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As small as it may be, Giudecca island offers to visitors such great churches and worldly attractions. The Best Western Premier Hotel Sant’Elena will guide you in the exploration of this charming, truly Venetian island, which has been attracting artists, celebrities and lovers of a truly Venetian atmosphere.
Giudecca’s name has uncertain origins. An explanation refers to the settlement of a Jewish community, actually the island was never a Jewish ghetto. Instead, Giudecca started life as a fishing village around 500 AD. Soon market gardens followed and during the 19th Century the Industrial Age added shipyards, factories and even a movie studio to the sprawling estates. The result is an island which is both eclectic and romantic.
Giudecca Island is located only a few minutes’ drive by Vaporetto from Saint Mark’s Square. There are many reasons not to miss out a trip to this island when visiting Venice. One of this is that it provides the most famous and beautiful view over Doge’s Palace, Saint Mark’s Square, the votive church Santa Maria della Salute and the entrance to the Grand Canal.
The most impressive building on the island is without doubt the “Il Redentore” (Church of the most holy Redemeer). The architect is Andrea Palladio, who began to construct it in the 16th Century. As well as the Church of Santa Maria della Salute, “Il Redentore” is also a votive church that marked the end of a plague epidemic. It dominates the skyline and is the spiritual hub of the island. In addition on Giudecca you can visit the “Sant’Eufemia”, one of the oldest churches in Venice that dates back to the 9th Century.
We also suggest to you visiting the showroom and factory of Mariano Fortuny and Mandrazzo for his exquisitely patterned fabrics which are still manufactured using the same machines and secret process of a century ago.
Moreover the third Sunday in July marks the Festa del Redentore, equal parts religious festival, floating picnic and dance party. Watch in awe as the Giudecca Canal becomes a floating dance floor of tethered boats for the midnight fireworks display.
Close to Giudecca there is the as beautiful as small island of St Giorgio Maggiore. Nowadays the island is an internationally known cultural center right in the heart of the Venice’s lagoon.
The Cini Foundation runs the island and its main aim is to attract young researchers and intellectuals from all over the world. The St Giorgio Maggiore is a treasure house of architectural works of art by name such as Palladio and Longhena The most famous of these are the cloisters, the Palladian cenacle, the Long Corridor and the Library of Longhena. But there are also examples of great contemporary artists such as Carena, Severini, Sironi and Vedova. The island and the Giorgio Cini Foundation can truly be one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in Italy.