Giudecca Island is one of Venice’s most fascinating islands, located south of the city, on the other side of the Grand Canal. Originally known as ‘Spinalonga‘ because of its elongated shape and full of orchards and gardens, it is now one of the islands least populated by tourists, so when you visit you may come across scenes of daily life, such as fishermen intent on repairing their nets in the morning sun.
The island is the centre of the Redentore festivity (3rd Sunday in July): the church of the same name was built in 1575, when the plague broke out and the government, as a religious vow, began the construction of it. A pontoon bridge was then built from Venice to the island of Giudecca, an event that is repeated every year as a celebration. Not to be missed is the Casa dei Tre Oci, the reference point for all photography enthusiasts, whose name derives from the ‘three eyes’ that mark the building’s façade. It has always been a point of passage for artists; after the painter Mario de Maria, several art personalities have stayed here, including the architect Renzo Piano.
From Giudecca you can also reach the island of San Giorgio and a visit to the basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore, designed by Andrea Palladio who also designed the refectory, is not to be missed. When you reach the bell tower, you can enjoy an unmissable view of St Mark’s Square.
A visit to Giudecca cannot exclude the famous public gardens, including the Giardino della Marinaressa and the Giardino degli Orti, which offer an oasis of peace and tranquillity in the heart of the city; they are the ideal place for a picnic or a relaxing stroll surrounded by nature and the island’s scenic beauty.
The day is rounded off with a lively nightlife in the numerous bars, restaurants and clubs offering a wide choice of entertainment and local cuisine with panoramic views of the city and the Grand Canal.