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The Most Secret Walk in Venice:
Calle Giazzo

Most maps don't even show the cantilevered steel walkway that runs along the walls of Venice's historic Arsenale shipyard from the Celestia waterbus stop.

Arsenale walkway along the Venetian Lagoon

ABOVE: A woman and her dog take a stroll above the Venetian Lagoon.

Most visitors (and possibly a few Venetians) have never heard of it, and you won't find it on many maps. We're talking about the Calle Giazzo, a street in Venice's historic center that's hidden in plain sight.

The street--including a cantilevered walkway made of steel grating--runs eastward from the Celestia ACTV station, which is a short walk from the Church of San Francesco della Vigna in the sestiere or neighborhood of Castello.

The steel walkway is attached to the brick walls of the Arsenale, Venice's historic shipyard, and when you walk on it, you'll be able to look down and see the water of the Venetian Lagoon beneath your feet.

Does the walkway have any historic significance? Not really: It's a modern construction, and it exists mostly as a convenience for residents of ACTV worker housing and people who work at businesses and scientific institutes within the Arsenale shipyard. But walking on the Calle Giazzo is a pleasant outing, especially if you want to escape high-season crowds elsewhere in the city center.

Walking the Calle Giazzo:

BELOW: This poster, which we found pasted to a wall, gives an overview of the Arsenale and our suggested walk. The Calle Giazzo follows the waterfront on the northern (upper) side of the Arsenale shipyards.

Poster showing Arsenale and Calle Giazzo in Venice


BELOW: Your walk starts at the Celestia vaporetto stop, which is used by ACTV water buses and Alilaguna airport boats. You can reach Celestia by public waterbuses 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, and 5.2, or you can easily walk from the Church of San Francesco della Vigna.

 To the east of the boat station is a short steel bridge that leads to the walkway along the Arsenale's walls. (You can't miss it--it's to your left as you leave the boat pier, or to your right if you're walking toward the pier.)

Celestia ACTV station, Venice


BELOW: These photos, which look back toward Celestia, show a set of metal stairs over an archway at water level that pierces the Arsenale shipyard's brick walls.

Walkway along Calle Giazzo, Venice

Metal stairs on Calle Giazzo, Venice


BELOW: Most of the steel walkway is level. (Again, we're looking back toward Celestia. If you're walking from Celestia, the Arsenale's brick wall will be on your right.)

Cantilevered walkway on Arsenale shipyard walls


BELOW: This picture illustrates the quaint Venetian custom of picking up dog poop in a plastic bag, then throwing the bag down on the pavement (or in a canal) instead of using a waste receptacle.

Dog poop in Venice, Italy


BELOW: The walkway ends with a ramp. After you've passed the buildings in the photo, you'll find yourself back on dry land.

Buildings along Calle Griazzo, Venice


BELOW: This man and his two German Shepherds were out for a stroll on the Calle Giazzo.

Dogs near Bacino vaporetto stop


BELOW: After leaving the steel walkway, you'll approach and pass a series of private courtyards with rowhouses for ACTV transit employees.

ACTV transit employees' housing, Calle Giazzo

ACTV worker housing, Castello, Venice


BELOW: Up ahead, you'll see the Bacini vaporetto stop, which is used by ACTV waterbus lines 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, and 22, along with some Alilaguna Blue Line airport boats.

ACTV Bacini vaporetto stop

ACTV Bacini stop with Alilaguna Blue Line water bus


 BELOW: To reach the Bacini ACTV stop, go as far as you can along the water, then cut through a brick archway and continue along the walking path for a minute or two.

Gate in Arsenale wall near Bacini ACTV stop


BELOW: The end of the line, in terms of walking, is the Venezia F.C.'s soccer school.

You can see the team's stadium through the fence, but unfortunately, the path to the stadium and the neighborhood of San Pietro is blocked by a locked gate. To return to civilization, you'll need to retrace your steps or catch a public water bus at Bacini.

Venezia F.C. soccer school


Bonus Biennale visit:

BELOW: During the Biennale art exhibition and the Biennale di Archittetura, buildings in the historic Arsenale shipyards are frequently used as exhibit spaces. Normally, you can reach these through a gate near the Bacini vaporetto stop and take a free shuttle boat to the pavilions. (Just follow the signs.)

Sign for Biennale di Archittetura pavilions

Biennale di Architettura pavilions and shuttle boat

Biennale di Architettura pavilions, Venice, Italy


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