The Dorsoduro sestiere (district) is home to some of Venice’s most impressive art collections, churches, and architecture, and the heart of this university neighborhood is lively Campo Santa Margherita. This large public square hosts an outdoor market during the day and is a hub of Venetian nightlife after the sun sets.
One of the largest squares in Venice, Campo Santa Margherita is a highlight of Dorsoduro and included in most walking tours of this fascinating sestiere. Pair a Dorsoduro tour with a gondola ride or a Venice highlights tour that includes a stop at the Rialto Bridge and skip-the-line entrance to St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace. The campo was named for a church located on the square, deconsecrated in 1810 and now used as a university lecture theater. Visit the former church along with the scuola (confraternity) of Santa Maria dei Carmini, home to a number of important artworks.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Tours of Dorsoduro require a bit of walking, so wear comfortable shoes and a sun hat.
- Because of the wide open space, Campo Santa Margherita is a great stop for kids.
- The square is flat and paved, easily navigated with wheelchairs and strollers.
- There are a number of excellent restaurants in and around the square.
- Campo Santa Margherita and the nearby Fondamenta della Zattere (along the Giudecca Canal) are picturesque destinations for an evening stroll.
How to Get There
Campo Santa Margherita is located in the heart of Dorsoduro, just across the Grand Canal from San Marco, and is easily reached on foot by crossing the Accademia Bridge.
When to Get There
Visit Campo Santa Margherita early to feel like a local at the daily market, then head to your pick of the major museums on the square when they open. This bustling square in the center of Dorsoduro is best known for its nightlife, so to see the square at its liveliest, visit in the evening for an aperitivo drink or dinner.
Highlights of Venice’s Dorsoduro
One of the six central districts (sestieri) in Venice, Dorsoduro is home to the Gallerie dell’Accademia—with its collection of masterpieces by Titian, Tiepolo, and Veronese—and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection of modern art. The 18th-century Ca' Rezzonico museum is one of the most important in the city, and the ornate Church of San Sebastiano and Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute are well worth a visit.