IOI day trip to Venice now on

Venice welcomes the competitors of IOI 2012, soon to discover the charm of its artistic and architectural heritage.

The visit starts with a cruise along Venice’s main waterway, the Grand Canal, which cuts through the heart of the city for almost 4 km.

Many beautiful palaces and churches line the banks of the Canal: the magnificent 17th century Palazzo Labia; the Fondaco dei Turchi founded in the 13th century; the famous Ca’ d’Oro, probably the most beautiful example of Venetian floral gothic architecture, and many others.

Just before the Rialto Bridge, there is the lively Pescaria, the fish market, and the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, now the main Post Office. After the bridge are the Ca’ Loredan and the Ca’ Farsetti, both from the 13th century.

The Canal ends in St Mark’s Basin where there will be a pause to take in the Doge’s Palace and St Mark’s Basilica, Venice’s most renowned landmark.

The Doge’s Palace ruled the Republic of Venice until 1797. Rebuilt several times, it is decorated with artistic masterpieces, amongst which can be seen paintings by Tintoretto, Titian and Veronese. At the heart of the Palace is the great Sala del Maggior Consiglio where, from 1200 on, Venetian nobles gathered to legislate.

St Mark’s Basilica, with its characteristic cupolas and precious gold mosaics, was built in 828 to house the remains of St Mark, stolen from Alexandria by two Venetian merchants.

The trip ends with a visit to the Arsenal, the source of Venetian sea power since the 12th century. The powerful ships built here enabled the creation of the Venetian commercial empire and its defence against Turkish expansion. The arsenal was organised like an assembly line and covered a vast area.