The Giudecca Island is located about 400 meters south of Venice
and is separate from the city by the homonymous canal. The Giudecca is
comprised by 8 islands and has about 4500 inhabitants. In ancient
times its name was "Spina Longa", due to the long and narrow profile
similar to that of a bone fish. The stretch of the lagoon between Venice
and the Giudecca was a canal called "Vigano". Later the name became Giudecca
because in this part of the city were confined Jews. From 1298
they were transferred to the mainland, but in 1516 they were forced to reside
Ghetto of Venice. Thus it became an exclusive place for
the nobility of that age, before the area of Riviera del Brenta, with
its villas, became fashionable. The Giudecca lived a period of brilliance
with the construction of palaces, villas with gardens, churches and
monasteries (in ancient times there were eight). In the course of the
twentieth century this became a popular suburb of the city with some
medium-sized industries such as Junghans, the Mulino Stucky
(built in 1896 by the German architect Ernst Wullekopf), and many small shipyards
located in the south.
The area north of the Giudecca is connected by a long waterfront,
where we admire the "Zattere", the St. Mark's Basin and
S. Giorgio Maggiore. From that waterfront through the long and narrow
streets you get to the south part of the islans: from there you see
a nice view of the lagoon with a few islands not far away. The major sight
of the Giudecca can be considered without doubt the Church of the Redentore,
(Christ the Redeemer), in neoclassical style (begun in 1582 by Palladio and completed in 1592 by
Antonio da Ponte). This votive temple was erected for the will
of the Senate following the end of the terrible plague of 1576 that
decimated the population of the city. Every third Sunday of July, the
Doge had to visit the church for the occasion. Inside there are some
remarkable paintings such as "The Baptism of Christ" by Paolo
Veronese and "The Descent from the Cross" by Jacopo Palma the Young.
Actually, the Feast of Redentore owes its notoriety to the fireworks
being exploded in the S. Mark's Basin at 23.30 (on Saturday) and lasting
nearly 40 minutes, that assist thousands of people by boat and from the
waterfront. For that special event is positioned a bridge made by boats,
which starts at Zattere, crosses the Giudecca Canal and arrives just in front
of the Redentore Church.
How to get to the Giudecca.
From Piazzale Roma or the train station you
take the waterbus line 2 or 4.1 provided by Actv (price € 7.00). To
reach the Giudecca from S. Mark's area you take from stop "S. Zaccaria"
(Jolanda) line 2 or 4.2. The Giudecca has the following waterbus stops:
"Palanca", "Redentore" and "Zitelle." The word "Palanca" derives from the
name of the coin that you once had to pay for ferries to cross the
Giudecca Canal. From stop "Zattere" you cross the canal by ferry line 2.
RESTAURANTS IN GIUDECCA
Trattoria ai Cacciatori - Giudecca, 320. A hundred meters from the stop
"Palanca". Phone +39 041 5285849. Open from 7am to 11pm, closed on
Mondays. Excellent fish dishes, young and attentive staff. From the tables
positioned on the waterfront you can enjoy a nice view.
Actually, the Giudecca is experiencing a period of reassessment.
At ends of the island are located two of the most prestigious hotels like
Cipriani and Hilton, the second one is housed in the Mulino Stucky,
opened in June 2007 after a thorough restructuring that lasted 5 years.
From its top, the so-called
Skyline, you can admire a breathtaking view
of the city and the surrounding lagoon. The Skyline is
also a lounge bar open to the public from 6pm. You can get to the Hilton
for free by speedboats departing from S. Mark's area and the Zattere
every 20 minutes. In the nearby it is
also famous the luxurious bar
Harry's Dolci, overlooking the Giudecca
Canal, owned by Cipriani, tel. +39 041 5224844. In a hidden corner of
Giudecca owns a house the British singer Elton John.
The factory of fabrics Fortuny started its activity in
1921 (Giudecca, Fondamenta S. Biagio, tel. +39 041 5285078), and it's
still using for its artistic production the machinery designed by the
founder, Mariano Fortuny.
The former Junghans area, where once produced
watches, has changed appearance becoming a new district of the Giudecca
designed by celebrated architects and possessing inside the
small but active Junghans Theatre (since February 2005). Just behind is the
tel. +39 041 5287409, a rowing club founded in 1981
that organizes courses of Venetian rowing style, canoeing and sailing.
There are two other major sights located along the waterfront of
the Giudecca. The first, St. Mary of the Presentation Church also
known as "the Zitelle", so called because in the adjacent convent existed
in the eighteenth century an institution for poor girls. The building was
completed in 1586 by Jacopo Bozzetto by a project attributed to Palladio.
Inside you can admire the painting by Jacopo Palma the Young "Orazione nell'Orto".
This holy place is located at a few steps from the homonymous stop. At the other
end of the island is located the Church of St. Euphemia, which was
founded in the ninth century. Inside there are some remarkable paintings
of Renaissance, (among which stands out a triptych of Bartholomew Vivarini).
The closest stop to it is "Palanca", only 150 metres far.
Not far away from Zitelle, always along the banks of the Giudecca is located
the modern neo-Gothic building designed by the painter Mario de Maria in
the early years of the twentieth century. At the Giudecca it was renamed
"Casa dei Tre oci" (Three Eyes House) because of the three huge windows that
characterize it. Crossing the Giudecca here you can get to Villa Herriot,
home of a famous school of art restoration. At the other end of the Giudecca
is located the Church of St. Euphemia, which was founded in the ninth century.
Inside there are some wonderful paintings of Renaissance, (among which stands
out a triptych of Bartholomew Vivarini). The closest stop to
it is "Palanca", at only 150 metres.
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