• Photo: © Halie Cousineau/ Fodors Travel
  • Photo: © Halie Cousineau / Fodors Travel
  • Photo: © Ross Brinkerhoff / Fodors Travel
  • Photo: (c) Serrnovik | Dreamstime.com
  • Photo: minnystock | Dreamstime.com
  • Photo: © Ross Brinkerhoff / Fodors Travel
  • Photo: Antoine Motte dit Falisse [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Photo: © Halie Cousineau/ Fodors Travel


The sestiere Dorsoduro (named for its "hard back" solid clay foundation) is across the Grand Canal to the south of San Marco. It is a place of meandering canals, the city's finest art museums, monumental churches filled with works by Titian, Veronese, and Tiepolo, and a promenade called the Zattere, where on sunny days you'll swear half the city is out for a passeggiata, or stroll. The eastern tip of the peninsula, the Punta della Dogana, is capped by the dome of Santa Maria della Salute and was once the city’s customs point; the old customs house is now a museum of contemporary art. At the western end of the sestiere is the Stazione Marittima, where in summer cruise ships line the dock. Midway between these two points, just off the Zattere, is the Squero di San Trovaso, one of the three remaining workshops where gondolas have been built and repaired for centuries. It is not open to the public.

Dorsoduro is home to the Gallerie dell'Accademia, with an unparalleled collection of Venetian painting, and the gloriously restored Ca' Rezzonico, which houses the Museo del Settecento Veneziano. Another of its landmark sites, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, has a fine selection of 20th-century art.

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