Giudecca: The best island of Venice (Part 2)

Vy Tran | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Exploring Venice without the crowds is every traveller's goal. Sadly, it is becoming an impossible task due to the mass tourism, as well as the never-ending and constant arrival of cruises (which by the way, many locals cannot tolerate). However, I have a solution for you, which is staying in Giudecca, one of the first Venice's islands.

This is the second part of the series "Giudecca: The best island of Venice". In the first part, I introduced some budget options for exploring Giudecca, such as walking around the island and having a gelato. This time, I will recommend a few high-end experiences, fine dining restaurants, as well as luxury hotels to stay. That is to show how Giudecca caters to a variety of visitors, no matter whether they travel on a budget or not.

What to do

Art is always around the corner. Many visitors have recommended the photography museum Casa dei Tre Oci, which is housed in a 20th-century palace designed by the Italian painter Mario de Maria (1852 - 1924). Visitors are struck by the uniqueness of the architecture of the building, as it was customised to represent the Maria family symbolically. In addition, the museum's photography exhibits are insightful, and the view of Venice from the palace is just marvellous. The museum is closed on Tuesdays, and a ticket costs 12 euros (full price) or 10 euros (for students under 26).

After enjoying art, you may want to have a drink or two, and of course in order to do so, you would prefer a place "with a view". In fact, almost every Giudecca's location comes "with a view". While Casa dei Tre Oci is on the east side of Giudecca, the Skyline Rooftop Bar is on the other side of the island, at the Hilton Molino Stucky Hotel. Not only is there a fantastic panoramic view of Venice from the rooftop bar, but there are also fancy cocktails, which however cost on average 12-20 euros per glass. The cocktail in the photo below is called the Giudecca cocktail. The bar is only open from 5pm.

Where to eat

In Giudecca, I discovered two mid-dining restaurants which I really liked. The first one is Trattoria ai Cacciatori, located right next to the waterfront. Needless to say, the view from the restaurant is one-of-a-kind. Their meat dishes are excellent. The second restaurant I recommend is a bit more off-the-beaten-path, and it is called Trattoria Altanella. This restaurant is a perfect place to unwind and taste traditional Venetian dishes.

Where to stay

For an unforgettable stay or for special occasions, I suggest staying in one of the few 5-star hotels of Giudecca. My two personal choices are the Hilton Molino Stucky Hotel and the Belmond Hotel Cipriani. As mentioned in the first part, the Hilton Hotel has an interesting history, since its building used to be a flour mill. Whereas the Hilton Hotel can be seen as an iconic image of Giudecca because of its strong presence on the waterfront, the Belmond Hotel Cipriani is more like a hidden gem all the way on the east side of the island. While both are 5-star hotels, Belmond Hotel Cipriani's price range is a lot more higher than the one of the Hilton Hotel.

Giudecca is truly the island for everyone and for sure, anyone who comes to Giudecca will find what they mostly need when travelling to Venice: a tranquil place to get away from the touristy crowds. Whether you choose watching the sunset for free while enjoying a gelato or having an expensive cocktail on the rooftop bar of the Hilton Hotel, you will fall in love with the beauty and mystery of the off-the-beaten-track Giudecca. Giudecca is no doubt my greatest discovery in Venice!

Insider's tips

If you have plenty of time in Venice, you should buy a Venice pass for public transport and make the most out of it by visiting as many Venetian Lagoon Islands as possible - some of the most popular ones are Murano, Burano, Torcello, and San Giorgio Maggiore. Apart from Giudecca, another favorite island of mine is Burano, which is full of colorful houses. Are you still looking for more insights on where to find off-the-beaten-path experiences in Venice? If yes, go ahead and check out Joe Thorpe's story: A different side of Venice.

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