With any doubt, the viability of Venice is pretty original, compared to that of any other city. Since it has canals instead of the usual roads, it is subject to its own traffic laws.

First of all to go throught the canals, by boat, it is necessary to keep the left side and go ahead with a cruising speed of 5km / h, 7 km / h in the Grand Canal, 14/20 km / h in some open areas, such as between Venice and the island of Sant’Erasmo. Speed is indicated by appropriate signs, square-shaped with red frame and a black number in the middle.

Then there are the one-way streets, canals forbidden to motor vehicles and exclusively reserved to the gondolas; canals too narrow to be crossed.

Limits are marked in an unmistakable way, with the famous blue square-shaped sign, with a white gondola in the middle.

Motor boats, however, must always go ahead in the central part of the canal, holding each, in case of intersection between two crafts, their own right side.

In the Grand Canal may run even rowing boats, and they are the only ones which can go ahead both right and left, to facilitate the best rowing conditions, depending on weather and and tide.

A funny curiosity: drivers of rowing boats must say aloud, next to an intersection, what they want to do.

You can hear them shout “a stagando” if they intend to pull over to the right,

“a premando” if they wish to pull over to the left,

and “de longo ” if they intend to go straight.

You have just to hang around to discover the true face of Venice, where everything was designed to be seen from the water.

The vere da pozzo

The “vere da pozzo” (well curbs) are those spectacular architectural structures which we meet frequently in the campos and gardens of Venice.

“Vera da pozzo” is an exclusive expression of the city of Venice. Built as an element to protect the complex machine of the well (the one that picked up and conveyed rainwater filtered through sand) has become over time a beautiful embellishment of squares and courtyards.

venice-well-crubs-alloggilagalloThe well curbs are often elevated in one or more steps to the road surface, have on the base small creeks to water dogs and pigeons, and they ended up becoming small monuments, symbol of the Serenissima, or the families who were sponsoring them, to use a term much in fashion.

Stopping to observe the walls, is easy to find noble coats of arms, symbols of the Republic, some of them chiseled after the end of the same. The public wells have impressed upon the name of the magistrate who ordered their construction, combined with the personification of Justice, tridents, dolphins and marine motifs as a symbol of Venice Queen of the Seas.

The decorations are very specific: plants, garlands of fruit and flowers, curled foliage, cupids, peacocks, the classic lion’s head, allegorical motifs, moral inscriptions.

The drinking water, in Venice, has always been an asset of primary importance, both for the nutritional well-being, and the strategic aspect, which is why the Republic had assured a strict supervisory control of wells, with the infantry of the waterway Manager, Healthcare and Municipality, but also with the parish priests and district leaders who had custody of the keys of the tanks, which opened at the disposal of the people twice a day: morning and evening, at the stroke of the “bell of the wells.”

The Venetians wells are, currently, about 600 and are not in use. According to statistics from the municipal technical office, written up on December 1, 1858, in Venice at that time, there were 6,046 public and 180 private wells, over 556 already buried.


Il corteo storico in Canal Grande

The 16th century-style boats parade

Sunday, September the 1st,  will host the Regata Storica, milestone of the annual races of Venetian rowing,an old sport practiced for thousands of years in Venice.

Scores of typically 16th century-style boats with gondoliers in period costume carry the Doge, the Doge’s wife and Caterina Cornaro, wife of King of Cyprus. The water parade commemorates the welcome given in 1489 to the Queen of Cyprus, who renounced her throne in favour of Venice.

The Venetian regatta has always consisted of various races with different kinds of boats: the most popular race is the gondolini regatta.

If you buy a ticket, you can attend the Regata Storica 2013 on the tribune “machina” , a small floating palace near Campo San Tomà,  that allows you to see every regatta passing twice in front of you (before and after the tour of “paleto”), and of course the historical parade and other events.


The key points and stages in the regatta are the following:
-  the spagheto (rope) marking the starting line in front of the Sant’Elena gardens;
-  the paleto (turning post) driven into the middle of the Grand Canal in front of the Santa Lucia railway station, where the boats turn and where – they say – you determine the winners
-  the machina that constitutes both the finishing line and the stage where the prizes and pennants are presented to the winners. The regatta pennants are the prizes every Venetian rower dreams of: red for the winner, white for second place, green for third and blue for fourth.

