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Maps of Venice 

Venice is divided into six ancient administrative districts, or ‘sestieri’. Visitors usually head immediately for the Piazza San Marco, where the Doge’s Palace, and the breathtaking basilica of St Mark are located, but each district has its own distinct character, and time spent exploring each will be well rewarded.

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San Marco

San Marco
San Marco Home to the political nerve centre of Venice, the sestiere of San Marco, starting from the area of “Rivo Alto” which is divided between this sestiere and that of San Polo, has been the heart of Venetian life since the early days of the Republic. The great showpiece of the Serenissima, the Piazza San Marco, was later conceived as a grand theatrical setting for the Doge’s Palace ...
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San Polo and Santa Croce

San Polo and Santa Croce
San Polo and Santa Croce The sestiere of San Polo and Santa Croce, bordered by the upper sweep of the Grand Canal, was named after churches which stood within its boundaries. The first inhabitants are said to have settled on the cluster of small islands called Rivus Altus (high bank), or Rialto. When markets were first established here in the 11th century, this quarter became the commercial h...
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Castello

Castello
Castello The largest sestiere of the city, Castello, stretches from San Marco and Cannaregio in the west to the modern blocks of Sant’Elena in the east. The area, first named Olivolo inthe 8th century, later acquired the popular name “Castello”, presumably because of the castle-shaped walls of the wide Arsenale. Enormous shipyards were, in fact, established all around the isle of Olivolo...
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Dorsoduro

Dorsoduro
Dorsoduro Dorsoduro, meaning “hard backbone”, is named after the solid subsoil upon which this area was built. The western end, the island of Mendigola, was colonized by the Romans centuries before the Rialto was established as the permanent seat of Venice, in 828 AD. East of the Accademia, Dorsoduro is a quaint neighbourhood of quiet canals, and picturesque residences belonging to wealth...
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Cannaregio

Cannaregio
Cannaregio The city’s most northern sestiere, Cannaregio, stretches in a large arc from the 20th century railway station in the west, to one of the oldest quarters of Venice in the east. The northern quays look out towards the islands in the lagoon. While to the south, the sestiere is bordered by the upper sweep of the Grand Canal. The sestiere’s name probably derives from the canes, which,...
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