Do you have a place where – it does not matter how many times you have been there already – you always feel special and different? That’s where you feel like taking off, where there is no such thing as reality but a different world and where you feel again powerful, extremely powerful, energetic and where life makes again sense. Well, I do, and I call them “My places of the heart”. They are for everybody but when I’m there, I feel like they were just mine. And I charge again my batteries and I’m ready to fight again with every day’s nuisances. These are my places of the heart in Venice, have you ever heard about any?
Giudecca Island and Villa Herriot
The Giudecca Island is kinda off-the-beaten-track; it used to be considered Venice’s garden” for the massive quantity of veggies orchards and vineyards looked after the friars of the monastic orders living on the islands. It’s now a residential area still not that crowded and still retaining a tranquil atmosphere. It’s ideal to enjoy an 180-degree view of Saint Mark’s Basin. On the Giudecca Island, you fill find one of Venice’s main venues for photography exhibitions, Casa Tre Oci. Quite hidden, on the Southern side of the Island, you will find Villa Herriot and its garden. Make sure you pay it a visit, you will have the feeling you are not in Venice any longer, if it wasn’t for the fantastic view of the Lagoon.
Castello and San Pietro di Castello
When I have friends visiting me in Venice, I’m asked where Venetians live. Well, I take them to Castello and San Pietro so that they can get a glimpse of everyday life: colorful laundry hanged out, not even half souvenir shop and still “Venetian looking faces” walking around. Castello really is a micro cosmo which still managed to survive the unstoppable process turning Venice into a tacky Disneyland. Also, if you want to kill 2 birds with one stone and happen to be in Venice in June, don’t miss “Sagra di San Pietro di Castello” one of Venice’s most-popular summer festivals for some great street food and some local vibes and music.
Rio della Sensa e Campo do Mori
This is probably one of the 1st places I fell in love with when I first moved to Venice. Fondamenta della Sensa is tucked away in Cannaregio, once a swamped area reclaimed by the friars living in one of the many monasteries, from Madonna dell’Orto to San Giobbe. Rio della sense run along my favorite fondamenta, with lovely hidden corners to discover, a beautiful canal view on the nearby Madonna dell’Orto. It takes you all the way to Fondamenta dell’Abbazia and the Misericordia Brotherhood (recently fully restored and currently accessible free of charge. On Fondamenta Do Mori, you will come across the picturesque Campo Do Mori: this campo is named after the statues of 3 brothers, Rioba, Sandi e Alfani, merchants you were probably living and managing their commercial activities right in this area.
Now, I of course love these 3 place even more during winter time, when Venice is kinda empty and I can enjoy them the best. Do you also have your very own place of the heart? Where are they, how do you feel when you are there?