Hey Kids! Let’s Save Venice with Leo!

Ready for this adventure? Hi kids!
My name is Leo, I am a big Venetian cat, born out of the imagination of a famous local writer, Alberto Toso Fei, and thanks to the determination of those people who believe that after all it is not that difficult to respect Venice, and I mean the guys of the publishing house Lineadacqua.
I would like to invite you to a very special walking tour all around my city, to discover its incredible beauties, as well as the perils that threaten it…

The Beauties of Venice…

We will start our walk from St. Mark’s Square. This is the very heart of the city.
Have you ever visited the Ducal Palace? To tell you the truth, this is not its real name: in Venice there wasn’t any duke, there was instead a doge, which is the  Venetian word for president. Venice was in fact a Republic. So its correct name would be Doges’ Palace or Palace of the Great Council. Who knows why in recent times the name has been changed… It is indeed a marvellous palace, apparently so light and elegant with its numerous columns and pointed arches…

The Doges’ Palace
Next to the palace we can admire St. Mark’s Basilica, which would be called for centuries the Golden Basilica… in fact, as you can see even from the outside, it was decorated with a great amount of this precious metal. Just think that inside it is totally covered with thousands of square meters of mosaics, made out of coloured glass, and over one half of the surface has gold leaf on top!

St. Mark’s Basilica 
I will also show you the Clock Tower, St. Mark’s Bell Tower, the famous Bridge of Sighs (by the way, do you know why this bridge is called like this? For some reason I think that its name was probably different at the origins…).

The Clock Tower
We will then walk away from the square, to admire different atmospheres and to discover original characteristics of my city…
For instance, have you noticed how many strange creatures can be found on the walls of the Venetian buildings all around the city? But above all, have you seen how many dragons there are?

A Knight and a Dragon in the Greek district
One thing that might be interesting is also the fact that all the names of the streets and squares are written not in Italian, but in Venetian. Yes, these are different languages.The Italian word for street, for example, is via, but in Venetian we say calle, from the Latin word callis, which means narrow street! Let’s read together some other curios names!

Street names
We will keep walking along narrow alleys off the beaten path, and we will finally reach the Rialto Bridge and the Grand Canal… so stunning!

The Rialto Bridge 

… And the Perils.

However, Venice is also a fragile city. Human beings have created such a unique city, but at the same time this has meant that we constantly have to fight against Nature to preserve it. One of the problems that afflict Venice is the famous acqua alta, i.e. the frequent floods that affect St. Mark’s Square and the lowest calli and campi, and sometimes almost the entire city!

Acqua alta in Venice
But also the wakes of the motor boats create so much damage, as they hit the foundations of the buildings and deteriorate the islands. Water is by itself a very strong element with which it is hard to fight, but if the waves become higher, more frequent and stronger because of motor boats, the damage is devastating…

Wake of a motor boat
One more issue that Venice has to cope with is the massive presence of pigeons and seagulls. Seagulls in particular tend to be quite aggressive. Can you then understand why there exists a law that forbids anyone to feed the birds?

A seagull
And then there is the risk that my city might be transformed into an amusement park some day, that people might forget that this place should be respected and protected instead. And probably the cause of all this is the greed of the grownups, who can be held responsible…
But with the help of all the children, all together we can make a difference! We should try hard to preserve the beauty of Venice, but we also have to keep in mind that we cannot compete with Nature, which will always prove to be stronger than human beings. Nonetheless, we should all become aware of the fact that this is a very fragile place that deserves all our attention and respect. And this attitude might help the Queen of the Adriatic to survive a little longer.
I’ll be waiting for you, so that I’ll be able to show you all these aspects of my wonderful city. Ciao!

You might be also interested in  the following guided tours and blogposts: 

Kids tours. (section: Itineraries

Venice tour for kids: the museum of Natural History. (section: Blog)

Venice and its legends: saints, dragons and princesses. (section: Blog)

A customized tour of artisan Venice: Luca and Michele's typography. (section: Blog)

Venice for kids: the legend of Melusina. (section: Blog)

Our guided and private tours of Venice. (section: Blog)