Churches, Venice

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  • Madonna dell'Orto
    Madonna dell'Orto
    by zadunajska8
  • Santa Maria dei Miracoli
    Santa Maria dei Miracoli
    by zadunajska8
  • Santa Maria Formosa
    Santa Maria Formosa
    by zadunajska8
  • Trekki's Profile Photo

    Light a candle, make a wish, attend service

    by Trekki Updated Jun 17, 2015

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Churches in Venice are often very elaborately decorated and have a special atmosphere inside. I found myself sitting on a bench and lighting a candle and make a wish. Candles cost from 0,50 to 1 Euro, mostly. Many churches in Italy have electric candles or other modern ones these days, simply to prevent fires. This doesn't look as atmospheric as a candle but I understand the security measures.

    One of my most marvellous experiences was the Sunday service, I attended in Basilica San Marco. I was sneaking around the Basilica several times because it fascinated me so much and I was thinking back and forth how to eventually visit the inside. What drew me back was the imagination of loud voices like I heard these in other churches. So at the end I decided to attend a service in the Basilica, to visit it as what it was built for and what is still the main purpose. The church service starts at 10:30, the entry is through the door at Piazetta Leonici (northern entrance). Of course, the guards will only allow visitors without huge bags and who are properly dressed. There is bag storage nearby, by the way.

    What can I say? It was definitely one of the most moving services I ever attended. I felt extremely tiny in this majestic magnificent church, surrounded by these so old mosaics and often I was not even able to follow the service. Especially because on a sunny Sunday morning the light fells onto the mosaics and makes them look like gold - just magic! Service was held in Italian/Latin, but we could pick up leaflets with translations in most of the European languages. The service had all the .. hm, yes, holy atmosphere I always thought, services should have (but the German services I attended in the past didn't have it). Later, and still now in June 2015 I only have to think of these mosaics and the ambience, and all worries or negative thoughts vanish for a while :-)

    © Ingrid D., July 2007 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.). Update June 2015: wording.

    Light a candle, make a wish Magnificent cupola of San Marco
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  • Trekki's Profile Photo

    How shall we behave in (Italian) churches?

    by Trekki Updated Jun 17, 2015

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    Favorite thing: Very sensitive topic!!

    I do not attend church services on a regular base at home, but in Italy, and also in Venezia this is different because I feel a spirit of something I cannot explain. That’s why I was very often very annoyed about the behaviour of some tourists in the churches. Given the majority of Italian's religiousness they might have been even more disturbed by the invaders into their places of worship.

    So let me start my intentional rant, knowing that the majority of visitors knows how to behave. But there is this portion of visitors who just don't know this. In no country it is of no importance what the customs in the churches in our own country might be. This is Italy and we are guests. The majority of Italians are very religious and this means that we should respect them and try and be as silent as possible when we visit churches. No one wants to hear our opinion, especially if we don't speak in low voices. If we want to express our enthusiasm about the artwork - we can do that outside the church. I was annoyed to see that some of the church visitors from abroad even behaved rude towards staff when they were asked to slow down their voices.

    Then the dress code. It is ok to dress as we please in our home countries. But again, the majority of Italians is very religious and in a way prude when it comes to exposing too much flesh. Therefore the rule is: cover arms and legs and show as less flesh as possible. Bring a shawl in your day-pack. Sometimes shawls or scarves are available in larger and prominent churches.

    Tombs and gravestones in the churches are often in the floors (below the floors of course, but the tombstone is laid in the floor). It should be obvious that these stones are tombstones and no decoration. And it is not appropriate to walk over these. How would we feel if people would walk over the graves of our beloved?

    © Ingrid D., July 2007 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.). Update June 2015: wording.

    These are graves - please do not step on them
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  • Trekki's Profile Photo

    Why is there entrance fee for churches?

    by Trekki Updated Jun 17, 2015

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    Favorite thing: It might be annoying to have to pay an entrance fee for most of Venezia’s churches, but there is a reason for this. If we try and understand why it is easier for us to plan our travels and, at the end, not complain about higher budgets. I was also grump yin the beginning of my trip, but then I understood and appreciated this. However, I hope that the money we spend on entry fees will at the end be used for renovation and care.

    So remember why we all come to Venice? Because this unique city is built on artificial islands and has so many architectural and cultural gems more or less around every corner. But we should remember that Venice has to pay a price for this since the very beginning of the early settlements: acqua alta/high water, flooding, is occurring all the time after rain or specific weather conditions. This is all more frequent now, in modern times: increased lagoon traffic, cruise ships and deeper navigation channels.

    What might be fun for us – wading through the flooded streets - is horror to the buildings and the artwork inside. So after each serious flooding, a lot of restoration must to be done. Just imagine how much square metres of these magnificent very old marble floors are laid out in churches and palazzi. Marble is calcium carbonate. Think what will happen to our kitchen marble counter if vinegar (acid) is spilled: it would be damaged because the calcium carbonate is being slowly diluted by strong acids. Of course there are no strong acids in the lagoons’ water, but enough diluted ones from acid rain and industrial waste to lead to slow damage of the floors (see photo 1, taken in chiesa SS Giovanni e Paolo).

