HIDDEN TREASURES

Anecdotes and Curiosities about Venice and other cities in Veneto: history, secrets and legends

Discover a different side of this wonderful Italian region

Hidden Treasures is a weekly column on venetoinside.com dedicated to those who wish to learn about legends, secrets and mysteries of the lesser-known sights of Venice as well as off-the-beaten track locations, amusing anecdotes related to the other main cities - Verona, Vicenza, Padova, Treviso and Belluno – and the picturesque towns of our region.

Our stories aim to accompany you in the discovery of the most interesting aspects of Venice and Veneto related to history and folklore, mysterious places and famous works of art, monuments and ancient traditions! We will reveal the hidden treasures of Venice that make up the most mysterious and fascinating character of the city as well as the mysteries of the lagoon and original tales, all based on a foundation of historical fact, without forgetting the intriguing anecdotes on the other pearls of Veneto, such as Treviso, Verona, Vicenza, Padua and Belluno, picturesque villages, the awe-inspiring Dolomites, Lake Garda... Week after week we will disclose the most captivating secrets of our land combining art, culture, tradition, mystery and legend!

Hidden Treasures is a true tourist guide to the secrets and mysteries of Venice and Veneto ... Make yourself comfortable! Exciting reading awaits you with stories and legends never told before which will excite your curiosity and encourage you to visit the places you will learn about...

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Highlights

paradiso-tintoretto

'Il Paradiso' by Jacopo Tintoretto at the Doge’s Palace

During the visit to the Doge's Palace, one of the most beguiling halls is certainly the Great Council Chamber, a symbol of the thousand-year long history of the Serenissima Republic of Venice. On the eastern wall of the immense and sumptuous room is a wide wooden platform on which are the stalls where the doge and his counsellors would sit. At least until the middle of the sixteenth century, this platform was surmounted by a huge fresco spanning the entire wall, commonly known as Il Paradiso and depicting the Coronation of the Virgin before the celestial hierarchies. The work was carried out around 1365 by the most famous local artist of the time, the Padua-born Guariento (active between 1338 and 1367). Damaged over time and almost completely destroyed by the blazing fire that broke out in this part of the building in 1577, the government launched a competition to create a new work, which saw the participation of several artists. Remarkably, the commission was given not to one but to two artists, Paolo Veronese and Francesco Bassano, who were supposed to work together. In 1588, when Veronese suddenly died, the work was still to be completed, probably due to the profound differences between the two artists. The task was then entrusted to Tintoretto, who worked on it, greatly helped by his son Domenico, between 1588 and 1592. In the composition of the immense canvas - 22 meters wide and 7 high – the Signoria demanded that the representation of the Paradise include an illusionary depiction of the stall on which the doge was sitting, with a direct vertical symmetry between the divinity, and the light radiating from it, and the head of state in his functions placed among the blessed, the angelic hierarchies and those elected in the Venetian assembly. Take advantage of our unusual guided visits to come into contact with Tintoretto and his masterpieces in the lagoon!

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