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Walkable Cities Guide: Cannaregio, Venice

Immerse yourself in the mysticism of Venice.

View of Venice by the water with gondolas and buildings in the distance

“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.” -Truman Capote

Cannaregio is a neighborhood that feels a bit separated from the crowds of tourists that you would typically associate with Venice. It's a great neighborhood for interesting food, natural wine, and above all, aimless wandering.

While you wander, discover stories about local history by launching Gesso’s Cannaregio audio walking tour. Here’s a peek at what you'll hear…

Teatro Malibran

Teatro Malibran, Venezia, Italy
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Teatro Malibran, as it’s been known since 1837, was originally built in 1678 and reportedly sports the most sumptuous interior of any in Italy. It was also once the home of Il Milione, otherwise known as Marco Polo.

Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo

Exterior of Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Venice
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo is one of the largest churches in Venice, and is the burial site of the twenty-five Doges who died after the 15th century, attested in part by the presence of the four ducal tombs located alongside the entryway, embedded in the brick edifice.

Teatro Italia

Exterior view of the architecture of Teatro Italia in Venice, Italy

The Teatro Italia, built originally in 1915, is an elegant mixture of architectural styles, from the facade’s neo-gothic style meant to emulate the Doge’s Palace to the Art-Nouveau chandeliers and frescoes inside. Eventually bought by a giant food retail corporation from the Netherlands, the Teatro Italia is now a supermarket. Have a look inside, and get yourself a block of some nutty, aged piave cheese, or a bitter bushel of radicchio rosso, and treat yourself to a quick, healthy snack on a rio somewhere nearby.

“Talking Statues” of Venice

A brick wall with white marble statues in front of it, known as the talking statues of Venice, located in the Campo dei Mori in Venice Italy

The white marble statues in the Campo dei Mori, or Moorish Square, aren’t actually Moors in the traditional sense, despite the name, but are rather 12th century merchant brothers from the Greek Kingdom of Morea who helped build the area. The most prominent, on the corner, is named Rioba and has long served as one of the “Talking Statues” of Venice. Citizens could anonymously mock the government by stuffing, hanging, or pasting satirical notes into, onto and around the statue’s base, much to their leaders’ chagrin, who would in turn openly threaten to destroy the statues. Another statue, a bit to the right of Rioba, also marks the house where Venice’s greatest painter, Jacopo Robusti, better known as Tintoretto, lived for twenty years until his death in 1594.


Hear more audio stories in Venice with Gesso, an audio walking tour app for travelers. Browse audio tours in Florence, Venice, and Rome!

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