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View from S. Giorgio Maggiore's tower

The beautiful painting of Venice in the Bodleian Library’s Codex of Marco Polo shows a lagoon full of swans and the Giudecca like a rocky desert, populated only by lions.

No one is sure if this long, tilde-shaped series of suburban islets was named after Venice’s Jews, forced to live here before being removed to the Ghetto, or for its more rumbustious nobles, exiled here in the 9th century, far from the action on the Rialto.

For many centuries it was a little garden oasis, until the 1800s, when it became a little Industrial Revolution oasis. Although many of its factories are now abandoned, it is still famously the home of Fortuny fabrics. Over the past few years, glamorous new hotels have arrived to keep company with the Cipriani, Venice’s most glamorous hotel, and property prices on the main fondamenta are going up as speculators capitalize on the fabulous view.

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Fondazione Giorgio Cini

In the monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore

Fortuny Tessuti Artistici

Workshop and Showroom

Giudecca 795 Art Gallery

Contemporary art and design haven across the canal


Palladio's most harmonious church

Sacca Fisola

Residential island and a communal pool

Sacca San Biagio

Ex incinerator island, but future theme park?

Sant' Eufemia

Giudecca's oldest church

Santi Cosma e Damiano

Now home to the Luigi Nono Archives


Palladio's church for spinsters

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, Creative Commons