Cannaregio is the largest and most populated of Venice’s six central districts (sestieri). Home to the Jewish ghetto, the art-filled Chiesa della Madonna dell'Orto, the Renaissance Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Miracoli, and the restaurant-lined Fondamenta de la Misericordia, Cannaregio offers something for everyone.
Cannaregio, bookended by the Santa Lucia train station and the Rialto Bridge, lines most of Venice’s Grand Canal. Strada Nuova, the district’s busy main street, teems with souvenir shops and tourists; however, meander off into the side streets and canals and you'll soon find peaceful squares (piazzas) and churches.
The best way to explore Cannaregio is by linking up with a walking tour led by a professional guide—someone who knows both the famous monuments and the hidden gems. The biggest attraction here is the Jewish ghetto; tours will also include the area's key churches, Ca' d'Oro Palace, Campo San Leonardo and Campo dei Mori squares, and Ponte delle Guglie (a historic bridge). You can pair small-group and private tours with a gondola ride or a tour of Venice highlights, such as St. Mark's Basilica, the Doge's Palace, and the Rialto Bridge.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Tours of Cannaregio include a fair amount of walking, so wear comfortable shoes and a sun hat.
- The quiet backstreets of the Cannaregio are easier to manage with kids than the crowded areas around Piazza San Marco.
- Ponte delle Guglie has recently added ramps, making it one of the few Venetian bridges that’s wheelchair accessible.
- Venice has six districts: Castello, Cannaregio, Dorsoduro, San Marco, Santa Croce, and San Polo. Cannaregio borders Castello and a tiny corner of San Marco; it’s situated across the Grand Canal from Santa Croce and San Polo.
How to Get There
To get to Cannaregio, take a Grand Canal water bus—vaporetto line 1 to the Ponte di Rialto stop—or walk from Santa Lucia train station across the Ponte delle Guglie bridge.
When to Get There
The December Hanukkah celebrations in Cannaregio’s historic Jewish ghetto are particularly beautiful, with live music, celebrations, and a traditional menorah-lighting.
Venice’s Jewish Ghetto
Venice is home to the world's oldest Jewish ghetto, established in 1516. Today, the area is still filled with historic synagogues, Jewish-run businesses, and Kosher restaurants.