The most powerful lure of the Regata Storica is that whoever wins this race five times in a row is glorified with the Venetian title of “Re del remo,” or king of the oar.

And now…  May the best man win!!!!


hotel Venezia

The first show on the terrace of Hotel Excelsior in 1932

Established in 1932, by an intuition of the Count Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata, the Venice International Film Festival has always been a synonyim for the city of  Venice in history and smart set. Born on the terrace of the historic Hotel Excelsior on the Lido, the exhibition features, since its dawn, films that came right in the history of cinema: the first to be screened at 21.15 on August 6th 1932, was Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde by Rouben Mamoulian. From the beginning an amazing, endless series of masterpieces lighted up the screen: It Happened One Night by Frank Capra, Grand Hotel by Edmund Goulding, The Champ by King Vidor,Frankenstein by James Whale, ending with the most recent Jurassic Park by Steven Spielberg, Forrest Gump by Robert Zemeckis and the now legendary Eyes Wide Shut by Stanley Kurbick.

The Festival is an annual event since 1935, when, under the direction of Ottavio Croze, the prize to the actors and actresses took the name “Coppa Volpi”. The bond between Ottavio Croze’s descendants and the prize is stillextremly strong: the cups continue to be made, according to tradition, by the historic jewellery that belongs to the family.

The small Venetian island, during the ten days of the kermesse, always puts its best tuxedo on and turns into a small paradise of the “Belle vie”: it is familiar to find actors and actresses sitting at the tables of the historic Lyon’s Club or in the cool shade of the characteristics thatched huts, along the beach of the Lido, everlasting icons of its former glory.

Fans, for years, stroll on the promenade bertween the historic Hotels Excelsior and Des Bains, setting of the timeless masterpiece Death in Venice by Thomas Mann and the most recent The English Patient, hoping to meettheir idols. As in the best screenplays, in Venice everything is possible.

Venice Film Festival means above all parties and smart set: the Venetian palaces are transformed into dream setting for locked down and unique events and for the annual charity galas. At the Lido the patios on the beach hostthese events: kissed by fortune and wearing the right oufit, you can find the door open to get into an extraordinary world that has always sparkled with sequins and tuxedo.

From “Calle” to “Campo”…

camere hotel a venezia
The venetian road is known as “calle” and it is the passage that usually lies between two buildings, can be very narrow or very wide, depending on the architectural location of buildings, usually opens in a field or in a square (campo), or it can have on the Grand Canal outlet and then turn out, then takes the name of “branch”.
Some streets are named “salizade”  because in ancient times were the first to be paved with the trachyte, grey stone which is found everywhere in Venice and in dialect is called “masegni”, while the other had a corns herringbone paving of thin bricks or even had clay courts.
There are Venetian streets that are called “piscine” that were once parts of the lagoon between the buildings used like swimming pool. Later piscine was paved.
The”fondamenta” are those streets that line the canals and are called so because they were and still are the continuation of the foundations of the buildings and the reinforcement of the banks.
In Venice there are only two roads named “vie” like usual roads are called in Italy: via Garibaldi in the district of Castello and via XXII Marzo in the district of San Marco. In addition, there is one and only formally named square: the San Marco Square, all other open spaces surrounded by homes that often have centered in a statue of some famous historical character, they are called “campi” and those of smaller size “campielli”.
Good walk!

The San Marco red bud

san marco_bocolo_alloggi_al_galloOn 25 April in Venice we celebrate not only the national day of liberation, but also an important traditional Feast: the San Marco red bud.
Legend tells that in the 19th century, in the city of Venice, the daughter of Doge Orso I Partecipazio, Maria, loved a young man of humble origins, named Tancredi. The Doge didn’t want the two lovers spending time together, so Maria suggested to her beloved to fight against the Turks to redeem itself from its humble condition through the glory of military enterprises.
In fact he was valiantly in war and his reputation was known all over the world. During a battle, he was mortally wounded and fell on a rose garden. Before he died he called his friend Orlando and whispered, with the last breath, to deliver to his beloved a Rose Bud of that rose garden stained with his blood as extreme and last token of love.
On 25 April, the day after receiving from Orlando the sad message of love, Mary was found dead in his bed with the bud on her chest.
Since then, every April 25, according to tradition, the same tribute is repeated by Venetians so each of them can show his feelings to the woman beloved.
Therefore, if you are in Venice during this week don’t forget to do this homage to your love.

