VENETIA - the City & Republic bridging East and West

Not your usual Venice Guide: When our grandmother Lina opened her hotel in Venice in September 1968, she took a lot of time to explain Venice to her guests.


She told them about our neighborhood (San Zaccaria and Greek Venice), hidden gardens and a favorite campo where Marco Polo's family lived and worked. Stories and wisdom you can find nowhere else, and the city will open up in a very different way! This is the kind of hospitality we envision for all guests of Venice, so we invite you to join us virtually via this online class!


VENETIA is a three-step roadmap to discovering the real Venice as it existed until 1797. This online class is based on 185 books written by Venetian historians between 1250 and 2021, never published before in English.

Be our guest and join us in VENETIA!

VENETIA takes about 4-5 hours to complete, plus a few extra hours to go through our five bonus resources. You will walk away with surprising insights about the city, never published before (!), her heritage, food, art and design, secret gardens, and the relevant resources to explore Venice from the Venetian point of view! Read at your own time, on any device (cellphone, tablet, laptop, etc.).

I want to live in your Venice! You describe the city in such rich and loving detail. Such wonderful information about a Venice we usually don’t see! Thank you for lending me your eyes and your knowledge! - Kathleen Ann González

What can we learn from Venice?

Venice survived six major pandemics in history. Thus, we can learn A LOT from her well-documented experience as we are going through challenging times, on a personal, political and economic level. Relevant know-how in particular, as the world is going through an unprecedented pandemic in 2020, and most probably will, in the next few years. This online class, VENETIA - Venetian Heritage and Culture not only covers these experiences and take-aways from our times, but also gives insights into a sustainable lifestyle we will all benefit from in the coming years.

Module One: The adventure begins .. our unknown history

Venice will celebrates her 1600th birthday in 2021! Time to explore what made her look - and taste! - the way she does in the first place.. We start with taking you to our own neighborhood, which is San Zaccaria, first settled in the 4th century. 

Discover 20 unknown and surprising facts about Venice, which will completely change the way you view this city.

We'll then take you virtually to San Lorenzo, Marco Polo's neighborhood, and we'll cover the one, really dark chapter in Venetian history, and what her true legacy is in our times.

6 lessons + 1 ebook + video walks

Module Two: In the footsteps of the pioneers: Explorers, merchants, artists

More than 900,000 books are written in Venet (just imagine, how much we DON'T know about Venice!), but what are they all about? Some are official state documents, while so many other books are about making human life better and more beautiful. In Module 2, we take you virtually into the homes of these books, the San Francesco della Vigna Library and the Venetian State Archive. 

We also step into the merchants' realm, and you will discover how the merchants of Venice shaped art and culture in Venice.

 The merchants brought back inspiration and spices to Venice from the Levant (Byzantium, Alexandria, Beirut, Damascus, ...). This brings us to finally discover the surprising story of the Rialto Market (NOT the fish market!).

6 lessons + 1 ebook + video guides

Module Three: Liquid Gardens: Building a home in the Lagoon

The merchants and artisans needed a home base, but what does it take to build homes and grow gardens on salty marshlands and islands in an ever-changing Lagoon? Venice almost wasn't built because of two major problems in a liquid and difficult environment, which slowly were aggravated by the 12th century: Seaquakes that had destroyed entire archipelagos like Malamocco, was just another risk .. 

So, how did the Venetian engineers of the past succeed in preventing the city from drowning in the sea?

You'll discover the success stories, and mistakes, of the past in "The Seven Seas" as we travel virtually to the Ammiana and Santa Cristina archipelago, and you will see why four types of gardens helped preserve life in the Lagoon. And, we'll finally lift the secret of the spice gardens!

6 lessons + 1 ebook + video tours

Module Four: Culinary culture: Food, spices and wine

The Venetian State Archive is home to 43 miles (70 km) of shelves, filled with books written between 516 AD and 1797! We estimate that less than four percent of these books have been explored so far! Amongst them are recipe books (!!) covering medical and beauty food. This was the food eaten in Venice for more than 1000 years, and it was also well-known and loved in Europe. 

Wouldn't that be useful knowledge for our times? Just think of the Venetian spice mixtures famous in Europe for 1,200 years, which went into food, beauty products and natural remedies.

After exploring the world of spices, we'll take you out into the Lagoon to see the vineyards! We'll share tips for you to taste historical recipes and wine in Venice, and you receive a recipe to taste at home :-)

6 lessons + 1 ebook + video guides

As usual, you bring Venice alive for my senses, even from seas away. - Arundhati Basu

Bonuses and little gifts for you!

