Travel to Venice and the Veneto in Italy – Amateur Traveler Episode 182 Transcript

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Travel to Venice and the Veneto in Italy – Episode 98 Transcript

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Travel to Venice and the Veneto in Italy – Episode 98 Transcript

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Chris: And what part of Venice is that in?

Ira: Ok, Venice is divided into six areas called sestiere, which is the sixth version of a quadrant. It’s in the area known as Cannaregio, which was an old foundry district until the 15th century. Actually to get there, basically you’re there if you get off the train at Santa Lucia Station. Get off and by the way it is really, really a shattering, earth shaking, wonderful experience, if you come in by train, as a lot of people will. Get off the train, walk right outside and you’re facing the Grand Canal. Since she’s not here to defend herself, our daughter really got emotionally shook up saying, ”My god this is just like it is in every picture you’ve ever seen” and you haven’t done much more than walk down a flight of stairs and look straight ahead. Ok, you’re on a street called Lista di Spagna and if you turn left along this street actually you’ll pass some hotels, some are very nice. The Principe was a hotel we stayed in the first time we went. Keep on going and cross over a very small canal, go over a bridge, turn left and you’ll see a kosher restaurant and that’s the entrance to the ghetto. Now if you’re a bad speller you will love Venice. The reason being is that Venetian dialect allows things to be spelled pretty much the way our ancestors did, namely any way you want to. As you see the ghetto, you’ll see it spelled with one “t” in some places, two “t’s” in another and sometimes facing one another. Along the way, unfortunately you run into all too many of the downside of Venice which are the tourist shops but some of them have some nice stuff and if you’re not planning to take a trip to Murano for glass, if you’re selective there are some nice things. But the point is, you go across this small tributary, go left and then go right into the ghetto itself. And it’s a historically important, actually, pair of areas. You have the new ghetto and old ghetto but understand new and old are really relative terms and the new ghetto is actually older than the old ghetto. Go figure that one out.

Chris: Now you are on a street Lista di Spagna. Was this ghetto formed from Jews who were expelled from Spain?

Ira: A lot of them were. Yes, and in fact, we have a friend who owns a glass shop who has his store in the ghetto. David’s Shop. Very nice guy. Runs it with his sister. They were saying they were of Spanish extraction. And they had only lived there like 400 years. They’re kind of newcomers.

Chris: Just in passing there we mentioned, “If you don’t get out to Murano”. Why would one go out there?

Ira: It is kind of fun. You can go out to one of the glass blowing plants. You’ve got to be very careful because a lot of the trips you get are sponsored by hucksters who will push you into their shop, which won’t be necessarily the best one. And sometimes you’re better off spending a little bit of money and paying for the vaporetto. The vaporetto are the water taxis. Vaporetti are the water taxis, get it plural. But you go there and it is an interesting experience. You probably will want to get at least some small token to bring home, like a glass or something like that. Or if you want to get something larger. If there’s anything in the world they know how to do, it’s to ship things without breaking them.

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by Chris Christensen

I am the host of the Amateur Traveler. The Amateur Traveler is an online travel show that focuses primarily on travel destinations and what are the best places to travel to. It includes both a weekly audio podcast, a video podcast, and a blog.

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