Venice and its Sestieri – an overview of the unique city

passi nella notte – steps in the night – Photo © Antonio Giacomini

Venice has six districts, known as “sestiere”. Each has a distinctive style and history. We provide a brief overview. You choose the area that best suits you, or interests you more than the others. Whichever area you choose, Venice is a small city, where you can walk from one end to the other in about an hour. You could stay forever, and never know all her secrets, or see all her treasures.

San Marco, Venice heart

Saint Mark’s Square is Venice’s only square. It consists of an artistic complex of buildings in different styles that over time have created a harmonious setting to the square.
Not miss in Saint Marks district >>

Sestriere di Castello – Photo © Paolo Vannucchi
The sestiere of Castello

Venetians settled in Castello in the fifth to sixth centuries. The district takes its name from the castle that stood there and which provided defense from attacks from the sea. Here is the ancient Arsenal, which was an essential part of the life of the Repubblica.
Not to miss in Castello district >>

Sestriere Cannaregio – Vini da Gigio – Photo ©
The sestiere of Cannaregio

The name has two possible origins. It may derive from Canal Regio, the main canal for communicating with the mainland or else it may refer to extensive reed beds found there in the past. The railway station has its nam from Santa Lucia. It was built in the area of the church of Santa Lucia, destroyed after Napoleon’s edit in 1806. The building is number one of the district.
Not to miss in Cannaregio district >>

Sestiere San Polo – Photo © Davide Devoti
The sestiere of San Polo

This is the smallest area. In this district people ‘lived over the shop’. Dwellings and workplaces were often in the same building. On the Rialto and everywhere else we find an old and noble Venetian vocation: that of good food. They honore enjoyment of food here, even in its most simple and popular forms. All around the area, we find ‘osterie and bacari’; taverns that providing ready-made dishes. The choices are Saòr, bigoi in salsa, tripe, liver alla veneziana, fish fries, as well as the typical ‘cicheto’, a morsel on a stick.
Not to miss in San Polo district >>

Vegetable market – Photo © Silvia Massetti
The sestiere of Santa Croce

It is the north-east of the city and via Piazzale Roma, it connects Venice to the mainland. All this area has been subject to many demolitions and transformations, starting in 1810 with the demolition of the church and monastery of Santa Croce, which gave their name to the district. The Papadopoli gardens are in the area. Bagnara designed the gardens in the likeness of English gardens. Now open to the public, they are completely. different
Not to miss in Santa Croce district >>

Sestiere Dorsoduro – Photo © Alessio Degrandi
The sestiere of Dorsoduro

It extends over the southern part of the city, starting with Punta della Dogana that juts out into the San Marco basin like the prow of a ship. The ‘Dogana da mar’ (sea customs house) of the Venetian Republic is from the seventeenth century. It consists of many warehouses hidden behind the facade. It ends with the square tower on top of which there are bronze statues that support the golden ball, on which Fortune stands. After the tower, the Zattere begins: this is a long jetty that goes as far as Santa Marta. It is from 1516 to unload the timbre which rafts (zattere) brought down the rivers from the Cadore area.
Not to miss in Dorsoduro district >>

Where to stay in Venice