Finding an Address in Venice

The final number of the sestiere of Santa Croce, Venice
Since 1171 the city of Venice has been divided into six districts, or sestieri (Santa Croce, San Polo, Dorsoduro, San Marco, Cannaregio, Castello).

And since the beginning of the 19th century, Venetian houses have been numbered according to the sestiere in which they are located. An official postal address consists of nothing more than the sestiere and a number; the street plays no part. San Marco 1, for example, is the address of the Palazzo Ducale. 

The numbers in each district progress consecutively up and down the calli and around the campi until the final building is reached. The largest sestiere is Castello where the numbers reach 6828, while the smallest is Santa Croce with only 2359 numbers. 

A number (numero civico) consists of a red numeral/s on a white oval or rectangular background, which is bordered in black. The last number in a sestiere is generally accorded a special mention as we can see in Santa Crose, in spite of the creeping foliage. 
A traditional house number, or numero civico, Venice
Many houses bear numbers from an earlier epoch. Such numbers always take the form of Roman numerals, which occasionally go a little awry, as we can see in the Calle dei Armeni
Calle dei Armeni, Venice


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