If you are considering Venice for your next adventure, you certainly want to know what to do in Cannaregio district.
In fact, Cannaregio is one of the greatest districts of Venice and it is so easy to get there. In fact, Santa Lucia train station is located inside of it.
However, not only is Cannaregio a district that will help you find your way to the greatest symbols of Venice, like the Rialto bridge, but it is also a place full of history and things to do.
Some areas of this district are not touristy at all, so you can actually breathe the typical atmosphere of Venetian day life.
So, let's start now our journey through the most interesting things to do in Cannaregio!
10 things to do in Cannaregio district in Venice
We do not know why this wide district of Venice is called Cannaregio. It seems that it comes from the Latin word "canalicus", which means "little canal", referring to a very little stream that once crossed the district to flow into the lagoon.
Cannaregio Sestiere (this is the Venetian word for "district") occupies the Northern part of the city.
Its southern part faces the Grand Canal, while its eastern part borders Castello district.
Now that we have understood where our journey will be, let's find out all the things you can do in Cannaregio district!
10. Cross the most interesting bridges of Venice
Visiting Venice you certainly will understand the importance of the many bridges that connect each part of the city.
In Cannaregio you will find the famous Ponte degli Scalzi, actually one of the oldest bridges of the city, but also many other interesting bridges you won't find in any other part of the city.
For example there is the famous Ponte delle Guglie (the bridge of spires), which is a beautiful example of Venetian gothic architecture. You will also find the Ponte dei Tre Archi, another of the greatest bridges of Venice, which, as the name says, has three arches. They both cross the great Cannaregio canal.
9. Step into the church from which one of the greatest bridges of Venice takes its name
So close to the train station, there is the famous Church degli Scalzi ("barefoot people", from the name of the friars that has established here, the Carmelitani Scalzi).
It hides inside a famous fresco by Tiepolo. However, it was partially damaged during the IIWW. That's why, in case you want to see it, you have to visit the Academy Galleries.
8. Admire also the bridge without parapet
Continuing our Venice itinerary, let's find out one of the most interesting bridges of the city. It's the Ponte Chiodo and it is a private bridge connecting one narrow street to a private house.
However, you have to know that once the bridges of the city did not have parapets: so, this is one of the last examples!
The other one is located on the island of Torcello and it is called Ponte del Diavolo (devil's bridge).
7. What to do in Cannaregio district? Find the narrowest street of Venice (and its legends)
Did you know that the narrowest street of Venice is located in the Cannaregio district?
It is called Calle Varisco and its narrowest point measures 52 centimeters wide (20 inches).
Legend tells that the street itself punishes impure souls. Any murderer can cross this calle without the wall trying to move closer together. It may happen that the walls themselves kill the murderer between them...
Forewarned is forearmed!
6. Go shopping in the widest and longest street of Venice
You can find Strada Nova (New street) beginning right next to the Chiesa degli Scalzi, close to the railway station. This wide and long road ends up somewhere close to the Ponte di Rialto.
This is a place where you can have yourself indulging between all sorts of shops, artisan stalls, many restaurants, gelateria, pizzerias and bars.
There is also a beautiful supermarket (Despar, actually) that is hosted inside the Cinema Teatro Italia.
There are many tourists here so that sometimes it can be very crowded, but it is definitely one of the most important shopping areas of Venice.
5. Explore more than 500 hundreds year of Jewish history
Of course one of the most important things to do in Cannaregio is to pay a visit to the Jewish ghetto. Its main entrance is in front of the Cannaregio canal, very close to the Ponte delle Guglie.
The Jewish ghetto is indeed a great evidence of the history of the Jewish community in Venice.
In fact, you have to know that this is actually the first Ghetto in the world. Actually the word "Ghetto" comes from here.
In the Jewish quarter, you will find the Jewish museum, where you can learn more about the Jewish life, but also the Synagogues, and many restaurants where you can enjoy the typical Kosher cuisine.
4. Depart for your excursion to the main islands of the lagoon
This district of Venice is very popular because from here you can depart for the most amazing excursions.
If you decide to stroll around the northern part of the district, you will eventually end up in front of the lagoon, in Fondamenta Nove.
From here, you have the wildest vision with the island of San Michele in front of you, as well as Murano, and right in the background the Pre Alps.
Fondamenta Nove is the perfect place to start your excursions to Murano, Burano and Torcello. Many vaporetto lines depart from here, so this place is very well connected.
To know more about which vaporetto lines you can take from here, please look at the following guides:
3. Visit one of the most beautiful churches of Venice (even if not so many people knows about it)
Madonna dell'Orto church is not so famous, even though here lies the famous artist Tintoretto.
Legend says that the local parish commissioned a statue of the Virgo but did not appreciate the sculptor's work. Therefore the parish decided to leave the statue in his small garden (Orto in Italian).
However, at night, the statue began to illuminate the neighbor, soon attracting lots of worshippers.
2. Explore Cà Vendramin and... Good luck!
Of course another of the most favorite attractions of the Cannaregio district is the Casino.
Palazzo Loredan Vendramin Calergi (shortly called Cà Vendramin) is the palace that hosts the Casino since the XVII century.
The palace faces the Grand Canal and it is considered to be one of the most elegant buildings of Venice. In fact, it was the residential place for many doges, as well as Richard Wagner himself.
1. Take your time and do the most relaxing aperitif of Cannaregio
If you wish to experience the real Venice you have to reach the Fondamenta della Misericordia.
This is one of the liveliest places of the district where you can find, close to one another, lots of bacari and bars. Of course here you can taste the typical Venetian dishes and enjoy a nice aperitif (or a nice meal) overlooking the lagoon.
Venetians (and tourists as well) do love this place as it is usually very lively.
We hope that this guide on the Cannaregio district has made you wish to come here pretty soon!