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Aveiro – The Portuguese Venice

The unique lie of the land has endowed this enclave with canals plied by colourful boats known as moliceiros, decorated in the style of Venetian gondolas. This has led it to be nicknamed “The Portuguese Venice”.

The town centre is criss-crossed by these canals, which visitors must take to reach its sights, particularly in the old quarter of Boira Mar with its traditional houses and its estuary salt pans. A feature well worth observing are the typical azulejo-tiled facades. These veritable works of street art are all over Aveiro.

Aveiro has a vintage appearance which nevertheless blends well with modernity. This mix is partly the result of the proximity of the town’s university, which makes for a lively atmosphere at virtually any time of the year.

And Confectionery Too

If you’re visiting Oporto, you have the perfect excuse to head for this unusual town, which you are sure to enjoy. Don’t forget to try their typical ovos moles, a delicious confectionery originally made by the nuns of the Convent of Jesus. Legend places its origins in this convent around the 16th century. One of the conditions of the nuns’ oath of poverty was to not eat eggs. Despite using lots of them in the confectionery they made, a huge surplus built up month after month. According to period documents, this stockpile was added to by large amounts of sugar the nuns were allocated by Manuel I of Portugal. The sugar, eggs and the stamina to stir this sweet mixture for hours on end yielded what we now know as Aveiro’s ovos moles.

The recipe has hardly changed at all, although many confectioners now round off the process using a lukewarm syrup to which the eggs are added, and the mixture is stirred over a slow fire. The ovos moles are coated with wafer and normally moulded into the shapes of sea creatures, notably seashells, conches and fish. The sweet flavour is reminiscent of a Spanish, egg-yolk candy  known as yemas de Santa Teresa de Ávila.

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Text by Tensi Sánchez de http://www.actitudesmgz.com

Photos by Fernando Sanz

Texto de Tensi Sánchez de www.actitudesmgz.com

Fotos de Fernando Sanz


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Venice, 120 islands and 177 bridges

From Iñaki Makazaga by Piedra de Toque

We walked Venice at MyVuelingCity with Isabel Sanchez to discover different places in which to recover the attractiveness of European capitals. This time she guides us through the 120 islands of Venice city connected by 177 canals, within the gulf of the same name, on the Italian coast of the Adriatic Sea. “The city is sinking two millimeters a year: you have to hurry to meet with all its beauty”

Venice has always been the city of artists, entrepreneurs, traders and restless travelers, like the famous Marco Polo, who helped open the doors of the fabulous Eastern civilization to European people. And it was this talent concentration that produced the splendid flowering of Venice’s architecture, especially between the centuries 11th and 17th, when the most notable buildings, still in good condition, were built.

From Iñaki Makazaga by Piedra de Toque

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Venice The Loveliest City Every Built

Venice is a city in north-eastern Italy made up of 118 little islands separated by canals and joined by bridges. It is famous because of the beauty of its setting, and its architecture, and its art. This is why the whole city, including the famed lagoon, has been designated a World Heritage Site.

It is named for the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region in the tenth Century before Christ. The city is known variously as La Dominante, la Serenísima, the Queen of the Adriatic, the City of Water, the City of Masks, and the Floating City. In a piece inThe New York TimesLuigi Barcina described it as "the most beautiful city ever built by man”. It is universally regarded as one of Europe’s most romantic cities, where visitors can enjoy the waterway, gondolas, palazzos, old treasures, and delicious cuisine, as the water laps ceaselessly against the walls of fabulous churches and other ornate buildings. A boat ride down the Grand Canal makes you feel like a figure in an old painting.

Venice is an open-air museum. Its architecture, monuments, and buildings reflect its Byzantine heritage, and nowhere more strikingly than in the mosaics of the Basilica de San Marcos. Very near the Piazza de San Marcos (St. Mark’s Square),we find the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace), where the city’s ruler once dwelled, and which exemplifies the ostentation of the Renaissance period. Visitors may descend to the gloomy palace dungeons, and then get some fresh air on the famous Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs), where prisoners often caught their last glimpse of the Adriatic.

The city’s main street isn’t a street at all, but the celebrated Grand Canal. This is a good place to buy a City Pass, the most economical option for moving around Venice on its vaporetto water buses, with many stops along the Grand canal.

