Let’s walk through the largest and closest island to Venice, from which it is separated by the broad and deep Giudecca Canal enjoying breath-taking views of the splendid city.
The peacefulness of the island also made it popular among religious communities and with patrician families who built palaces with lovely gardens and allotments there. You will see how after the fall of the Republic, these areas were converted into warehouses, barracks, prisons, factories, and workers’ quarters, some of them nowadays converted for artistic ad modern purposes.
You will be walking not only through the long pedestrian quay running the length of its Venice-facing side but also wandering its hidden lagoon-facing side with gardens, art galleries, and residential neighborhoods.
Please note: This tour does not include hotel pick up and drop off service. This means that you will have to arrange your own transfers in order to reach the designated meeting point and start the tour. Meeting point: Zattere, Fondamenta Zattere Dorsoduro 791/a, 30123 Venice, Italy
Giudecca disputed history begins with its name. We will learn that its name does not come from one time Jewish inhabitants (an Italian word for Jews is also Giudei) but from a Venetian word "zudega" meaning "the judged", referring to rebel aristocratic families banished here during the 9th century. In recent years, the large abandoned spaces attracted a new set of exiles: artists, who could no longer afford rents in central Venice for their lofts and studios.
We will visit a 9th church with a simple Veneto-Byzantine structure dated from 14th century. It is named after a Byzantine Christian martyr, who was thrown to hungry lions, which, after biting off her hand they refused to eat her holy virgin flesh.
We will discover a huge Neo-Gothic building, who served as a flour mill supplied by boats across the lagoon and also operated as a pasta factory and as of today, it houses a luxury 5-star hotel.
We will get lost in the hidden part of the island, passing by an organic prison market, adjacent to a women's correction facility.
We will enter a former monastery, nowadays a centre for promotion of local artists and artisans of all kind.
We will see how a former factory for glasses has been converted to a modern residential neighbourhood and a contemporary theatre facing the southern lagoon.
We will admire a church designed by Palladio, built to celebrate the city's deliverance from the black death. Survival is never taken for granted in this tidal town and to give thanks every July Venetian have been making the pilgrimage across the canal to this church on a shaky pontoon bridge from the Zattere since 1578.
We will enter an Art Noveau villa off the beaten paths, enjoying breath-taking views over the southern lagoon.
We will end up our tour with scenic views on San Marco and Punta della Salute, walking by a palace with a distinctive neo gothic brick facade and three peculiar arched windows.
Tour leader & nature and interpretive guide
Water bus ticket to Giudecca island. Tickets will be purchased on board
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