5 Piazzas you just have to visit

Piazzas hold a special place at the heart of Italian life and Italy boasts some stunning examples. With so many it’s tricky to choose one, but we’ve narrowed down five favourites… 1. Piazza san Marco, Venice Famously dubbed “the finest drawing room in Europe” by Napoleon, Piazza San Marco is, quite simply, breathtaking. Even during […]

Recipes from Venice – Part 1

The legendary cuisine of La Serenisima deserves close attention, so join Mario Matassa as he unpicks the flavours and feeling behind Venetian cooking… Venice hardly needs an introduction. One of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, the Renaissance city is renowned among other things for its stunning architecture, its history, its art, its […]

The Reinvention of a Grand Palazzo

Patricia Cleveland-Peck investigates the restoration that has transformed Palazzo Papadopoli into the Aman Canal Grande Hotel in Venice… It really all comes down to the writer Andrea di Robilant: if he hadn’t written the book A Venetian Affair, which tells the story of a doomed love between a Venetian nobleman and an English girl in […]

Gondola – Italia Icons

Think of transport in Venice and you think of the gondola, but this is a relationship that has been developed in large part by the city’s tourism industry. As a working boat, there are better options. Though it is now recognized the world over as the typical boat of Venice, the gondola is in fact […]

The Mysteries of Giorgione

As an exhibition of some of his surviving works is shown in London, Carolyn Lyons explains why this Venetian artist was so influential, and how little we know about what he actually painted… Giorgione – ‘Big George’, he was born Giorgio Barbarelli – lived in Venice at the turn of the 16th century and is […]

48 Hours on The Venetian Islands

Venice native Sara Scarpa takes us out of town on a long cycle ride from Lido to Pellestrina, and then on a boat trip to Murano, Burano and Torcello. This is an introduction to the beautiful Venetian Islands… Visitors to Venice, especially those visiting for the first time, tend to associate the city with the […]

The Arsenale – Past Italia

In the eastern Castello district of Venice lies a huge dockyard where revolutionary building techniques took shipbuilding and military manufacturing into the next level This dockyard has been thought to have existed on this site since the 12th century, and it boasts a significant role in Venice’s historical legacy, being an important example of pre-Industrial […]

Boating for Beginners

Lisa Gerard-Sharp discovers that skippering your own boat is the best way to see Venice at a leisurely pace – and it’s easier than you’d think… Henry James thought that, “Everyone interesting, appealing, melancholy, memorable or odd” gravitated towards Venice. That’s our lame excuse – we must be “the odd”. We are an accidental all-female […]

Sacro Monte di Varese

High in the hills overlooking Varese is one of the most remarkable hidden treasures you could wish to behold – the rarely seen frescoes of the Sacro Monte de Varese As far as hidden secrets go, the Sacro Monte di Varese appears like the central plot focus in a sequel to The Da Vinci Code. Situated […]

Top Ten Italian Holiday Destinations

Mario Matassa reveals his choice of the top ten holiday resorts in Italy. From the mountains to the sea, for food fans or culture vultures, there’s a destination for everyone… In a country synonymous with history, art, architecture, style, fashion, gastronomy – not to mention seemingly endless golden sands, striking and rugged landscapes, grand historical cities […]