Giudecca is a small island located in the Venetian lagoon in Italy. Guidecca island has a laid-back, relaxed lifestyle and a distinctive village-like atmosphere. Even though the island is a neighborhood of Venice, it is still quite different from the more popular part of the city and is not yet as crowded with tourists as Venice is.
Originally, Guidecca island was destined for residential purposes, however, later on, a few industries and even a film studio have been set up here. World War II was responsible for massive losses and some industries even shut down. Today, Giudecca is exclusively a residential island and of late it is gaining popularity as a tourist spot, because of its natural beauty.
If you want to know more about Giudecca, Goidecca Canal, how to get from Giudecca to Venice and how to get from Venice to Giudecca, here you can find all the information you were looking for.
Have you ever heard about Giudecca island?
A series of islands form one of the historic neighborhoods of Venice: La Giudecca. A small size bridge overlooking the Giudecca Canal connects the island. The area was once known as Spinalunga, describing the spine of a rocky outcropping that makes up the islands. In recent times La Giudecca flourished thanks to land reclamation: the Sacca Fisola, on the western side of the Venice lagoon. La Giudecca is located south of Venice and is a nice, peaceful residential area, lacking all the noisy tourists roaming around the downtown areas. In fact, it is one of the few places in Venice that truly still belongs to the Venetians! The long pier, on the north side, facing the city, forms an avenue on which is very pleasant to take a stroll watching the beautiful sea sights of Venice.
The name of Giudecca Island
La Giudecca gets its curious name possibly from Jewish merchants that lived here in the 12th and 13th centuries. However, the area was never a Ghetto, like other Giudecca neighborhoods of Southern Italy. Until the early 16th century, Jews could live throughout Venice. A competing theory on the origin of the name may have been a corruption of a term for tanneries and tanning leather, in the Venetian dialect.
History of La Giudecca
The earliest residents certainly were mainly fishermen. Later centuries saw the wealthy families building the beautiful palaces of Venice here. It was an area rich with flowers and vegetable gardens, moreover, it was a perfect place to evade the busy city center. Over time Giudecca turned into a degraded area, almost an ill-famed slum with narrow alleys and neglected buildings. Some decades ago, it started to flourish again thanks to the construction of state-of-the-art residential areas and the rescue of some abandoned industrial areas making it, today, a totally urbanized island. Today Giudecca is quite possibly the best-kept secret in Venice. The industry and shipyards are gone, and the old houses and narrow streets are once again a place to get away from the crowds in San Marco. The beautiful palaces and churches, including the magnificent Chiesa del Santissimo Redentore, await modern travelers to Venice with rich rewards.
Attractions in Giudecca
Chiesa Del Redentore
The Chiesa Del Redentore is one of the most famous churches on the island and also in Venice. The church is also known as Santissimo Redentore. Palladio designed it in the 16th century. The church is also the place where the famous Redentore festival takes place every year in July. The festival organizes a traditional feast, pilgrimage, and fireworks. The church remains closed on Sundays.
Chiesa Della Zitelle and Casa de Maria (Casa dei Tre Oci)
The Chiesa Della Zitelle is another church on the island. Palladio also designed this church. Along with the Redentore church, this is one of the most important historical buildings on the Giudecca island. Close to Chiesa Della Zitelle is the Casa de Maria (Casa dei Tre Oci). Its purpose was formerly a studio for Mario de Maria in the twentieth century. The studio has beautifully patterned brickwork and inverted windows.
Chiesa di Sant’Eufemia
The Chiesa di Sant’Eufemia is another beautiful church on the island. However, the church is not open to visitors. Only under special request, a group of twenty or more people can visit it. Otherwise, it is possible to admire the beauty of the church from the outside, since it has marvelous architecture.
Molino Stucky is the most renowned location on the island, which is now a Hilton hotel. The famous rooftop bar in this hotel is the best place to enjoy a good view of the lagoon and spend a nice evening outdoors. The architecture of the building is also quite curious since it is made based on the original architecture of the mill that used to be standing at the same location.
The Waterfront of Giudecca is where all the locals and tourists go for a nice walk. The entire stretch of the waterfront is a paved cobble-stoned street with charming tiny shops lining up the sides selling everything from wine to food and some local products. On Sundays, the waterfront becomes a thriving busy street with locals coming here in groups to enjoy the sun and a good walk.
How to get to Giudecca from Venice?
If you are wondering how to get to Giudecca from Venice, here is some useful information. Giudecca is quite close to Venice and the only way to reach here is by ferries and boats. Visitors will have to cross the Giudecca Canal to reach the island. Venice has several motorboats, Vaporetti, which depart for Giudecca every hour from several parts of the city. Line 2 and lines 4.1 and 4.2 go directly between Giudecca and the main stops in Venice. The price of the ticket is 7 euros for a single route, however, there are passes for tourists that allow saving a lot of money.
From Piazzale Roma or from the Venice train station it is possible to take lines 2 and 4.1, while from Piazza San Marco you can take line 4.2 or line 2 and enjoy a suggestive tour of the lagoon before getting off at Giudecca island. The main stops on the island are Palanca, Redentore, and Zitelle.
How to get to Giudecca from Venice at night
The cheapest way to get to Giudecca is to take the ferry at the Zattere stop. Travelers can purchase a ticket for the short trip also on the ferry. the cost is 3 euros. The night Vaporetto line also is line N. Just check the timetables of the ACTV line N which goes from San Marco-S. Zaccaria to Lido passing through the Giudecca.
Moving Around the Island
The only way to move around the island is by foot. Giudecca is a very small island. Visitors can experience its charm only by walking around its pretty streets. On Sunday afternoons locals like walking around. The northern part of the Giudecca island is the only place where people can explore the full length of the island. From here there are beautiful views of the Giudecca canal and Venice lagoon. In the small squares and the streets, children play and the older people sit and chat at all times of the day.
Accommodation on Giudecca island
Although Giudecca is quite a small island, there are a few options in terms of accommodation. Because of the rise in tourism in recent years, the island has a few hotels that accommodate tourists who want to explore the island for a little longer. The hotels on the island are quite expensive like they are in Venice but they are really charming as well. There are three, four, and five-star properties on the island and one or two Beds & Breakfasts. The most well-known hotels here are Hotel Hilton Molino Stucky, The Capriani Hotel, and Bauer Palladio Hotel.
Eating on Giudecca
Giudecca does have a few restaurants and bars on the island, most of which are quite expensive. However, there are also restaurants that serve good food for reasonable prices. Some good places to try out on the island are Harry’s Dolci in the Capriani Hotel, although it is very expensive. Altanella, Trattoria De Mori, Cip’s Club, Ristorante Mistra, La Palance snack bar.
Shopping on Giudecca
The waterfront of Giudecca is lined with small and pretty shops. There are wine shops, bakeries, small book stores, butchers, and fishmongers located on this street on the island. The Wine shops on the island sell wines straight out of the barrel and are definitely worth tasting and buying.