Santa Croce is one of the most important sestiere of Venice and probably one of the less visited. It is most important because it includes one of the main gateways to the Venice mainland, Piazzale Roma, and the connected Tronchetto. This is why we have created some suggestions for 5 things to do in Santa Croce.
The Santa Croce neighborhood also the smallest sestiere of Venice. Some people say that it is the least “community based” sestiere of the city, just because most of it is very new: the Piazzale Roma and Tronchetto area were built around 1933.
I rather say that is one of my favorite neighborhoods because, besides the fact that I lived half of my life here, as I did my elementary and middle school in Santa Croce, there are many things that I like to do here. Here my suggestions for 5 of my favorite things to do in Santa Croce:
1. Have a small panino and a glass of wine at Bacareto da Lele. This super small corner bar is right after Piazzale Roma, near Papadopoli gardens and nearby the University of Architecture. This is why it gets really crowded during mid-morning and aperitif time! One delicious small panino with porchetta or salame costs only 1 euro as well as the house wine. The bar has been a family-run business for decades and is a great pit-stop before your Santa Croce wandering!
2. Go to San Giacomo dell’Orio. The Campo of San Giacomo is the heart of Santa Croce. The most important thing here is the church, as it is one of the most ancient of Venice: it was built in 976 d.C. I also love to have a hot tea or an IPA beer at Osteria da Filo: enjoy the relaxed atmosphere there, surrounded by comfy sofas, board games and…free wifi! Family-oriented tip: you can also bring your kids to play at Antico Teatro di Anatomia: here there are toys and super creative activities for kids every day.
3. Go to visit the Museo di Storia Naturale (Natural History Museum). This palace on the Grand Canal it is called also Fondaco dei Turchi, meaning that during the ancient times was the place where Turkish merchants were allowed to do their business with the Republic of Venice. The natural history museum is great for kids as well as for big kids like me! There is an interactive exhibition of the evolution of the hearth, animals and humankind with dinosaurs, mummies and skeletons, plus a collection of animals and…mystery chambers!
4. Go to eat at La Zucca and order the famous flan di zucca (pumpkin flan). This restaurant is probably my favorite of all time, and the flan is a delicacy. The menu offers creative cuisine and the inside is very cozy. It’s near the canal, it’s not very expensive, and it’s great for a romantic dinner.
5. Have a visit at Ca’ Pesaro museum. Besides being a beautiful building inside you will find a Modern Art exhibition, with some piece of art by Klimt, Kandinsky, and Matisse as well, and an Oriental Art Exhibition with art from ancient China, Japan and other countries of the area on another floor; remember that Venice had always a special connection with Asia, since the beginning of its splendour!
If you need a friendly welcome and some help with how to get from the Venice train station to your holiday apartment in Venice Santa Croce district, a Prontopia Local will gladly assist you and show you their very own favorite spots along the way. We hope you enjoy our suggestions for 5 things to do in Santa Croce, and would love to hear any of yours so please comment below!
A few of our friends in Santa Croce
We are grateful to the following hotels and holiday rental agencies in Santa Croce, who kindly recommend the Prontopia app to their clients as a convenient and special local option for help with getting around Venice. Together as a community, we enjoy welcoming visitors and advocating for sustainable travel in Venice. Travel connected, and leave no trace, and together the world will become a better place.
Ca’ del Tentor is a small locally-owned hotel in a very charming area between the Grand Canal and the inner canal of Ca’ del Tentor, near one of our favorite palazzo museums in Venice, Ca’ Pesaro.
Cima Rosa is a boutique bed and breakfast with elegant Grand Canal view suites in a convenient and quiet area of Santa Croce. Here the owners host you as if you are their personal guest visiting Venice. They also have several holiday apartments for rent in other buildings in the city.