor overcrowded and so the interpretations can be given by various historic characters who had lived in Venice, famous worldwide for a particular feature.
We'll make Goldoni lead us by hand into his house and into the place of his comedies, the "red priest" Vivaldi into his church to see his instruments and the halls where his operas were performed, Marco Polo into the places from where this youngster, with his Ulysses' and commercial spirit, left in 1260 to push himself towards the farthest world then known.
And there are the merchants' places: stores, centuries old Rialto market, with the same stones and rings where boats and horses used to be tied up, measures of bits of saleable fish, wooden benches consumed by bags where money and bills used to be exchanged.
Venice, in a word, is the ideal place for trafficking and then the products imported from the Orient like spices and precious silks that Venice for centuries used to trade with and impose the ways of customs in the gastronomic culture in Europe.
Finally, Venice has been a welcoming crossroads of population from all over the world that would find a safe hotel in Venice and here is an itinerary of faiths of these populations that used to run into one another and console in an experiment of multicultural continuum, of ecumenical dialogue between faiths ahead of their time. But, above all, Venice is a bridge between Islam and Christianity and a meeting, exchange and dialogue point between the Jews, the members of the Orthodox or Protestant church, the Waldenses, the Armenians etc.
Their places are still visible today as an important testimony of this past as if nothing or almost nothing has changed for centuries…