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Dorsoduro includes the highest land areas of the city and also Giudecca island and Isola Sacca Fisola. Its name derives from the Italian for "hard ridge", due to its comparatively high, stable land.
The original heart of the area was the Giudecca Canal, along which building were constructed from the sixth century. By the eleventh century, settlement had spread across to the Grand Canal, while later religious buildings including the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute and the Zattere quay are now its main landmarks.
In the nineteenth century the Accademia was set up in Dorsoduro and the Ponte dell'Accademia linked it to San Marco, making it an expensive area popular with foreign residents. The western quarter, end and the Giudecca, became industrialised around this time.
Attractions on the main islands include the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the Palazzo Dario, San Trovaso, San Pantalon, San Nicolò da Tolentino, the Ospedale Giustinian, the Church of San Sebastiano, the Palazzo Ariani, the Palazzo Zenobio, the Church of Santa Maria del Carmelo and Scuola Grande dei Carmini, Campo Santa Margherita, Ca' Foscari, Ca' Rezzonico and Campo San Barnaba.