The Historical Regatta - 6th September 2020
It will not be known to the general public as the famous Carnival, but the Historical Regatta is a perfect opportunity to take a dip in the history of Venice.
Besides being the most important Venetian rowing competition, it is also a popular feast that has been going on for the past 600 years to which all foreigners are invited, certainly more interested in the colourful procession that anticipates the race.
Starting from the 1950s, the procession remembers the magnificent welcome that was given to Caterina Cornaro (queen of Cyprus) upon her arrival in 1489, after her abdication in favour of Venice.
In the procession dozens of typical Venetian rowing boats parade with gondoliers in costume. On board the Doge, the Dogaressa, Caterina Cornaro and all the highest offices of the Venetian Magistracy, in a faithful reconstruction of the glorious past of one of the most powerful and influential Maritime Republics in the Mediterranean.
The race consists of various regattas on particular types of boats. Today the most popular and exciting is the gondolini regatta which the citizens watch with partisan animosity.
Written by Margherita Pasotto
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Osteria Enoteca Giorgione
Opening late August
The Acqua Alta: a natural phenomenon in Venice
High water, a phenomenon Venetians have always been used to, is nothing else but a tide peak, usually occurring in autumn and winter, mostly between November and December, when the astronomical tide, the strong Sirocco wind, the “sessa” phenomenon in the Adriatic – or a combination of these elements – determine a higher inflow of water in the Venetian Lagoon.
The height of the tide varies according to different meteorological factors. The tides are higher when the barometric pressure is particularly low or when the Sirocco wind is blowing. The widest tide excursions usually occur at new and full moon periods, in the first and last quarter of the moon the abundant high tide phenomenon is less likely to happen.
High water in Venice follows the tidal cycle, that rises for 6 hours and then lowers in the next 6: in the days with high water, this phenomenon persists only in the central hours of the rising phase. High water in Venice usually lasts about 3-4 hours, and when the level of the water lowers, the city goes back to normal.
But how high can the high water get? When the tide level is measured, the point of reference is the average sea level measured at Punta della Salute. To let you better understand, nearly all of the city (97%) is at about 100 cm over the average sea level. This means that the quantity of water that can flood the streets is always much lower than the maximum forecast tidal level. For instance, an exceptional tide of 140 cm corresponds in reality to about 60 cm of water in the lowest points of the city (Saint Mark’s Square) and floods about 54% of the historic city centre.
the tide level is between +80 cm and +109 cm over the average sea level
very sustained tide
When the value is between +110 cm and +139 cm;
When the value reaches or exceeds +140 cm.
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES FOR HIGH WATER
Three times a day the Tide Forecasting Centre of the City of Venice makes a forecast of the tide levels for the following two days and communicates it to the city. About three hours before the arrival of the tidal peak a system of alarm sirens, placed in the strategic points of the city, is triggered to warn the entire population.
WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF HIGH WATER
Venice is used to cohabiting with high water. It is good for tourists to know that when tides above 110 cm over the average sea level are forecast in the city, the population is warned by sirens.
At the same time routes on gangways are prepared in the city’s main streets. These routes are indicated also by notices put up on the landing jetties of Actv, the local public transport company.
The Actv water buses continue their service, sometimes partially changing route, but anyway guaranteeing access to nearly all of the city.
Only in presence of a very sustained tide, higher than 120 cm over the average sea level, you need RUBBER BOOTS to walk in Venice. DO NOT USE plastic trash bags to cover your feet because water leeks inside immediately, it is also very dangerous because you can easily slip and hurt yourself. Anyway we remind you that this phenomenon lasts only a few hours, i.e. the necessary time for the water to flow back out to sea.
When there is high water not all of Venice goes under water. Only exceptional high water affects nearly all of the city, and anyway, even in this case, the water level is really relevant only in the lowest parts, one of these being Saint Mark’s Square.
To have an idea of the extent of the city that is flooded in presence of sustained tides, the following table indicates the flooding percentages according to the tidal levels:
+100 cm: 5%;
+110 cm: 14%;
+120 cm: 29%;
+130 cm: 43%;
above 140 cm more than 54% of the city is flooded.
Written by Margherita Pasotto
The Mysteries of Cannaregio
In Cannaregio there are many hidden stories. Legends and tales halfway between reality and fiction, exciting to tell and fascinating to listen.
The Phantom of Marco Polo's wife
Marco Polo was a famous Venetian merchant. During a trip to China, he fell in love and married the Emperor's daughter. Together they returned to Venice, but the young Chinese princess was not well received by the sisters of Marco Polo, envious of her grace and beauty. In 1298 during a battle, Marco Polo was captured and taken prisoner. The wicked sisters told the princess that her husband had died although it was not true. In pain, the princess threw herself out the window and died instantly.
According to legend, if at night you pass in Corte del Milion, where Marco Polo once lived, you can glimpse the silhouette of a young woman dressed in white and hear her singing oriental songs.
