What do you know about your family history?
Has your family always lived in the place where you live now?
Who is your oldest living relative?
Quiz: True or False
1. Venice has lots of rivers.
2. Over 2 million tourists visit Venice every year.
3. No other city in the world has more canals than Venice.
4. Most Venetian residents use gondolas every day to go to work.
5. Venice has no internal roads for cars.
6. Leonardo da Vinci was born in Venice.
7. Antonio Vivaldi was born in Venice
1. (False – it has lots of salt water canals)
3. (False – Birmingham, England’s 2nd largest city, has more miles of canals)
4. (False – nowadays these are mostly only used by tourists and for ceremonial occasions).
6. (False – he was born in Florence)
Venice is a city in Northern Italy, which is famous for its rich culture, history, and architecture. It has a population of around 272,000 and is popular with tourists from around the world. It is unique in its geography in that it is composed of 117 small islands, and the main form of transport is by river, with the maritime part of Venice having no roads or cars. The most famous form of transport is the gondola, though this is now mostly used by tourists and for ceremonies. Venice was a very powerful city during the Middle Ages and Renaissance period, and is the birthplace of the composer Antonio Vivaldi.
Francesco is a good person to host the programme because he is a historian and writer and his family has lived in Venice for centuries.
1 rotting (becoming destroyed by age)
2 bequeathed (left to someone after your death. E.g. He bequeathed his entire estate (= all his money and property) to his daughter)
3 warehouse (a building where large quantities of goods are stored, especially before they are sent to shops/stores to be sold)
4 showroom (a large shop/store in which goods for sale, especially cars and electrical goods, are displayed. E.g. a car showroom)
6 storeys (a level of a building; a floor. E.g. the upper/lower storey of the house. A single-storey/two-storey building)
1 Because the house is now rotting and in terrible condition.
2 In the 13th century.
3 It was bequeathed to another family.
4 They did business there. They used their house as a warehouse, a showroom, a place to make money and a landing stage.
Landing stage: a flat wooden platform on the water where boats let people get on and off, and load and unload goods.
FdM=Francesco da Mosto
FdM: It was around this time my family became successful
merchants and decided to build a grand house. It is the oldest
palazzo to survive on the Grand Canal. Now it is rotting and
one of the saddest sights of the city. It breaks my heart.
This palace is called Ca’ da Mosto. It was built by my family
in the thirteenth century and my ancestors lived here nearly
four hundred years until 1603, when it was bequeathed to
another family. I’ve driven past it a thousand times, but I’ve
never been inside.
If I have to be sincere, I’m a little shy to come inside this
place – because I have always seen this house from outside;
the mask that normally the public sees. It’s difficult to enter a
world where you have never been before, a place you know
all the people of your family lived over many centuries. It’s
quite a strange sensation, something that gives you a feeling
of all the history on your shoulders, the thing of who you are
in this moment of your life.
My family didn’t just live in this house, they did business
here. They used their house as a warehouse, a show room,
a place to make money and a landing stage, because the
most profitable goods were from overseas, so a successful
merchant had to be a sailor too.
Grand: impressive and large or important. E.g. It's not a very grand house. The wedding was a very grand occasion.
Bequeath to say in a will that you want somebody to have your property, money, etc. after you die. E.g. He bequeathed his entire estate (= all his money and property) to his daughter.