Venice – must visit city in your life!
In part 1 about Venice you read about hotels and apartments in Venice, in which district of Venice is better to rent apartments. About public transport in Venice – vaporetto. About Grand Canal, San Marco district and gondolas.
In part №2 about Venice you will know about districts Castello, San Polo, Dorsoduro. Where to eat in Venice, some tasty and atmospheric cafes and bars. About such island of Venice like San Giorgio Maggiore, Murano, San Michele, Burano, Mazzorbo, Torcello and Lido di Venezia.
Castello district is located near San Marco district. As soon as you make the first step on its territory, you immediately feel ease, no crowds, other streets, cheaper prices.
We straight away went to look for a place, where they cook pasta to go. Dal Moro‘s – Fresh Pasta To Go.
Barely noticeable small establishment, but if there is a long queue outside – it becomes immediately clear that you came to a right place. Delicious pasta of several varieties for 5 euro/serve. You can eat well.
There’s a shop with ice cream SuSo nearby.
There’s the most beautiful bookstore in the world in the Castello district. It’s written at the entrance. Libreria Acqua Alta
This bookstore – is a complete chaos, where books are arranged not on the shelves, but in the baths, tubs, gondolas. Some serve as material for stairs and walls. Sometimes the water level rises in Venice and to prevent the books from being flooded, the owner puts them into such containers as baths.
You will have to look up and down to find the desired book, or better ask the owner, who is the seller.
What’s more, there are many lovely streets and bridges in the Castello district. Here you can come across the Greek Church with a tower, which leans to the water.
Eventually all come to the Arsenal. This is the place where they used to build ships. Now the territory is closed. But you can see the majestic gates, and visit the Museum of shipbuilding. The very square is quite cozy, not crowded and there are restaurants with terraces.
Even further behind the Arsenal there is a large park with trees GIARDINI PUBBLICI. As you get there, you completely forget that you are in Venice, where there are only water canals and stone houses on the water. And here opens a spacious park, a little bit different (more spacious) houses.
You can visit a creative space in this area – Serra Dei Giardini greenhouse.
Here you can find coffee, Aperol Spritz and some food. Prices for coffee and snacks start from 3 euros.
Is it worth going throughout the Castello area?
In our opinion – no. We went for a walk outside the park into extreme areas of the island and rarely began to see Venice as we are used to it – with beautiful canals and houses. We were coming across standard buildings more often until we encountered no canals and ordinary several-storey multi-residential buildings. What’s more, you could feel the smell at once! It smelled of sewage. It’s hard to imagine how people live there; moreover it takes much time to commute to the mainland.
Slavic Promenade (Riva degli Schiavoni)
The longest promenade in Venice, which has a length of about 1.5 km. You can use it actually to return from the Castello area from Arsenal back to the St. Mark’s Square. However, there can be jams of people on this promenade, especially closer to the main square.
Here you can find a huge ship as in the times of pirates.
It may be difficult to squeeze to get through on the bridges ) and this is a place where they sell souvenirs at the most expensive prices, especially the caps from the sun.
However, Slavic promenade offers beautiful views of the Grand Canal in the direction of the Piazza San Marco and the Doge’s Palace.
San Polo district
San Polo district is located near the first stop of everyone – Piazzale Roma or Santa Lucia Station. So you can walk on foot here and not swim on vaporetto for 7.5 euros. Moreover, this area is very beautiful and less crowded. San Polo is near San Marco district, also in the center, but the prices here are lower.
There is the Leonardo Da Vinci Museum in the premises of the church of San Barnaba.
It’s very beautiful in the square near the Da Vinci Museum. And there is a natural and the most delicious ice cream (gelato) in the GROM shop.
A large portion of Cono (waffle) or copetta grande costs 3.5 euros. We had yogurt + strawberries. Oh, what a delicious taste!
And there’s a beautiful shop with Venetian masks Ca’ Macana – Maschere near here on the narrow street near the bridge.
The San Polo district merges into Dorsoduro district not so that you’d notice.
This is the area of students and locals. There are no crowds and jams. It’s very tasty, romantically and beautiful there.
A shop with ice cream Grom is nearby, you can come across a pizzeria without a sign. We did not photograph the façade but this place is barely the only one on the near streets. So, pizza is the most delicious, we have ever tasted anywhere. During all our stay in Venice we were coming there to buy a slice of fresh pizza out of the oven (though electrical). The prices are from 2.5 euros. With blue cheese – 3 euros.
