This summer, Tadashi took time to visit the fabled destination of Venice, the city of water, canals, bridges, and ancient monuments. From the colorful buildings to the sprawling palazzos, the Venetian architecture was truly extraordinary. In other words, this Italian city was a hub of inspiration for his upcoming Spring 2015 collection. Tadashi visited many beautiful sites and historical landmarks, from the Islands of the Venice Lagoon and St. Mark’s Basilica. Romanced by Venetian lure, Tadashi’s trip was an inspirational exploration into Venetian artistry and architecture.
Land (and Sea) Marks
Tadashi has dreamed of visiting Venice for as long as he could remember. With a new collection to be made, Tadashi was drawn to the rich history of Venice. When you think of Venice, the vast maritime waterway that connects the city’s main sightseeing venues immediately comes to mind. This iconic canal, known as The Grand Canal in Venice, is bordered by the Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance styles of palaces, churches, hotels and other public buildings.
One of the most renowned sites of the Grand Canal is Ca’ d’Oro, also called the “golden house.” Known for the lavish decorations that once adorned its walls, the floral Gothic style of this palace is truly breathtaking.
Another landmark on the Grand Canal is Doge’s Palace. Built in the Venetian Gothic style, this was the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the Republic of Venice. Venice was once a trade center between Western Europe and the rest of the world. In addition to the spices from the East, the trade route also brought heavy architectural influence from the Islamic world seen on both the Ca’ d’Oro and the Doge’s Palace Façade. From the inflected arches of the windows to the marble-framed windows, Moorish elements are distinct in Venetian architecture.
One of the best examples of Venetian-Byzantine architecture is St. Mark’s Basilica. This cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Patriarchs of Venice, connected to the Doge’s Palace, is the city’s most famous and most visited church. A symbol of Venetian wealth and power, the Basilica showcases magnificent design, gold mosaics, and a unique treasury
The bridges are far more than a simple path to get from one place to another. One can admire the stunning scenery at the Rialto Bridge or analyze the glorious architecture of the Bridge of Sighs. The Rialto Bridge is the oldest across the canal and has always been a center of fashion. Built in stone with a distinguished arch design, it is the most visited and most photographed bridge in Venice.
Instead, The Bridge of Sighs was built to connect the New Prison to the interrogation rooms in the Doge’s Palace. The legend behind the bridge’s name discloses this was the last view of beautiful Venice that convicts saw before their imprisonment. On a more romantic note, a different legend of the name is if a couple kisses under the bridge while drifting below on a gondola at sunset, they will have eternal love. The Italian Renaissance style bridge is made of white limestone and has windows with stone bars stretching high above the canal.
Island hopping is always on the agenda for a trip to Venice. Tadashi’s first stop was Murano, a series of islands linked by bridges in the Venetian Lagoon. This mini trip included a fun excursion to the Murano Glass Museum. Murano glassmakers are well known for their innovative glassmaking technologies such as enameled glass, crystalline glass, and multicolored glass.
Tadashi also traveled to the island of Torcello, the first populated lagoon island of Venice. Today’s main attraction in Torcello is the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. The cathedral, styled in Venetian-Byzantine architecture, holds some of the most outstanding 11th-12th century mosaics in Venice including Madonna and Child. Next door to the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is the church of Santa Fosca, which is a Greek cross church dedicated to St. Fosca. These Byzantine influenced churches are iconic on the island of Torcello.
The next island stop in the Venetian Lagoon - Burano. Just 40 minutes from Venice by motorboat, Burano’s beautiful landscapes look like postcards coming to life. The island known for its brightly colored homes and stunning lacework, is home to many artists The Lace Museum, an enjoyable attraction on Burano, is a small museum with historical and contemporary lace designs.
In addition to the many attractive tourist destinations in Venice, there are also alluring places to visit off the sightseeing map. When tours refer to Rialto, they mean the bridge, but to Venetians they are referring to the markets. The Pescaria is the 19th century version of the original Venetian fish market. You can visit this site to find fresh fish, frozen imports, and fruits and vegetables. Take lunch around the Pescaria and enjoy a Bellini with the fisherman after shopping.
Doge’s Palace is a magnificent palace with stunning exterior but there is a place within this palace that is not so glamorous, the prisons. These tiny and barren cells were located on the ground floor of Doge’s Palace, but due to the limited space, expansion became necessary. The famous Bridge of Sighs was originally built as a walkway between Doge’s Palace and the New Prison. There are many historical sites to see around Venice, but an extensive look at Venice’s long history of sea travel can be seen at the Venice Naval History Museum. This interesting and inexpensive museum is a perfect place to get to know more about the trade and conquest of the Venetians. Venice has many secrets worth discovering.
Where to Stay
Although the extensive history of Venice is truly captivating, the city’s modern treasures also offer an unforgettable experience. Tadashi stayed in the Aman Canal Grande Venice, housed in Palazzo Papadopoli. When it was time to dip his feet in the ocean, Tadashi relaxed at the Hotel Excelsior on Venice Lido Beach. From the Moorish style to the lavish décor, the resort truly recalled the feel of a Venetian Renaissance Palace.
Aman Canal Grande Venice:
Address: Calle Tiepolo Baiamonte, 1364, Venezia, Italy
Phone: (39) 041 2707333
Hotel Excelsior on Venice Lido Beach
Address: Lungomare Guglielmo Marconi, 41, 30126 Lido Venezia, Italy
Phone: (39) 041 526 0201