Castello is the biggest and the most extensive Sestiere of Venice. If you see Venice as a fish (which is actually its shape if you see Venice from above), Castello is the tail of the fish, and it’s the Eastern-most part of the city. It is an area of the city that remains very local. If you are staying in Castello Venice, be sure to take time to enjoy the local neighborhood in the area.
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Castello developed all around the Arsenale, the ancient and most important shipyard of the city, where all the Serenissima navy boats were made. All the strength of Venice Republic was coming from its dominance as a naval power, therefore it was the most secured and protected place of the city.
Castello is also a very Venetian part of Venice where local Venetians still live, and you can find some of the most authentic things of the city.
El Refolo & Trani Bar: El Refolo and Trani are two wine bars next to each other on the biggest ‘street’ of castello: Via Garibaldi, well off-the-beaten path of the tourist area of Castello. Each have excellent wine lists and quality cicchetti and salumi and cheese platters, along with fresh seasonal vegetables. Stop here for a spritz or a refreshing prosecco and a paninetto (small panini) with different fillings.
Ristorante Paradiso (Castell0, 1260 Giardini della Biennale): Ristorante Paradiso is a nice place for eating lunch or dinner, but better for a refreshing drink before or after you visited Biennale (Giardini). It is located in a cute Belle Epoque building with a small outdoor terrace facing the water and a fresh garden.
Trattoria Ai Tosi Piccoli (Calle Secco Marina 738, Castello): All of our Prontopia locals who live in Castello say that this trattoria has the best pizza and dishes in Castello. You can recognize the place in particular because there is a piece of a gondola sticking out from the restaurant!
Biennale (Giardini + Arsenale): The biennale of art and biennale of architecture exhibits and pavilions are in Castello. You cannot see all of the biennale exhibits in 1 day, so we strongly recommend you to do it in 2 days, especially if you’re visiting in summer as it can be very hot! If you are visiting with children, the cafe at Serra dei Giardini is a lovely place for a snack or a drink that kids will enjoy in Venice.
San Piero De Casteo: This is the most Eastern part of Venice and it’s absolutely magic. A small island with a quiet church. Go there for a stroll and get lost in the calles there: no tourists, absolute quiet, incredibly authentic. It is also the area of one of the most popular neighborhood festivals, known as a “sagra” among Venetians, held every year in the last week of June with music and food and dancing.
Scuola Grande di San Marco, or “The Hospital”: You would never believe that this is the main hospital of the city, but believe or not it is! The building has a beautiful facade in marble. You can visit inside, respectfully, and see the stunning internal cloister (“chiostro”).
Museo Storico Navale di Venezia (Riva S. Biasio, Castello 2148): This is a great spot for families visiting Venice with kids, especially if the kids are passionate about the sea and boats. The museum is housed in an 11th-century palazzo next to the Arsenale. It houses over 40 exhibits on 5 floors, including an amazing collection of historical boats that contributed to the rise of the Venetian Republic in the Mediterranean. Young and old will love it!
Fondazione Querini Stampalia: The Fondazione Querini Stampalia is a contemporary culture institution housed in a historical palazzo near Campo Santa Maria Formosa. Here you can see beautiful examples of the architecture of Carlos Scarpa, and also find cultural events and exhibitions in a beautiful setting.
Where to Stay in Castello:
Aqua B&B Luxury House: This is a small luxury b&b perfect for a romantic getaway, and also for families, with beautifully appointed rooms and suites in a historic palazzo in the center of historic Castello.
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