Cannaregio is one of the six districts of Venice. A total of 33 islands together form the district in the world-famous lagoon city. The big tourist road leads through the middle of the quarter and this is not by chance.
Because the picturesque quarter has a lot to offer – even away from the tourist hype. Antique churches, weathered palaces, picturesque bridges, and places to linger make up the charm of the district worth visiting.
The location of the district in Venice
The quarter is located in Venice’s northwest and is the second largest district of the lagoon city after Castello. In Cannaregio, the Canal Grande begins that is affectionately called Canalazzo by the local people. It winds in the shape of an inverted “S” up to San Marco. As already mentioned, the district consists of a total of 33 islands and is the most densely populated part of the city.
And it is the city district in which most of the Venetians still live and work – thus, to a certain extent, the “real” Venice. On the other hand, the Strada Nova, the big tourist mile of the city, also runs through the district. But it is this Strada Nova that creates a division of the district into Venice for the tourists and the local people.
The history of the district of Cannaregio
The name of the quarter can be derived in two different ways. The first explanation is a derivation of the term ‘Canal Regio’. This refers to a canal that used to serve as access from the city to the mainland. The second explanation comes from “Canna Regio”. This means that it was an area that was once densely covered with reeds.
Cannaregio was in former times the Jewish quarter of Venice. Only there in the somewhat remote “Ghetto Vecchio” were Jews allowed to settle at that time. Because of the limited space, people were forced to build their houses high up. This is the reason why only in this quarter of Venice there are some relatively high houses with five or six floors.
The most famous sights of the quarter
For visitors to Venice, the Strada Nova is certainly the main attraction. It connects the station with the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square. It is also lined with shops, souvenir shops, restaurants, bars, and cafés. Gondola rides can be started at the many side arms of the street. Here, it is not as crowded as at the Canal Grande and the rides are a little cheaper. Cannaregio is peppered with numerous bridges, churches, and palaces that are worthwhile to visit.
Even if the quarter does not have the really big sights, a visit to the churches, palaces, and places is worthwhile in any case. The most famous churches are the Chiesa Santa Maria di Nazareth, the church San Geremia, the church San Giobbe, and the church Madonna dell’ Orto. It houses beautiful works of art by Tintoretto and Tiziano. There are also three Ashkenazic synagogues in the district. The Jewish quarter around Campo di Ghetto Nove is also worth a visit.
The most splendid palace in the quarter is probably Palazzo Ca’ d’Oro, which today houses an important art collection for visitors – Tickets – The Gothic-style palace was named after the façade of the building, which was once covered with gold leaf. Other palaces worth seeing are Palazzo Labia at Campo S. Geremia and Palazzo Vendramin Calergi, which today houses the Casino. On the way, there are repeatedly cafés and restaurants away from the tourist flow that attracts to stop for a break.
Popular and cozy spots
In Cannaregio, there are many places that invite you to have a little break and to stay and watch. One such place is the already mentioned Campo di Ghetto Nove in the Jewish quarter. The Campo dei Mori is popular with locals and visitors alike. The place got its name due to a sculpture with three Moors that are located on a wall of a house. The square is also the birthplace of the Venetian artist Tintoretto, who left his works in many places in the city.
ℹ️ Tip: Visit the Jewish Museum of Venice, the Museo Ebraico di Venezia, Campo di Ghetto Nuovo, 2902. It is dedicated to the history and culture of the Jewish community in Venice. Those who want to get to know the Jewish culture of Venice can also take part in an appropriate guided tour through the Jewish quarter with entry to the synagogue. A walk to the Rialto and Jewish quarter is also interesting.
The square around the Chiesa Santa Maria dei Miracoli (Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli) also invites you to rest, linger and observe. Those who like ailing charm should visit the cemetery island San Michele, which also belongs to the quarter. This is only a short ride on the Vaporetto line 4.1 from the nearby pier F.te Nove “C”.
What’s going on in Cannaregio?
ℹ️ The fact is: that tourism in the district is booming! For many people, the quarter with the Strada Nova is above all the way to the big sights of the city. Because the street leads directly to the Rialto Bridge and the Piazza San Marco. For this reason, a real infrastructure for tourists has developed along the Strada Nova. Souvenir shops, gift shops, bars, restaurants, and cafés attract visitors on the way with their range of products. But also those who want to explore the lagoon city away from the tourist hype are in good hands here.
Moreover, gondola rides are cheaper here than in other parts of the city. Because it is also a quarter of the locals. Many Venetians live here and go about their daily work. Thus, those who want to discover the city away from the tourist strongholds should, in any case, go on an extended ramble through the quarter. Thereby, one is rewarded with an authentic Venice experience.
What makes the area so unique?
Cannaregio is something you just have to experience. The quarter offers a variety of attractions for visitors and locals in a very small space. Whether it is the hustle and bustle of the Strada Nova or the tranquil life in one of the quieter corners of the district – the special charm is transferred to the visitor as well as to the locals. The district invites you to discover it on a long walk.
