Cannaregio is one of the six sestieri, or districts, of Venice located in the north of the city where you can get away from the maddening crowds and enjoy authentic Venetian life.
The area was settled in the 15th century, so Renaissance left a significant mark on Cannaregio’s planning making it more luminous and spacious than other sestieri. The great masters Titian and Tintoretto lived here.
The Strada Nova opened in the 19th century is the main street in Cannaregio and the longest street in Venice. Here you will find many quaint shops, ice cream parlours, small bakeries and green grocers. The neighbourhood is home to the Jewish Ghetto with its five beautiful synagogues. The stunning Renaissance Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli that has been recently restored is also located here.
Another gem that is worth a visit is the Gothic Madonna dell'Orto Church built in the 14th century in red bricks with contrasting white stone decorations. Inside you can admire spectacular paintings by Tintoretto, who is also buried here.
The famous Ca' d'Oro, one of the most beautiful palaces on the Grand Canal is found in Cannaregio. One of the best example of gothic architecture in Venice, the palace’s facade was once covered in gold (hence the name “golden house”). Today, the beautiful palace is home to the Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca' d'Oro. Stunning Ca' Vendramin Calergi and Palazzo Labia are also located in Cannaregio and are worth a visit.
Check out the charming small square Campo dei Mori with its pretty Palazzo del Cammello and three turbaned statues that, according to a local legend, are three brothers turned to stone as a punishment for their greed.
In Cannaregio you will find some of the best Venetian bacari, typical small bars where local enjoy wine and snacks called “cicheti”. Alla Vedova (Cannaregio, 3912, Ramo Ca' d'Oro) serves delicious polpette (pork meatballs) and Venetian tripe. In Cantina Vecia Carbonera (2328, Cannaregio) try local artichokes and tiny panini with gorgonzola and leek.
Photos via Flickr by: Rick Payette, Nick Bramhall, Jean-Pierre Dalbéra.