Highlights from the Book: Soul of Venice

Recommendations by Servane Giol
Servane Giol has been living in Venice over 20 years. She opened a theatre school for children and created the Compania Falier theatre group which develops shows for charity. She is the author of the book Soul of Venice from which she has selected her top 5 highlights for this guide.


Arguably the most beautiful church on earth, there is a way to visit St Mark’s Basilica after hours. Approximately half an hour after the basilica closes to the public, it reopens for Vespers. Meet them on the left side of the building, hide your camera and indicate that you intend to pray and the guard will let you in. Once inside, keep a low profile, sit down quietly, savour the gorgeous singing and marvel at the basilica in all its splendour.

Basilica de San Marco
Piazza San Marco 328
20100 Venezia
Vespers time: 5.30pm


Located in the beautiful Pisani Palace, the Benedetto Marcello Conservatory includes a small museum of musical instruments and a magnificent concert hall which is open to the public. Go visit the hall and enjoy the performance of talented students, free of charge.

Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello
San Marco 2810
30124 Venezia


Hidden behind San Marco, the Acqua Alta bookshop displays its fantastic books in unusual ways. Bathtubs, canoes and even gondolas have been transformed into creative shelving for both old and new exemplaires. The owner, Luigi Frizzo will happily show you around his labyrinth of books knowing where to find exactly what you are looking for. Climb the book staircase to discover a magnificent view of the Venetian Lagoon.

Libreria Acqua Alta
Calle Lunga Santa Maria Formosa 5176B
30122 Venezia
Tel.: +39 041 296 0841
Open daily from 9.15am to 7.45pm


The Bevilacqua, one of the city’s wealthiest families, are now sixth generation weivers. In addition to their exceptional know-how they own an amazing wooden loom that dates back to the 18th century and is still in operation today. This loom is located behind their atelier and can only be visited by appointment. The visit will allow you to see and experience weivers working on velvet, silk and gold threads using ancestral techniques.

Luigi Bevilacqua
Campiello de la Comare 1320
30135 Venezia
Tel.: + 39 041 721 566
By reservation only


*Not in the book


Since over a hundred years, two specific jewelers have dominated the history of Venetian jewellery. Both situated next to piazza San Marco, they have built a very specific and identifiable style. Nardi, which overlooks the piazza, specialises in luxurious and ‘touristic’ souvenirs. There you will find a precious Rialto bridge made of gold and ruby, or earrings in the shape of the Salute Church. Codognato in turn offers skulls, snakes and memorabilia reminiscent of a treasure hunt making this an unmissable destination.

Piazza San Marco 69
30124, Venezia

Piazza San Marco 1295
30124, Venezia

Open from 10.30am to 6.30pm
Closed on Sunday and Monday


Massimo is one of the greatest contemporary glass artists in Venice. Renowned for his exceptional colour sensibility, he creates highly coveted works with a refined modern aesthetic. His pieces are held in various museum collections but you can always visit the display selection in his gallery.

Massimo Micheluzzi
Ponte delle Meraviglie 1071
30123 Venezia
Open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 7pm

You can purchase Servane Giol’s guide Soul of Venice by Editions Jonglez on www.amazon.com

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