Visit Venice Italy

Glossary of Places and other things which are not served!

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A

Acqua Alta

Acqua Alta occurs when certain events coincide; the high tide forms an alliance with low pressures and their windy friend, Sirocco, joins with our friend la Lune (the moon). These elements together trigger the across-the-board flood of waters of the lagoon in Venice.

Besides, in case of serious Acqua Alta, you will be told. Foghorns (which still date to the last world war), will shout a warning signal. If you are surprised in city without boots, the dealers will be delighted to give you plastic bags for makeshift boots to make waiting better!
(See our page devoted to Acqua Alta)

By deriving from Acqua Alta, the Venetians called “Braghe Acqua Alta” too short, inelegant trousers, with ankles comically left uncovered, as though they had been deliberately cut not to wet hemlines.

Altana

Henri de Regnier's Altana at Ca' Dario Venice Italy
Henri de Regnier's Altana at Ca'Dario
The Altana are everywhere in Venice ; just look up to see these small wooden terraces decorating the rooftops with flowers.

They are often situated on fine columns of bricks but the rest always seems very fragile.

Often full of flowers with some chairs and a table, a good place to drink Spritz between friends.

Opposite is the photograph of the Altana from Ca' Dario in Dorsoduro, which inspired the book of Henry de Régnier “Altana or Venetian Life”

Arsenal

Built in year 1104, the Arsenal of Venice impressed other countries so much with its organization and its size, that no less than 14 countries adopted word Arsenal in their own language. It was at the same time a strengthened harbor at the same time as a huge dockyard with about 16,000 workers for the most prosperous period. Within the Arsenal are “Darsene”, the darses.

Entrance of the Arsenal of Venice Italy
Entrance of the Arsenal of Venice
The famous Jean-Baptist Antoine Colbert, Marquis of Seignelay, dedicates about 50 pages to the Arsenal of Venice in his book on Italy in 1671. To say the least, he was impressed:

« It has three milles of periphery and is very locked up; they can enter there by sea or ground, but these two doors are so near one anothers than they can say that it is only one entrance.

The sea entrance leads to a channel which is the necessary breadth to cross galleys, which are the biggest vessels who are made in the Arsenal ; and that of ground is a kind of hall where are held all officers who can look on the workers and on everything, what enters and goes out in the Arsenal... »
Jean-Baptist Antoine Colbert

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B

Bacino (Bacini in the plural)

Bacino di San Marco in Venice Italy
Bacino di San Marco in Venice
It is not the sea nor is it a channel anymore.

That's how the expanse of water between the sestiere San Marco and the island of San Giorgio is named: the Bacino San Marco.

Barene

Barene are islets formed by sediments brought in by the sea and wild and somewhat varied vegetation grows there, they are covered with water during high tide.

Bauta

Venetian Bauta
Venetian Bauta
Bauta is the famous carnival mask that hides the biggest part of the face to preserve the wearer’s anonymity.

It is the forefather of the actual adorned masks.

As the origin of carnival idea was definitely to blend in with the masses, not to be acknowledged, to all have the same mask therefore was quite common.

Bilancia

It is a big fishnet firmly tied by four piles on the banks of a channel.

Bimàh

It is the pulpit where were the Hebrew sacred texts were read in synagogues.

The very nice Bimàh of Scuola Levantina and its double wooden sculpted staircase in the Ghetto Vecchio deserve a visit in this title.

Blonde Venetian

Oh yes! They were dark-haired women and not fair-haired women and spent their time dying their hair by using one thousand potions and feminine secrets so that their hair became the famous strawberry blond.

Worse, once the blend was spread over her hair, she went up to Altana to dry it during one hour or two in hot sun.

To keep her pale complexion, also in fashion during that same time, the Venetian put on a hat with a very broad rim by the top of which the hair left, spread out over all the lathe of the hat for better drying while the tender skin of their owner was protected from the burn of the sun.

That it not was necessary you make to be beautiful!

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Bora

It is the rather violent east-north-east wind which blows on Adriatic.

Bottegha

Boutique, shop, or store. In the plural, Botteghe.

Bricole

These are posts planted in the lagoon to indicate the channels to boats. To move away from it almost certainly means running ashore.

Bucintoro

Engraving representative the Bucintore bucintoro
Engraving representative the Bucintore
Bucintoro or Bucentore was the boat of the doges, covered with gold leaf, of course, as all that was affiliated with the doges was wealth... wealth... and more wealth.

Unfortunately, it was destroyed by Napoleon who left only quite negative marks here.

Buranelli

It is the name given to the inhabitants of the island of Burano.

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