Discover the sestieri of Venice with the app I Love Tourists Guide, the app made by us Venetians to make you live the city like a true Venetian!

One of the many peculiarities of Venice is the way the city is structured. The city is divided into 6 areas called Sestieri(from latin word “sex” = six). The house numbers refer to the local Sestiereand not to the street, so a typical Venetian address will be Cannaregio 3210 or Dorsoduro 2541. This subdivision is very ancient and dates back, according to Tommaso Temanza, to the time of the Doge Vitale Michiel II, in the year 1169, probably for tributary and administrative purposes.

The named Sestieri (called Confinia) that originally included about seventy Contrade with their respective Churches were divided into Sestieri di Citra (to the left of the Grand Canal with respect to St. Mark’s Square) and Sestieri di Ultra, (to the right of the Grand Canal).

The Sestieri di Citra are:

  • Castello
  • San Marco
  • Cannaregio

The Sestieri di Ultra are:

  • Dorsoduro
  • San Polo
  • Santa Croce

Castello

It once was one of the main islands on which Venice was built. Its name, meaning Castle, comes from a defensive castle that was built anciently in the area. It is the area where the Biennale takes place.

San Marco

Anciently known as Morso (lit.Bite), because its ground was the hardest in town or Brolo (in Venetian small orchard) because it was full of trees. When the body of St.Mark was brought in the city from Alexandria and the Basilica was established the whole area took the name of St.Mark (from the square surrounding the Basilica).

Cannaregio

Coming from Canal Regio (Royal Canal) as the Grand Canal in this area is very wide or more probably from the groves of reeds(canneti in Italian) present in the area. It is the area going from Rialto to the Railway Station.

Dorsoduro

It litterally means hardback and it is so called becauseits soilwas hard (duro in Italian) and the island has the shape of a back(dorso in Italian). It is the areaof the Church of Santa Maria della Salute and the Accademia Galleries.

S. Polo

Coming from the Church of St.Paul (in Venetian San Polo) built in 837. It is the smallestSestiere in Venice. It is theFrari area.

Santa Croce

Coming from the name of Santa Croce (holy Cross) Church built by the inhabitants fleeding from the Longobard Invasion. It is the area of Venice harbour and docks.

With the digital map you will have the opportunity to discover places typically known by Venetians and stop in Bacari, the typical Venetian taverns, to eat a meatball and taste an ombra, or a good glass of wine.

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