In the sestiere (neighbourhood) of Cannaregio, in Campo Santi Apostoli, you will experience the spirit and the dynamics of everyday Venetian life, with kids shouting and running at breakneck speed around two big trees and the benches where mums and elderly people sit and the non – stop coming and going of Venetians, who are hurrying to Rialto or the station.
One of the main arteries of Venice starts exactly from this campo: it is the Strada Nuova.
This street, dedicated to the King of Italy Vittorio Emanuele II, was inaugurated in 1871. It was then renamed “Strada Nuova” by Venetian people.
With its 400 m length and 10 m width, it is surely the longest street in Venice and represents a clear exception in the urban landscape of Venice that tends to be chaotic and overcrowded. Its creation implied the demolition of a whole section of the city; houses and palaces were demolished to support an idea of modernity, which did not contemplate the apparent urban chaos of the city. A place where the narrow streets, calli, are nothing but space between buildings, the water being the main binding element.
Therefore, you will find yourself strolling along a “boulevard” flanked by an uninterrupted line of shops, restaurants and osterie on both sides, a non-stop coming and going of passers–by, whom you can try to pass or simply watch whilst sitting at a café table. We advise the least lazy ones to pay a visit to the near Galleria Franchetti, hosted in the ancient noble residence Ca’ D’Oro, a wonderful gothic palace, once covered with a thin fine gold leaf which embellished the façade, hence the name. You will find works by Mantegna and Carpaccio, and a precious collection of Venetian antique china.
Once you have fed your spirit, you just need to take a few steps to get to one of oldest osterie in Venice “La Vedova”. You can sit at a table and be fussed over by Mirella and Renzo or you can pretend for a moment to be local and taste a polpetta (meatball) and a glass of red standing at the counter.