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Dorsoduro

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Dorsoduro, 30100 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

EUR 15

Find it on google maps

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expert
Ambra
Local tour guide
"Make sure to explore the side streets of Dorsoduro in Venice; this district is less frequented by tourists and you'll find a more authentic Venetian experience, with unique local shops and quaint restaurants. Also, visit the area around the Zattere promenade in the late afternoon, as the setting sun casts a beautiful light on the Giudecca Canal, a perfect time and place for unforgettable photos."

What is Dorsoduro?

Dorsoduro is one of the six sestieri of Venice, and arguably it's the cultural heartbeat of the city. Nestled between the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal, it's less frequented by tourists compared to areas like San Marco, making it a treasure trove for those who seek the more authentic side of Venice. Here, age-old churches coexist with prestigious art galleries, and the atmosphere is steep in academic legacy due to the presence of Ca' Foscari University of Venice.

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History of Dorsoduro

The district's history is as deep as the waters that surround it. Its name, meaning 'hard ridge', comes from the firmer ground that the district is built upon, which made it one of the last areas of the city to be developed. Wealthy merchant families were drawn to Dorsoduro for its stability and built their grand palaces here. The age of the Renaissance left a profound impact on Dorsoduro, shaping much of its architecture and cultural contributions.

Among the legacy of those times, the Gallerie dell'Accademia holds an extensive collection of pre-19th century art, providing insight into the rich artistic past of not just the district but of Venice as a whole. Furthermore, Dorsoduro is home to some of the earliest examples of Venice’s iconic Gothic architecture. The district has thus been instrumental in fostering Venice's reputation as a crucible of art and architecture.

Why is Dorsoduro Important?

Dorsoduro’s importance lies in its blend of artistic grandeur and academic spirit. It stands as a witness to Venice's artistic movements and societal shifts throughout the centuries. The sestiere shelters some of the most important artistic collections in the city, evidenced by the presence of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, which is one of the most illustrious modern art museums in Italy. The district also has a vibrant contemporary art scene, epitomized by the Punta della Dogana, which hosts rotating exhibitions of modern art.

Additionally, Dorsoduro is a vital piece of the everyday social fabric of Venice due to Ca' Foscari University. The influx of students and academics worldwide contributes to the dynamic and youthful atmosphere. The sestiere doesn't just represent Venice’s past; it is very much a part of its active and evolving present, making it important for both locals and visitors seeking an authentic Venetian experience.

Things to Do & See at Dorsoduro

In Dorsoduro, every corner turned is an opportunity to experience Venice's splendor. You can start with the iconic Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute – a massive baroque church which was constructed in the 17th century, as thanks for the city's deliverance from the Black Plague. This building alone is a marvel with its impressive domes and art-adorned interiors. Along the Zattere, Dorsoduro's southern waterfront, visitors enjoy stunning views of the Giudecca Canal, paired with a gelato from one of the many local gelaterie.

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For art lovers, the aforementioned Gallerie dell'Accademia and Peggy Guggenheim Collection can easily take up much of the day with their extensive exhibits. But don't overlook smaller galleries along the narrow alleys or the many churches dotted around the sestiere, each presenting their own collection of renaissance paintings and sculptures. Evening strolls along Campo Santa Margherita reveal lively cafés and bars where students and locals mingle into the night. Each step within Dorsoduro offers an authentic slice of Venetian life that stands in contrast to the crowded tourist trails.

  • Visit the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute and marvel at its architecture and artworks.
  • Stroll along the Zattere and take in the calming waterside ambiance.
  • Explore the vast collections of the Gallerie dell'Accademia and Peggy Guggenheim Collection.
  • Enjoy the dynamic atmosphere of Campo Santa Margherita during the eve.
  • Discover hidden art galleries and historic churches scattered throughout the district.

Frequently asked questions

What is Dorsoduro in Venice?

Dorsoduro is one of the six sestieri (districts) of Venice, Italy, known for its bohemian atmosphere, art galleries, museums like the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and the historic architecture of its churches and buildings.

What are the main attractions in Dorsoduro?

Main attractions in Dorsoduro include the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the Accademia Gallery, the Santa Maria della Salute church, the Ca' Rezzonico museum, and the lively Campo Santa Margherita square.

How can I get to Dorsoduro?

Dorsoduro can be reached by vaporetto (water bus) lines that stop at various points along the Grand Canal, such as Accademia, Zattere, and Salute stops. Alternatively, one can take a pleasant walk from other areas of Venice.

Are there any recommendations for dining in Dorsoduro?

Dorsoduro offers a variety of dining options, from traditional Venetian trattorias to chic cafes and bars. Popular spots include Osteria Al Squero for cicchetti (small snacks) and Cantinone già Schiavi for its wide selection of wines.

What is the best time to visit Dorsoduro?

The best time to visit Dorsoduro is during spring and fall when the weather is pleasant and the area is less crowded compared to the summer months. However, visiting during the Venice Biennale (usually May to November) offers a unique cultural experience.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Dorsoduro, 30100 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

EUR 15

Find it on google maps