San Polo and Old Red Light District Walking Tour (Self Guided), Venice

Within the San Polo district are some of Venice's most famous sights. Among them is the Rialto Bridge, one of four bridges that spans the Grand Canal and its oldest crossing. In fact, this is the oldest part of the city and a walk through the labyrinth of narrow lanes will reward you with ancient buildings, and cafés that have been in families for generations. Make a point of going to San Giacomo di Rialto, which some believe is the oldest church in Venice. According to local lore it was consecrated in the 5th century, although the building you see today dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Nearby is one of the most popular attractions in this part of the city, the Rialto fish market where you can purchase fresh fish and shellfish that have been plucked from the Adriatic Sea and the Venetian Lagoon. There's more shopping in the neighboring streets where you'll find bakeries, wine shops and florists among other enterprises. As you tour the area, pause to look over the Grand Canal and the many passing gondolas.

Visit some of the lesser known parts of the district, such as Carampane, often frequented by Casanova. This is the old red light district with the famous Ponte delle Tette. The name of this crossing translates as the “Bridge of Tits”. Apparently it earned the sobriquet because prostitutes used to try and drum up trade by flashing their breasts from brothel windows that overlooked the bridge. Stay in the district for a delicious meal. San Polo restaurants are renowned for serving up some of the best food in the canal city.
How it works: A discovery walk features a route using which you can explore a popular city neighborhood on your own. This walk, along with other self-guided walks in over 1,000 cities, can be found on the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app's built-in GPS navigation functions allow following this walk route with ease. The app works both online and offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

San Polo and Old Red Light District Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: San Polo and Old Red Light District Walking Tour
Guide Location: Italy » Venice
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Discovery)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Author: jenny

Walking Tours in Venice, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Venice

Create Your Own Walk in Venice

Creating your own self-guided walk in Venice is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Titian's Paintings Walk

Titian's Paintings Walk

One of the greatest painters of all time, Tiziano Vecelli – better known as Titian – was a pioneering figure of the Venetian school of Italian Renaissance painting. His career was successful from the start, and he became sought after by patrons, initially from Venice and its possessions, then joined by the north Italian princes, and finally the Habsburgs and papacy.

Equally adept with...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
Jewish Ghetto Tour

Jewish Ghetto Tour

Founded in 1516, the Jewish Ghetto in Venice was the oldest of its kind in all Europe. At the time, Venice received order from the Pope to expel all Jews from the city, but the Venetian government opted to lock them onto a small island in the district of Cannaregio. Since then this small area has been the center of Jewish life in Venice, with buildings rising vertically to accommodate the rising...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.4 Km or 0.2 Miles
Piazza San Marco Walking Tour

Piazza San Marco Walking Tour

All of Venice’s roads seem to run into Piazza San Marco – the commercial, religious, and political heart of the city. With a glowing reputation as one of the finest squares in the world and arguably one of Europe’s primary tourist attractions, it certainly has a lot to offer to visitors.

Start your exploration with a tour of the pink-and-white marble Palazzo Ducale, which takes you...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.6 Km or 0.4 Miles
Murano Island Walking Tour

Murano Island Walking Tour

Murano is often called the Glass Island, since it is home to the most impressive and renowned Venetian glass factories. The master craftsmen here have preserved their centuries-old techniques, and the island is full of shops where you can admire and purchase their adorable glass items. Some factories, such as Gino Mazzuccato’s, at the start of this self-guided walk, even have special showrooms...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Around Rialto Bridge

Around Rialto Bridge

Having first appeared in documents that date back to the 9th century, the Rialto district was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1514, with the church of San Giacomo as the only structure left standing. Today, it is a busy urban village with a daily vegetable and fish market, several historic sights, plus a wide variety of shopping and dining options. Our self-guided walking tour takes you to...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.5 Km or 0.3 Miles
Venice Introduction Walking Tour

Venice Introduction Walking Tour

Although most experts agree that the Venetian lagoon emerged nearly 6,000 years ago, the area of today's Venice remained mostly uninhabited, except for a small population of fishermen, up until the 5th century AD when the hordes of Gothic barbarians, looting their way into Rome, drove many a people away from their homes on the mainland to take refuge on the coastal Venetian islands.

Those...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


15 Distinctively Italian Things to Buy in Venice

15 Distinctively Italian Things to Buy in Venice

Venice has been a tourist mecca for over a century now, with millions of visitors flocking in every year to see this unique place on the face of the Earth. Many, if not all, of these people seek to obtain something memorable as a token of their stay in this city. By far, not all of them know which...