Venice – an architecture walk around Castello neighbourhood

Castello is the neighbourhood due east from San Marco (see previous posts). It’s the largest of the six Venetian sestiere (districts). The naval shipyards, the Arsenale di Venezia, are located here.

Once Europe’s largest industrial and military complex, the Arsenale is an important sight to see but sadly I didn’t make it due to a lack of time. I did enjoy walking around the neighbourhood though, not least because the streets are less frenetic than the more central neighbourhoods. My map here.

If you continue east along Riva degli Schiavoni, keeping to the waterside, eventually you come to Giardini della Biennale. The gardens were created by Napoleon as the city’s first green space and since 1907 they have been used to showcase (now yearly) exhibitions of art and architecture.

The country pavillions are attractions in themselves (especially Carlo Scarpa’s 1954 Venezuela pavillion) and it was my intention to view them but I discovered that the part of the gardens I wanted to see had been given over to an exhibition that I had neither the time nor the desire to see, so again I left it for next time.

However I did get to see a couple of nice buildings including the Russian pavillion…

…and the Greenhouse which is the oldest building on the site (1894).

On this walk I managed to locate the only Brutalist building in Venice (built in 1977), the Palasport sports hall at 2132 Calle San Biasio, which served as the Baltic pavilion for the 2016 Biennale.

As well as interesting archictecture, Castello also has some good places to eat…

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