Giudecca: why is it called so?

Giudecca: why is it called so?

Those who want to visit Venice cannot miss the island of Giudecca, which has always been an important part of the lagoon city history.

Once it was called Spinalonga because of its long shape that resembles a fishbone, while nowadays it is called Giudecca (in dialect Giudèca, in ancient times Zudèca or Zuèca). There are many theories behind the name origin. Some claim that it derives from the presence of the first Jewish quarter of Venice, because Giudecca is the corruption of the Latin word judaica (the “jewry”. There are two elements that prove it: the oral tradition, which states the existence of two synagogues, destroyed in the 18th Century, and also the discovery of rock with Jewish inscriptions. This conjecture clashes with the building of the Ghetto of Venice in 1516; before, the Jewish people were free to live wherever they wanted.

Another theory offers a different interpretation of the term Zudega, translated into “judged” in the ancient Venetian dialect: the word probably refers to the fact that the Republic of Venice gave some lands of the Giudecca to some families as a compensation for a long unfair exile.

According to others the island name derives from the activity of the tanners, which are called with the termes zuèc, zueccam and zuecchi in the regions of Veneto and Trento.

Whatever theory is the right one, Giudecca is still a fundamental stop of a trip to Venice.

Centrale Restaurant will wait for your for a good meal before or after your departure to Giudecca. Take a look at our menu!


To book a table, call the number: +39 041 2379661
We’re open from Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.


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