Because each of the 33 islands is different. Especially for hobby photographers, there are wonderful photo motives on all corners. The contrast between the often overcrowded Strada Nova, where people from all over the world cavort, and the tranquil streets, which belong entirely to the locals, makes the quarter unique. Especially in the evening – see also Venice by night!
The vibrant district exudes history and lets the visitor experience what makes the world-famous lagoon city so special because it shows both sides of the city. If you would like to treat yourself to a special experience, you should join the guided tour ‘Legends and Ghosts of Cannaregio’ if the time is right. The tour starts at dusk and shows the quarter from a completely different side. Especially if you already know the city from its tourist side, this tour is a welcome change.
*The price is subject to change, it is always the current offer of the provider. Children up to 6 years of age take part in the tour free of charge.
The overall impression of the district of Cannaregio
Cannaregio should not be missed during any visit to Venice. After all, the Strada Nova accommodates one of the main arteries for tourism in the city. The good tourist infrastructure makes the district a real magnet for visitors alongside the city’s other major attractions. Since the quarter also offers real Venetian life, it is worth seeing in two ways.
Tourists can stock up on souvenirs and enjoy a real Italian espresso, a delicious Italian ice cream, or a good pizza. At the same time, many venerable buildings in Cannaregio attract visitors. Classic churches, ornate palaces, and the history of the historic Jewish quarter are of interest to visitors from near and far. This diversity and the contrast between the two worlds make the quarter one of the most exciting parts of Venice.
ℹ️ Cannaregio – One of the mysteries and secrets of Venice
Where can you get a delicious meal in Cannaregio?
Those who spend a little more time here should also try to get to know the local cuisine of the locals for lunch or dinner. Here, everything is a little cheaper and more rustic.
🍴 Trattoria Dalla Marisa – Authentic trattoria as a study of the environment. Everything is very simple. Typical but fine Italian cuisine – Fondamenta S. Giobbe, 652
🍴 Cà D’Oro alla Vedova – Waiting even if there is no table available. Original restaurant with solid cuisine
Ramo Ca’ d’Oro, 3912
🍴 Osteria Al Cantinon – Small restaurant away from mass tourism, somewhat hidden. Food, wine, prices, everything ok – Sottoportego Delle Colonete, 2152
🍴 Il Paradiso Perduto – Delicious and fresh seafood. You can also choose from the self-service counter. Fondamenta della Misericordia, 2540
🍴 Osteria Anice Stellato – Upscale restaurant with good creative cuisine – Fondamenta della Sensa, 3272
🍴 Trattoria Alla Fontana – Homemade pasta, fish, and risotto in a small restaurant in a quiet location. Not quite as cheap, but worth it. Fondamenta Cannaregio, 1102
🍴 Ai Promessi Sposi -Traditional, simple, and good cuisine is eaten at lunch with locals. Also in the evening Italian home cooking at reasonable prices. Calle dell’Oca, 4367
A tip for a simple pizzeria in the proximity of Cannaregio is also mentioned in my article about the culinary Venice.
Is it worthwhile visiting the district?
A visit to the quarter is worthwhile in any case. Hardly any tourist passes Cannaregio during his visit to Venice.
The mixture of pulsating life, tourist attractions, and the real Venice of the locals makes this district so special and should not be missed during any stay in the city of gondolas and love. Those who want to make their trip to Venice perfect should also look for accommodation here.
Hotel recommendations in Cannaregio Venice
If possible you should try to stay overnight in the center of the lagoon city. Of course, this is not always cheap, but one is close to the sights of Venice and during an evening stroll, the city radiates a completely different flair.
Some hotel tips for Cannaregio are already in my top 10 list of hotels in the center of Venice. Apart from that, here are some additional suggestions for overnight stays for those who want to experience authentic life in the most exciting part of Venice.
✅ Hotel Cannaregio 2357 – Those who are looking for photo motives will find it not far from the hotel. Solid, modern, and quiet. Only 10 minutes from the Rialto Bridge and the railway station.
Address: Cannaregio, 2357, 30121 Venezia, 7 rooms, double room about 150 €.
✅ Hotel Vecellio Venice Lagoon View – Located on the northern edge of Cannaregio.15 minutes walk from St. Mark’s Square, the family-run Hotel Vecellio is furnished in classic Venetian style with wooden beamed ceilings and wooden or tiled floors. WLAN. Ferries to the island of Murano depart from the Fondamenta Nuove pier, 150 meters away.
Address: Cannaregio 5039/A, Cannaregio, 30131 Venice, 8 rooms, double room approx. 85,00 €
✅ Hotel Casa Boccassini – Rather simple townhouse than a hotel in an excellent location, quiet, clean with a small garden. WLAN. Rooms with bathroom, some cheap rooms with shared bathroom.
Address: Calle del Fumo 5295, Cannaregio, 30121 Venice, 8 rooms, prices on request
✅ Ca’ Vendramin Di Santa Fosca – Unique comfort rooms in a historic 17th-century building (see photo above), breakfast, canal view, and the Cannaregio experience don’t make this 4-star hotel cheap. Super centrally located.
Address: Cannaregio 2400, Cannaregio, 30121 Venice, 15 rooms, double room about 200 €