This detached, quiet church and its district are often ignored by foreign visitors nowadays, but San Piero di Castello used to be Venice’s main cathedral until the early 19th century, before the much more famous Basilica di San Marco took over its role. Located in San Pietro island, at one of the peripheral corners of the city, it’s somehow the symbolic heart of Sestiere di Castello, thanks to its history and the central role it has for the citizens.
Every year, between June and July, a very well known sagra (a little local festival) takes place here, with food trucks, concerts and a little market. I personally like this area because of its tranquillity, the silence all around, and the kind of sweet melancholy you can feel in the old, almost depopulated neighbourhoods. The wide open space in front of the church invites you to spend some time there, sit on a bench or lie on the grass reading a book or observing the residents’ boats slowly floating or docking on the small wooden piers. Llittle San Piero island is connected to the Sestiere by two bridges, which strengthen the image of this area as a separated “island in an island”, but you can easily reach it by vaporetto, thanks to the S. Piero di Castello stop few meters behind the curch.