History of the Giudecca (click here)

isola della giudecca

(The island of the Giudecca – Image source: commons.wikimedia.org).

 

 

The Giudecca consists of 8 islands and is home to around 5000 residents. It is found opposite the Dorsoduro district, or sestiere, of which it belongs administratively despite being separated by the large Giudecca canal. Different to the other areas of the city, this island offers the possibility to enjoy its architectural beauty in complete tranquillity, since it is not yet subject to the tourist influx of the main part of the city.

The island has been inhabited from the IX century, until 1298 it was known to host Jews or ‘Giudei’, until their transferal first to the terraferma and successively to the ghetto of the city. The island then became a point of attraction for noble Venetians returning from exile, attracted to its green areas of orchards and gardens, beautiful buildings and important churches and convents. Only in the course of the Novecento did the islands of the Giudecca begin to become places of interest also for Venetian families of other social levels, who began to choose it as a residency due to its tranquillity. In this period the island also became home to a number of important industries, such as the Junghans watch makers and the famous Molino Stucky, now home to the Hilton Hotel, an important center for conferences.

Walking around the island, one can admire the magnificent church of the Redentore, constructed at the end of the Cinquecento to celebrate the conclusion of the tragic plague of 1575-77. It was planned by the famous architect Andrea Palladio and is home to works of important artists such as Paolo Veronese, Palma il Giovane and Domenico Tintoretto. Annually the church is the center for one of the most important celebrations of the Venetian population, the ‘festa del Redentore.’

Another important building planned by Palladio on the Giudecca is the church of the Zitelle, constructed in the course of the Cinquecento with the aim of offering shelter and aid to young girls at risk of falling into prostitution.

Also of note is the church of Sant’Eufemia, whose construction dated to the IX century and which still preserves part of its original structure.

Of notable important for anyone who is interested in staying in this area are the transport links with the main island of Venice. In the island there are 4 vaporetto stops of ACTV, that of Sacca Fisola, Palanca, Redentore and the Zitelle. The number of the lines that connect the island are the 2, 41, 42 and during the night, the N meaning that it is very well connected.