Castello Walk, Venice
Image Courtesy of Flickr and Elliott Brown
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Castello covers the eastern part of the city, a lush haven of picturesque beauty with its verdant parks and churches that date back to the 13th century. Many consider this area to be the most varied of all of Venice's districts. There’s art, history, nature, monuments and architecture that soon exhaust the dictionary's supply of superlatives. Castello also has a very different feel to the rest of the city. Although only a few minutes away from St Mark’s and the most popular tourist destinations, it is a much quieter, less crowded neighborhood. As you can imagine in a city such as Venice, there is also lots to see and do here. Stop by the Venetian Arsenal, a complex of 12th-century shipyards and armories. This is where great warships were constructed when Venice was a global powerhouse to be reckoned with. Journey farther back into the past when you visit the church of San Lorenzo. The original chapel on this site was built in the 9th century and there have been numerous restorations over the centuries. The current structure dates back to a complete rebuilding in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. According to popular rumor, the Italian merchant and explorer Marco Polo is buried here. If you are looking for an upmarket area to stay, book a room in a swish hotel on the Riva degli Schiavoni, an attractive and popular paved boardwalk. Even, if you don't stay overnight here, stroll along the promenade which also hosts bars and restaurants and offers gorgeous views across the water.