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Best Historic Locations in Venice

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Layer upon layer of differing architectural styles come together to form the magnificent Doge's Palace. A symbol of the Venetian government and political heritage, the historic palace was once the seat of the Doge, the chief magistrate of the former Republic of Venice. The foundations of the complex were laid during the 14th Century. Through the years, the palace was repeatedly reconstructed, extended and restored, creating a mix of artistic and architectural styles ranging from the Medieval to the Renaissance. A masterpiece of Gothic design, the palace is replete with exquisite details like sculptures, frescoes, arches and graceful columns. The original Doge's Apartments, the Armory, the Prisons, the Courtyard and Loggias have all been beautifully restored, with numerous hidden treasures around every corner. This historic icon also houses the Museo dell'Opera and its extensive art collection.

The Ca' d'Oro is a beautiful Gothic structure that served as a home to a highly influential family in the 15th century. Built for the Contarini family, the structure is called the Palazzo Santa Sofia and more casually got the name Ca' d'Oro, which means ‘golden house’ or ‘house of gold’, because of the chrome decoration and gold inlays on the exterior. Giovanni Bon and Bartolomeo Bon, his son, were the architects on the job as well as the sculptors and they created a beautiful Gothic structure that is still talked about because of its style. Through the years, a few private owners destroyed some of the original structure. Then when Baron Giorgio Franchetti became the owner, he restored what was destroyed and now it is almost as good as it was when the original architects made it. The house is now restored and is open to the public. It is now known as the Gallery Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca’ d’Oro. It houses the Baron’s personal art collection, and also showcases the original furniture and decor.

Fondaco dei Turchi is a magnificent palatial structure situated in the captivating city of Venice in Italy. It overlooks the spectacular Grand Canal, and is one of the most popular historic landmarks of the city. With its Veneto-Byzantine architectural style, this edifice is truly a sight to behold. It was designed and constructed by Giacomo Palmier in 13th Century. In bygone times, this site was used as a place of sojourn by the dignitaries visiting the city. In 17th Century, this place was mostly occupied by the Turkish populace. At present, it houses the Tegnùe Aquarium and the Ligabue Expedition Room - which has numerous exhibits pertaining to fossils.

A elegant and classic patrician villa, the gorgeous Villa Cornaro is well known Renaissance house in Piombino Dese. This structure was built somewhere between 1553- 1554 for the younger son of a wealthy man. Architect Andrea Palladio who was known for his Renaissance designs, was behind this creation. Presently the villa is conserved by the Italian government as a World Heritage Site.

Established in 1792, Teatro La Fenice is regarded as one of the most respected venues in the history of Italian theater. Destroyed by fire three times, the theater was rebuilt, because of which it was named Teatro La Fenice (The Phoenix). Originally built by Gianantonio Selva, the later iterations were constructed by Tommaso and Giovanni Battista Meduna (1837) and Aldo Rossi (2003). Equipped with great acoustics, this premier opera house is among the best venues in town to watch superb opera performances, chamber music concerts, and ballets.

Located on the Grand Canal, Cà Rezzonico was the last building planned by famous Baroque architect Baldassare Longhena. The interior is a reconstruction of an 18th-century palace, with original restored furnishings. The Venetian decor is splendid, particularly in the ballroom with its stunning trompe l'oeil, and the nuptial room, which has richly decorated dressing tables. Today, it is a museum dedicated to the Venice of the 18th Century and comprises beautiful fixtures as well as many works of art. There are frescoes by Tiepolo and paintings by Guardi, Canaletto and Longhi that are worth checking out.

Following the rout of Agnadello in 1509, many people fled to the islands, fearing the arrival of the soldiers. Among them were many Jews who opened textile and rag shops near Rialto. Problems such as the imposition of a huge tax to fund the war against the Pope and the Emperor left the Jews with nowhere to live, and in 1516 they were forced to move to the area surrounding the old foundries near San Girolamo. The word ghetto is in fact derived from the Italian word getto which means to cast, or to throw. The hard "g" was only added later, by the Germans, when ghettos were introduced in Germany. It includes the Old (Calle del Ghetto) and the New Ghettos (Campo del Ghetto Nuovo). Today it is the central hub of the town's Jewish community and is a nice place for day trips. Some of the interesting sites are Gam Gam, Venice's inaugural Kosher restaurant, Renato Maestro Library, Schola Levantina, Schola Spagnola and Museo Ebraico di Venezia.

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