The Cannaregio district is the largest and most populated quarter of Venice. It covers the whole northern part of the city and stretches from the Lagoon and the Canale Grande to the San Marco district. Cannaregio is home to Venetian tradition, historic buildings, and magnificent sights. Read on for our list of what to do in this popular district of Italy
Ca d’Oro Palace
Ca d’Oro Palace, a magnificent building right on the Canale Grande, was designed in the 15th century by the famous architect Giovanni Bon and his son Bartolomeo for Marino Contarini, one of the wealthiest Venetians at the time. It is designed in a Venetian floral gothic style that also resembles Byzantine architectural elements. Today, Ca d’Oro Palace is open to the public as an art gallery that features works of art by renowned Venetian artists, such as Titian, Giovanni Bellini, and Vittore Carpaccio. Check out the website for a detailed schedule of the different temporary exhibits.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 8.15 am-6.15pm
Cannaregio, 3932, Venezia, Italy, +39 041 522 2349
The Jewish Ghetto, located in Sestiere of Cannaregio, not far from Santa Lucia railway station, refers to the area in which the Jewish population was forced to live in from the 16th to the 18th century. The Venetian Jewish Ghetto is especially marked by its high buildings, sometimes up to seven floors with low ceilings, due to the number of people who were forced to relocate to this area. The ghetto is divided into three adjacent parts: the Ghetto Novo, the oldest parts dating back as far as 1516, the Ghetto Vecchio from 1541, and the Ghetto Novissimo, built in 1633. The ghetto also housed five synagogues, all of which are still intact today and used as a religious center for the small Jewish community that still lives in the area. Today, Venice has a Jewish population of about 500 people, 30 of which live in the ghetto.
Venice, and in particular the former Jewish Ghetto, are known to have the most outstanding Hanukkah celebrations, which traditionally last for eight consecutive days with dates being determined by the Hebrew calendar. As the oldest ghetto in the world, the Jewish Ghetto in the Cannaregio neighborhood considers tradition to be of great importance and introduces both Venetian locals and tourists to the significance of the festival of lights and the tradition behind it. Following the traditional lighting of the menorah, the Cannaregio neighborhood is brought to life with live music and dancing.
The Muso Ebraico di Venezia
The Muso Ebraico di Venezia is the Jewish museum of Venice, which was founded by the Jewish Community in 1953 in order to safeguard the history of the community and introduce visitors to Jewish tradition and religious life. The museum is located in the Ghetto Novo, right between the two oldest Venetian synagogues. The museum showcases examples of goldsmith and textile manufacturing made in the Jewish Ghetto between the 16th and 18th century. It also explains the cycle of Jewish festivities as well as the history of Venetian Jews. Muso Ebraico di Venezia is more than just an exhibition space. It interacts with the area it is built in and also offers tours through the old Ghetto and the five synagogues.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10am-7pm
Campo del Ghetto Nuovo 2909, Venice, Italy, +39 041 528 9387
Parco di Villa Groggia
Parco di Villa Groggia
Parco di Villa Groggia, located along the very northern edge of the Cannaregio district, is a small and intimate park that is generally frequented by locals. The romantic gardens not only exhibit outstanding works of art and beautiful nature, but they also house a small theater, called Teatrino di Villa Groggia, that dates back to the 19th century. Today Parco di Villa Groggia mostly attracts local families who enjoy the peace and quiet of the gardens and the children’s playground, away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist crowds in the city.
Fondamenta Riformati 3161, Cannaregio, Venice, Italy
Have an authentic ape
Al Timon is a little osteria, a simple typical Italian restaurant, and bar, run by young Venetian Alex Biscontin, who has turned Al Timon into a popular hangout spot for students and other young Venetians. Typical bacaro on the inside, Al Timon has a lovely outdoor seating area, lined up along the waterside. The bar is a truly authentic Venetian locale, where locals go to enjoy the excellent bistro cuisine and a glass of spritz al bitter, which is prepared with Campari. Al Timon is one of the district’s most stylish meeting spots that stays open past midnight and really comes alive at night.
Opening hours: Sun-Sat 6pm-1am
Fondamenta degli Ormesini, Cannaregio, Venice, Italy, +39 041 524 6066
Taste true Venetian cuisine
Osteria Al Bacco, tucked away in the quiet Canal delle Capuzine, is one of the oldest and most traditional osterias in Venice. It is especially popular with locals, who appreciate the restaurant’s exquisite cuisine, ranging from freshly grilled sea bass to Adriatic seafood specialties, fine wines and complemented by a friendly atmosphere. Apart from its traditional, wood-panelled interior, Osteria Al Bacco also has a small seating area along the Canal delle Capuzine outside as well as a beautiful garden space that is covered by a 120-year-old vine. Al Bacco is one of Cannaregio’s hidden secrets that guarantees a truly authentic dining experience.
Opening hours: Mon, Wed-Sun 10am-3pm and 6pm-10.30pm
Fondamenta Capuzine, Cannaregio, Venice, Italy, +39 041 721415
The Church of Madonna dell’Orto
The Church of Madonna dell’Orto
The Church of Madonna dell’Orto is located on the northern side of the Cannaregio district on the homonymous square. Built in the mid-14th century, Madonna dell’Orto was founded by the order of Umiliati and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The portal of the church, however, which was designed by renowned Venetian architect Bartolomeo Bon, is decorated with a statue of St Christopher, who it was dedicated to before. Madonna dell’Orto is one of the prime examples of Venetian Gothic architecture along with outstanding art by Venetian artist Jacopo Robusti, better known as Tintoretto.
Campo Dell’Orto, Cannaregio 3512, Venice, Italy, +39 041 719 933
The Ponte delle Guglie
The Ponte delle Guglie, located in the immediate vicinity of the Santa Lucia train station, is one of the two bridges that crosses the Canale Cannaregio. The bridge has its origins in the early 13th century, however, the present bridge was only built in 1823. The bridge also recently had a ramp installed in order to ensure full access for people with reduced mobility. Ponte dell Guigle acts as a connection for people crossing over from the Piazza San Marco or San Polo after visiting Rialto Bridge.
The Malibran Theater
Opera House, Theater
The Malibran Theater
The Malibran Theater, located in the heart of the Cannaregio district, was first inaugurated in 1678 and gained significance amongst Venetians throughout the 17th and 18th century. The Venice municipality purchased the theater in 1992 and after nearly a decade of restoration, the Malibran Theater re-opened its doors in May 2001 and is able to host up to 900 people. Once Venice’s most important theater, the Malibran Theater now shares the fantastic classical music, ballet and opera season with La Fenice. In addition to this, the theater also has its own chamber music season. Check out their website for details.
Calle Maggioni, 5873, 30121 Cannaregio, Venice, Italy, +39 041 786603