Venice: A Vacation Destination For Hundreds of Years

This illustration of Venice accompanied a manuscript of one friar's journey from Venice to Egypt and Jerusalem. (Image of Venice supplied by the Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, II.IV.101, fol. 1v. With permission of the Ministero per i beni e le attività culturali e per il turismo / Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Florence.)

Health Editor’s Note: I have been there more than once. Even got lost in Venice one late night.  Venice is an awesome place to visit, that is if it is not under water..See earlier post… Carol 

14th-Century Illustration of Venice Is the Oldest Found Yet

By Theresa Machemer/

Friar Niccolò da Poggibonsi began his travelogue with a prayer. Per a modern translation, he asked that God and all God’s saints “bestow their grace” so he might accurately describe all the holy sites, “in order and without misstep,” that he had visited over the past four years.

After departing Venice in 1346, the Franciscan friar ventured to Jerusalem, Damascus, Cairo and Alexandria, writes researcher Kathryn Blair Moore in the journal Renaissance Quarterly. Niccolò took notes on gesso tablets while he traveled, and when he returned to Venice in 1350, wrote down his full firsthand account. The oldest manuscript of the work and its illustrations, titled Libro d’Oltramare, now resides in the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale in Florence.

It was here that Sandra Toffolo, a scholar of Renaissance Venetian history at Scotland’s University of St. Andrews, noticed an illustration showing the Italian city’s characteristic buildings, canals and gondolas. The illustration is the oldest drawing of Venice yet discovered, excluding maps, the oldest of which dates to 1330 and was created by Fra Paolino, another Venetian Franciscan friar.

“The discovery of this city view has great consequences for our knowledge of depictions of Venice,” says Toffolo in a statement.   Read More:

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