Escaping the crowds in Venice can be a serious challenge, but fortunately it still has a few remote areas untouched by mass tourism. Surprisingly few visitors go to Cannaregio, a quiet, residential district home on the northern shore of the island.
With its rickety wooden bridges and green canals, Cannaregio is the closest you’ll get to experiencing Venetian life on holiday.
Remarkably unspoilt with a wistful quality, Cannaregio is much quieter than San Marco and is one of the few places in Venice where locals still live and work. If you want to escape the tourist crowds then you should start off at Campo di Ghetto, the Jewish Ghetto, which serves as the neighbourhood’s public square.
If you pay close attention, you’ll notice the buildings are significantly taller than the rest of the city. Historically forbidden to expand outwards, the Jewish residents reached to the sky.
Fondamenta de la Sensa
As one of the most understated parts of Venice, Fondamenta della Sensa has a rustic charm that provides a wonderful antidote to the thronging masses at Rialto Bridge.
Perfect for an early morning stroll, the quayside has two landmark churches nearby, Sant’Alvise and the epic fourteenth-century Madonna dell’Orto. Otherwise you can enjoy home made Venetian cooking at Anice Stellato, which is a charming and inexpensive family run restaurant.
Campo dei Mori
Providing a macabre spectacle to visitors, Campo dei Mori (Square of the Moors) is famous for its turbaned statues. Dominated by three miserly brothers Rioba, Sandi and Afani, the grotesque siblings were erected in the thirteenth century.
If you’re hungry in Cannaregio then you should check out the famous local restaurant Osteria L’Orto dei Mori. Renowned for its Venetian home cooking and creative recipes, you’ll definitely be relieved that you walked so far to find it.
Cannaregio is pretty quiet after dark, but that’s not to say there aren’t some excellent hang outs for travellers. Local favourites include craft beer bar Il Santo Bevitore and art jazz bar Paradiso Perduto (The Lost Paradise).
Providing a secluded enclave in this densely populated island, Cannaregio is perfect for adventurous travellers exploring Venice for the first time.