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Venice is divided into six districts or sestieri, three to the west of the Grand Canal and three to the east. Each of these districts has a personality of its own and hosts a part of the historical and cultural heritage of this city that is a work of art in itself.
Santa Croce is the first district the majority of tourists visit in Venice since the bus terminal where the majority of tour operators leave the tourists, Piazzale Roma, is located in this area. Santa Croce is one of the smallest districts and is the home of several significant churches like San Giacomo dell'Orio and San Stae, and of the International Gallery of Modern Art.
Cannareggio is the true home of most venetians since it is really one of the few areas where it is possible to lead a quiet normal life without the incommodities of tourists and the lack of grocery stores. A lot of the people that has been born in Venice has had to move to nearby towns in order to have a more conventional life with all the services one needs to live and with other work opportunities outside of the touristic industry. For those who have remained, the historic Jewish ghetto that leads to the residential area of Cannareggio is the door to a life far from the hectic touristic districts, and the great majority of them appreciate the closeness to the train station, located in this sestiere, that allows them to leave the city every morning to go to work without having to navigate through waves of tourists.
The next district tourists cross when entering Venice is San Polo, which is one of the most ancient districts of Venice and as such it is the home of some of the most enchanting, but also narrowest streets in the city. San Polo has the most important touristic market in the city as well as some of the squares that are most frequented by students. This district is also the home of the famous bridge of Rialto, built in 1181.
Dorsoduro is the center of Venice's college life. The great majority of faculties are located in this area in historic buildings that are more beautiful than practical although the Ca' Foscari University remains one of the most representative ones in Europe. The Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute is located in this district, at the other side of the Giudecca Canal.
Next in walking distance is San Marco, the most visited area of the city. Every year more than 20 million visitors take pictures in the square that takes its name and walk in front of the clock tower, the San Marco Basilica and pass on to Palazzo Ducale and Ponte dei Sospiri, some of the most visited places in Europe. San Marco is also the home of the theater La Fenice, the main opera house of Venice.
Castello is the biggest and most star-studded area of the city during the Venice Arts Festival, the Biennale di Venezia, that during the first weeks of September becomes the place to be for enjoying not only movies and short films but to see the glamour that accompanies the celebrations. Castello is also the home of the Giardini and of the historic church of San Zaccaria di Venezia.
Venice is therefore not one but six different little cities, each with its own traits but with a common character that defines the magic of the town and attracts visitors from all over the world.
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/destinations-articles/the-sestieri-of-venice-six-districts-with-six-different-personalities-5197804.html
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