Located in the Venetian Lagoon, the island of Giudecca is
separated from mainland Venice by the Giudecca canal. Translated as
“Long Thorn”, the destination was once a luxurious retreat for
Italy’s in-the-know travellers, thanks to its bevvy of palaces and
pristine gardens. But in the early-20th century, its factories and
shipyards grew in might, making for an unexpected industrial turn.
Today, however, the blend of grit and glamour makes for a
remarkably beautiful place. Just a short gondola ride from the
hustle and bustle of Venice’s palazzos, the quieter and slower pace
of Giudecca offers a taste of true Venetian living.
Thinking of going in search of la dolce vita this summer? Read
on for our inside scoop on where to eat, stay and play in gorgeous
Italy has quite the reputation for its ability to produce
brilliant art, with few people on the planet not being familiar
with the masterpieces of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and
Bellini. Get your culture fix by checking out some of the
contemporary offerings Giudecca has to offer. Start by popping into
the Galleria Michela Rizzo. Tucked away down an unassuming
street, the airy space is housed in what was once the island’s
brewery. Today, it showcases some of the country’s freshest talent.
To enjoy independent art at its finest, check out the upcoming
exhibitions section on the website.
Where to stay?
Bed down at Hotel Giudecca. This intimate, 30-key stay oozes a
stylish Italian-chic aesthetic: picture sheer curtains masking
sweeping views across the Palada canal, wood-beamed ceilings,
ancient columns and a healthy smattering of traditional terrazzo
tiles. Long, lazy mornings should start with a freshly pressed
orange juice and a bowl of colourful seasonal fruit, both best
enjoyed on the private terrace.
Where to go for dinner?
Having been in business since 1889, the time-honoured Trattoria Altanella has passed through four
generations of the Stradella family. The menu of classic Venetian
dishes is full of secret family recipes. Our favourites include
Grandma Irma’s gnocchi with cuttlefish ink and Mamma Paola’s fillet
of John Dory. In good weather, bag a sun-soaked table on the
outdoor terrace; otherwise settle for a cosy seat inside, where
art-clad walls make for a solid date-night setting.
And for a drink…
A firm local favourite, Bar Da Monica’s canalside set-up is as
old-school as they come – and we’re totally here for it. Inside,
dramatic chandeliers hang from wooden beams, while a collection of
antique trunks makes for a unique countertop. Outside, a handful of
mustard-yellow stalls welcome a laid-back sunset crowd. Truth be
told, any design enthusiast would likely sniff at the chaotic
aesthetic, but we can’t help but think that’s what makes the place
that little bit more magical. Arrive at 6pm and order a large
Aperol spritz and a side plate of hams and cheeses. Kept alive by
love, the restaurant doesn’t yet have a website: look for the
ruby-red awnings and olive-green shutters on Fondamenta Croce and
you’ll know you’re in the right place.
Who to take with you
Venice is one of the world’s most popular
honeymoon destinations, and while we love a good love story, we
also enjoy a long weekend with our gang. The romantic air of the
city only adds to the fun of spending days strolling alongside
canals and gallery-hopping with friends instead.
When to go
While Giudecca might rank as Venice’s largest island in terms of
size, its population remains at just 5,000 full-time inhabitants.
For that reason, it doesn’t exactly have the busiest of calendars.
We suggest visiting between June and August. That way, you should
get lots of sunshine and if you decide to head to the mainland for
an evening, you can catch a gig at the legendary Veneto Jazz
Essentials to pack
Fed up of finding sand buried in every crevice of your favourite
tote bag? Us too. Grab yourself a fit-for-purpose Loewe Paula Ibiza basket bag – the ultimate new
summer staple. Did someone say beach day?
How to get there
Take a direct flight from London Gatwick to Venice Marco Polo
Airport. Giudecca is just a five-minute ferry ride away from St