Giudecca is both the largest island in Venice and the one closest to the historic center. The biggest attraction of the island, which is also a sestiere, is the Redentore Church.
History and description
The island of Giudecca is said to owe its name to the presence of a Jewish community that had settled there. This is substantiated by the existence of two, since destroyed, synagogues. Also, a stone with Hebrew inscriptions was found close to the Zitelle.
Another theory claims that the name derives from the Venetian word for “judgment” (zudegà). This refers to a ruling whereby parts of the island were assigned to some families tha thad been exiled from Venice itself.
The southern part of the island consists mainly of flower and vegetable gardens. It is here that the Venetian nobility used to retreat during the summer and autumn.
What to see
Chiesa delle Zitelle
The Chiesa delle Zitelle (“Spinsters- Cjhurch”) was built in 1582 by Jacopo Bozzetto after a design by Palladio. In the adjacent guest house, young and poor local women went to school until they were old enough to find a husband.
The Chiesa del Redentore was built in the 16th century as a token of gratitude for the end of a plague epidemic that had befallen the city. The design of this church is also by Palladio. It features paintings by Tintoretto and Veronese, among others.
The even older Sant’Eufemia Church was built in the 11th century. This Byzantine church has been reconstructed many times over the century. Of the original construction, the columns and capitals are still standing and the original basilica floor plan has also been preserved.
The Molino Stucky is a neo-Gothic mill built in 1884 by the industrialist Giovanni Stucky.