Giudecca, formerly named as the Spinalunga or “Long Thorn” was finally changed to its name Giudecca. This word signifies a Latin “Judaica” “Judaean” depicting corruption. The name can also be interpreted as “the Jewry” meaning several towns South of Italy and Sicily for Jewish quarters. On the other hand, the first Venetian Ghetto was in the city’s north, in Cannaregio but there’s absolutely no proof except for the title of Jews having dwelt in Giudecca. There’s more fascinating trivia, the term “Giudecca” wasn’t utilized to denote Jewish quarters in the North of Italy and it meant completely different there.
Historically, Giudecca was home to palaces with rich verdant gardens. The island turned into an industrial area with factories and shipyards but in the early 20th century, its film industry was booming. Nowadays, it is regarded as a quiet residential area for working-class and a few exclusive houses and apartments. It’s also known for its churches and its docks, like the Palladio-designed by Redentore. The island has a massive Molino Stucky, a flour mill which was later converted into a luxury hotel. Cipriani hotel is another great stop packed with beautiful private gardens and saltwater pools.
Photo by Michela Simoncini
You will find tourists in Venice all year round. But few of these visitors make it to Giudecca. If you’re convinced to book a tour, it includes a boat ride, a visit to Palladio’s Redentore and Le Zitelle churches so check these out. There are also very few remaining bastions of life that are authentic. A modern art scene that, in four or five decades, made the island a favorite stopover for collectors and curators.
Giudecca was once believed an Arcadia, an escape from the medieval Manhattan. A famous map of Venice, created by Jacopo de’ Barbari’s and published in 1500, depicts a string of eight islets which are separated by canals. These islets are also distinguished by their gardens, vegetable plots, orchards owned by private palazzos or convents and monasteries.
It’s just that this strip of heaven began to change. It turned into Venice’s industrial property, home to boatyards and artisans as well as to a number of north-eastern Italy’s biggest factories, in addition to market luxury-goods makers specifically the Fortuny fabric works and showroom, which is about to commemorate its 100th anniversary.