Fives’ Favorites for Learning About Venice

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Now that our memorable two days in Venice are complete, we wanted to share some of the resources we found useful in preparing for our visit.

DSC06349-picsayLegos
Nothing helps you appreciate amazing architecture like trying to build it yourself. After brushing up on the sights we would see in Venice, we took out the Legos and set to work on gondolas, cathedrals, and bridges. In the week leading up to our trip, Five of Heart’s take on the Rialto Bridge (see pictures) served as a wonderful daily reminder of our upcoming adventure.

Thief LordThe Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
This exciting tale of runaway children living in the city traverses famous landmarks and lesser-known places alike. It gave us both a good sense of the city’s geography as well as a novel way to see Venice through the eyes of characters who reside there.

Venice Backstage: How Does Venice Work?
This video is part of a great web site created by the Venice public works department. In addition to videos, there are high-quality PDFs that go into more detail about the behind-the-scenes infrastructure that makes Venice livable for its inhabitants. Ever wondered how Venetians built heavy granite cathedrals atop soft, gooey mud? Or how they got fresh water in the middle of a salty lagoon? Venice Backstage is the place to find these answers and more.

Magic Tree HouseMagic Tree House #33: Carnival at Candlelight by Mary Pope Osborne
Jack and Annie’s adventure at Venice’s Carnivale gave us a wonderful walk-through of what we would see in and around Saint Mark’s Square. From the Bridge of Sighs to winged lions that actually fly, this Magic Tree House story really makes the sights and sounds of Venice come alive (literally). There were dozens of things we recognized in person because we had first experienced them in this book.


Crash Course: Venice and the Ottoman Empire: Crash Course World History #19
As always, John Green gives an entertaining whirlwind account of world history, and this episode does a nice job explaining Venice’s rise to power, its abundance of marble, and why a saint’s remains were transported in a barrel of pork. If we ever follow through with our Venice t-shirt idea (the phrase “Working like a Doge” with an accompanying Doge-y picture), John Greene will definitely get a complementary shirt in honor of his tireless service to the realm of knowledge.

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