One of the numerous mansions along the canal is the sumptuous, 14th C. Palazzo de Santa Sofia; better known as the Ca d’oro, (house of gold), because the abundant gilt in the polychrome and white marble exteriors that once made this lovely Gothic building shine like a jewel. There is also the famous Rialto bridge, which retains all the elegance that made it such a sensation when it was completed in 1591, 400 years after the first pontoon bridge was built on the site.

A city’s true character is often to be found in its markets, and Venice has two that should not be missed by visitors. One is the Erbaria product and fish market in the Rialto district, where you should check out the local asparagus and artichokes. Then there is La Pescheria for a dazzling variety of mainly local fish and seafood.

For connoisseurs of Italian cuisine, the Riva del Vinis the place to find the café or restaurant of your dreams in a quiet riverbank setting. Other excellent restaurant districts are Campo Santa Margherita, with its floating terraces, Zattere, where you can watch the sun set over the Laguna Veneto, and the streets near the fashionable Campo Giacomo di Rialto,where many Venetians take their “aperitivi” in the late afternoon. Try a Spritz and a snack of delicious codfish. The classic Venetian recipe for Spritzes, by the way, is 1/3 dry wine like Prosecco, 1/3 soda or bubbly mineral water, and 1/3 sweet Aperol or bitter Campari.

Outstanding amongst the city’s numerous museums is the Guggenheim, with possibly the continent’s best collection of European and American art from the first half of the 20th C, housed in the old Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on the Grand Canal, where it was opened in 1980 to show Peggy Guggenheim’s personal collection, masterpieces from the Gianni Mattioli collection, a garden of sculptures by Nasher, and temporary exhibitions.

To view the city in all its splendour from a distance you can take a number 42 vaporetto at the San Sacaria stop in St. Mark’s Square to the island of Murano, passing the Fondamento Nuove and stopping to visit the San Michelle cemetery, a “cemetery island”, where you can see the graves of such luminaries as Igor Stravinsky, Joseph Brodsky, Sergei Diaghilev, Ezra Pound, and Luigi Nono.

If all the water makes you hanker for a beach, there’s the legendary,Lido –a 7-mile long sandbar in the lagoon– with its many stylish cafes and restaurants.

To really discover Venice, you need to get lost there, so use the vaporettos freely and get off at any stop –the streets are safe even after dark. And a night-time visit to St. Mark’s Square is an experience you will always treasure.

Venice. There’s simply nothing like it. However often you visit, the surprises keep coming! Now’s the time to book a flight there with Vueling. Check out our prices here!

Photos: Fernando Sanz
Text: Tensi Sánchez de actitudesmgz.com

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Nine Museums To Enthuse Over In Venice

We love Venice. It is one of the most exciting destinations in Europe. Its eventful history, canals, immortal alleyways and artistic grandeur make this the city where any art lover is likely to fall head over heels. And, no wonder – in addition to the hundreds of churches here, one of the world’s most important networks of museums span the lagoon. Museums which, to cap it all, are not accommodated in conventional spaces. Instead, they practically invade Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings and feature collections which now, well into the 21st century, are capable of giving you hiccups.

With access by gondola, vaporetto or on foot, these are the nine museums you simply cannot pass up the next time you go to Venice. Cominciamo!

1. Accademia – the Largest Collection of Venetian Art

The Gallerie dell’Accademia is housed in three former religious buildings and makes up the leading collection of Venetian art in the world. The exhibition covers five centuries of art, from the Middle Ages to the Rococo, boasting such essential works as Feast in the House of Levi, by Paolo Veronese, Titian’s Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple, Vittore Carpaccio's Saint Ursula Cycle, Finding of the Body of St Mark, by Tintoretto and Andrea Mantenga’s St George, in addition to early works by Lotto, the Bellini family and Tiepolo.

2. The Doge’s Palace – the Splendour ofLa Serenissima

While not a museum in the strict sense, the Doge’s Palace provides an essential visit for anyone seeking to grasp the splendour of the Venetian Republic. The seat of government, Palace of Justice and the Doge’s residence, this huge Gothic complex is the ideal place for delighting in some of the city’s foremost artworks, on the spot where they were conceived. Noteworthy, for instance, is the large-format Paradise, painted by Domenico and Jacopo Tintoretto, which presides over the Grand Council Hall. Another must-see are the canvases by Paolo Veronese in the Chamber of the Council of Ten and the luxurious Golden Staircase, built by Sansovino and decorated by Alessandro Vittoria.

