What to see close to the Savoia&Jolanda Hotel
The Lion of St.Mark This magnificent sculpture is of unknown origin, however some scholars believe it is from China. The addition of the wings transform the lion to be a symbol specific to the Republic. It sits on one of the two columns in the smaller plaza in St. Mark’s square which were given to Venice in the twelfth century from Constantinople by way of Syria.
Libreria Sansoviniana (o Marciana) This bookstore was completed under the design direction of Sansovino in 1537. Unfortunately, the building construction was only finished on the side towards the port prior to the death of the Florentine architect. The wing was finished between 1583 and 1588 by Vincenzo Scamozzi.
Museo Archeologico Under the 17th portico of the library, you can reach a courtyard that leads you to the Archeological Museum. The museum is meant to aid visitors in understanding how the lagoon and city of Venice were born. It contains Greek sculptures, Roman architectural fragments, epigraphs or inscriptions, marble, busts and a coin collection from the period of the Roman republic from the 3rd century and the 1st century before Christ. The head of the Correr Museum houses a personal collection of Neolithic and Bronze archeological relics, and other exhibits include Egyptian antiques, Greek, Etruscan and Roman art.
Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana The National Library was left in 1468 as a donation from Cardinal Bessarione, patriarch of Constantinople. It is one of the most important libraries containing information on the Renaissance. It has roughly 1000 Greek Latin codes, and currently, more than 900,000 volumes and nearly 13,000 manuscripts (1,200 of which are Greek.)
Ex Scuola dei Fabbri The Old School of Manufacturers: On the square, under number 1436, there is a small building which is the school of manufacturers. It was founded in the 16th century and changed many times. On the portal, you can see an embossed symbol of an angel (an angel that holds a drape with “eucaristic” glass). This is now a beautifully restored Palazzo on the Grand Canal and a member of the family-owned Bauer hotels. The most recent wing of the hotel extends on the square featuring travertine and clear marble columns constructed between 1946 and 1949.
Teatro La Fenice Constructed in 1790-92 under the project of G. Selva. In 1836, it was almost completely destroyed by fire except the perimeter walls and part of the entrance. It was repaired and reconstructed by Tomamasso and G. B. Medusa, who collaborated on the original project. And again, new elements were added in 1936 from EugelUo Mozzi. Once again, fire was a culprit, and the theater had to be completely reconstructed in 1996…a project ten years in the undertaking. It features a Neoclassic facade preceded by a spacious staircase that begins on the square. The entrance opens to four Corinthian columns, crowned by balustrades. In the alcoves or niches, there is “la Danza e la Musica”, a sculpture byby G. B. Medusa, who i s also the artist of the embossed masques that are on top. In the central fretwork, you see an emblem which represents Fenice. Under the prow of the entrance and concourse, there are busts and headstones in honor of Antone Selva (1837), Carlo Goldoni (bust by Luigi Zandomenghi, 1836), Gioacchino Rossini, Giuseppe Verdi, Ermanno Wolff-Ferrari (bust by Otello Bertazzolo, 1948). In the interior, there are elegant halls …the neoclassic hall “ApoUinea del Selva”. (The big hall of the theater.) There are five rows of boxes in the galleries and they are richly decorated by stucchi, gilded gold and paintings. On the left of the theater, it opens to the court of S. Gaetano on which faces the house of Molin, a gothic building of the fifteenth century with a staircase covered in Venetian Byzantine works of the 13th century.
Mercerie The Mercerie cuts the old city center into two parts between S. Marco and the shops of the Rialto. The passage under the arch of the clocktower is the more ancient route and some of these shops date back to the original craftsmen. It is Venice’s main thoroughfare and the heart of the city’s commercial trade with shops and boutiques selling everything from luxurious fashion to glass sculpture to fine leather. The “Mercerie” was already paved in the 13th century and set the groundwork for maintaining the consistency of the Venetian Byzantine style characterized by close buildings and numerous small alleyways. At the beginning of the “merceria” near the clocktower, there is an arch whose embossed stone commemorates the famous “vecia del morter” episode. Baiamonte Tiepolo was one of three leading an uprising against Doge Pietro Gradenigo (June 15, 1310) and he was coming from the direction of the “mercerie”. Giuntine Rossi, an elderly woman, dropped a stone mortar on his head from a window leaving him dazed and confused and in effect, aiding to thwart the rebellion. (The paved white stone indicates the point of the fall).
Ponte di Rialto (The Rialto Bridge) “La salizzada Pio X” leads to the foot of the Rialto bridge, one of the most famous in the city, which spans the Grand Canal at it’s narrowest point. Finished in the nineteenth century, it creates a unique pedestrian path to connect two parts of the city. It’s origins date back to the use of a pontoon bridge in 1181, but because of increasing commercial traffic, something more permanent was needed. The first structure was made of wood, and later rebuilt in stone between 1588 and 1591, as a project under the direction of Antonio Da Ponte. Da Ponte was chosen from a competition held between the famous architects of the period (Sansovino, Palladio, Michelangelo, Vignola, Scamozzi, Boldu and Da Ponte). Da Ponte designed an imposing, single span structure with two inclined ramps leading to a central arch…somewhat similar to the old wooden bridge. The arch measures 28 meters long and 7.50 meters high. The bridge is divided into three pedestrian routes with rows of shops along either side of the portico connected by a central arch. (on the flanks, bas-reliefs from the end of the 16th century: announcing Archangel Gabriel by Agostino Rubini; and S. Marco and S. Teodoro by Tiziano Aspetti). By changing the axis of the bridge, the city managed to connect two central business districts on either side of the canal…one around S. Bartolomeo and the other around the market as well as the line of jewelers on the bridge itself. There were considerable technical problems due to the weight of the heavy arches, and subsequently, they were reinforced by 6,000 piles under every bridgehead.
PALAZZO FORTUNY At the end of calle della Mandola, keeping to the right of Rio terra della Mandola and to the right of canale degli Orfei, one enters the small Campo S. Veneto (S. Benedetto), of interest, because of it’s flooring. The floor has been raised to adapt to the fact that there was a preexisting well head that is still in place. On the left, one sees the important facade of Palazzo Pesaro degli Orfei, now Fortuna. It was built in the 15th century, and named after the Orfei because it was the headquarters in the 18th century of the Società Filamonica l”apollinea. It was bought at the beginning of this century by Mariano Fortunay Madrazo, painter, set designer and spanish collector and donated by his widow to the City (1956) to be destined for artistic use.