Oh Castello. Some might argue this as real Venice - the untouched Venice, but that might be hard to claim considering the Biennale's presence and admittedly, the majority of getting to know Castello will revolve around the Biennale, but that doesn't mean there isn't anything else to do.
Via Garibaldi is a very wide street filled with amenities catered to Venetians and their daily life. Thus, you will find everything you need on Via Garibaldi including delicious bread, pastries, pizza, deli meats, cheeses, and fish. This is absolutely the place to be during the morning (and in the evening as well).
If you're in Venice any time from May until September (or sometimes November) you should spend a fair amount of time at the Biennale (which we cover in other posts!). However, if art or architecture is not something that interests you and you don't feel like spending the entire day looking at art and architecture there is still plenty to do.
For starters, there's the medical museum of San Giovanni and Paolo which coincidently is also the hospital for Venetians. That's right, when you walk in, try to imagine going there to get your annual check-up! Then as you go through the gallery, appreciate how far we've come in medicine!
In the same Campo (San Giovanni and Paolo) there is another Rosa Salva Café that offers great pastries and coffee. You could absolutely start your day here. After you admire the Campo, the Church, and the hospital considering taking walk toward the Arsenale, home of the then Venetian and now Italian naval army.
Once you get there you'll probably wonder what kind of boats were there. Fortunately for you, there's a Naval Museum that goes through naval history of Venice. It also has models of most every kind of boat you would see in Venice today (barring the motorized ones).
After the museum, you'll probably be in the mood for some food or drink, for that you can cross the Arsenale bridge once again and pick up a sandwich at the corner café or head to Dai Fie, a Venetian bar that offers Venetian bar food. If you'd rather, though, head over to Via Garibaldi for lunch.
After lunch, head to the Giardini (gardens) of Venice. It's a quiet area that would be ideal for a picnic or if you'd want to head further away from the traffic head to St. Elena where you will find an amazing view of Venice. You may want to save it for the end of the day, though, as it provides a magnificent view for a sunset. If you’re in the mood for an aperitivo, InParadiso is a perfect place that has a gorgeous view along with a small art gallery.
For dinner, you should go to Luna Sentada, a delicious and cozy restaurant that will be sure to leave you very happy after the day of your Castello adventures. If you want absolutely extravagant meal, head to Al Covo. All of their plates are absolutely fantastic, albiet pricey. Their chocolate cake is an absolutely must.
And on the topic of chocolate, we did not mention Vizio Virtu, Venice's chocolatier. You should visit them before you go to dinner as you will absolutely want to have their chocolate precisely after dinner. So stop by and pick up a box of chocolates and walk along the water, once again, and admire the Venice lagoon.