The ghetto and the lagoon
From the hotel, we walk to the Fondamente Nuove via the Jewish ghetto, where we will have breakfast and dinner. Here we take the boat that passes Isola di San Michele, Murano and Burano to finally arrive at the island of Torcello. You have probably heard quite a bit about this unique island in class. It had much greater importance in the 11th century and was home to more people than Venice. After disembarking, we will walk along the canal to the church.
Campo del Ghetto Nuovo Other side of the Ghetto
“Initially, the ghetto housed around 600 Jews, but by the end of the century, it had grown to over 2000, and this figure was expected to rise to 4000. Because the area where all those people ended up was quite limited, they had to build vertically. Therefore, the highest houses in the city are located in the ghetto, sometimes up to eight stories high, often with one shared staircase for two adjoining houses. They were the first Venetian apartment buildings, which must have looked like skyscrapers at the time. […] The ghetto was closed off with two robust gates that closed at night. At the expense of Jewish inhabitants, armed guards would patrol along the walls and canals. To make matters worse, the Jews were not allowed to own anything and were required to pay a residency fee to the state, a kind of residence permit, which had to be renewed every five, seven or ten years. Jews were not allowed to enter the city on Christian holidays and they were not allowed to practice ‘noble’ professions, except medicine, because they were good at it. Because it suited the Venetians, Jewish doctors were allowed out of the ghetto at night to offer help.” Translated from: Luc Verhuyck ‘Venezia Anekdotische reisgids voor Venetië’ Athenaeum-Polak & van Gennep, Amsterdam 2011 p. 202
Isola di San Michele Aerial Wikipedia
Vittore Carpaccio ‘Hunting on the lagoon’
“Hunting on the Lagoon” is a painting by the Renaissance artist Vittore Carpaccio, created in the late 15th or early 16th century. It is a large oil on canvas painting that depicts a hunting scene in the Venetian Lagoon, with boats, hunters, and animals filling the composition. Carpaccio was known for his vivid use of color and attention to detail, and “Hunting on the Lagoon” is considered an excellent example of his skill.
“Groups of three rowers and archers stand in shallow-bottomed boats and hunt cormorants, glossy black water birds. The archers use clay pellets rather than arrows in order to stun the birds and not damage their plumage. A pellet, seen in mid-air, has just been fired by an archer in the boat in the lower right-hand corner and is about to strike the bird in the foreground.” Cited from the Paul Getty Museum. The original panel was sawn in half.
Vittore Carpaccio ‘Hunting in the Lagoon’ oil on panel, 75.6 x 63.8 cm. c. 1495, J. Paul Getty museum
‘Two Venetian Ladies’ oil on panel, 94 x 63 cm. c. 1495, Correr museum Venice
Arriving Torcello vaporetto stop