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Campo San Polo

The second-largest square in Venice, after the Piazza San Marco, is the Campo San Polo on the left or western side of the Grand Canal. The campo (the word means "field" in Italian) is on the main pedestrian route between the Rialto Bridge and the Accademia Bridge, and there's a good chance that you'll cut through it if you're walking toward Rialto from the Piazzale Roma or the Ferrovia (a.k.a. Venice's Santa Lucia Railroad Station).

Because most pedestrians cut across the top of the square on their way from Rialto to the sestiere of Dorsoduro, the campo itself often has a neighborhood feel. If you come in the morning, before 8 a.m., you're likely to see Venetian dog owners chatting with each other while their dogs run around off-leash. Later in the day, the park benches are likely to be occupied by old people or mothers of young children.

The Campo San Polo has only a few shops and restaurants, nearly all of them on the square's southern flank. At the northern end, however, the Birraria La Corte attracts tourists and locals alike to its renovated 16th Century building, which was a barn for bulls during the heyday of the Venetian Republic.

  • In the top photo below, you can see the Campo San Polo's location near the Grand Canal. (If necessary, click "Overhead" beneath "Sat" in the picture to look straight down on the campo from above.)

  • The second photo is a close-up view of the square, with red umbrellas of the Birraria La Corte in the upper right corner and the Chiesa di San Polo in the foreground. The church's entrance is to the left of the square, on the main pedestrian route.

  • Note: During late summer, movies are shown outdoors in the Campo San Polo. At other times of the year, the square may have an ice rink, carousel, outdoor market, or other temporary structures, so don't be surprised if you see modern-looking objects in the Google satellite photos below.

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