The Dorsoduro district is an amazing area of Venice that has plenty of things to do. In fact, this is the perfect place to discover the real Venice.
Not only can you find here the best museums and art galleries of the town (have you ever heard of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection?), but you can also experience some of the greatest opportunities of the Venetian night life.
Are you ready to explore all the things you can do in the Dorsoduro district in Venice?
What to do in Dorsoduro Sestiere: the best things to do and visit here
Located in the southern part of Venice, not far from the train station, Dorsoduro is one of the 6 great districts of Venice. Dorsoduro also includes the island of Giudecca.
It takes its name from the fact that the land is more solid than in other parts of Venice. "Dorsoduro", in fact, actually means something like "hard ridge".
Perhaps it is not the most touristy place of the city but it is the center of the students life, being here the local University. Not only students, however: here more than 14 thousands Venetians live and work.
Let's see the best things to do in Dorsoduro district. Most of them are easily reachable from the train station within 15 to 20 minutes walk.
1. Spend your evening in the liveliest center of the Venetian nightlife
In Campo Santa Margherita, university students gather after their lessons. Here they have their aperitifs and drink their spritz or wine, while chatting with friends.
Here you can find many shops where to buy fruit and vegetables, but also many bars, restaurants and bacari.
It is the perfect place to start (and of course end) your visit to Dorsoduro district!
2. Have a nice walk along the Dorsoduro district, from San Basilio till Punta della Dogana
In Dorsoduro you can go for long walks, experiencing another side of Venice, far from the crowdedness of the streets that lead to San Marco Square.
One of our favorite walking tours is that from Fondamenta Zattere till Punta della Dogana. You can watch the silent and peaceful skyline of Venice while walking by the Giudecca canal.
Along your walk, you can have a seat at local bars or gelaterie and take your time watching the lagoon.
During this walk you could enjoy one of the most beautiful sights of Venice, especially if you come here at sunset. It is something you won't forget so easily.
3. Visit the most famous modern art museum of Venice
Punta della Dogana is truly a gem area. One of the most incredible gems is surely the Guggenheim Museum.
Located inside Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, in front of the Grand Canal, it hosts a wonderful XX century art collection.
Inside the museum you can watch masterpieces by Picasso, Dalì, De Chirico, Chagall.
The visit is recommended not only to adults, but also to families and children, as the museum organizes many great guided tours and educational workshops.
4. Explore the church where lies the great artist Paolo Veronese
Close to the Fondamenta Zattere and the Squero di San Trovaso, which we will explore later, there is this little church dedicated to San Sebastian.
It is located next to the ancient monastery which is now on the main seats of the local University.
Why is this church one of the most important attractions in Dorsoduro?
It is certainly because it hosts one of the greatest and largest paintings by Paolo Veronese, whose tomb is also inside the church.
5. Visit one of the last "squeri" of Venice
In order to understand the importance of this place properly, we have to introduce the meaning of the Venetian word "squero".
It actually means a place where rowing boats were built. And which are the most famous rowing boats of Venice? Exactly. They are the gondolas.
San Trovaso is one of the last squeri still existing in Venice. If you visit it, you can discover all the secrets regarding how a gondola is built and how important it was in the past.
6. Visit the museum dedicated to the "fine arts"
Located next to one of the greatest bridges on the Grand Canal, there's another popular Venetian museum. It's the Gallerie dell'Accademia, which takes its name from the nearby Accademia.
Why to go there?
Because here you can find some of the greatest paintings made from the XIV to XVIII centuries. To give you some references, works collected here have been made by Tintoretto, Canaletto, Tiziano, Giorgione and Bellini.
The museum hosts also the Uomo Vitruviano (Vitruvian Man) by Leonardo da Vinci, displayed only in particular occasions.
7. Visit one of the most famous churches of Venice
In the space between the Academy bridge and the Punta della Dogana, you can see the splendid Baroque style Basilica di S. Maria della Salute.
It was built almost 400 years ago when a terrible plague culled the local population.
As terrible that period was, as great and marvelous the church is now.
Each year, on November 21st, the city organizes what is called the Festa della Salute and builds a temporary bridge that connects the church to that of S. Maria del Giglio.
8. Explore the church that's the center of the most important event of the Venetian calendar
Another popular destinations to visit in Dorsoduro is located in the island of Giudecca.
It's the Church of Redentore which is mostly famous because each year, the third week of July, it hosts the biggest event of the Venetian calendar.
The Redentore Feast in fact is famous all over the world not only for the multitude of people watching the fireworks in front of Saint Mark's Square. It is actually famous for the great floating bridge that is built to connect the church with the main island of Venice.
If you come to Venice in the summer, make sure you join this incredible festival!
What else would you do in the Dorsoduro district?
We truly hope that after this tour of Dorsoduro you have understood its true soul.
It is not the most touristy part of Venice but it truly hides some real gems.
Furthermore, being fewer tourists, it is the perfect place to go when you want to explore something more authentic and genuine.
We hope to see you here soon!