Fondaco Benetton or dei Tedeschi

Former trading house of the German merchants

If you look along the canal from the Rialto Bridge, you will see the remarkable Fondaco dei Tedeschi on the right-hand side. The trading house was built in 1228 and is one of the oldest buildings in Venice.

 (Marco Secchi)

The building in its present form dates from the 16th century and was built entirely according to the Venetian architectural tradition. Even from a distance you can see the five large gates at the canal side which allowed merchant ships to be loaded and unloaded easily. The 4-floor building contains some 160 rooms – including 80 bedrooms and numerous magazines. It is perfectly designed for its function as a trading house on the Rialto. Unfortunately, only fragments survive from the magnificent facade which was once decorated with frescoes by Giorgione and Titian. It used to house the General Post Office of Venice. Now sold (once again ) to the Benetton Family this is the proposed transformation...

Does Venice really need a new departments store...?? Does it really need such a transformation on an iconic building?

20 Great Things to do in Venice 11/20 – Buy a Gondola!

Ok not a real Gondola but the best thing after that. Alberto Penzo in his wonderful shop  at S Polo 2681 sells amazing Venetians boats reproductions, not the tacky plastic ones you see walking around, we are talking about real gondolas! The Venetian lagoon has a well-established ship-building tradition. Couple that with an intense passion for boat making and you have a stunning collection of gondola model boat kits constantly in production and on sale.

Gilberto Penzo, born in Chioggia in 1954 from a family of craftsmen and shipbuilders, lives in Venice where for many years he has been conducting a vast research, gathering and organizing information about traditional Venetian boats. Explanations and direct examples of the last remaining gondola builders (squerariòi), surveys of ancient templates and patterns, and - in ideal cases - the direct measurement of intact boats, are the sources which allow the author to reconstruct their forms and the construction methods used. These have given rise to a series of books, construction plans, models for museums and private collections, restorations ans reconstructions of boats.With a group of friends who share the same interest, he founded the association Arzanà in 1992 which specializes in the study and conservation of historical Venetian boats.

If you are not coming to Venice soon you can get them here

20 Things to do in Venice 10/20 - Venice Handmade shoes

The women and not only them of Venice have always paid particular attention to shoes. Today Venice’s artisan shoemakers strike a balance between style and comfort, handcrafting a wide range of boots and shoes using traditional techniques revisited with creative flair. There are three currently plying their trade from workshops within a few minutes of Rialto Bridge. And all of them are women.

Venice  Daniela Ghezzo  Handmade Shoes in Venice.Daniela, who owns this workshop, decided to follow in the footsteps of the master shoemaker Rolando Segalin. Her skilled hands and imagination work together to produce a highly diverse range of handmade shoes. From classic brogues to contemporary footwear you are sure to find something to satisfy even the most eccentric tastes...***Agreed Fee's Apply To All Image Use***.Marco Secchi /Xianpix.tel +44 (0)207 1939846.tel +39 02 400 47313. e-mail sales@xianpix.com.www.marcosecchi.com (Marco Secchi)

When Daniela Ghezzo San Marco 4365, calle dei Fuseri, was studying painting at the Fine Arts Academy in Venice, she found herself constantly drawing footwear, and instinctively knew that this was her real calling. When she was 18, Ms. Ghezzo began spending her days in the Segalin atelier By the time Signor Segalin retired, Ms. Ghezzo, then 24, felt confident enough to take over. With an assistant who does the stitching, she now produces around 10 pairs of shoes a month, at prices ranging from 700€, or about $960, for women and 800€ for men. Her customers wait around six weeks for delivery.

Giovanna Zanella, Campo San Lio, 5641  30122 Venice on the other hand, has an eye-catching range of footwear on display at her colorful workshop in the Castello district. While Ms. Ghezzo favors the classic look, Ms. Zanella goes for flamboyance and delights in the outré touch. The daughter of a master glass-blower, she first opened her store 15 years ago, making hats, bags and other accessories, but shoes have been her sole focus for the past 10 years.

The third shoemaker also learned from Mr. Segalin during two extended visits to Venice before she set up her own atelier in the San Polo district in 2003. Her background, however, is otherwise entirely different. Gabriele Gmeiner   campiello del sol san polo 951 30125 Venice was born in Austria and took a diploma in footwear technology and design in London, which she followed with workshops in Vienna and Paris. Later came experience with John Lobb in London and Hermès in Paris.

Glass blowers of Murano hit by crisis

Venice The winds of crisis howling through the world are rattling the doors of the glass blowers of Murano.and more and more furnaces are closing leaving space for more hotels and tourist attactions...HOW TO LICENCE THIS PICTURE: please contact us via e-mail at sales@xianpix.com or call our offices in  London   +44 (0)207 1939846 for prices and terms of copyright. First Use Only ,Editorial Use Only, All repros payable, No Archiving.© MARCO SECCHI (Marco Secchi) Glass artisans have been hit by a new crisis and Murano main economy is on the point of collapse The numbers of sales have been plummeting and many furnaces are closing down. Venice has become almost completely dependent on tourism but the glass blowers are quite as central to Venice’s identity as the gondoliers. I am afraid, space for more hotels and tourists accommodations.

Historic Atelier Pietro Longhi

This is a Magical place...with a capital M. They make the costumes for nearly all the Venetian theatres, Museums, and also for many historical TV and cinema films made in the city. Costumes can be custom made and ordered for the Carnevale. There is even a selection for rent.

VENICE, ITALY - JANUARY 20:  Choreographer Raffaele Dessi (L) and tailor Francesco Briggi (R) of the historic atelier Pietro Longi check few costumes on January 20, 2012 in Venice, Italy. This is one of the busiest periods of the year for the atelier as the next few weeks the streets and canals of Venice will be filled with people attending the carnival,  wearing highly-decorative and imaginative carnival costumes and masks. (Marco Secchi)

VENICE, ITALY - JANUARY 20:  Choreographer Raffaele Dessi (L) and tailor Francesco Briggi (R) of the historic atelier Pietro Longhi check few costumes on January 20, 2012 in Venice, Italy. This is one of the busiest periods of the year for the atelier as the next few weeks the streets and canals of Venice will be filled with people attending the carnival,  wearing highly-decorative and imaginative carnival costumes and masks.

There is a wide range of costumes available, but the majority are linked to the city's history. They even made a replica of Henry the VIII  dress, exactly identical to the original; the only problem is that it weighs in my view more than 3 kilos.

They make the three cornered hats, "zimare"  etc etc! Everybody is really lovely, helpful and they have so many stories to tell you that you do now want to leave!