How to have the perfect day in Venice’s Dorsoduro

May 11, 2018
Cecilia Cambero

Dorsoduro is one of six neighbourhoods that make up Venice — and a great place to explore if you want to appreciate the true local life of Venice. That’s because it is a large residential area, where you’ll find quiet streets and weekly markets, as well as a university campus and vibrant student life. Plus, there are great museums, shopping and restaurants. The neighbourhood is easy to reach, as it starts in Piazzale Roma, the entrance to the island of Venice. To help you explore, our local Venice tour guides have picked their favourite spots for a perfect day in Dorsoduro.

Coffee at Pasticceria Tonolo | Photo by Venice Urban Adventures

Start your day with a espresso at Pasticceria Tonolo, a family-run business serving great coffee and traditional Venetian desserts. The coffee shop is a stand-up experience and is always busy.

Follow with a visit to San Pantalon Church. From the outside it looks plain, but the best things in life are always a surprise, right?! Inside, the church has the biggest canvas ceiling in the world, which took 24 years to complete.

From here, cross over to Campo Santa Margherita, a popular square with plenty of cafes where you can sit down outside, as well as daytime market stalls selling flowers, fruits, vegetables and fish.

Mask making at Ca Macana | Photo by Venice Urban Adventures

If you’re travelling with kids (or those who just want to do something different) don’t miss Ca’ Macana, a mask atelier that produces Venetian carnival masks, including those used in Eyes White Shut. Ca’ Macana also gives lessons on how to make your own mask.

During certain time of the year, the neighbourhood of Dorsoduro holds spaces for the Art Biennale Exhibition. This year, you can check out — for free! — incredible spaces such as The Armenian College. (Rumours say that it has been sold to become a hotel, so visit before it’s too late).

Famous cicchetti dishes at Squero di San Trovaso| Photo by Venice Urban Adventures

A locals’ favourite place to go after work is the area of Squero di San Trovaso. The squero is one of the few gondola boat yards left in the island, where you can see how this iconic boat is made, while sipping prosecco and enjoying famous cicchetti dishes. Al Bottegon  and Al Squero are the two restaurants nearby.

After your food stop, a walk along Zattere is your best option. Along the way, you can buy a gelato from the famous Gelateria Nico and walk up to Punta della Dogana. There, you’ll get one of the best view points in Venice, overlooking the Bay of San Marco and the entrance point of Canal Grande and Canal di Giudecca — the two main canals in the city.

It’s a beautiful spot to wind down your day exploring the Venetian neighbourhood of Dorsoduro, as the sunsets and the city lights switch on.

Venice Tours | Urban Adventures

As one of the world’s most famous destinations, Venice is just made to be explored. Consisting of 118 islands and 150 canals, there’s certainly plenty of ground (and water!) to cover. Our Venice tours are designed to show you the very best things to do in Venice, from tapas and wine, to the beautiful landmarks in all their glory. Venture through Venice with a local to discover this unique Italian gem.