La Giudecca, an area of Venice divided by the canal of the same name, is accessible only by water and is made up of several islands connected by bridges.
You wind along the canal which the cruise ships take to reach the passenger terminal situated where the commercial port once was. In fact, all merchant ships passed through La Giudecca at one time to get to the docks of the old commercial sea port. However, this was moved to Porto Marghera in the first half of the 1900s.
Until the 1960s, La Giudecca was a common working class area with industries, shipyards and factories.
Now, it is a quiet popular zone with an extensive and enjoyable walking area. From here, you can admire St. Mark’s Square and take in Venice from another perspective while having dinner in a traditional trattoria or sitting down for a coffee or an aperitif in one of the many cafés along the way.
In addition to the Chiesa delle Zitelle (the Spinster’s Church), there is also San Eufemia, one of Venice’s oldest churches. You’ll then come to the imposing building of La Chiesa del Redentore or the Church of the Redeemer, famous for the Venetian feast of the same name held the third Sunday in July. The night before, Venetians dine by boat or along the banks of the canal, waiting for the “foghi” or firework spectacle that lights up the whole basin of San Marco.
Another interesting building is the one known as “La Casa dei Tre Oci” (the House of the Three Eyes) because of its three large windows overlooking the lagoon. It houses a foundation where interesting shows and exhibitions worth visiting take place. It’s also worth seeing the interior of the house. From its windows, you can enjoy an incredible panorama of Saint Mark’s and overlook the Basilica della Salute.
La Giudecca still remains a very Venetian area, although it’s being more and more discovered by tourists, especially younger ones since it’s home to the only youth hostel. But, you can come here in search of less frequented and more traditional and unique spots where you can still meet the inhabitants of the city as they go about their peaceful life.
Winding your way along one of the streets leading to the other side of La Giudecca, you can admire the panorama of the South Lagoon with its islands, the coast of the Lido on the left, and the mainland with the cranes of the commercial port on the right.
At the end, stands the imposing grindstone of what was once the Stucky Mill. The architecture here is reminiscent of the old docks of the Port of Hamburg. This former depot and grain warehouse has been recently transformed into a luxurious hotel.