Giudecca

GiudeccaThe Giudecca Island is the biggest in Venice and overlooks the canal of the same name. On the opposite waterfront is the district called Dorsoduro. It is situated to the south of the lagoon and is a quiet neighbourhood. Its beauty lies in the fact that the waterfront overlooking the Giudecca canal gives fabulous views of Venice.



Once upon a time the island was known as the Spina Longa meaning the long skinny shape of a fish bone. Some say the name Giudecca comes from the fact that it was the first Jewish ghetto. The ghetto though was established in Cannaregio in 1516 and before that Jews were able to live where they wanted.
A more recent theory and one that is more probable is that the name comes from the word "zudegar" (in ancient Venetian ‘judge’) and which referred to members of some aristocratic families that revolted against the city at the beginning of the 9th century and who were exiled to the island.
A third, and most probably theory is that the name refers to things southern. The Island is in the south of the Venetian lagoon, Other islands such as Burano and other cities in Istria have districts called ‘Giudecca’ and they all identify with the fact that they are southern in direction in comparison with the city centres.
When the Republic was at the height of its glory the Giudecca was an esacpe, an island of peaceful gardens and beautiful homes.
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