We've prepared 3 bonuses and 5 little gifts for you to enjoy throughout the class

Bonus 1 - The gardens of San Zaccaria

The story of Venice told in nine chapters: Available in autumn 2021. Normally, this book costs EUR 18 but it comes for free with the Venetia - Venetian Heritage and Culture class. Students will receive the book in the download section.

Bonus 2 - A Special Venice Travel Guide

Returning to Venice after the pandemic: A special 7-day program for you to rediscover the city, and visit the spots and gardens we're covering in this class!

Bonus 3 - Le Spezie di Venezia: Private Community

Free access to our private Community hosted on this page. You will receive weekly updates about Venice and background stories. And you can ask questions and connect with fellow students! We can't wait to meet you there!

Course Curriculum

See all the details: This is a class for residents, armchair travelers, first-time and frequent visitors.

  1. 1
    • Welcome Message + How to benefit from this class

    • Course book and syllabus

    • Access the Private Community

    • September 2020: Note for Students

  2. 2
    • The forgotten world of San Zaccaria

    • Download the e-book here (from September 2020).

  3. 3
    • First impressions: How much of Venetia is there in today's Venice?

    • Living in Venice: 1989 - 2019

    • Beyond the legend: The unknown origins of Venetia

    • Venice, the port, and the big ships

    • 20 snippets of Venetian history you didn't know

    • Diplomacy and foreign policy: How the ambassadors saved Venice

    • Le łéngoe vènete: Venessian, and the three official languages of Venice

    • 12 May 1797: The last day of the Republic

    • Custodians of Venetian stories: Virtual visit to the State Archive and other libraries in Venice

  4. 4
    • CREATIVE Venice: Marco Polo's neighborhood

    • The artisans of Venice

    • Venice Style Guide: Inspiration and color almanach

    • Venice Design Guide: Life between mosaics and marble

    • VENICESTYLED - Design Guide

  5. 5
    • Rediscovering the unknown sides of Venetian cuisine

    • Le sette isole di San Francesco: How to grow wine in Venice and the Lagoon

    • Visit to Drogheria Mascari & spice glossary

    • Venetian coffee house culture & Caffé Florian

    • Historical recipe: Venetian coffee (14th century)

    • Historical recipe: Creamy spice cake (12th century)

  6. 6
    • The Lagoon of Venice for beginners

    • The Sunset islands and the rebirth of the Ammiana archipelago

    • Acqua alta: Why and when does Venice flood

    • Hortus conclusus: The botanical lifestyle of Venice

    • Marco Polo and the spice gardens of Venice

  7. 7
    • How to visit Venice responsibly in 2020-25

    • VENICE INSIDE - Themed walks + itineraries for your next visit

    • Visual books: Dream of Venice in Black and White

    • Virtual visits to iconic sights: Piazza San Marco

    • Immersive experience: Summer solstice night on Campo della Bragora

    • What's next: Laguna in Cucina

Meet your instructors

Lina Teresa

Associazione Cavalieri di San Marco, founder of three restaurants in Venice. Co-Founder of La Venessiana

Lina is a member of the Cavalieri di San Marco Association, founded by former noble families of the Serenissima Republic of Venice in 1571, when Venice fought the all-decisive battle of Lepanto. She is 98 years old, and opened three restaurants and a hotel near Piazza San Marco. Lina is deeply interested in Venetian cuisine and garden heritage. Since 1968, she has taken care of the library and terraced gardens of San Zaccaria monastery in Venice. Lina's kitchen is the home of our spice atelier! For our online experiences, Lina provides the most wonderful inspiration, memories of the past, wisdom for the future, and very special stories about Venice.

Iris Loredana

Sustainability expert, Venetian culinary historian, spices and aromatherapy. Co-Founder of La Venessiana Magazine.

Iris was educated in Venice and Vienna: She speaks seven languages, amongst them Greek, Latin and Venessian, the former languages of Venice. Iris wrote her thesis on the ecology and urbanization of the Lagoon of Venice, and business in times of unprecedented change with a focus on Europe and the Veneto. Together with Lina, she started La Venessiana - The fragrant world of Venice in 2011. In her spare time, Iris loves developing recipes, taking photos, and researching ancient books on spices and on Venice.

La Venessiana has created an exceptional Venetian experience. Her new VENETIA Heritage and Culture Class is filled with intimate knowledge about the culture, language & identity of Venice. It is a brilliant solution that is both sustainable and life enriching. - JoAnn Locktov, Dream of Venice