About Venice

Just the name Venice is enough to conjure up a host of images, even for those who have not yet set foot in Italy: gondoliers in striped t-shirts, the Rialto and the Bridge of Sighs, masked balls, golden barges and crumbling palaces facing streets made of water.
“The city of Bridges”, as it is usually called, is a magical city that stretches across numerous small islands: Murano, famous for the tradition of glass manufacturing; Burano, known for the manufacturing of needle lace; Torcello, a fascinating but uninhabited island and Chioggia, also called “the second Venice”, just to mention a few. In the “city of gondola” you’ll find many historical buildings, both with modern interiors and with the traditional design which are common all over the city. Just like its world-famous Carnevale, Venice thrives on mystery and awe, from the secret passageways that riddle Gothic Palazzo Ducale, to the esoteric powers of the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute.

Located in the northeast Italy, it welcomes the tourists from all over the world. It was once the centre of a maritime republic. It was the greatest seaport in late medieval Europe and the continent’s commercial and cultural link with Asia. Venice is unique environmentally, architecturally, and historically and it is recognized as part of the artistic and architectural patrimony of all humanity, a fitting role for a city whose thousand-year economic and political independence was sustained by its role in global trading. It remains a major Italian port in the northern Adriatic Sea and is one of the world’s oldest tourist and cultural centres.

Venice has six Sestieri (Venetian name given to its districts) which constitute the old city centre.

  • Cannaregio: the most populated sestiere. There is the Jewish Ghetto, the small area in which Jews were confined;
  • Castello: the largest Venetian sestiere. It’s in eastern Venice and includes the Arsenal;
  • Dorsoduro: The name (italian for “hard ridge”) is due to the fact that it was the only part of the city characterizes by a stable and less swampy land.
  • San Marco: the most famous sestiere, due to the homonym square and basilica;
  • San Polo: takes its name from the homonym church; it’s linked to San Marco by the well-known Rialto bridge
  • Santa Croce: the road bridge Ponte della Libertà links this sestiere to the mainland, so Santa Croce is the only sestiere where car circulation is partially allowed.

The house numbering system of Venice is a particular one: the numbers don’t begin and end in every street, but they continue throughout the whole sestiere. This implies addresses with very high numbers, where the name of the street may even be omitted – just the name of the sestiere and the building number is usually provided –, so be careful when you’re looking for your hotel or any other kind of building!