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Campo Santa Maria Formosa

The Campo Santa Maria Formosa is a lively neighborhood square with a great location: It's in the sestiere or district of Castello, north and slightly east of the Piazza San Marco, and it's the sort of place where you'll see locals shopping for flowers, tourists sitting on park benches, and kids bouncing soccer balls off the walls of the Santa Maria Formosa Church.

On this page, we've supplied two Google aerial photos:

Photo 1: This overview shows the campo's location in relation to the Piazza San Marco and Rialto. (Look for the Campo Santa Maria Formosa in the upper right corner of the image. The Piazza and Basilica of San Marco are at the bottom of the photo, and the Rialto Bridge is just visible along the top left border.)

Photo 2: The Chiesa di Santa Maria Formosa fills one corner of the campo in this close-up photo. (On Saturday mornings, you can browse racks of clothing from the charity shop inside the building and on the square.) Other local landmarks include the Zanibar bar (popular with young people), an outdoor snack bar that operates year-round, and several imposing palazzi--among them, the Palazzo Vitturi, a renovated 13th Century Byzantine-style palace whose piano nobile, or main floor, is now a moderately-priced boutique hotel. Just off the square's southern end is the Palazzo Querini Stampaglia, which houses a magnificent public library and an art museum.

Tip: Another good hotel on the Campo Santa Maria Formosa is the three-star Hotel Scandinavia. (Don't let the name confuse you: The hotel is thoroughly Venetian, with a decor that's in keeping with its 16th Century building.)

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