The sestiere of San Polo takes its name from the church of the same name that lies within its boundaries. Initially the name of the area, which included the present San Polo and Santa Croce was known as Luprio. This is the smallest sestiere in Venice. Its proximity to the Rialto market has made San Polo a wealthy area since the early 11th century.
This area has retained its characteristic of a lively and commercial area. In fact, not too far away, in the nearby Dorsoduro, you will find the Ca Foscari university, which also makes the San Polo area very lively and youthful. Nowadays one of the campi most loved by young people is Campo Erbaria for the remarkable presence of clubs. In general, in the various campi of the sestiere you can see many young people strolling happily in search of bacari or convenient restaurants. In fact, the San Polo area is known for the small businesses run by its residents: art shops, souvenir shops, small restaurants and bacari. But San Polo is not just that.
Venice's smallest sestiere has large, lively campi, such as San Silvestro and San Tomà. Another notable campo is Campo San Polo, the second largest campo or square after San Marco.
The area is also home to the ancient Rialto market, a centre of 'commercial entertainment' for centuries now.
The sestiere is also home to La Grande Scuola di San Rocco, known to the world as "the Sistine Chapel of Venice", a must-see for any tourist visiting Venice. The Scuola di San Rocco is a lay confraternity that collects fundamental works by Tintoretto.
If you visit Venice try to fully enjoy the cultural liveliness that San Polo can offer you, you will not be disappointed.