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If you have already taken a look at our blog, you know already know that our goal is to give families tips for their trip to Venice with their children. Sometimes small things make all the difference and enrich your visit with fun activities and surprises for the little ones, offering them an unforgettable experience in the most magical city…

Every child is crazy about animals! Well, here in Venice they love to hide, and they only show themselves to very attentive observers! Many of them are mysterious and fantastic animals that we would rarely find in the real world, even though we wish we could…

First of all, the well-known symbol of the Republic of Venice, the ever-present animal that appears around the city in a variety of forms: we are talking about the lion! Strong, majestic, proud: the lion represents Saint Mark, the patron saint of the city, and we can find him in different positions and with various characteristics. Here you are some examples:

  • 4 majestic and ancient lions sit in front of the entrance of the Arsenale to protect it. The Arsenale, indeed, was the historic shipyard and the heart of the maritime power of the city. Have fun with your children studying the different poses and the hidden details: pay attention to the Lion of the Pireo, and ancient spoils of war, that hides some Viking inscriptions…

Image result for entrata arsenale

Credits: TripAdvisor
  • With wings, a halo, and an opened book or a sward; walking or rearing up, more or less visible; as a bas-relief, as a statue, or depicted on flags and emblems around Venice: challenge your children to go lion hunting! Decide a score to reach and some prizes according to the number of lions counted!

But Venice is not only home to lions: exotic animals and fantastic chimeras live amongst the buildings and alleys…

  • On the Saint Mark Basilica, on the left side of the side entrance you will see a mosaic representing a… rhino! Go have a close look if you have the chance!

Image result for rinoceronte san marco

Credits: La Repubblica
  • What about the mysterious high-relief representing a camel guided by a merchant, that gave a new name to Palazzo Mastelli, at n. 3381 (Cannareggio) close to Campo dei Mori?

Credits: VeneziaEventi
  • From the exotic animals to the more common ones… have you ever noticed the tips of the columns around Pescheria Nuova at Rialto? From there, a number of sea creature peek out… a new challenge for you and your children: can you recognise them all?

Fonte: VeniceTours
  • Finally, we will finish this list with an animal, probably considered less noble, but that doesn’t mean it does not deserve some attention! Go to Calle del Tragheto: you will find an interesting graffiti on a big column facing the Grand Canal… it’s a rat! Why did the artist choose this curious subject? Try to find an answer…

Credits: veneziamuseo

Martina x Staff