The House of the ‘Tre Oci’ is testimony to the fascination that the island of the Giudecca has held for many centuries. Looking out onto the canal of the Giudecca, in front of the Punta della Dogana, the palace was realised by the painter Mario de Maria, noted also as Marius Pictor. It was created at the beginning of the 1900s, a period in which the island began to develop diverse housing areas and benefit from industrial activity. It is a magnificent example of neo-Gothic architecture of the Venetian house in this period, at the avant-guard of the contemporary style.
At the height of the building one notes a bifora window with elegant decorations of the neo-Gothic period, realised by the artist in memory of his daughter Silvia, who died a few years before the creation of the building.
The central plan of the palazzo is typical of a Venetian piano nobile and is characterised by the presence of three large windows in a pointed oval shape, from where the name ‘Three Eyes’ derived (tre occhi in Venetian dialect). These elegant apertures were symbolic of the other members of the family, that is the artist himself, his wife Voigt Emilia and their other child, Astolfo.
The palace originally functioned as the studio of the artist, then becoming the home of his son Astolfo, who was also a painter and his wife Adele. From the very beginning it became a point of attraction for artists and intellectuals and through the course of the years it hosted important figures such as Grubicy, Scilitian, Morandi, Renzo Piano and Dario Fo.
In 2007 the house of the Tre Oci was declared of significant historical and artistic importance and became part of the Direction of the Veneto Region for ‘I Beni Culturali and Paesaggistici. It has recently been restored by Polymnia, a society that acquired the edifice in 2000. Following this sale, the society converted it into an exhibition space dedicated in
The feast of the Redentore on the island of the Giudecca is one of the biggest and most important festivals for the Venetians. It is celebrated every year on the Saturday that precedes the third Sunday of July. It recalls the construction of the church of the Redentore, built to celebrate the end of the plague that between 1575 and 1577 led to the decimation of more than a third of the inhabitants of the city. As well as the construction of a votive church, the event came to be celebrated with the erection of a votive bridge that would tie the Giudecca to the Zattere, running from the church of the Holy Spirit to that of the Redentore, or Christ the Redeemer. Thus pedestrian access across the canal allowed visitors to reach the Giudecca island directly by foot.
(The island of the Giudecca - Image source: commons.wikimedia.org).
The Giudecca consists of 8 islands and is home to around 5000 residents. It is found opposite the Dorsoduro district, or sestiere, of which it belongs administratively despite being separated by the large Giudecca canal. Different to the other areas of the city, this island offers the possibility to enjoy its architectural beauty in complete tranquillity, since it is not yet subject to the tourist influx of the main part of the city.
The island has been inhabited from the IX century, until 1298 it was known to host Jews or ‘Giudei’, until their transferal first to the terraferma and successively to the ghetto of the city. The island then became a point of attraction for noble Venetians returning from exile, attracted to its green areas of orchards and gardens, beautiful buildings and important churches and convents. Only in the course of the Novecento did the islands of the Giudecca begin to become places of interest also for Venetian families of other social levels, who began to choose it as a residency due to its tranquillity. In this period the island also became home to a number of important industries, such as the Junghans watch makers and the famous Molino Stucky, now home to the Hilton Hotel, an important center for conferences.
Walking around the island, one can admire the magnificent church of the Redentore, constructed at the end of the Cinquecento to celebrate the conclusion of the tragic plague of 1575-77. It was planned by the famous architect Andrea Palladio and is home to works of important artists such as Paolo Veronese, Palma il Giovane and Domenico Tintoretto. Annually the church is the center for one of the most important celebrations of the Venetian population, the ‘festa del Redentore.’
Another important building planned by Palladio on the Giudecca is the church of the Zitelle, constructed in the course of the Cinquecento with the