Schools and arts in Venice

Mariegola veneziaThe Arts in Venice were people’s organisations. The first associations of religious devotion were open to everyone; were calledSchools from the Greek word scòla meant as unions of people.

Every school had its own statute or Mariegola (mother rule) in which it stated the tasks and purposes of the Brotherhood as one to rescue brothers in time of both physical and economic hardship; and the internal life was regulated by a precise organization. Each Member was to pay a tax, state tax, which was very heavy so that was called “taglione”.

The Arts in special occasions set wonderful parades and the most spectacular of all was that of St. Mark’s day.

These traditions were suppressed in the Napoleonic period.
The Schools were split in Big schools and Small Schools.
Small schools gather those that exercised the same profession (arts) or came from the same place. To exercise an art,  it was essential subscribe to the respective Guild.
Large schools were eight:
The oldest is the Scuola Grande di San Teodoro, founded, it seems, in 359 ad;
the Scuola Grande della Carità, founded in 1261;
the Scuola Grande di San Marco, founded in 1261;
the Scuola Grande della Misericordia founded in 1261;
the Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista;
the Scuola Grande San Rocco is founded in 1478;
the Scuola Grande di Santa Maria del Rosario, founded in 1571;
the Scuola grande dei Carmini founded in the early eighteenth century.

Murano glass

vetraiIn the 13th century the glass manufacturing was transferred from Venice to the Murano island for fires that could happen.

From that moment the control on glassmaking was determined by the Serenissima Republic so that the masters could not flee abroad and reveal its secrets.

Murano began to have a certain independence from Venice for the presence of furnaces and of their activities which made the island economically important, insomuch that soon became the capital of the world glass production.

Initially the glass production was limited to useful items such as bottles, jars, pots, etc., from the 15th century onwards the passage to the transparent white glass imitating the Crystal gave a chance to the production of the most precious objects and granted in Venice over two hundred years of artistic dominance.

It was founded in the late 19th century the Archaeological Museum of glass that you should visit.

The Glassmaking technique is passed on from father to son and remained confined to the island.

The master glassmaker was helped by two assistants: the server and the serventino who helped to support the long barrel in which the master blew to give the desired shape to the ball of red-hot glass .

A technique of blowing, where the Venetians are the most skilled craftsmen and were able over time to invent increasingly refined works such as the watermark.

Today there is a school of glass in Murano, the glass school Abate Zanetti (named by the founder of the first museum Glazier), which caters to those who want to dedicate themselves to this noble art.

Carnival of Venice 2013. Live in Colour

The Carnival in Venice begins Saturday, January 26, 2013, and ends with Fat Tuesday February 12, 2013, so named to highlight on the last day of a period of fun and good food.

This year the Carnival is dedicated to the colours because it is also minimal variation which makes the difference: ” the Carnival of Venice 2013 is dedicated who hasn’t thought that red is always and only red but also purple, coppery, tawny, Ruddy, flushed, Carmine, Crimson, strawberry, blood type, amaranth, cinnabar, pompeianus, Scarlet, inflamed, vermilion,.”

Many are the events and there are the more traditional:

The festa delle Marie. Festival that evokes the tribute that the Doge offers annually to12 beautiful but humble young women, some magnificent jewelry for their future wedding

Il volo dell’angelo. Is the reenactment of the courageous tribute which was addressed to the Doge by an unknown Venetian citizen who threw tied to a rope suspended from the campanile di San Marco to the square below, leaving everyone with bated breath.

The SIlence Parade. Is the symbolic good-bye to the Carnival: a striking procession where the gondolas and boats parade silently from Rialto Bridge at St. Mark’s through the Grand Canal lit by candlelight.

Al Gallo

Hotel AL GALLO was completely restored a few months ago. It's a small family-run hotel in a quiet but very comfortable.

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Alloggi AL GALLO

S.croce 88, 30135 Venezia

Phone +39 41 5236761

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RIAL sas - S.croce 88 30135 Venezia p.i. 03728910278 REA 333466 - Tel +39 041 5236761 Fax +39 041 2449259 -

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