Travel comfortably without queues, buy tickets online beforehand:
The island is a bit like Venice if there were no mass tourism. Cars and even bicycles are forbidden. On Giudecca there are still normal, typically Italian pizzerias, butchers, bakers and hairdressers. You have a wonderful view from the island to San Marco with the St Marks Campanilie.
Especially in the high season it is worth making a detour to Giudecca to escape the hustle and bustle for a while. Of course you are not the only tourist here, but the locals are at least still clearly in the majority. A little bit of normal Italy in Venice
Giudecca has about 6,000 inhabitants and is only a little more than half a square kilometre in size. The island is quite long, about 2 kilometers, but has only a width of about 300 meters. Giudecca runs largely parallel to the main island of Venice, between the two islands is a wide channel with sea water. It bears the name, how could it be otherwise, Canal of Giudecca.
Giudecca is very easy to reach. From the jetty in San Marco not far from the Piazza San Marco it is only 3-4 minutes by public transport water bus.
Waterbuses to Giudecca
The Vaporetto line 2 runs every few minutes during the day. Vaporetto (Plural Vaporetti) is the Italian name of the waterbuses (ferries) on Venice. Line 2 runs in both directions and connects Giudecca with many important places in the old town of Venice. These include the very near San Marco with the Piazza San Marco etc., the main train station Santa Lucia, the central bus station Piazzale Roma, all parking garages in Venice including Trochetto, the island Venice-Lido and the famous Rialto bridge.
Also water buses of the lines 4.1. and 4.2., sometimes called lines 41 and 42 to confuse tourists, go to Giudecca. They also go to the above mentioned stations. Unlike line 2, these lines also run to the north of the main island of Venice and to the island of Murano. While line 2 runs in both directions in a circuit, waterbus lines 4.1. and 4.2. run in the other direction (counterclockwise and clockwise respectively). See: Overview of important waterbus routes of Venice
Line 8 also stops at Giudecca. The line has only a few departures per day and connects Giudecca directly with the island of Lido. Otherwise you can change from Lido to San Marco.
As the island of Giudecca is very elongated, almost all the above mentioned liner ships stop on Giudecca 3 times. The names of the three piers are Zitelle, Redentore and Palanca. We recommend getting off at the first stop, crossing the island of Giudecca on foot and getting on again at the last water bus stop. We want to see even more, can even continue to the island of Sacca Fisola (total distance about 3 kilometers). This small artificial island is connected to Giudecca by a bridge.
Church of the Redeemer Giudecca
A sight on the island of Giudecca is worth a visit. It is the church Il Redendore (Church of the Redeemer) from the 16th century. It is a so-called motif church..
The Basilica del Redentore was built to thank God for saving Venice from the plague. In the church are some great paintings by Saraceni, Bassano and other artists, especially from the 16th century. More about churches in Venice on this page.
Opening hours church Redendore Venice: Daily except Sunday from 10 to 17 o'clock.
Entrance fee Erlöser-Kirche Redentore: Adults pay 3 Euro entrance fee, for example pupils pay only half the entrance fee (1,50 Euro).
How to get to Basilica del Redentore: Get off at the water bus stop "Redentore" on Giudecca (about 1 to 2 minutes walk).
Church of San Giorgio Maggiore
Another important sight of Venice is the church of San Giorgio Maggiore. This is not directly on Giudecca, but on a tiny island called Giorgio Maggiore. Although the distance between the islands is only about 30 meters, there is no bridge. You can reach the island of Giorgio Maggiore with the water bus line 2 from Giudecca and Venice.
Casa dei Tre Oci
In the west of the island, like almost all important buildings and sights on the island of Giudecca on the north coast facing Venice, is the house Tre Oci (Venetian for "three eyes"). In the beautiful building in neo-Gothic style (early 20th century) are changing, important art exhibitions.
The Casa dei Tri Oci is only a few meters away from the vaporetto station Zitelle. During our visit there was an exhibition of the photographer and war reporter Robert Capa (2nd World War and later also Indochina War). Another exhibition in winter 2017 / 2018 was dedicated to the Swiss born photographer Werner Bischof. Both photographers died in 1954. Capa was killed by a landmine in East Asia, Bishop had an accident in Peru. Interesting exhibitions that are worthwhile despite the high entrance fee.
Opening hours Tri Oci Venice: Every day except Tuesday from 10 am to 7 pm.
The Chiesa Le Zitelle (Citelle Church) was also open during our visit to the island of Giudecca. This interesting church was hardly open to the public for some decades, because it was a monastery school for girls. During our visit in October 2017 a German artist worked in the church. Just stop by, only 20 meters away from Tri Oci.
Directions to Tri Oci: Both sights can be found at the Zitelle water bus stop.
Giudecca Island on the Venice City Map
There are several good restaurants in Giudecca. Prices are consistently lower than in Venice, but higher than in most other cities in Italy. Most restaurants are located in Giudecca on the promenade on the north coast. From here you have a great view of the nearby old town of Venice. Here are some examples of good restaurants.
In the Trattoria Ai Cacciatori, you sit directly on the footpath at the sea with a great view to the oldtown of Venice. Among the appetizers (antipasti) you can find such interesting things as tuna tartar with pistachios and leeks. As a main course we tried squid in Venetian style (black sauce) as well as monkfish with fresh tomatoes and basil. The restaurant Ai Cacciatori is not quite cheap, but certainly a great culinary experience..
It also tastes good in the restaurant and pizzeria El Sandro in the interior of the island. There are among other things about 40 different Pizzas for 7 to 11 euro, which are served in a beautiful garden.
There are some fast food restaurants and bakeries on the island of Giudecca. The bakery Majer has great bread and pizza pieces to take with you.
Short film (about 2 min) with impressions from Giudecca
More info Giudecca Island
Actually the island consists of some smaller islands, which are connected with bridges.
Where the name Giudecca comes from is not quite clear. It was once planned to settle Jews on Giudecca (Italian giudei). Maybe the name comes from that, but the Jews were never settled.
Giudecca used to have a lot of industry. Some of it can still be seen today. In the far west of the island, for example, there is a gigantic, former pasta factory (so-called Stucky mill). In the meantime, the building has been rebuilt into a big hotel, typical for Venice. In 2007, the Molino Stucky Hilton Hotel Venice was opened with almost 400 beds. The building also houses a modern congress centre with a capacity of up to 1,500 guests.
The island of Giudecca had and has some very prominent inhabitants and guests. Michelangelo lived here for several years. A long street in the east of Giudecca bears his name today (Calle Michelangelo). Elton John is said to have a house on Giudecca. Also George Clooney was seen according to a local man several times on the island.