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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.

Around the Arsenale

Hedgehogs, a bakery and a pilgrims' hostel


The Heart of the Venetian State


Venice's secular saint

Campo Bandiera e Moro

Named after three anti-Austrian plotters

Farmacia Storica

and the Museo Anatomia Patologica

Fondamenta della Tana

Near the Arsenale's rope factory

Fondazione Querini-Stampalia

Palace of art

Giardini Pubblici

Venice's park

Museo delle Icone

The Museum of Byzantine Icons

Museo Diocesano Sant' Apollonia

John Paul I's Venetian legacy

Museo Storico Navale

Naval History Museum


Baroque gone bad

Museo di Palazzo Grimani

A little bit of Renaissance Rome in Venice

La Pietà

Vivaldi's church and museum

Ponte di San Lorenzo

Site of a famous miracle

Riva degli Schiavoni

The Quay of the Dalmatians

San Biagio

The Church of the Arsenale

San Francesco della Vigna

Mathematical geometry and a gorgeous Madonna

San Francesco di Paola

The church with the painted clock

San Giorgio dei Greci

St George of the Greeks

San Giovanni di Malta

Church of the Knights

San Giovanni in Brágora

Vivaldi’s baptismal church

San Giuseppe di Castello

A modest convent church

San Lazzaro dei Mendicanti

Now part of the city hospital

San Lio

Canaletto's last resting place

San Lorenzo

Last resting place of Marco Polo

San Martino

The church of the Ship Caulkers

San Pietro di Castello

Venice's cathedral for 800 years

San Zaccaria and its Campo

Venice's High Society church

San Zaccaria's Naughty Nuns

18th-century life in the convent

Sant' Anna

Home of Venice's angry nun, Elena Arcangela Tarabotti

Sant' Antonin

Pigs and an elephant

Sant' Elena

The last church in Venice

Santa Giustina

St Magno's now deconsecrated church

Santa Maria della Fava

St Mary of the Broad bean

Santa Maria Formosa

Buxom St Mary's

Santi Giovanni e Paolo

Venice's Pantheon

Scuola Grande di San Marco

And its historical medical museum and library

Scuola San Giorgio degli Schiavoni

The school of fairy tale art

Statue of Colleoni

The Statue in front of San Marco

The First Assembly Line

The Secret of the Serenissima's Success

Via Giuseppe Garibaldi

Once home of the Cabots

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by Chris Sampson