Cannaregio, Venice. Not the district you often hear or read about when looking for places to stay in Venice. In fact, many believe that if you are not around Piazza San Marco, then you are not having the ‘real experience’. I will be fair, for some, that could be true but for those travelers that are happy to walk and want a more ‘local experience’, then Cannaregio is for you.
Up until the 18th century Cannaregio was the old Ghetto of Venice, in fact, it is the oldest Jewish Ghetto in the world! In time it has become a central and vibrant neighbourhood of Venice.
Central because you are incredibly well connected from the airport and the bus station (Piazzale Roma). You also have a number of Vaporetti that pass by or you may wish to take a pleasant 30 minute walk to Piazza San Marco. Walking is not only the cheapest way to see Venice but you get to really see the beauty of this unique city.
You will also want to be in this district because it offers a different look to Venice, a more local look, if you will. It is also discrete and away from the hoards of people.
Cannaregio has a lot of character and the walk to the center is fantastic, as you will pass some beautiful bridges, shops, restaurants and churches.
Its center is the Campo del Ghetto, a square surrounded by unusually tall buildings for Venetian architecture, as to symbolically say (even visually), ‘we are different from the rest of the city’.
The nightlife in Cannaregio is very calm, however, bars/restaurants stay open for the locals – so walk in on a local aperitivo and enjoy living as a Venetian for a day or two.
5 Ways to Live Venice like a Local
1. Feel like a real local taking the ‘Gondola Ferry’ a 2.00EUR gondola ride that takes you, and a group of people, across the Grand Canal! I tried it and it was a great way to try it out, without paying the private 80.00EUR Gondola ride around the Grande Canal. No photos because I thought I was going to drop my phone in the water – knowing me, it would not impossible. But one of the four ‘stazi’ is San Marcuola (Piazza Santa Sofia pictured) in the Cannaregio area!
2. The beautiful Madonna dell’Orto is unmissable with its bell tower! You do need to pay to visit it inside but it is worth it, as the art is spectacular and at 2.50EUR per person, it’s the cheapest museum you will ever walk into 😉
3. The gorgeous architecture of the houses. The photo on the left, is the garden at the back of one of the houses on Fondamenta della Misericordia. Talk about luxury!
4. Take the Nuova Strada (the New Road) if walking to San Marco. See the fruit and clothe stalls, or the many family runned businesses and Venetian life unfold before you.
5. Try the local bars and restaurants. If you only have one day/one night, then I would strongly recommend a typical lunch at Osteria Al Mariner and a great dinner at Osteria L’Orto dei Mori. When at dinner do not forget to order a plate of the Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia (pictured right) and drink local white wines. You will not be disappointed.
Where I stayed?
I again relied on Monastery Stays and stayed at Casa Cardinale Piazza – VEV119. I had a great night sleep and the garden they have is an oasis! The rooms are simple, there is a curfew of 11:30pm and no tv. Breakfast is included, Wi-fi is available in the common rooms on the ground floor. The curfew was really not an issue, as I had been many times to Venice and was not going to move around the Cannaregio area.
Getting to Cannaregio:
NB: I did not have to do any of the research on how to get there, as the confirmed booking with Monastery Stays gave me a comprehensive guide that automatically uses your phones Google Maps!
The following is map to show the various points from where you can get into Cannaregio.
In case you missed it, check out the awesome post A New Approach to Venice: Relax by 2TravelDads.com (link to post). If you liked what you read and saw, make sure to follow me around Italy on Social Media or Subscribe to stay up to date on new posts!