Each neighborhood (sestiere) of Venice has its own unique character. In considering where to stay in Venice Dorsoduro is an enchanting local area that is off the beaten path, while at the same time central and convenient for visiting the main sites of Venice. Enjoy some local life in Venice with these tips on the top 3 reasons to stay in Dorsoduro from Prontopia team members Ilaria and Eloisa. Thank you to vacation photographer Bea of Bea’s Photo Stories for sharing photos of her favorite precious places in Dorsoduro.
1) The night life of Venice, it’s here!
Yep, by now you probably noticed that Venice isn’t the best for nightlife. Don’t despair! If you would like to have a beer and see local people in Venice also after 9 pm Campo Santa Margherita, Dorsoduro is the place to be!
Mostly young, but also young at heart, the Venice piazza Campo Santa Margherita, known locally just as “the Campo” is the hip place to be for nightlife from Wednesday until Saturday. Our favorite places in the Campo for a drink with friends are Caffe’ Rosso – a buzzing Bohemian bar;), Ai Do Draghi – great Veneto and Italian wine selection and delicious cicchetti, Osteria alla Bifora – where you might find Prontopia co-founder Shannon enjoying the amazing charcuterie platter (affetati) on one of the tables outside, and Osteria Ai Pugni – for great wine in a cozy atmosphere.
Nearby we also enjoy Il Mercante, a hip cocktail bar with brilliant themed cocktail list that changes seasonally, and where you can find live music as well. For sunset aperitivo with a seaview, we suggest Al Chioschetto , a small place on the Zattere outside kiosk open only during summer where you can enjoy a cheap spritz with a wonderful view listening to Italian songs.
2) Art, art art!
Dorsoduro is where classic, modern and contemporary art meet, also during the Biennale season! In this neighborhood of Venice you will find the Galleria dell’Accademia, for a full blown view of classical art (Giorgione and Carpaccio on top of it all), as well as Peggy Guggenheim collection, for a glimpse of the best of the modern art collections in the world. You can also enjoy contemporary art exhibits in Dorsoduro at the Palazzo Grazzi – Punta della Dogana contemporary art space (Pinault collection). If you still haven’t had enough, you can also visit the Sale Docks building, on your way to Punta della Dogana, for a interesting view on independent art space in Venice.
3) Eat local Venetian cuisine!
Last but not least, in Dorsoduro you will find some of the best places where to eat in town! Here are our top recommendations for where to eat in Dorsoduro (visit What to Eat in Venice for more of our tips on local places to dine).
Pasticceria da Tonolo (Calle San Pantalon 3764). You simply must visit this historical pastry where all Venetians stop by for a “pastina” (small cake) and a coffee. We recommend il punchetto or frolla al cioccolato as the best types of pastina to try.
Da Nico (Fondamenta Zattere). This place on the Fondamenta Zattere is famous for making the flavor “gianduiotto da passeggio” with whipped cream. This is the special gelateria where my grandparents would take my mother to enjoy this recipe when she was a kid, and wow do I still enjoy it today. Stop here for an afternoon gelato and a gorgeous stroll with a sea view along the Zattere (also one of our suggestions for the Top 5 Romantic Things to Do in Venice)!
Typical Venetian Cuisine:
Osteria ai 4 Feri (Calle Lunga S. Barnaba, 2754/A). Typical and reasonably priced osteria where you can enjoy fresh daily Venetian seafood favorites.
Our favorite places to enjoy cicchetti and a drink with friends in Dorsoduro are Osteria allo Squero (Dorsoduro 943) – a cozy place near the gondola-making yard, and Al Bottegon (Fondamenta Nani 992) – a charming Local canalside wine bar.
Coffee and free wifi:
For enjoying coffee or tea with friends and family, we like Imagina Cafe (Rio Tera Canal 3126). This cafe is also a great pitstop for free wifi.
Whereas pizza is not a typical dish of Venetian cuisine, in Dorsoduro you can find two very nice pizzerias: Al Profeta (Calle San Barnaba) with charming outdoor seating, and Ae Oke (Sestiere Dorsoduro, 1414) which has outdoor seating on the water with panoramic views, and a menu that can accommodate allergies with gluten-free and lactose-free options.
Finally, for charming local spots to enjoy some more of Venetian culture, we suggest a visit to Libreria Marco Polo, an independent bookstore near Campo Santa Margherita where you will find interesting books about Venice as well as wonderful tshirts and gadgets with their motto “Don’t look for love, look for books.” Dorsoduro is also home to an important organization in the preservation of Venetian heritage, the Remiera Bucintoro, one of the oldest boatmaking yards in Venice. It is definitely worth a visit!
We hope that in your search for where to stay in Venice Dorsoduro may be a nice option. Please tell us your favorite places in the comments below!
Don’t forget to download the Prontopia app before you arrive to connect with a Local Venetian for help getting where you need to go from your local connection in the city.
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With limited time to dash from the edge of Cannaregio to Santa Croce I requested help from Prontopia Local Giacomo as I wanted to stop and get a special book for my daughter along the way. Lucky for me, Giacomo is a school teacher in Venice, and bookstore afficionado! I found this amazing book of illustrations, with a lovely story of finding one’s own story in Venice. Grazie Giacomo 🙏🏻 #prontopia #wewalkedhere #venetians #shopping #travelapps #libreriamarcopolo @lepancherosse.dellamarcopolo