This blog series features Walks’ guides from around the globe. It also highlights some of the incredible people who walk with us from Rome and New York. We hope that this blog series, along with our tours from home, will bring you some travel inspiration. This is a chance to hear from Walks guests from around the globe!
Mose Viero, a passionate historian, sees the world through art. He believes that each painting and monument tells a unique story of times past. This post will give Mose Viero’s opinion on everything, from Venice’s political past to his favorite places around the world.
Mose, tell us about yourself
I was born in Vicenza, and have lived in Venice ever since. I studied art history, without knowing exactly what I wanted to do with it. I tried to become an academic at the university but it was too slow and I was impatient. I decided to try my hand at being a guide and I love it so far. I became more interested in economics and politics as the years went on. What I do now with my tours is to use art and monuments to show the consequences of economic and political choices. My nerdy hobbies include board games, video games, and Lego bricks.
Which is your favorite story to share with your guests during your tours?
As I mentioned, I enjoy explaining history through art and monuments during my tours. You can see hundreds of portraits of politicians from different families in the Doge’s Palace. This shows that Venice is not a ‘classic’ monarchy. Because the economy is based on trade, power has been distributed among many families. The wealth you get from commerce is’mobile,’ which means it will continue to spread itself throughout the society. Power that is simply based on land property is not mobile and stays with a few families for ever. It was not a choice made philosophically, but a result of an economic system that was different from the rest of Italy.
Continue reading: Literary Venice- 6 Beautiful Descriptions of Venice from Literature
Which piece of art is your favorite?
The Republic’s trade-based economy had major impacts on arts. Because of its frequent contact with the Eastern, Byzantine and Roman Worlds, the Venetian painting style adopted by the Reinassance was based more on colour than drawing lines. This is evident in the wonderful works of Tiziano, who was the Assunta at the Frari Church, and later by Tintoretto, who was the Paradiso at the Chamber of the Great Council at the Doge’s Palace.
What’s your favorite neighborhood as a Venice resident?
To be honest, I don’t know. Venice is a fascinating place that has both the large, monumental areas such as St. Mark’s Square, and the smaller neighborhoods where the ordinary people live – two very different places but made identical by the unique hyper-transformed lagoon environment. You’re surrounded by nature, even though everything in the city is artificial. It’s hard to describe.
Continue reading: Which Neighborhood Should You Stay in?
What is the biggest challenge you face as a tour guide?
Guides are basically unemployed during this time, so we need to reinvent ourselves. Some agencies (like Walks!) Some agencies (like Walks!) offer something for us to do. For example, the tours starting at home. But it is up to us to decide how to spend our spare time.
It is used by some to learn, prepare for new tours, or to improve what we know. Lucky for me, I have many passions other than my job. So now, I am dedicating a lot to them. Who knows, maybe some of my passions will lead to a new job.
What do you think the future holds for the travel industry?
It is obvious that the entire industry will have to adapt to this new environment. We don’t know how long it will take before we are 100% protected from the virus. Perhaps we will need to be able to travel with all the safety rules that we are already familiar with, such as social distancing and using protective masks. This will change the way we plan our tours. As an optimist, I try to see the good in everything. I hope that a new way of traveling could prevent mass tourism becoming more prevalent in cities.
Venice is an example of a city where residents are attempting to’re-conquer’ their city. This was more for visitors than it was for them over the past decades. Is it possible for residents to step aside when tourism returns? It will be interesting to observe.
What is your favorite place to visit outside of your hometown?
I am an urbanist, I love big cities, and I don’t like trips that only show beautiful landscapes.
London is a place I frequent often. Berlin is also a favorite of mine. Rome is my favorite city, even if it was chaotic at times.
Which country would you most like to visit next?
I have never been to the cities of northern Europe, such as Amsterdam, Copenhagen Riga and Stockholm. I also would love to visit Crete, which is an island that has a strong connection to Venice’s history as an overseas colony under the Republic of Venice between 1205-1212.
Which city or location in the world do think is most underrated? Would you recommend it to others?
Istanbul is definitely it. For centuries, Istanbul was the capital of the Eastern Rome Empire (Byzantine Empire), and the Ottoman Empire. It is home to many impressive monuments and sights. It should be the number one tourist destination in the world, according to me.
What was the best place to eat?
Italian food is my favorite cuisine, even though I love traveling. My favorite Italian cuisine would be anything from central Italy, between Emilia Romagna or Tuscany.