Bustling boat yards, Palladian churches and a host of great eateries.
The Giudecca island is a whole different Venice.
The crumbling remnants of a busy industrial past are now dotted with busy boat yards, modern housing complexes and a lively local community. The one thing you won't find, as a rule, are other out-of-towners.
The church of the Redentore (Campo del Redentore; 041 2750462; www.chorusvenezia.org; closed Sun, €3 or with Chorus pass), designed by Palladio in the late 16th century with a façade like an ancient Greek temple, dominates the long Venice-facing northern coast.
On the southern side, boat-mending yards and rowing clubs are hives of marine activity. But this is also one of the very quietest areas in the whole city: whenever I'm feeling like a rest from crowds I choose a little-trafficked alleyway across the island and contemplate the wide expanses of the empty, doleful southern lagoon.
The Giudecca offers some unusual retail opportunities. You can pick up organic fruit and veg grown by the inmates of the women’s prison at the stall on Fondamenta delle Convertite on Thursday mornings. Or you can splash out on luxurious hand-printed Fortuny fabrics (€360 a metre) at the austere warehouse on Fondamenta San Biagio (see my Shopping in Venice page for more information).
Where to eat
The Giudecca boasts a host of great restaurants: Mistrà, La Palanca and I Figli delle Stelle to name but a few.