Guide to Venice: Cannaregio district

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Venice’s six Sestieri: Cannaregio

Cannaregio is Venice's second largest sestiere, stretching across the north-west of the city from the station almost to the Rialto bridge. The name has two possible origins: it may derive from Canal Regio, i.e. the main canal for communicating with the mainland or else it may refer to the extensive reed beds found there in the past.

Cannaregio was settled well before AD 1000, when the first dwellings were built on the islands of San Giovanni Crisostomo and Santi Apostoli, close to the Rialto. The areas adjacent to the Grand Canal were built up next. The urban sprawl proceeded northwards, engulfing the convents and monasteries (the Misericordia, the Madonna dell'Orto, the Servi, San'Alvise) on what were, until then, remote islands.
Ca' D'Oro - VeniceWith the construction of the railway and road bridges to the mainland in the 19th century, the mainly residential and religious nature of the sestiere changed. But the sestiere contains treasures in its own right.

Jesuits Church, VeniceOn this sestiere, special attention will be paed to number of palaces, dating from Byzantine period to the 18C, that are to be found in this sestiere together with the large 16C quarter of the Ghetto, and the churches and monasteries, which are numerous in this area too. We shall also encounter another of Venice's major town-planning schemes, the Strada Nuova, linking the city centre around Rialto with the railway station.

Not to be missed
Ca' d'Oro
Gli Scalzi
San Giovanni Crisostomo
San Marcuola
San Marziale
Santi Apostoli
Madonna dell'Orto
I Gesuiti
Oratorio dei Crociferi
Santa Maria dei Miracoli
San Giobbe
The Ghetto
Palazzo Vendramin Calergi (the venice Casino)
I am Paola, your personal guide to Venice
Paola - Guide editor

Ponte and Fondamenta dei Mori, the famous 'Mori' ('Moors') were rich merchants who field from Morea.
Calle del Duca. The last Duke of Mantua and Monferrato, Ferdinando Carlo Gonzaga, fled to Venice after being accused of embezzlement.
Sotoportego and Corte del Milion. Marco Polo's house probablystood here. The name 'Milion' comes from the title of his book.
Campiello dei Miracoli. Popular legend has it that in 1400 an extraordinary event occurred: a sacred image of the Madonna was seen weeping in a capital. The donations of the Venetians then enabled the church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli to be built.
Bacari, Ombre and Cicheti. These are three typically Venetian words. 'Bacari' are the wine bars (there are many in the Cannaregio district) where people go for quick snacks. The 'cicheti' are tasty titbits containing fish, meat, eggs or vegetables. 'Ombra' is the local name for a glass of wine. It is said to derive from the wine sold in St Mark's Square from a cart that the seller kept pit of the sun by following the shadow of the campanile..
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