Dorsoduro means "hard ridge", and the name refers to the fact that Dorsoduro is a relatively high and stable area. One of the most special places in Dorsoduro is the Squero di San Trovaso, where traditional boats are built and repaired. The wooden houses look a bit out of the place, as they remind us of the architecture used in the mountainous areas.
Dorsoduro is a super artsy area with many and fascinating art museums. One of the must-see museums in Dorsoduro is the Gallerie dell'Accademia (The Accademia Gallery) near the Accademia Bridge. The museum features Renaissance works by the Old Masters such as Giovanni Bellini (1430 - 1516) and Titian (1488 - 1576). Meanwhile, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection holds an important modern art collection, including famous works by Jackson Pollocks and Picasso. Contemporary inspirations are only a few minutes' walk away. You will find breathtaking contemporary art exhibitions at Punta della Dogana.
The dining options are plenty in Dorsoduro and the restaurants there are not as touristic as the ones in San Marco. However, my favorite one cannot be other that the Ai Gondolieri, which is featured in the Michelin guide. These restaurants are famous especially for their meat dishes, such as veal with truffles. Despite their simple presentation, the food quality is top-notch. (The service fee is really expensive compared to other mid-dining restaurants but if you are an intern of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, you will get a 20% discount for your table). For budget lunch options, head to Campo Santa Margherita. At this student-friendly square, you will find all sort of cheap foods, from pizzas to Eastern Asian takeaway dishes.
Finally, do not miss the aperitivo time at Fondamenta della Zattere, the walkway overlooking the Giudecca Canal. Around sunset time is when Fondamenta della Zattere becomes super alive with occasional live music and chill groups of young people drinking at the waterfront. Unlike San Marco, Dorsoduro will give you a different impression of Venice - a less touristic Venice.
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