Santa Croce

If Venice could feel conventional, Santa Croce would be conventional Venice.

Despite Venice’s otherworldly atmosphere, Santa Croce feels sublimely real. With waterways for roads, stone bridges and seraphic gondolas, and elegantly deteriorating exteriors, this neighborhood boasts all the best attributes of Venice yet features something else altogether—a distinctly local feel. In Santa Croce, the plainness of its laundromats, the conventionality of its cafes, and the scrawl of graffiti provide a welcome departure from the museum-like facades of the rest of the central islands.

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On the Map

Santa Croce is bordered by San Polo, Dorsoduro/Accademia, and Cannaregio

  • Public transit is Easy
  • Having a car is Possible

Marco Polo Airport: 20 minutes by bus without traffic
Piazzale Roma Bus Station: It's walkable
Santa Lucia Train Station: It's walkable
Piazza San Marco: 39 minutes by vaporetto
Arsenale/Venice Biennale: 46 minutes by vaporetto
Giardini/Venice Biennale: 49 minutes by vaporetto

Everyday Venice In the City's Eastern Central Islands

Girardini Santa Croce

Santa Croce may serve as the gateway between Mestre in mainland Italy and Venice's central islands, but this neighborhood remains surprisingly quiet.

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Although Venetian masks fill sidewalk vendors' stalls, most of Santa Croce feels untouched by tourism.

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In this neighborhood, you're more likely to find family-owned workshops than world-renowned monuments.

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You're more likely to find residents gathered in public squares than pubs.

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Girardini Santa Croce

Santa Croce's residents use the square that surrounds San Giacomo dell'Orio church like they use their own living room.

Girardini Santa Croce

They gather, they read, they chat. Some weekends, they even teach the Tango.

Girardini Santa Croce

In July, Santa Croce's residents hold their own festival during Il Redentore's celebrations. They picnic, they dance, they play music.

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Girardini Santa Croce
Girardini Santa Croce

Santa Croce reads like a local love story.

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How do you find solitude in the center of Venice?

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You find it in Santa Croce.

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With a short walk you reach the lively Campo Santa Margherita that in recent years became a meeting place for all young students and Venetians."

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Hosts Venitian apartment new and clean!

Santa Croce: A Street View

Girardini Santa Croce

As the entryway to the rest of Venice, a visitors' first stop is Santa Croce's bus station at Piazzale Roma. The area around the transit hub often teems with travelers, but the neighborhood quickly quiets down outside of the station.

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Girardini Santa Croce
Girardini Santa Croce

The station gives way to small shops and provincial sidewalk scenes.

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Influential museums like Ca' Pesaro conspicuously tuck along the Grand Canal.

Girardini Santa Croce

The museum features Venetian artists alongside modern works and Asian antiquities.

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Girardini Santa Croce

Locals find their own corners to tuck themselves into along the canal.

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Santa Croceans call this yellow causeway the chewing gum bridge. Some like the name.

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Others hope it doesn't stick.

Food and Drink In Santa Croce

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Santa Croce's laid-back cafes and bars serve residents that share the same kind of easygoing attitude.

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Spritzs pour.

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Glasses clink.

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Traditional breads and San Martino celebration cakes tempt from behind glass counters.

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Santa Croce cultivates the kind of community where neighbors still pin announcements on message boards.

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In Santa Croce, dining is a neighborly pursuit.

Pixel
The area is well served by different lines of public transport and is easily connected to most of Venice attractions."

A University Lifestyle

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Many of Venice's university students call Santa Croce home, but most uphold the community's quiet nature.

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Instead of spending long nights at wild bars, Santa Croce's student population snacks on cichetti at its neighborhood osterias.

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Girardini Santa Croce

Mainly, they study on the stairs or in sun-filled courtyards.

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The First Glimpse of Venice from the Mainland

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Girardini Santa Croce

Take the ferry, the bus, a vaporetto, or a taxi to Santa Croce.

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Cars can't travel into Venice's central island beyond Santa Croce, so you'll have to decide if you want to park it for a price.

Photography

Airbnb works with local photographers to capture the spirit of neighborhoods all around the world. The photography on this page includes work by:

Luca Girardini is a freelance photographer based in Venice, Italy. He turned to photography after studying architecture at university and specialises in architectural and interior design photography. His personal work explores the contemporary landscape. Luca photographed Venice for Airbnb and set out to capture the real Venice he knows rather than its tourist persona.

Luca Girardini

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