The Camel House
The legend tells that a wealthy oriental merchant, having to leave his homeland for Venice, had a camel with a camel driver carved on the facade of his new Venetian home to make it easily recognizable to his beloved, who had not accepted his proposal to marry him: “so I leave with a broken heart and I will try to forget you, but if one day you want to reach me in Venice, all you have to do is ask where the camel house is”.
The girl never showed up... I guess she got lost in the narrow streets of Venice...
The Brothel of the Spirits
Near the Fondamente Nuove there is a lonely and melancholic outbuilding of Palazzo Contarini dal Zaffo, called the Brothel of the Spirits because considered to be the most haunted place in Venice.
It is said to be the seat of a sect that organized satanic ceremonies and rites. The stories describe hooded people and strange noises, similar to Gregorian chants that spread throughout the surrounding lagoon.
At night, through the windows there are those who saw the reflections of dim lights, similar to those of candles wandering around the halls of the building...
The Petrified Merchants of Campo dei Mori
Not far from the Camel House there is Campo dei Mori. Here lived Rioba, Santi and Alfani, three greedy unscrupulous merchants from the Peloponnese who deceived and defrauded the poor people. One day a woman prayed to God to curse the three merchants who had deceived her. Her prayers were accepted and the three merchants were transformed into statues.
The three stone busts were placed on walls of the square as a warning to swindlers and criminals.
Written by Margherita Pasotto
Festa del Redentore
The Basilica of Redentore is a glorious masterpiece of the Palladio. It is a keepsake from Venice for having been freed from the plague that between 1575 and 1577 killed more than 50,000 people.
To celebrate the end of the epidemic, a temporary pontoon bridge was built for the first procession to the basilica. The tradition continues every third Sunday of July. You reach the basilica by crossing the Giudecca Canal on foot on a floating path.
The real celebration is the night before the procession. Venice is lit by mega galactic fireworks, the most beautiful I have ever seen, the most powerful.
The fires begin at 11.30pm. But the party is also the anticipation: you drink and eat, everyone has cooked something, there is the duck, the saor and the watermelon. There are songs, toasts and stories told.
The blast that announces the start makes everyone put their glass down and fall silent.
Every year there are different choreographies, more or less spectacular according to the budget, but always there are the golden fountains and the "oooooh" of the spectators.
The part I prefer the most are the three fireworks that mark the end, sober, low and deaf but that reverberate inside you for hours and that move everyone, always.
This year we will pay homage to the Redentore with a different spirit ... perhaps more aware and grateful.
Written by Margherita Pasotto
Safe Holidays 2020
We have reopened the Giorgione certain to be able to guarantee you a safe stay.
The whole hotel is constantly sanitized and disinfected.
The staff is trained and updated on all Covid-19 procedures in order to make your stay as safe as possible.
We are sure of your kind collaboration.
Covid-19 hotel protocol:
- All rooms are sanitized and disinfected.
- Staff will constantly wear masks and when required also gloves.
- Our kind guests have to wear masks inside the hotel.
- Our kind guests will find a series of stations for hand disinfection.
- The breakfast buffet service will be provided by our staff. We ask our kind guests not to form queues, gatherings and to respect the safety distances. We ask our guests to patient if there was a little waiting.
- All tables in the breakfast room are positioned at a safe distance.
- All common areas are sanitized several times a day, with particular attention to handles, buttons, handrails and toilets.
- We ask our kind guests to let us have in advance the data necessary to speed up check-in and registration on arrival.
- The swimming pool is open. To avoid gatherings, upon arrival
Altane Veneziane: Looking afar in Venice
The altane, some kind of terraces built with wooden planks over the roofs of Venetian houses.
The altana was used to hang the laundry, to look forward, lighten hair, refresh the skin away from prying eyes, talk to the moon or in the moonlight, dream ...
Luckily, very little has changed … we keep fantasizing on the rooftops like cats, hoping that someone will listen!
The altane are structures located above the rooftops of Venice characterizing the architecture of the city, a sort of wooden terraces supported by pillars. If you have the opportunity to stand on a church tower or rooftop of a building, or if you just look up while walking through the calli of Venice, for sure you’ll notice a few.
The altana is not however a true terrace. The structure is made up of a tray of wooden boards exposed to the sun and winds, resting on the roof. It rests on small pillars, with perhaps a side leaning against the loft through which you will be able to go outside, often hitting your head against it after climbing into the house through the attic.
Written by Margherita Pasotto
Excellent location, walking distance to all siyes, very good family owned trattorias nearby
Lovely and friendly hotel
We really enjoyed our stay here. The hotel is very close to the centre but out of the main tourist area. The rooms are comfortable if slightly small. Well equipped and the hotel has a good, elegant style.
It was a special time.
The staff was amazing. They pointed us in the right direction every day! Couldn’t have asked for more!