Sunday, January 18, 2015

Traveling To Venice ~ The Dorsoduro

Venice ~ Dorsoduro

When my thoughts wander to Venice, which they do regularly, they go straight to my favorite of the sestieri (neighborhoods), the beautiful Dorsoduro.

view of the Dorsoduro, Venice

To me this is Venice's most gorgeous neighborhood, resplendent with historic buildings, amazing churches, picturesque little squares and canals. Walking around in the Dorsoduro you get the concept of what Venice is really all about. It is just the most wonderful experience, so incredibly beautiful, and compared to the manic tourist explosion surrounding Piazza San Marco just across the grand Canal, it feels relatively tourist free. Or at least tourist tolerable.

There are two major art attractions in the Dorsoduro, the Galleria dell'Accademia and the Collezione Peggy Guggenheim, each well worth visiting. Perhaps my favorite place to visit is the  spectacular Santa Maria Della Salute, the gleaming white baroque church standing watch over the entrance to the grand canal. As many times as I've visited Santa Maria Della Salute, it has never failed to take my breath away.
Beautiful Santa Maria della Salute stands guard over the Grand Canal in Venice
While enjoying the Dorsoduro take time to visit Ca' Rezzonico. 

Ca' Rezzonico, Dorsoduro Venice

This house is now a "house museum" , originally built in 1667 for the Bon family. When their money ran out the property was taken over by newly rich banking family, the Rezzonicos somewhere around 1758. At that time the building was two separate homes in complete disrepair. The Rezzonicos bankrolled a glorious restoration that included Tiepolo frescoes and Flemish tapestries - the mind bendingly ostentatious palazzo gives you a peek into the lavish life of upper class 18th century Venice.

Restored again in the 1990's Ca' Rezzonico is known as "the museum of 18th century Venice",  famous for it's interior decor. From the ground floor the graceful staircase sweeps you up to the piano nobile with its huge ballroom, so ornate it literally stops you in your tracks. 

The ballroom at Ca Rezzonico, Dorsoduro Venice 

 The chandeliers! The ceilings! There is a moment when you stand in this incredible ballroom when you finally begin to understand the vastness of the wealth and power that was centered in Venice for centuries. And it is just overwhelming.

The ballroom at Ca Rezzonico, Dorsoduro Venice 

Meandering through the staterooms you have to remind yourself that this wasn't a royal palace, instead a private home.
The opulence doesn't stop there - two more floors hold artworks including Tiepolos and the only Canaletto's in Venice.
Before you leave make sure you visit the lovely courtyard garden.

Another must see in the Dorsoduro is Campo Santa Margherita. 

Campo Santa Margherita, Dorsoduro Venice

Campo Santa Margherita, Dorsoduro Venice

This is the neighborhood's main square, and may be the liveliest in Venice. By day busy with shoppers, locals, families, the daily market, interesting shops, bars and restaurants, it is a lovely place to sit on tree shaded benches and watch local life happen. By night this is the social center of the city. While most of Venice goes quiet, Campo Santa Margherita is where the nightlife happens, populated by students from the nearby university, and all the bright young things from every part of the city. The bars and restaurants are fun, and it is most definitely a great night out.

Make sure you check out my other posts in this series on Venice:
Read about The Lagoon Islands here
Read about Ca' d 'Oro here
Read about Traveling in Venice here

If you have enjoyed this blogpost, please share it on your social media! I would love to hear about your Venice travels in the comment section.

No comments :

Post a Comment