tour of Venice

Venice, Italy



refer square (3) draw/drew/drawn (3)
unique star (2) sink/sank/sunk
canal aesthetic point of view
ensure maintain dimension (3)
grand preserve keep up with
palace journey build/built/built
stroll chandelier stand/stood/stood
honor beneath once upon a time
poet figure (3) contemporary
collect get around stroll along
exhibit treasure renovation
active productive buy/bought/bought
bridge uncover meet/met/met
route primary magnet (2)
island spot (2) hidden corner
colony transform hide/hid/hid
gather connect run/ran/ran






Napoleon once referred to St. mark’s Square as the drawing-room of Europe: only about 60,000 people live in Venice’s city center — but it draws in around 20 million tourists from around the world every year.

Venice is constantly in danger of sinking, but that hasn’t stopped architect Sylvia Raffaello from living here. The Academy bridge is a favorite spot of hers.

Silvia Raffaello, Architect: “Look at this; it’s wonderful. From an aesthetic appoint of view, of course, we live in the inside the beauty, the history. So the architecture in Venice has a different meaning from the rest of the world, so of course mainly we have to preserve and we have to transform it.”

Raffaello’s job is to ensure the city’s historic buildings are maintained and keep up with the times.

Silvia Raffaello, Architect: “I really like Felichi Cafetti; it’s my favorite building along the Grand Canal. I would like to maintain those building, and to do something inside.”

Palazzo francotti is a palace that was built in the 16th century. Since 2009 it has housed a museum that honors the Venetian art of glassmaking. Contemporary works stand beneath a hundred-year-old chandelier.

Rosa Barovier Mentasti, Glass Historian: “Venice used to have an old, very heavy, all the story. But also it is opened to the new.”

Venice’s water buses, the vaporetto, takes its passengers on a journey through time. Many of these houses were built in the 12th century. Once upon a time, historical figures like Italian poet Dante or German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe would stroll along the Rialto Bridge. Venice has always been a magnet for artists.

Silvia Raffaello, Architect: “And this is Palazzo grassi. I like it. I think they have done a really good job because they made a huge renovation inside.

French billionaire art collector Francois Pinault bought the palace as a place to exhibit his art treasures. One of the biggest contemporary art collections in the world, the works have been on exhibit since 2006.

Martin Bethenod, Palazzo Grassi Curator: “In the 16th century, the 17th century, 18th century, all the artists of their time who were productive, were active in Venice. And why this should stop? No, Venice is still a living City.”

The Lido is where stars have been meeting for 80 years to attend film festivals. Venice is built on more than a hundred islands that are connected by over 400 bridges. Around 150 canals serve as the city’s primary transport routes. The best way to get around is by gondola, the traditional Venetian boat that can help you uncover the hidden corners of the city.

The people who live in Venice have developed a unique way of living thanks to the city’s unusual geography.

Silvia Raffaello, Architect: “It is a special city and that’s why it’s slow, so you have to run and jump over the bridges and running every day. But it’s nice the human dimension because it’s all the time I used to say hello to everybody because I used to meet people as you don’t have cars you had to meet people walking through the colonies.

In the evenings the people of Venice gathered together in places like Campo Santa Margarita or the Strada Nova where there’s plenty of room to relax. A glass of Prosecco and antipasti the perfect way to end an evening in this magical city on the water.

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1. Every year, many people visit Venice. True or false?

2. Is the architecture of Venice new and modern, or old and traditional? Are the buildings of Venice new and modern or old and classical?

3. Do Venetians make arts and crafts? Do they produce artworks? Give examples.

4. People travel around Venice mostly by buses, trams and trolleys. Is this right or wrong?

5. Have only ordinary people in modern times visited Venice?

6. What numbers were mentioned in the video?

7. The residents of Venice are very social and friendly. Is this correct or incorrect?


A. My friends and I have visited Venice. Yes or no? If yes, what was it like?

B. Would you and your friends, classmates, colleagues and neighbors like to visit Venice?

C. What are some famous or popular tourist destinations in your country?

D. I have ridden or sailed on a boat. True or false?

E. What might happen to Venice in the future?

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