Way out East
Castello, named after the long-gone fortifications on the island of San Pietro, stretches from Piazza San Marco out to the easternmost quarters of the city. One of the older, and now poorer sestieri, it contains famous monuments and churches like Santi Giovanni e Paolo, the Colleoni statue, San Zaccaria, and the magical Carpaccios in San Giorgio degli Schiavoni, as well as the mighty engine that made Venice tick for so many centuries: the Arsenale.
Eastern Castello is still the site of many of Venice’s boatyards, littered with the rusting hulks of bygone vaporetti and often stinking of varnish. It is an area refreshingly devoid of your fellow tourists; here you’ll find Venice’s largest park, its most impressive display of laundry billowing overhead, and relatively few canals – ideal little neighbourhoods that could perhaps exist in many other Italian cities, made metaphysical by the total lack of traffic.