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Before You Go: Venice – St. Mark’s Square and Rialto Bridge with Matteo Gabbrielli
Context's Before You Go online seminars are designed for travelers looking to enhance their in-person experiences at famous landmark destinations in cities around the world. Floating above the glittering lagoons of Venice are two essential landmarks which highlight any traveler's time in the Venetto region: St. Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge.
Join a local expert as we contextualize the history of the Venetian Republic, learn about the city’s unique architectural style, and virtually explore the heart of Venice from a local expert’s perspective. This interactive seminar is meant to prepare travelers to visit the neighborhood in person on Context's Introduction to Venice: St. Mark's to Rialto Tour.
Our conversation will begin with an orientation to the impressive timeline of Venetian history–more than 1,000 years of political domination and commercial trade which revolved around this remarkable group of Italian islands. Once we establish a foundational knowledge of the region, Matteo will teach us about the Venetian Republics' urban development strategy for Piazza San Marco. Once the world’s leading port city, the wealth and power of Venice are on full display within the remarkable mosaics and paintings which adorn St. Mark’s Basilica.
Following our discussion of the Basilica and a pause for questions, we will envision a stroll along the Grand Canal as we make our way to the Rialto Bridge, which was built to connect two halves of the Rialto Market area of Venice. This bustling marketplace has represented the heartbeat of the Venetian economy for centuries and is a must-see for curious travelers. To conclude our time together, Matteo will overview several must-know trivia facts and glossary terms before launching into a Q&A session.
Led by a Venetian resident and licensed tour guide, Matteo Gabbrielli, this Conversation will focus on St. Mark’s Square and the Rialto Area, but also provide helpful tips to empower travelers to make the most of their time in Venice. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with increased awareness of how political power and trading logistics shaped the urban development of Venice.
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Originally from Venetian mainland, Matteo has lived in different countries, which sparked his interest in art history and archaeology. He holds a B.A. in Cultural Heritage Preservation and an M.A. in Archaeology from the University Ca' Foscari, Venezia. He specialized in Islamic Archaeology with a thesis on Medieval Egyptian ceramics, focusing on the sherds found at the Italian & Egyptian Center for Restoration and Archaeology (CIERA) in Cairo. Matteo chose to specialize in Islamic Archaeology, due to his personal passion and curiosity for the Islamic World: this particular interest was developed after several travels and stays in different Middle Eastern countries. He works as a freelance archaeologist following projects in different locations of the Veneto and also teaches history courses in local schools. In addition, he continues a close collaboration with the CIERA where he is involved in leading archaeological excavations.