Sestiere “Dorsoduro”

This sestiere gets its name from the peculiar shape of its very hard land, which emerged from the lagoon like a back (dorso).
Another name was Scopulo (rock) from its shape. According to other sources the name comes from the Paduan family Dossoduro, which was among the first inhabitants of the island.
Finally the Negri’s version derives the name from “Deorsum turris’ (over the tower) assuming that Castel Forte di San Rocco had once a big tower.
In the old times this area wasn’t safe because of frequent barbarians’ incursions.
Doge Partecipazio, elected in 864, assigned this area to his personnel as residences; these people were called “excusati” (excused) because they were excused from any other duty or service.
The sestiere of Dorsoduro was developed from nearby areas and today it also comprises the islands of San Giorgio and Giudecca.

Chiesa di San Nicolò dei Mendicoli

Among the oldest of the Venetian religious sites, being founded in the last decades of the 7th century. It has been remodelled several times, and from the outside is a modest building. Beside it rises an impressive square Veneto-Byzantine bell tower...

Chiesa di San Raffaele Arcangelo

Called “dell’Angelo Raffaele”, or as the Venetians say ”dell’Anzolo Rafael. According to popular tradition, the church of the Archangel Raphael, “vulgo l’Anzolo”, was built in 416 by Adriana, the mother of Genusio Ruteno lord of...

Chiesa di San Sebastiano

Fra’ Angelo of Corsica of the Congregation of S. Girolamo, founded by the blessed Pietro Gambacorti of Pisa, came to Venice from Rimini with some of his followers a little after 1393 and built a hospice in this place. In 1396 he raised an oratory...

Magazzini del Sale

These are the ancient stores which the Venetian Republic used for the packing of salt, one of its most flourishing trades. Their use has varied over the years, and they were recently put forward as the site of a swimming pool. At present they are...

Scuola Grande dei Carmini

One of the great schools of Venice, built in the middle of the 1600s to a design by Baldassarre Longhena, and owes its fame to the splendid paintings by GB. Tiepolo which decorate the upper salon. Anoter notable work is “Giuditta e Oloferne” by...

Basilica della Salute

It was a law of the Republic that on the day of the Holy Redeemer (the third Saturday in July of each year) the temple sacred to Him should be visited by the Doge and the Signoria. Even today, on that day, Venice is joined to the Giudecca by a...

Ca' Rezzonico

The Rezzonico, of ancient and noble Como blood, were admitted to the Venetian patriciate in 1687 in the persons of the brothers Quintiliano, Abbondio and G. Battista, who offered the Republic 100.000 ducats. The glory of the Rezzonicas reached its...

Chiesa dei Carmini

Its name is the Church of S.ta Maria del Carmelo. It was begun in 1288 and was consacrated in 1348. The facade was rebuilt in the first decades of the 1500s, and the interior retains the original 14th – century construction in 3 naves separated by...

Chiesa dei Gesuati

Having arrived in Venice, some individuals of the religious family founded in Siena by the blessed Giovanni Colombini took up their abode first in a house in S. Giustina and then, in 1392, in the edifice we are talking about, the house called...

Chiesa di San Barnaba

The church of St. Barnabas was built in 809 by the Adorni (or Adami) family. It was destroyed by fire in 1105 and rebuilt on the alms of the faithful. It was consecrated in 1350 by two bishops; Francesco Mociense of the Minorite order, and Agnellino...

Chiesa di San Pantaleone

The Venetians call it San Pantalon. No-one really knows when it was founded; we only know that in 1009, under the doge Ottone Orseolo, it was rebuilt by the Giordani family. It was renovated in 1222 by Semitecolo, and consecrated in 1305 by Ramperto...

Chiesa e Squero di San Trovaso

The church with two almost-equal facades, with palladian modes, was rebuilt on a pre-existing edifice and is dated the beginning of the 1600s. it contains works by Tintoretto, Palma the Younger and Giambono. The squero, one of the last still able to...

Gallerie dell'Accademia

The nucleus of the collection was begun in 1807 and, after its establishment in the Carità, it was opened to the public in 1817. The complex of the Carità, which houses the galleries, is made up of the church, the convent and the school, all of...

Peggy Guggenheim Collection

In 1949 Ca’ Venier (“Dei Leoni”), a 17th – century building by Lorenzo Boschetti, was bought by Peggy Guggenheim. The building was begun for the Venier family, but was never finished. The American collector restored it and its salons hold...

Suggested Routes


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Accademia, Salute, Gesuati, S.Barnaba, S.Trovaso, Zattere


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S.Simeone, Frari, San Rocco, S.Margherita, S.Nicolò dei Mendicoli, San Sebastiano


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S.Eufemia, S Cosma e Damiano, Redentore, Zitelle, San Giorgio Maggiore