Visiting The Historic Areas and Neighborhoods of Venice

venice Italy canal
Venice, Italy

There is only one city like Venice in the world. Venice Italy is consistently a top destination for travelers around the world. Its narrow alley streets and water canals, adheres love and romance!

1) Piazza San Marco, St Mark’s Square: Piazza San Marco (St Mark’s Square) is the principal square of Venice, Italy. It is one of the few beautiful spots in Europe where you can hear yourself speak without being overpowered by the sounds of motorized city traffic.

The district of San Marco is pretty much a labyrinth of narrow alleyways and canals.The Piazza originated in the 9th century as a small area in front of the original St Mark’s Basilica. It was enlarged to its present form in 1177.

In the evening hours, the square takes on a different character as the cafe orchestras fill the night air with Jazz/Classical music. Pull up a chair, have a cocktail and absorb the great unique atmosphere that surrounds you. It’s also the focus for many of Venice’s festivals. A great popular place in Italy today.

The Piazza you see today was paved in the late 13th century with bricks laid in a herringbone pattern. It is believed the light-colored stones were probably used setting up market stalls and organizing frequent ceremonial processions.

2) Rialto Bridge, Grand Canal: This bridge crossing the Grand Canal was constructed in 1181 by Mr.Barattieri. It was called the “Ponte della Moneta” before being replaced 3 more times until the final model we see today and called “Rialto Bridge”. The Rialto Bridge in Venice, designed by Antonio da Ponte and finally completed in 1591, was at that time the only of its kind (made of limestone) to cross the Grand Canal. This is how the Rialto market born…

Rialto turned into one of the main centres for trade in the city. The bridge has beaten all odds and is nowadays one of the architectural masterpiece of Venice and an icon for this city. Each day at sunset people gather here to take in the sight of Venice as the sun falls down into the far distance. This is also a perfect spot for admiring the gondoliers as they make their way slowly down the Grand Canal. Rialto Bridge is largely considered one of the most beautiful sites in the world.

3) Castello Area, Biennial Gardens: The Castello area is the most easterly and largest of the 6 areas of Venice and among the oldest areas of Venice. It grew up from the thirteenth century around a naval dockyard. Napoleon changed it to what is now the Biennial Gardens, and still more recently the island of Sant’Elena has been created along with other parts of land drained at other areas of the quarter.

It’s full of fascinating things to see. One in particular is Venice’s Arsenal Naval History museum (Museo Storico Navale) and the former military shipyard of the Republic at Arsenal. In its glory days, was the core of the city’s prosperous shipping industry. Visit the Public Gardens, the largest of their kind in Venice.

4) Accademia Area, Museum Gallery: Located on the south bank of the Grand Canal, it gives its name to one of the 3 bridges crossing the canal, the “Accademia Bridge”. This area is best known for its museum gallery of pre-1800s art, famous architects, art paintings and sculptures in Venice, Italy.

It is believed that Venice’s most respected ancient artists studied here, thus attracting other finest artists in Italy to study in this area. The Galleria dell’Accademia contains masterpieces of Venetian paintings and history.

5) Cannaregio Area, First Jewish Ghetto in Venice: The Cannaregio district of Venice is still inhabited largely by Venetians. It’s the northernmost of the six areas of Venice and the second largest in terms of inhabitants, about 20 thousands people. Canneregio was the main route into the city until the construction of a railway to the mainland, which gave the district its name.

Development began in the eleventh century as the area was drained and parallel canals were dredged. It’s the home to the beautiful church of Madonna dell’Orto, Palace of Ca’ d’Oro and Tintoretto’s masterpieces. The Ghetto’s Jewish Museum (Museo Ebraico), introduces the history of the first Jewish ghetto in history. Many restaurants offer some of the best cuisine in Venice at reasonable prices.

6) Santa Croce Area, Piazzale Roma: Santa Croce is where Venice’s central bus station and car parks are. This is the only area of Venice in which cars can travel, called “Terra Firma”. The area was once part of the Luprio swamp, but slowly claiming land. This district it’s an extension of San Polo and lies on the opposite side of the Grand Canal towards the main railway station of Venice, Piazzale Roma and it’s the most affected by the opening of the Lagoon Road 1933 due its steady grounds.

A location where you can grasp the authentic Venetian neighbourhood atmosphere. It’s however very close to the city’s main attractions. It’s a very pleasant area to take an evening stroll! Campo San Giacomo dell’Orio is a lively square full of people and music where sometimes couples can dance.

7) Giudecca Island, Exclusive Residential area and Beautiful Gardens: The Island of Giudecca was originally called “Spinalunga” – Long Thorn – because of its shape. Giudecca was historically an area of large palaces with amazing gardens, gaining back its once most regarded reputation as luxury residential area. It is known for its long dock and its beautiful churches, including Il Redentore.

Impressive views of the mainland stretching across the Giudecca Canal where the sun gorgeously sets. The celebration of “Festival of Redeemer” (the end of the plague in 1526), takes place every 3rd weekend of July every year, the Venetians gather a bridge of boats across the Giudecca canal with a display of fireworks. This spectacular sight can be seen from every corner in Venice.


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