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Dorsoduro includes the highest land areas of the city and also Giudecca island and Isola Sacca Fisola. Its name derives from the Italian for "hard ridge", due to its comparatively high, stable land.
The original heart of the area was the Giudecca Canal, along which buildings were constructed from the sixth century. By the eleventh century, settlement had spread across to the Grand Canal, while later religious buildings including the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute and the Zattere quay are now its main landmarks.
In the nineteenth century the Accademia was set up in Dorsoduro and the Ponte dell'Accademia linked it to San Marco, making it an expensive area, popular with foreign residents. The western quarter end and the Giudecca, became industrialised around this time.
Landmarks and visitor attractions in Dorsoduro include:
- Ca' Foscari
- Ca' Rezzonico
- Campo San Barnaba
- Campo Santa Margherita
- Gallerie dell'Accademia
- Peggy Guggenheim Collection
- Il Redentore (church) — Andrea Palladio.
- Le Zitelle
- Ospedale Giustinian
- Palazzo Ariani
- Palazzo Dario
- Palazzo Zenobio
- Punta della Dogana
- San Pantalon (church)
- San Trovaso (church)
- Santa Maria del Carmelo (church)
- San Sebastiano (church)
- Scuola Grande dei Carmini
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