The Academy Bridge (Ponte dell’Accademia), which we have already mentioned, which opens the most beautiful views of Venice and the Grand Canal. Streets near the bridge from the side of the Dorsoduro area are just adorable. We really liked this area of Venice. It’s very comfortable there. In addition, there are some of the most beautiful hotels, if you’re lucky you can have a look into their patios. Or watch the locals sitting on terraces along the canals and having a nice conversation.
At the edge of the Grand Canal
At the edge of the Dorsoduro area the Grand Canal ends, which flows into the Venice Lagoon. Spaces open from there. Here is the former building of the city customs, and today the center for contemporary arts – Punta della Dogana. We came here in the evening, so we couldn’t get inside.
Everything is tiny, but very cozy in the Dorsoduro district. There are no large squares, major streets. Everything is little, more green and heartier. Houses look picture-book, and wooden columns near the berths are painted like candies.
The greatest magic begins when the sun has just gone down, but the sky is still bright for half an hour. Streetlights are switched on already.
Dorsoduro district – is the area, where the locals and the students hangout, so it’s a budget-oriented.
You need to look for establishments where there are many visitors and they stand or sit on the street. There is a street with many wine bars. Osteria Al Squero bar has become the most beautiful for us.
What a cool atmosphere is there. Many local youth, or tourists like us, who wish to immerse into a familiar atmosphere for them. A popular food in Venice are cicchetti sandwiches.
Cicchetti – is Spanish tapas – snacks to wine. Sandwiches cost 1 euro. They look very good in the window, and then appear to be delicious)
Usually everybody takes Aperol Spritz and a few sandwiches. Cocktail price is 2.5 euros.
There are no places inside, but outside you may stand wherever you want and have a talk, enjoy the view of the canal and the adjacent garage for gondolas repair.
Giudecca Island and Sacca Fisola.
And then we walked along the promenade overlooking the industrial part of Venice. A large Giudecca Canal runs here.
We dropped by the Condo supermarket on the way. We remember an unusual feeling when you stand near the cash desk in a small queue and see water almost next to a transparent door in a large canal.
You can see the majestic flour mill Molino Stucky on the neighboring island. However, now there is a Hilton hotel with unreal rooftop swimming pool and views of the Venice!
Island of San Giorgio Maggiore.
There is the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore (Basilica di San Giorgio Maggiore) on this tiny island. You can climb the campanile (bell tower), which opens good perspective on the Piazza San Marco.
Ticket costs 3 euros. However, you still need to get to the island. And you can do that on a water bus vaporetto, where one way ticket will cost 10-15 euros per person.
What is worth seeing around Venice
If you have time and desire, you can visit the other islands of Venice.
Murano and San Michele Islands.
Murano Island – is a well-known island, a home to glassmakers. Here Murano glass is made, which decorates the luxurious palaces. You can also visit the museum of glass for 4 euros. Or watch as glassmakers are blowing different glass products.
Once glassblowers were not allowed to leave the island and they were gathered all together on one remote island so that competitors were not able to find out the secrets of production of the Venetian glass.
On the way to the Murano Island you can visit the island of San Michele. This island is used exclusively as a cemetery, although there once used to be a monastery and a prison.
The Islands of Burano, Mazzorbo and Torcello
You can go to these islands from Murano Island. First, it’s worth visiting the Mazzorbo Island – small, cozy and green. On this island you can see vineyards, green gardens and colorful houses. From here it’s worth walking to the island of Burano across the old wooden bridge.
The Burano Island – is another popular area of Venice. This is an island where the lace is made. And everything is colorful here. All the houses are painted in bright colors. It has its own “Leaning Tower of Pisa”. The 52-meter high campanile of the Church of San Martino leaned down to the ground. However, not all get to this remote island, which is located 7 km from Piazza San Marco. You need to spend 40 minutes in one direction.
The island for privacy and enjoyment of nature. There only a few medieval buildings remained. A popular destination is the Devil’s Bridge (Ponte del Diavolo). Also, there is a nice hotel and one of the most famous restaurants in Italy – Locanda Cipriani
Lido Island (Lido di Venezia)
This island is for beach recreation, where the locals usually come. You can get there on vaporetto 20 minutes away from Piazza San Marco (one-way ticket is 7.5 euros).
One side of the island offers views of the Venice Lagoon, while the other – the Adriatic Sea. So the main beaches border the sea and the water is clean there.
With love, RH.
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