Castello is the second largest district in Venice. The way it evolved is strictly related to the establishment of a State Shipyard within that area: the Arsenal. Still standing in all its might, the Arsenale is an iconic image of the glorious past of the city, central to her role as both a maritime power and a trade center. This is where galleys and galleons were built and stored, a fleet which was the source of pride of the Venetian navy, fundamental to her wealth and triumph. The area around the imposing walls encircling the Arsenale was once home mainly to shipbuilders, such as carpenters, caulkers, blacksmiths and that has left a strong imprint in the all neighborhood. Castello in fact doesn’t have the glamour of more central Venice and still presents a “working class” character that makes it very varied, genuine and unspoiled.
Not far it’s where members of foreign communities settled down and left memory of their presence and history. Discover the Church of San Giorgio, the oldest Greek Orthodox church in the West, and adjacent to the church the Scuola, the house of their confraternity. Close by is another gem, the Scuola of San Giorgio degli Schiavoni, the confraternity of the Dalmatian community. This 16th C building still preserves its famous cycle of paintings by Vittore Carpaccio, depicting stories of the community patron saints. And round the corner, the seat of the Knights of Malta and the Campiello of the Friulani.