ALL ABOUT DORSODURO – the Venetian district of Dorsoduro stretches on the Southwestern part of Venice, between the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal.
The name Dorsoduro stands for ‘the hard backbone,’ as the subsoil here is more compact than in other areas of town.
If Venice were Paris, Dorsoduro will be then the ‘Rive Gauche’. Casual, chic, with hidden antique shops and artisans’ ateliers.
It boasts several schools including Ca’ Foscari University and the Fine Arts Academy, and world renown museums such as Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the Accademia Galleries, Ca’ Rezzonico and Pinault’s Dogana.
We stop a minute to admire the always enchanting view of the Grand Canal with the familiar Dome of La Salute as a backdrop.
Past the Accademia Galleries we reach Campo San Barnaba, an animated square cheered by a picturesque canal with a strong cinematographic vocation.
Your guide will summon up the memorable scenes in which San Barnaba acted as a movie location.
Nearby is the vast Campo Santa Margherita, where university students, the few Venetians left, and a sprinkle of tourists sit at the open-air cafés, creating an informal, leisurely atmosphere unique to Venice.
We proceed along Rio dei Carmini to San Nicolò dei Mendicoli, once a parish of sailormen and fishermen, busy today with the presence of university and port activities.
A secluded area of town rarely visited by the tourists.
Still retaining its identity as a working-class sector of the city.
The artistic jewel here is the Renaissance Church of San Sebastiano.
Behind the modest aspect of its facade we discover a treasure of masterly executed frescoes and canvases by Paolo Veronese.
The great painter, who died at 60, is buried here. Of special interest the Stories of Queen Esther on the ceiling and the many paintings dedicated to St Sebastian himself, one of the plague protector saints.
Our exploration continues past two of the last gondola yards, where the most iconic Venetian boat is still crafted today following strict traditional rules.
Your guide will tell you more about the history of the asymmetrical black boat, one of the most universally known symbols of the city,
Along the Zattere (= rafts, on which timber was transported from the mountain valleys down to the Lagoon), the sunny promenade bordering the Giudecca Canal, we’ll stop, as Venetians do, for an ice cream.
If you wish to stick to the tradition we advise you to ask for a ‘gianduiotto’…
Our promenade ends at the Punta della Dogana, the historical Sea Custom House, at the junction of the Grand Canal with the Giudecca Canal.
Here we’ll enjoy the waterscape, starring St. Mark’s Square and St. George’s Island.
Right behind us the Sea Custom Tower, with Fortuneon top as a weathercock, will remind us of the glorious days when the ships sailed into the city from the Adriatic Sea.
Cost of this tour
This tour lasts three hours and costs 280 euros up to six people (not per person).
Only private parties.
For larger parties send us an email!
Entrance fees per person: Church of San Sebastiano 3 euros as an alternative or in addition, we can also enter the Salute Church (no admission fees).
Dress Code and advice
Short sleeves and knee high skirts/pants ok
No sleeveless garments, no shorts.
The Church of San Sebastiano is closed on Sundays.