A year ago, we published our blog post 30 resources for you to explore Venice in 2020, and it was the most visited article on our blog in 2020. We wanted to offer alternative ways of exploring Venice to responsible travelers, focusing on high-quality visits off the beaten paths.
But then in 2020, Venice, like most cities, was struggling with the effects of the corona virus outbreak. 2021 represents a journey into the unknown, and I was thinking of a different sort of guide, something that could help you connect with Venice, wherever you are in the world.
This year, we won’t divide our guide into three parts (resources for the first time, frequent traveler, and expert visitor + resident) because Venice is going through a period of huge change, whose outcome will be new to all of us. Instead in 2021, we’ll divide the resource guide into online – digital visits – online exhibits, e-books – blog articles, and books in English and Italian.
All resources were chosen carefully to prepare you for the change currently happening in Venice, with a focus on green / sustainable – high quality experience for visitors.
Online visits + exhibits
- Basilica di San Marco – A striking virtual tour of the Tesoro di San Marco (Saint Mark’s treasure): Click here to visit. And here’s the guide for you to read before you visit online.
- Virtual visit to see the art collections of Palazzo Ducale – click to start your virtual walk.
- Virtual walk around Palazzo Ducale – click to start your virtual walk.
- The story of Doge Enrico Dandolo told in a painting in Palazzo Ducale – click to see. And here’s the true story of the Doge (in Italian).
- Torre dell’Orologio: Explore the story of the clock tower online – click to discover more.
- Destinazione San Stae – with glimpses of Ca’ Mocenigo, Palazzo Pesaro and Museo di Storia Naturale – click to watch.
- Online Tintoretto walk around Venice – click here to get started.
- Palazzo Mocenigo is known for its exhibition featuring Venetian historical fashion and perfumery. Click here to start your personal tour.
- Museo di Storia Naturale – The Museum of Natural History has a very visual tour online, preparing you for a real visit sometime later in 2021/22. Start your walk here.
- San Lazzaro degli Armeni, the Armenian island just off the Lido. This video takes you there for a 15-minute tour of the monastery, courtyard and gardens.
- Venezia seen from above – Venezia a vol di uccello: And finally, this is a video taking you back in time, to the year 1500: Watch the video here.
E-Books and online articles
- The story of Chiesa di San Zaccaria – The Educated Traveler takes you to San Zaccaria, Nonna Lina’s favorite church, unveiling little known aspects of art and history – read Janet’s article here.
- Palazzo Cini – A hidden gem in the glitter of Venice: Colorful article by Monica Cesarato, presenting a promising and innovative project to support art and designers in Venice. Follow Monica along here.
- Uccelli di Laguna e di città – Birds atlas of the Lagoon of Venice, by Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia – free download is here.
- Venice Rising – The Book: How Venetians coped with the crisis caused by the November 2019 floods and Covid-19. Click here to read more.
- Biblioteca Marciana – Non Solo Spezie: My favorite exhibition organized so far, dedicated to the secrets of success of the Venetian economy until 1797 – download the exhibition catalog here.
- Biblioteca Marciana; Gli Ultimi Giorni di Bisanzio – The last days of Byzantium: A 2019 exhibition, dedicated to the path Venice took from the late 14th century. Read online here (italian).
- Not Venezia, but Venessia – heartfelt essay by Richard J. Goy uncovering unknown aspects of Venetian culture and architecture, in Dream of Venice Architecture – click to read here.
- UIA: Restoring Venice for the world by Anima Veneziana, a film project devised by Monica Cesarato with a Venetian film maker. Anima Veneziana also has a very informative blog about Venetian artisans and initiatives. You can support Anima Veneziana here and read the article about UIA (Università internazionale dell’arte) here.
- La Venessiana’s article explaining the mobile Lagoon barriers MoSE installed to close the Lagoon in case of exceptionally high tides: How MoSE works, and whether it could be a solution in the mid-term in view of climate change. Read more here.
- How does a Lagoon function, and six terms you must know about the Lagoon of Venice – read our blog article here.
Books in English
- Rubelli – A Story of Silk in Venice – The history of silk production and Rubelli’s drapes in Venice – Marsilio Editore – discover more.
- History and Recipes of Caffé Florian – Snippets of history and fabulous recipes of the oldest coffee house in the world, which just celebrated its 300th birthday – click here to discover more.
- Paradise of Cities: Venice in the 19th century, by John Julius Norwich. Only few authors I know write about Venice in such a detailed, concise and loving manner. John Julius Norwich’s books provide incredible insights into unexpected and forgotten aspects of La Serenissima Republic of Venice. And in this book, he takes up the most difficult chapter in Venetian history, the 19th century following the fall of the Republic. A precious book helping to retrace history and the strengths of Venice, essential know-how in the years to come. Click here to read more.
- Dream of Venice Architecture – JoAnn Locktov, Riccardo de Cal, and contributors. A creative book and my favorite guide on Venetian architecture, for all who’d like to discover both wintry Venice and the secrets of humane architecture. The book draws our attention to essential aspects of sustainability that could become important to consider, once the pandemic abates. Discover more.
- Inventing the World – Venice and the Transformation of Western Civilization. Venice, conduit and source of innovation in Europe, by Meredith F. Small. Click here to read more.
- Caffé Florian, by Gianni Berengo Gardin. One of the best-known Venetian photographers published his collection of images of the best-known Venetian cafe. Discover more.
- The Unfinished Palazzo tells the story of Palazzo Venier on the Grand Canal, former home of Peggy Guggenheim. Read more.
- The Genius of Venice: San Marco and the Making of Piazza San Marco“ an account of the development of the entire piazza complex, through which unfolds the history of the Republic. Discover more.
- The Apothecary’s Story – Venice 1118 AD takes us back into the secret world of Venetian spice masters, a little known but decisive chapter in our history. Read more here.
- The Girl from Venice transports us back to the immediate aftermath of WW2. Discover more.
Books in Italian
- Lo scialle veneziano – Nonna Lina’s favorite Venetian fashion book, describing the story of the black Venetian scarf – Libreria Filippi Editrice – read more.
- Cenni storici sulla farmacia veneziana – a favorite book for all who want to understand the history and importance of Venetian spice masters – Libreria Filippi Editrice – read more.
- I segreti della diplomazia veneziana – how diplomats saved Venice over time, a compelling story published by Libreria Mare di Carta. Click here to read more.
- Il libraio di Venezia by Giovanni Montanaro, the story of a Venetian bookstore during the November 2019 flood – Libreria Mare di Carta – read more.
- Sulle rotte della Serenissima – retracing the paths of Venetian seafarers and explorers – Liberia Mare di Carta – discover more.
- Venezia città aperta – How Venetian culture was built over the centuries, Libreria Studium – discover here.
- Alla larga da Venezia – the unknown story of Pietro Querini, a spice merchant, whose family owned the building of Fondazione Querini Stampagila. Marsilio Editore – discover more.
- Altino antica – uncovering the early history of Venice. Marsilio Editore – discover more.
- Chiese di Venezia – wonderful book collection with forgotten details and stories about the churches in Venice. Libreria Studium – discover here.
- Lagunario – thoughtful guide to the Lagoon, with fiction and non-fiction stories making up life in Venice during the past 1600 years. – Libreria Mare di Carta – read more.
this list is a small excerpt of our resource + virtual tour collection, which you can access in our Venetia Heritage and Culture Online Class.
Part 2 of this series will be a special shopping guide, online in late January, and part 3 in early Feburary will cover our 30 resources to help you look forward to your next visit, whenever traveling is possible again!6