The long, thin island of Giudecca has had its ups and downs over the years. It was originally home to a group of troublesome aristocrats, the giudicati (meaning judged), who were banished here in the 9th century.
In the days of the republic it was a up-market suburb of Venice with substantial palaces and pleasure gardens.
In the nineteenth century it became very industrialised, particularly with the opening of the massive Molino Stucky in 1895.
Now that most of the heavy industry has moved to the mainland, the area is slowly being gentrified, although the western end still "has a tendency to vote Communist" as one guidebook delicately puts it.