The Silk Road was a network of economic and intellectual exchanges being conducted between Eastern and Western civilizations beginning in Venice. Marco Polo famously departed from Venice where many cultures are mingled.
In the neighborhood of Cannaregio, a traditional mosaic factory still practices the art of glass making and coloring taught to the Venetians by the Byzantines. Silk making was the trade that made China rich; see a traditional silk-making Venetian factory.
A gondola ride through Venice ends at its famous outdoor market where the impact of the Silk Road can be seen on traditional Venetian cuisine. The Silk Road is also known as the Spice Route as its original intention was to lead people to eastern spices.
In Venice's lagoon, a tiny island known as San Lazzaro was given to a group of Armenian monks by the Republic of Venice after they fled Turkish persecution. The first globe was made in this monastery, creating its international map making center.
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Our adventurer begins his journey in Venice, just like Marco Polo, the most famous voyager to have proceeded down this ancient route. The many cultural influences are immediately obvious: The architecture and the mosaics of St Mark’s Basilica reveal the links that connect this city with the distant lands of Asia; the textile maker Alberto Bevilacqua recounts the history of the silk trade, while a restaurant owner passionate about gastronomy explains the varied origins of Venetian cuisine. Alfred then shows us a little-known treasure: the Armenian monastery’s library. It is packed with manuscripts in all languages, brought there through the Silk Road.
Length: 27 minutes
Copyright date: ©2017
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