Castello. The district of Vivaldi and The Arsenale

A 3 hour walking tour through one of the most popular districts of Venice, the neighborhood of the great composer Antonio Vivaldi. Learn about the naval potency and fame of Venice Arsenale, about the Greeks and the Dalmatian living in this area toghether with the craftsmen involved in the naval industry. Admire the centenary churches, the brotherhoods and their original paintings and furniture.

Starting from Riva degli Schiavoni, the main quayside of Venice, we can see the beautiful, natural port of the town. Nearby, the campo San Zaccaria awaits us. It is overlooked by the early Renaissance church built by Mauro Coducci and commissioned by the wealthiest nunnery in town, the Benedictine convent of San Zaccaria.

The bell tower melting like a candle atop the Church of Santa Maria Formosa stands out in the city’s skyline in this area. At any one time,  people have to cross this campo to get to Rialto, San Marco or San Giovanni e Paolo the quarter where we’re heading next. Commander Colleoni welcomes us into the next square astride his magnificent bronze horse. He faces the largest building in town, the Dominican Church of San Zanipolo, a true gem of Gothic architecture and an all time pantheon for Venice’s glories.

Later on we will learn about the Greek and Dalmatian communities and their hidden treasures, including the marvelous cycle of paintings by Vittore Carpaccio with St. George and the dragon story. A few steps away we find a church with a magnificent and rich interior and, more importantly, where the grandest Baroque music composer, Antonio Vivaldi was baptized. At last we will admire the splendid leonine guarded gate of the city’s great Arsenale, Europe’s first and largest shipyard – a true expression of Venice naval power.

Highlights: S.Zaccaria church, S.Maria Formosa and S.Giovanni e Paolo squares, St.George of the Greeks church, St.George of the Dalmatian Scuola, grand gate of Arsenale.

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