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Giudecca


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GIUDECCA ISLAND

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 island 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 in the 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 island 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.

Redentore Church

The area north of the Giudecca island 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 island: from there you see a nice view of the lagoon with a few islands not far away. The major sight of the Giudecca island 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.

Giudecca Canal

How to get to the Giudecca island.
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 island 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 ISLAND

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.

Mulino Stucky

Actually, the Giudecca island 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 island owns a house the British singer Elton John.




Fortuny

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 island designed by celebrated architects and possessing inside the small but active Junghans Theatre (since February 2005). Just behind is the "Canottieri Giudecca", tel. +39 041 5287409, a rowing club founded in 1981 that organizes courses of Venetian rowing style, canoeing and sailing.

Zitelle Church

There are two other major sights located along the waterfront of the Giudecca island. 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.

Three Eyes House

Not far away from Zitelle, always along the banks of the Giudecca island 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 island it was renamed "Casa dei Tre oci" (Three Eyes House) because of the three huge windows that characterize it. Crossing the Giudecca island 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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