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The Top 10 Things To Do And See In Dorsoduro, Venice

Picture of Sonia Cuesta de Andrés
Updated: 17 October 2017
Dorsoduro, part of the six main sestieri in central Venice, is known as one of the most authentic areas in the city, with less tourists and lower prices. It also has some of the best sights that Venice has to offer, making it the perfect place to escape the crowd and explore the real Venice. Discover the best things to do and see here.

Gallerie dell’Accademia

The Gallerie dell’Accademia houses Venice’s most important paintings. The site is composed of three buildings, which were all used for religious purposes before they became part of the museum complex. Napoleon was responsible for the creation of this beautiful gallery, not only because he closed churches all over Venice and took their artwork, but also because he set up the Accademia Di Belle Arti at this location and established that it should be a gallery as well as a school.

Address: Campo della Carità 1050, Venice, Italy +39 041 520 0345

Gallerie dell'Accademia | © brownpau/Flickr
Gallerie dell’Accademia | © brownpau/Flickr

Discover Venetian cuisine

Italian food is known around the globe for its pasta, pizza and gelato, but what most visitors do not know is that the Veneto region has some traditions of its own, and incorporates delicious seafood-based dishes into the typical Italian menus. In Venice visitors will be able to enjoy the lush recipes that are served all over the city, as well as experience traditional Venetian dining by going to bacari bars and trying cicchetti, typical bar snacks. If all of that is not enough, visitors also have the option of dining on the canal or in chic rooftop restaurants.

Seafood Spaghetti | © SodanieChea/Flickr
Seafood Spaghetti | © SodanieChea/Flickr

Peggy Guggenheim Collection

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection houses the art of the most influential European and American artists of the 20th century, and is visited daily by hundreds of tourists. It is located on the Dorsoduro side of the Grand Canal, so it is very easy to reach from all parts of the city. This museum is undoubtedly one of the most important things to see in Venice, not only because it comprises the city’s best array of modern art, but also because it is close to some of Venice’s best restaurants.

Address: Dorsoduro 701-704, Venice, Italy, +39 041 240 5411

Peggy Guggenheim Collection | © NathanRupert/Flickr
Peggy Guggenheim Collection | © NathanRupert/Flickr

Cà Rezzonico

Seeing at least one palace whilst in Venice is a must, and Cà Rezzonico’s size makes it more manageable than the grand Palazzo Ducale, while still maintaining the luxurious and sophisticated aspect of any Venetian palazzo. This baroque building with sumptuous rooms, elegant frescoes and delicate marble staircases will delight visitors, and give them a glimpse of what life used to be like for the wealthy in Venice.

Address: Fondamenta Rezzonico 3136, Venice, Italy +390 41 241 01 00

Facciata sul Canal Grande Venezia, Ca' Rezzonico - Museo del Settecento Veneziano © Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia
Facciata sul Canal Grande Venezia, Ca’ Rezzonico | Courtesy of Museo del Settecento Venezia

San Sebastiano

From the outside this neighborhood church might trick visitors into thinking that it is nothing out of the ordinary, but once they have stepped inside it reveals itself a unique work of art. The paintings, stretching from the floor to the ceiling, are the work of Paolo Veronese, an artist who was said to have sought refuge at this church after fleeing Verona, where there were murder charges against him. In order to thank the church that protected him, he not only painted the walls, but decorated the ceiling and the organ doors amongst other things.

Campo San Sebastiano 1687, Venice, Italy +39 041 275 0462

Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

Designed by Baldassare Longhena, who also took part in the decoration of the Scuola Grande dei Carmini, this church was built by plague survivors in order to give thanks for surviving the disease, as Venice was an area that suffered greatly. It was finished in the 17th century, and its domed structure stands out from the buildings around it, marking its importance. The church’s privileged location on the Grand Canal makes it all the more stunning, and is perfect for a quick visit during the day.

Address: Campo della Salute 1b, Venice, Italy +390 41 241 10 18

Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute | © ChristopherChan/Flickr
Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute | © ChristopherChan/Flickr

Traditional shopping

At Marina e Susanna Sent and Cà Macana, travelers will be able to shop for two of the items that are usually associated with Venice: glass from Murano and carnival wear. At Cà Macana the masks are so impressive that they have even been used in several Hollywood productions, so visitors will not be wasting their time stopping here. The owner organizes fun one or two-hour workshops where visitors will be able to create their own personalized mask for the Carnevale. Meanwhile at Marina e Susanna Sent, minimalistic glass jewelry takes center stage, making their shop a perfect stop for those in look for a classy souvenir from Venice.

Address: Marina e Susanna Sent, Campo San Vio 669, Venice, Italy +390 41 520 81 36, Cà Macana, Calle de le Botteghe, Dorsoduro 3172, Venice, Italy +390 41 277 61 42

Walk along the Zattere

Fondamenta delle Zattere is one of the best streets in Venice for an evening stroll, and locals flock here at night to relax and unwind from the city’s stressful pace of life. It stretches along the Giudecca Canal, which is one of the most picturesque areas of Venice, situated on the south limit of the Dorsoduro neighborhood. Visitors who come here will not only be able to enjoy the panorama across the water, but will also be able to admire the picturesque buildings that line Dorsoduro’s side of the canal, such as the Ospedale degli Incurabili (the incurable’s hospital), which was used in the 16th century to treat those who suffered from syphilis.

Address: Fondamenta Zattere, Venice, Italy

Scuola Grande dei Carmini

Once a stop for pilgrims and backpackers, where they could rest in the most sophisticated environment, this confraternity was first established in the 13th century. The interior was designed by Giambattista Tiepolo and Baldassare Longhena, who covered it in gold, carved wood and beautiful frescoes. For a time it was also the site of the city’s first flagellation order, and men came here to hit themselves with wooden rods, a practice that has since stopped. Adults will be able to explore this stunning site for five euros, from 11am until 4pm.

Address: Campo Santa Margherita 2617, Venice, Italy +390 41 528 94 20

Scuola Grande dei Carmini | © mightymightymatze/Flickr
Scuola Grande dei Carmini | © mightymightymatze/Flickr

Watch how gondolas are made

Squeri are gondola workshops, and where once there used to be hundreds of them, there are now just a couple that remain in Venice. One of the most accessible workshops is that of Squero di San Trovaso, located near the Fondamenta Zattere. Although it is not usually open for visits, travelers can catch a glimpse of what goes on behind closed doors by standing across the locale on the Fondamenta Maravegie canal. A lot of work goes into making gondolas, as each one requires three months of labor and more than 250 pieces of wood, so it is extremely eye-opening to observe the building process.

Address: Dorsoduro, 1097, Venice, Italy +39 041 522 9146