The Castello district of Venice is one of the oldest parts of the city of Venice. It has been inhabited since the 5th Century. Located just east of San Marco square it has a number of attractions for the visitor to Venice. The Castello district is included on our popular Grand Canal & Secret Venice Boat Tours.
The Church of San Pietro di Castello, which was the main church of Venice, prior to the construction of the Basilica in San Marco. It remained the official cathedral of Venice until 1897 when the title was handed to the basilica of San Marco. The interior boasts a delightful chapel covered in priceless marble and baroque statues, as well as a remarkable altarpiece.
Castello is also home to the Arsenale, the ship-building yards of the Venetian fleet. A mighty complex of dockyards, foundries, magazines and workshops for carpenters, sailmakers, ropemakers and blacksmiths, that had the capability of building a ship in a day.
The Arsenale is now closed to the public, because the Italian navy have a base in the old complex. But, to get a better understanding of the naval history of Venice visit the Navy Museum. On the second floor there is a special exhibit of the "Bucintoro", the Doge's personal launch.
For those looking to unwind and relax in the shade of a tree in a pleasant park setting, visit the Public Gardens in Castello, the largest of their kind in the city of Venice. Every uneven two years the Gardens play host to the world's largest modern art exhibition - the Biennale.
Inside the Scoula di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni, you'll discover precious works by Carpaccio. One of Venice's great artists, his work is featured on an exquisite frieze that is vivid in color, with minutely observd details it provides a historic record of life in Venice.
A walk to the far eastern extremes of Castello will bring you to Sant'Elena, a quiet part of Castello that has the air of a small port or fishing village. It's also the home of Venice's soccer stadium. Another beautiful church located in Castello is the San Zaccaria, which features a facade typical of the Venetian Renaissance period. The church houses some delightful works by several of Venice's greatest artitsts.