Bordering both San Marco and Cannaregio, and spreading right across the city to the housing estates of Sant’Elena in the east, Castello is the largest of the sestieri. In terms of its tourist appeal, centre stage is occupied by the huge Santi Giovanni e Paolo. Within a few minutes’ walk of here are two other fascinating churches, Santa Maria Formosa and San Zaccaria, as well as the beguiling Carpaccio paintings in the Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni.
Much of the eastern section of the Castello sestiere is given over to the Arsenale, once the industrial hub of the city and now a large naval base. Beyond it lies a predominantly residential quarter that has little to offer of cultural significance, except when the Biennale art and architecture shows are on, though its open spaces – the Giardini Garibaldi, Giardini Pubblici and Parco della Rimembranza – offer a little green relief.