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Floating through the canals on a gondola

marzo 28th, 2011

If you want to romance your loved one, what better way than a gondola ride through the dreamy canals of Venice.

The gondola is the limousine of rowing boats and is perfectly adapted for the waters of “The Floating City”. For hundreds of years gondolas were the principal means of transportation and the most popular vessels within Venice, due to their manoeuvrability and speed. The gondolier stands facing the bow and rows with a forward stroke, followed by a compensating backward stroke. He is immaculately dressed in black pants, a striped shirt, and closed dark shoes. At the front of the boat stands the decorative fèrro (‘iron’) which acts as a counterweight for the gondolier near the stern.

Venice by Night

marzo 28th, 2011

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The eclectic design of the Centurion Palace Hotel, Venice

marzo 28th, 2011

The Centurion Palace Hotel must boast some of the most stunning views in the world.

It can be found next to the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute and looks directly onto the Grand Canal and St. Mark’s Square. However, when you pass through the doors in the Gothic façade, you enter a modern, dynamic hotel. Just step inside and you find yourself in a magical ambience which blends luxury with the latest fashion trends. Each room and suite is individually decorated in contemporary style, many of which have dreamy, mystical city views. The hotel is such a work of art that it deserves to be exhibited in the neighbouring Peggy Guggenheim museum.

Master craftsman Livio De Marchi

marzo 28th, 2011

Who is Livio De Marchi? An illusionist, an artist or the quintessential Venetian craftsman.

Once upon a time, in the middle of Venice, there stood an incredible gallery, where a joker magician worked, turning everything into wood. The soft folds of a jacket hanging on the wall, a pair of knickers drying on a clothesline or the luxurious curves and precise detail of a full size Ferrari F50 are not a wood carver’s usual subjects. However, Livio De Marchi’s work displays a singular contrast between subject and material that is a breath of fresh air. You may catch a glimpse of him on board one of his floating creations, which include origami paper hats, an enormous shoe, a Fiat Topolino and Cinderella’s pumpkin coach drawn by four horses.

The ancient tradition of Murano glass

marzo 28th, 2011

In 1291, due to a growing threat of fires the Venetian Serenissima Republic decreed that all glass factories must be transferred from Venice to the nearby island of Murano.

Since then, each period of history has seen a change in glass design and the principal works from each era are still being made today. However, the present-day artists also create innovative forms through which they express contemporary motifs. On display in the famous Signoretti shop are hand-made chandeliers, remarkably light drinking glasses, etched and ornamented mirrors, vases in various shapes and colours, modern sculptures and numerous other objects, all fruit of the imagination and creativity of the glass-master. Most Murano glass is made using the lampworking technique which is highly complex. The glass is made from silica, which becomes liquid at high temperatures and as the glass passes from a liquid to a solid state, there is an interval wherein the glass is soft before it hardens completely, which is when the glass-master can shape the material.