The Fondamenta delle Zattere [fohn-dah-MEHN-tah DEHL-leh TSAHT-teh-reh] is a long dock in the south area of Venice (in Dorsoduro). The pavement was completed in 1516. It goes from San Basilio (west) to Punta della Dogana (east). The whole path is about 1,7 km long and overlooks the Giudecca Canal.
Zattere literally means rafts. But what is the reason of this name? There are two theories:
1. One connects to a historical event, the naval battle occurred in the year 810 between the Frankish army of Pepin, son of Charlemagne, and Venice. Favoured by the knowledge of the area, the Venetians used flat boats, similar to rafts, and attracted the enemy in shallow water areas. The boats of the Franks get stuck and Venice could then defeat them. The outcome of the battle definitively sanctioned the total independence of the Serenissima Republic. The Fondamenta delle Zattere would therefore be called this way in memory of this episode.
2. The second theory is less fascinating and relates to the use of this long coastline as the original point of arrival of loads of goods. Some say salt, others coal and still others wood. These goods were transported on rafts, hence the name.
The Fondamenta delle Zattere is now a beautiful promenade with many bars, restaurants and ice cream parlours. It is one of my favourite places in Venice because it’s usually peaceful, sunny, with a great view on the Giudecca Canal.
Fondamenta delle Zattere in conclusion
- Perfect to enjoy a nice relaxing walk
- Provided with some benches, where to sit and admire the Giudecca Canal
- Out from the crowd
- None in my opinion
The Fondamenta are divided in 4 parts (from west to east):
Fondamenta Zattere al Pontelungo (where I took the photos)
Zattere ai Gesuati
Allo Spirito Santo
And Ai Saloni