A 19th-century street to the train station
The Strada Nuova, running behind the Ca’ d’Oro, is one of Venice’s busiest shopping streets, bulldozed through the little alleyways in 1871 to provide a fast track from the Rialto Bridge to the railway station.
If you turn left (west) on the Strada Nuova from the Ca’ d’Oro, towards the station, you’ll come to San Felice. Digress briefly up the portico-lined Fondamenta di San Felice, a fine stretch of canal with one of the narrowest palaces in Venice and the last bridge in the city without parapets. Two hundred years ago, when street lighting was practically non-existent, nearly all the bridges were just as precarious. Although the natives could get around like cats, foreign visitors stuck to their gondolas or hired lantern-bearers to keep from tumbling in the drink.
Pause on the bridge after San Felice for the view of the lovely 15th-century Palazzo Giovanelli, with its striking corner windows.
If you turn right (east) on the Strada Nuova from the Ca’ d’Oro you’ll come to Santa Sofia, a little church hidden by houses. In Campo Santa Sofia, overlooking the Grand Canal with a view of the Rialto markets, the 15th-century Ca' Sagredo (now a swish hotel) has perhaps the most ridiculous frescoes in Venice – a Fall of Giants (1734) by genre painter Pietro Longhi.
vaporetto: Ca' d'Oro