3. Peggy Guggenheim Collection – Home of the Great Patroness of the Arts

Entering this unfinished 18th-century palace means venturing into the universe of the celebrated patroness, Peggy Guggenheim. Promoter of such artists as Klee, Pollock, Calder, Kandinsky, Ernst, Picasso, Moore and Braque, Guggenheim acquired this palace on the Grand Canal in 1949 and turned it into her residence. The collection is made up of 200 canvases and sculptures by renowned artists, including Dalí, Magritte, Chirico, Balla, Duchamp, Rothko, Picabia, Delauney, Malevich and Mondrian. Peggy Guggenheim bequeathed the collection to the foundation of her uncle, Solomon R. Guggenheim, on condition that it remained in the city.

4. Scuola Grande di San Rocco – the Finest Tintoretto

A must-see landmark, this former charity hospital built as a tribute to St Roch is one of the best places to see the work of Tintoretto. Completed in 1549, in 1564 Jacopo Tintoretto was commissioned to decorate the ceiling and walls of the Scuola. The standout monumental work in the complex is his Crucifixion, located in the Sala dell’Albergo, in which the artist achieved levels of sentiment never before seen in Venetian art.

5. Museo Correr – History of the Republic

Located in St Mark’s Square, this is one of the city’s leading museums. Based around the endowment which the abbot, Teodoro Correr, bequeathed to the city of Venice, it is the best place to learn the history of the Republic of Venice and the Italian Risorgimento movement. It also boasts a large collection of Venetian painting, particularly the work of Vittore Carpaccio.

Admission to the museum also gives visitors access to the Archaeological Museum and the Libreria Sansoviniana, designed by Jacopo Sansovino, of which Andrea Palladio said it was “the most beautiful building since ancient times”.

6. Museo Fortuny – a Spaniard in Venice

The late-Gothic-style Palazzo Pesaro was the residence of the famous Spanish textile designer, Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo, who acquired the building at the turn of the 20th century and lived there until his death. Both the building and its contents were bequeathed to the city by the artist’s widow in 1956. The elegant rooms provide the perfect backdrop for the Renaissance-inspired fabrics embroidered in gold and silver thread, and for the canvases, retables and Fortuny’s pleated silk dresses from the 1920s. A delightful visit.

7. Ca’ Pesaro – 20th Century Art Collection

This opulent Baroque palace houses the International Gallery of Modern Art. Founded in 1897, hanging on its walls are some of the most famous paintings by Gustav Klimt and Marc Chagall, in addition to works by Matisse, Miró, Klee and Kandinsky. Many of them were presented by these artists at the Biennial and acquired by the city. Be sure to visit the Museum of Oriental Art, on the third floor, as it features veritable jewels acquired by the Count of Bardi on his travels in the Far East in the 19th century.

8. Ca’ d’Oro – the Jewel of the Grand Canal

Works by Andrea Mantegna, Luca Signorelli, Vittore Carpaccio and Titian, as well as fabrics, frescoes and sculptures, come together in one of the most valuable displays on the Grand Canal. The museum, which since 1984 has housed the Franchetti Gallery, is located in a 15th-century palace regarded as the finest and most famous example of Venetian Gothic architecture. After undergoing alterations at various times in its history, the 1970s saw the restoration of the original splendour of its facade, one of the most beautiful in the city.

9. Ca’ Rezzonico – A Walk Through 18th-century Venice

This Baroque palace is one of the most priceless in Venice and one of the few palaces open to the public on the Grand Canal. Once famous for its sumptuous banquets, lavish parties and opulent decoration provided by the Rezzonico family, since 1934 it houses the Museo del Settecento, a collection of canvases, frescoes and artefacts which reflect 18th-century Venice. Be sure to visit the spectacular, restored ballroom designed by Giorgio Massari, featuring furniture by Andrea Brustolon, as well as a stunning gilt candelabra. Additionally, the ceilings in three rooms boast paintings by Giambattista Tiepolo.

Text by Aleix Palau for Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS

Images by Aleix Palau, QMeuh, Didier Descouens, Basilio Speziari, saragoldsmith, Michele Rienzo

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