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The Castello district is the largest of the Venice districts and is the only one not facing the Grand Canal. Its name derives from the presence of a medieval fort that was built on the island of San Pietro.

The sestiere borders directly with that of Cannaregio and San Marco. With the latter it is also connected via the famous Ponte di Paglia which connects the pier of Piazza San Marco with the Riva degli Schiavoni.


The Castello district is mainly served by vaporetto lines 4.1 and 5.1, lines that run along the outer perimeter of Venice, allowing the view of Venice from the lagoon. It is not advisable to walk to the Santa Lucia station. In fact, being the farthest district from the station, it takes about forty minutes to get from one place to another, which is particularly inconvenient if there are luggage to carry around.


It is one of the greenest areas of Venice counting the Gardens and the Island of Sant’Elena, characterized by the presence of trees, flowers and games for children. Inside it contains most of the sports facilities and various attractions. The Castello district overlooks the lagoon on one side with San Pietro and Sant’Elena, and on the opposite side overlooks San Marco. Also in this district is the Riva degli Schiavoni, one of the largest foundations in the city, which extends from the San Marco basin (close to the Doge's Palace) to the Rio di Ca 'di Dio.

Points of Interest

A tour of the Castello district implies a journey to discover the famous Arsenale and the Venice Biennale, the cultural institution that organizes the Venice Film Festival. Do not miss a walk through the shopping street of this district, Via Garibaldi, where various Venetian masks made in the workshops of artisans scattered around the neighborhood are sold.

Finally, an unmissable gem of this district is definitely the AcquaAlta Bookshop, impossible not to be fascinated. The books are arranged on the most incredible places such as boats, gondolas, canoes and tanks that allow you to save the books in case of high water.

Curiosities About The Castello District

The Castello district is famous, among other things, for being the seat of the imposing Arsenal, the hub of the naval industry of the Republic of Venice and today the home of the Italian Navy. At its entrance you can see four majestic stone lions, which according to the legend, in November 1719, during some stormy nights, they came to life by ferociously tearing apart several people, so as to induce the inhabitants of the Serenissima to believe that the place was bewitched.

Furthermore, one of the statues was originally located in the Greek port of Piraeus and was transported to Venice in 1687 by the naval commander Francesco Morosini as spoils of war. The lion has runic inscriptions, used by the ancient Germanic peoples, on the shoulders and sides, engraved following the shape of a lindworm (dragon). These remained a mystery until the nineteenth century, when they were deciphered and brought back to the people of the Varangians, Scandinavian mercenaries in the service of the Byzantine Empire, sent to Greece to suppress a revolt.

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