Sestiere Castello is the largest district of Venice and is the only one which is not crossed by the Grand Canal. Its name derives from the presence of a medieval stronghold that was built on the island of San Pietro.
Sestiere directly borders with the districts of Cannaregio and San Marco. It is linked with this one by the famous Ponte di Paglia that link the dock of San Marco with Riva degli Schiavoni.
Where is sestiere Castello?
Sestiere Castello is mainly served by the lines 4.1 and 5.1 of the ferry boat, these lines travel the external perimeter of Venice and you can have a wonderful view of Venice by the lagoon. It is not recommended to go on foot if you are in Train Station Santa Lucia. Castello is the biggest sestiere of Venice and go from a place to another can takes 40 minutes, and it is not so many comfortable if you have to carry the luggage.
Peculiarities of sestiere of Castello
It is one of the greenest areas of Venice thanks to the Gardens and the island of Sant’Elena, which are characterized by the presence of trees, flowers and playgrounds for children. Inside this areas there are most of the sport’s facilites and a lorto of attractions. Sestiere Castello has a view on one side on the lagoon with San Pietro and Sant’Elena, and on the other side faces San Marco. In this sestiere there is also Riva degli Schiavoni, on of the largest fondamenta of the city, which extends from San Marco’s pond (near Palace Ducale) to Rio Ca’ di Dio.
Points of interest
A tour of Sestiere Castello means a travel to discover the famous Arsenale and the Biennale di Venezia, the cultural istitution that organizes the Venice Film Festival. You can’t miss a walking in the street of shopping of this sestiere, Via Garibaldi, where are sold various venetian masks made in the workshops of artisans around the district.
Finally, a special treat of this sestiere is the bookshop AcquaAlta (literally High water), a very fascinating place. The books are put on unusual places like boats, gondole, canoes and tank that save the books in case of high tide.
Curiosities about sestiere Castello
In sestiere Castello rise up Palazzo Ca’ Dario, a dwelling overlooking the Gran Canal with a curse . The people who buy the house are killed, die suicide or for strange accidentally causes or go bankrupt.
In sestiere Castello there is also the House of Casanova, in Calle Barbarie delle Tolle, close to Campo San Giovanni and Paolo. This house was the last residence of ther seducer in Venice.
Attractions and monuments
There are a lot of monuments in this area, we can distinguish between not to be missed attractions and the others that take more time to visit them.
The most unmissable attraction is the mejestic Arsenale, shipyard at the period of Serenissima that was the fulcrum of the venetian naval industry and today is the home of the Italian Navy in addition to be the place of the Historical Naval Museum, the most important in Italy of its kind.
In this sestiere we also find the Biennale di Venezia, with its expositive locations and its gardens, and the Riva degli Schiavoni, monumental shore of Venice which extends on the San Marco’s pond and overlooks the Gran Canal.
It deservs a visit also the island of San Pietro, where is located the Cathedral of San Pietro, that was the house of the bishops for many centuries and finally the patriarchal center and the Church Santa Maria Formosa, one of the first eight churches that were built in the venetian lagoon and a masterpiece of architecture by Mauro Codussi.
This church stands on one of the most evocative fields of Venice, that is Campo Santa Maria Formosa, surrounded by historical palces like Palazzo Querini Stampalia, Palazzo Vitturi, Venier’s House and Palazzo Donà.
What to see with more time available
If your accomodation in Venice allows it, this sestiere has other interesting places like Campo Santi Giovanni ePaolo, one of the biggest of Venice, where stands the church of the same name that is an example of gothic style which is confered the title of minor cathedral.
In this sestiere there is also the Church San Zaccaria, with some fresco of Bellini inside and green area where spend some relaxing hours, like the wide pine grove of Sant’Elena, that is famous for the Parco delle Rimembranze, located in the southern part of sestiere, and the Gardens of Biennale.
Where to eat in Castello
If you are walking in the streets of Castello and is the time for lunch you can choose one of the places that we suggest you, that are famous in this area for the good quality of the dishes:
- You can definetely choose the Restaurant Covino, which offers a fixed-price menu with 3 dishes for 33 euros. The cooking is typical and the restaurant have a large variety of wines. There is also the possibility of take slow food dishes. We suggest you to book because the place is very small and has two turns both for lunch and for dinner.
- It deserves also the Osteria al Portego that offers a lot of cicheti (typical venetian finger food) of fish, like the salted codfish “alla vincentina” and the sardines “in saor”, with a bottle of Prosecco.
- Finally, you can go to Aciugheta, a place that is not only a bacaro (typical venetian tavern), but also restaurant (Il Ridotto) and pizzeria. The cicheti are very tasty and cheap. Also the restaurant, that has a michelin’s star, satisfies the most refined palates. It is recommended to book because the place is very small and always full of people.
Where to stay in Castello
Sestiere of Castello is a very calm area where live mainly venetian people, with the exception of Riva of Schiavoni and some other little portion of the district with a lot of tourists. It holds the primacy of green spaces that makes this area a nice place to stay. We have reported the hotels of this sestiere with the best reviews by who have visited Venice, we hope that it will be helpful for future visitors.