Giudecca island in Venice: top things to see
Giudecca island is one of the few places in Venice that still preserves its authenticity in terms of real life. It can be reached in just five minutes by vaporetto from St. Mark’s Square (line 2 from San Zaccaria to the railway station). In Giudecca you’ll definitely see far fewer tourists, compared to elsewhere in Venice.
Famous for its quiet residential calli, family-run restaurants, shipyards, and handcrafted factories, this island deserves to be visited during your stay in Venice.
The history of Giudecca island
Originally called “Spina Longa“, because of its curious herringbone shape, this island extends majestically in front of its better-known neighbour, Venice.
The name Giudecca may derive from the presence of the first Jewish ghetto in the past, but it could also come from the term “zudegà“, in Italian “giudicato”, referring to the practices of the Republic to grant land to families banned from the city and then recalled from exile.
Thanks to the abundance of gardens and trees, the Giudecca was the refuge of the Venetian nobility during the warmer months. Unfortunately, when the prestige of the Serenissima collapsed, these pleasant places turned into military depots, workers’ quarters and prisons.
Discovering Giudecca: the cultural tour
A good idea could be alternate the visit of churches with some museums. If you want to include San Giorgio Maggiore island in your itinerary, you can get there in less than two minutes by vaporetto from Giudecca.
Among the churches on the island, we suggest stopping to appreciate the Chiesa del Redentore, built following a project by the famous architect Andrea Palladio. You’ll have the chance to admire one of the most celebrated Venetian churches, housing nothing less than artworks by the famous painters Veronese and Palma il Giovane.
This church is connected to the city center by a votive bridge during the celebration of two important festivals in Venice: the spectacular Festa del Redentore (July) and the religious festival of Madonna della Salute (November). A floating walkway is mounted to facilitate the passage of pilgrims in prayer.
After this beautiful church, you can visit the museum known as Casa Tre Oci – a gorgeous neo-Gothic building, housing exhibition spaces where numerous artistic projects are organized, with particular regard to photographic ones.
The real treat of this museum is the perspective it gives you on the main island from the three large eye-shaped windows, “oci” in Venetian dialect. From there, you’ll be able to enjoy dazzling views over St. Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace, which you will never forget.
The fashion side of Giudecca
Among the many activities that the island offers, you shouldn’t miss visiting the Mariano Fortuny Factory. At the end of the 19th century, the Spanish artist opened a small atelier where he worked with refined materials and precious fabrics – innovative techniques and great taste have characterized Fortuny’s creations since then.
The showroom and the magnificent garden, full of flowers and plants that inspired the artist’s designs and decorations, are accessible to the public, by appointment. More details on costs and reservations are available at our reception.