Castello has the distinction of being the largest Venetian sestiere and home to the former powerhouse of Venetian naval construction, the Arsenale. Though not open to the public (except during the Biennale), the exterior architecture and history of the building itself remains essential for understanding the power of the Venetian Republic. Our stroll focuses on the southwest section of the neighborhood, quite distinct in character and perfect for discovering the quiet side of the island.
We'll have the chance to amble along the via Garibaldi, Napoleon's legacy of urban planning, which gives way to a lively and colorful district where one can find a myriad of alimentari, pasticcerie, and clothing stores. This thriving neighborhood is also home to the Giardini Pubblici, for those who are yearning to discover a bit of greenery, and the highly important church San Pietro in Castello. With its Palladian facade, the church was the official basilica of Venice until 1807, when the honor was transferred to San Marco.
During this walk each docent will select additional sites of historical, architectural, artistic, and cultural interest to paint a complete picture of this often overlooked neighborhood. For those who are looking to gain true insight into life and history away from the crowds, our voyage to Castello presents an excellent choice.