“In the bend of the canal”, this refers to the the widest turn on the Grand Canal, this magic phrase makes Ca’ Foscari one of the most beautiful Gothic palaces in Venice.
Casting a glance is unique and definitely worth a visit like the way Guardi or Canaletto used to do when, for professional reasons, they leaned on the multi-mullioned loggia on the second ‘piano nobile’ (noble floor) and extended their gaze from Rialto bridge to Accademia bridge. This is one of the postcard wonders that Venice is famous for.
However, Ca’ Foscari is not just a monument. It is the seat of one of the oldest and well renowned Italian universities. You can get in through one of the largest and finest internal courtyards of the city (second only to the Doge’s Palace courtyard) and feel that it is not a just another common place of this dying Venice, which is destined to succumb to hordes of careless tourists holding cans of soft drinks in their hands.
Ca’ Foscari is the core of a large network of universities, which makes Venice a type of big and unique university campus. Observing students coming and going, looking at the crowded bars, at the copy shops, at the bookshops and in general at all the places where university students gather is the first step to understand the complexity of our city, which remains alive against all odds.
Insularity, forced pedestrianization, urban density, everything here moves slowly. These peculiarities, which were considered to be obstacles to modernity as it was intended in the twentieth century, now represent, in the era of digital connection, the opportunity for Venice to candidate itself for one of the potential cities of the future. Is it just a dream? That is not what the American Green Building Council thinks, in fact it has conferred the LEED certification to Ca’ Foscari, making it the oldest “green” building in the world (beating the Empire State Building in New York). Efficient water system, renewable sources supply, green purchases, sustainable mobility are the key words. Pop in the university café, just for a cup of coffee (organic, of course), because it is one of the rare places where history and future meet.
For information regarding guided tours in Italian and English please follow the link http://www.unive.it/nqcontent.cfm?a_id=60548