infos upon Venice
Arriving in Venice
How to get around
Venice is built on an archipelago of 118 islands, crossed by 150 canals, connected by 450 bridges. It's extension is of 7,6 square meters, and it has a population of 65.000; it is divided in 6 "sestieri"
If it's true that the Sestiere of S. Marco is the center of Venice, S. Marco's Square is it's beating heart. Considered the "most beautiful living room in the world" by numerous personalities, S. Marco's Square has always been the center of Venetian life, with it's famous cafes, the promenade and the orchestras that cheer up the athmosphere. It is formed by a number of historical buildings that, despite the difference in styles, build an harmonious urban space (the S. Marco's basilica, the Doge's Palace, the procuratie vecchie and nuove, the Marciana library etc)
The Sestiere of Castello covers the eastern part of Venice, and it was one of the first inhabited areas of Venice (V - VI century). It is named after a castle that was built for protection against attacks from the sea. In castello there is the imposing buildings of the Arsenale, the biggest ship factory of the world for many centuries, and the Giardini, the historical location of the Biennale of Art
Cannaregio is Venice's second largest sestiere, stretching across the north-west of the city from the station almost to the Rialto bridge. The name has two possible origins: it may derive from Canal Regio, i.e. the main canal for communicating with the mainland or else it may refer to the extensive reed beds found there in the past. On this sestiere, special attention will be paed to number of palaces, dating from Byzantine period to the 18C, that are to be found in this sestiere together with the large 16C quarter of the Ghetto, and the churches and monasteries, which are numerous in this area too. We shall also encounter another of Venice's major town-planning schemes, the Strada Nuova, linking the city centre around Rialto with the railway station. Not many tourists in this sestiere, it is ordinary Venetians live - lots of good food shops, market area.
Located on the left bank of Rialto, it is the smallest Sestiere. It was known and still is mostly for the numerous shops and ateliers, bars and restaurants. This Sestiere is the historical center of commerce and trade of Venice, in the Middle Ages there was a stock exchange and several change agencies under the porches of Banco Giro.
This Sestiere, named after a church of the congregation of the Saint Cross, is on the north part of S. Polo and it's the less known and the less beaten by tourists, unfairly so because there are numerous interesting aspects and an atmosphere that is difficult to find elsewhere. Not to miss S. Giacomo da l'Orio, the Fondaco dei Turchi, S. Zandegolà, the museum of Ca' Pesaro
Dorsoduro et Giudecca
The Sestiere of Dorsoduro covers the southern part of Venice: it goes from the Punta della Dogana (custom house) that like a ship's prow slides into the bacino of S. Marco, in front of s. Giorgio Maggiore, to S. Nicolò dei Mendicoli, passing through the Zattere (rafts), a very long strip of land built in 1516 and used to moor the rafts (hence the name) full of timber, essential for building the city. The south bank of the Giudecca Canal is entirely occupied by the island of the Giudecca