Guidebook Castello



“Some 5000 shipbuilders once worked at the Arsenale,” the city’s monumental historic shipyards, while “Castello’s Giardini stands out amongst the other green spaces in the city,” writes Sophia Karner at The Culture Trip. Unlike other neighbourhoods, Castello is “less crowded and you will enjoy very quiet squares, small shops and meet more locals than tourists,” says The Venice Insider, while Airbnb photographer Luca Girardini captures the serenity of the neighbourhood, which sits just a few minutes’ walk away from San Marco. “It's pretty hard to make generalisations about Castello,” writes Italy Heaven. “Of all Venice's districts this is probably the most varied one”. The sestiere “has a bit of just about everything,” concludes Anne Hanley at The Telegraph.

You can stroll down Venice’s widest street, Via Garibaldi, which is a filled-in canal. The heart of the sestiere, it is home to an excellent outdoor market as well as modern shops. “An incredible section of the city that hasn’t changed at all in centuries,” writes National Geographic. “Here, you’ll find the best photos of laundry hanging from buildings”. Specifically, eastern Castello “is one of the only parts of Venice's historic centre which actually has its own residential character,” notes Italy Heaven.

Further west you pass the canal leading up to the Arsenale, which was “one of the largest pre-industrial production centers in the world and the heart of the Venetian naval industry from the 13th century onwards,” notes The Culture Trip. Founded in 1104, the Arsenale became the greatest medieval shipyard in Europe, home to 300 shipping companies employing up to 16,000 people. “It stretches over an area of 46 hectares and was renowned for its unique ship-building techniques … the most breathtaking architectural feature of the Arsenale di Venezia is the Porta Magna, which functions as the port’s main gate,” says The Culture Trip. Nearby is the island of San Pietro, an excellent place to relax in the sun and home to the Church of San Pietro di Castello, and its famous throne of St. Peter, which is decorated with Arabic motifs and verses from the Koran.

There are a number of foodie haunts in Castello. Located in front of one of the last fruit and vegetable boats in town is the “venerable Trattoria Alla Rampa,” writes John Brunton in The Guardian, “with its ancient hand-painted sign”. That view is shared by Bon Appateur; they also recommend Osteria al Portego. “If you are in for a drink, join them for their happy hour and choose from their large selection of wines”.

“Castello is one of the few places in this city where one can find deserted squares and open park spaces,” observes Departures. “It’s where you can escape the tourist mayhem,” says contemporary art curator Francesco Bonami.

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