Europe travel photos and information at Travel Signposts Hotel accommodation, places and sights to see in the Dorsoduro district, Venice, Italy
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Dorsoduro: Venice Hotel Accommodation Guide


Hotels in Dorsoduro West | Hotels in Dorsoduro East

Dorsoduro's name (literally 'hard ridge') probably reflects the nature of the land in this area, slightly higher and more solid than the other portions of land that emerged from the lagoon. It's a sprawling sestiere that extends over the southern part of the city, starting with Punta della Dogana that juts out into the San Marco basin like the prow of a ship, and streching up to the Piazzale Roma, where the cars and buses are. The 'dogana da mar' (sea customs house) of the Venetian Republic was built in the seventeenth century and consists of many warehouses that are hidden behind a facade. It ends with the square tower on top of which there are bronze statues that support the golden ball on which Fortune stands. After the tower, the Zattere begins: this is a long jetty that goes as far as Santa Marta. It was built in 1516 to unload the timber which rafts (zattere) brought down the rivers from the Cadore area.

This sestiere is one many visitors choose to stay in, and there's a reason for that. Dorsoduro is characterised by many narrow streets and little channels, still very close to the main Venice sights, but less touristy and quieter than some other areas. It's best to stay south of Campo Santa Margherita; closer to Piazzale Roma and the cars it becomes a bit ordinary. Around Campo Santa Margherita itself there's a fresh fish market early on, a vegetable market all day, and the famous Tonolo bakery.

The Palace of Cà Rezzonico, which hosts the 18th century Venice Museum with many works of art by Canaletto and Tiepolo is a must see.Nearby is Campo San Barnaba and the famous Ponte dei Pugni, a bridge where traditional fights used to take place between rival factions (see next page). The area is very rich in art and has several important churches, such as the Church of San Sebastiano, a Renaissance jewel, and the renowned Scuola Grande dei Carmini. The eastern part of Dorsoduro is charmingly attractive and both the Accademia museum and the Guggenheim museum are located here. The Zattere, the wide walkway along the canal referred to above, is a wonderful place to laze away an entire afternoon.

Venice’s University, Ca’ Foscari, and the Architecture University are in the heart of Dorsoduro, so the surrounding areas cater to a student crowd with bars and shops that are a lot different from those around San Marco! If you like the night life, you’ll find more places stay open late around the lively Campo Santa Margherita than anywhere else in the city. There are plenty of good restaurants and pizzerias in every price range.

If you are looking for a quiet area, very close to Venice’s main attractions, this is the right place!

Next page: Places to see in Dorsoduro

Check out all available accommodation:

Hotels in Dorsoduro West | Hotels in Dorsoduro East

Or look at the other sestieri:

Cannaregio | Castello | San Marco | San Polo | Santa Croce | Lido

Or search for hotels in all Venice by STAR RATING using the table below:

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