AWAI Photography Workshop, Venice Tour

Our day began with a three-hour guided tour of Venice. One of our stops was the original Jewish Ghetto, Il Ghetto. The word ghetto has become synonymous with urban slums and the persecution of the Jews by the Germans; but its origin is in the Italian word, "ghettare", meaning "cast in metal". It was so-called because it was established on the site where old foundries were located.

The entrance to the ghetto

Two young men from today's ghetto area

One of the synagogues in the ghetto

From Il Ghetto, we walked over bridges and along canal sides to Il Campo Dei Mori. This was once the home of the Mastelli brothers, who arrived in Venice from Morea in the Peloponnese in the 12th century. The brothers were primarily silk merchants, but were thought to have made much of their wealth by investing in the Fourth Crusade, and receiving part of the plunder as their reward.

A statue of one of the Mastelli brothers in Campo Dei Mori

This brother had to have his nose replaced, as people thought
they would have good fortune if they touched it.
Unfortunately, they wore his nose away!

Our next destination was the fish market on the other side of the Grand Canal. We crossed in a tragghetto, one of the passenger boats that ferry people from one side of the canal to the other. These tragghetti have mostly been run by the same families for many generations, who use old gondolas that have been stripped of all their finery.

It's quite common for passengers to stand in the tragghetti, 
while crossing the Grand Canal

Our group climbing into a tragghetto

We also visited a tiny workshop where gondolas are made and refurbished.

As the sun was beginning to set, we took our tripods and set them up to practice capturing shots in the fading light. This definitely needs more practise on my part! NOT an easy task!

We were rewarded for our patience with a beautiful sky!

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