    Then there is the humidity, slowly making its way into the hundred years old walls. Eventually this leads to mildew. This would be manageable, if there wouldn’t be the countless invaluable paintings by the masters, Bellini, Tiepolo, Tintoretto and the others.

    It costs a fortune to keep the buildings and the artwork restored in the beauty we want to see them. Since some years, the restoration work in Venezia was improved a lot. It is more of a long term conservation and restauration and no longer a quick limitation of damage. Restaurators have special trained skills for their work within the buildings and on the artwork.. This has its price.

    But then the question: who pays this price? Shouldn't it be understandable that we, who come to the city just for this art, participate in the costs?

    In the past, when the website "Chorus Venezia" was still existing (it is now part of Venezia Unica Card), they had a very good article about the ongoing restorations. But sadly this is no longer available. And as of now (June 2015) I didn't find a similar website specifically about church restoration and care in Venice. I'll keep looking.....

    © Ingrid D., July 2007 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.). Update June 2015: wording.

    Damaged marble floor in a church Not yet damaged church floor Marble floor of Santo Giovanni e Paolo
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  • Trekki's Profile Photo

    If you like churches – get the Chorus pass

    by Trekki Updated Jun 15, 2015

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    Favorite thing: Again, depending on how long you will be in Venice and if you are interested in visiting churches, the Chorus Pass might be what you are looking for. It does cost 12 Euro (as of July 2015) and allows you free entrance into 16 churches on Venice’s main islands (S.M. = Santa Maria):

    Cannaregio: S.M. dei Miracoli, Sant’Alvise, San Giobbe;
    San Marco: S.M. del Giglio, Santo Stefano;
    Castello: San Pietro di Castello, Santa Maria Formosa;
    Giudecca: Santissimo Redentore;
    San Polo: San Giovanni Elemosinario, San Polo, S.M. Gloriosa dei Frari;
    Santa Croce: San Giacomo dall’Orio, San Stae;
    Dorsoduro: S.M. del Rosario (Gesuati), San Sebastiano.

    The pass is not including the following churches:
    Basilica San Marco, Santa Maria della Salute, and San Giorgio de Maggiore (on Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore)

    But if you want to visit more than 3 of the above mentioned churches churches, the pass pays off already. Single entry for all these 16 churches was 2,50 Euro in 2007 when the Chorus Pass did cost 8 Euro. I still have to find out how much entry into the individual churches does cost today (June 2015) but I think it is 3 Euro now.

    Opening hours of the churches:
    Monday to Saturday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

    Please find the details about this pass on Venezia Unica website:
    Venezia Unica
    and then look for "Museums and Churches" and there "Churches Chorus Circuit".
    The pass is valid one year.

    © Ingrid D., (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.). Update June 2015: completely rewritten because of new pass systems and prices.

    Chorus Pass - for 16 churches in Venezia (2007)
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  • zadunajska8's Profile Photo

    Chorus Pass

    by zadunajska8 Updated Feb 19, 2012

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    Favorite thing: The Chorus Pass enables you to visit 16 Venetian churches for a single fee of €10. These churches otherwise make a seperate admission charge of a few euros each. The ticket is valid for one entry to each of the 16 churches over the period of 1 year from the date of issue. It can be purchased at any of the participating churches and I think it represents good value for money.

    I have written reviews of some of the churches participating in the scheme:

    Santa Maria Formosa
    Santa Maria dei Miracoli
    Madonna dell'Orto
    Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

    There is a website with further information on the Chorus Pass scheme.

    Madonna dell'Orto Santa Maria dei Miracoli Santa Maria Formosa Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari
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  • zadunajska8's Profile Photo

    Tilting Bell Towers

    by zadunajska8 Written Feb 12, 2012

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    Favorite thing: A number of the bell towers of the churches of Venice have a worrying tilt! Apparently it is subsidence due to the rather unsolid ground conditions that cause this. The most remarkable or perilous looking which I saw was the bell tower at the church of San Giorgio dei Greci in the sestiere Castello which looks ready to topple into the Rio dei Greci.

    Tilting Bell Tower at San Giorgio dei Greci
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  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo

    Churches of Venice

    by HORSCHECK Updated Oct 28, 2011

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    Favorite thing: Venice has innumerable churches. The most famous is of course the St. Mark's Basilica, but there are many interesting, lesser known churches.

    One afternoon a VT friend of mine and me wandered around the Cannareggio and Castello districts and we had a look at the Baroque style Jesuits' Church, the Dominican Church Santi Giovanni e Paolo and the Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli which represents the Venetian Renaissance style.

    Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli Jesuits' Church
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  • Soaking up the town

    by crazylaughter Written Nov 2, 2008

    Favorite thing: Walking in the little, narrow aisles definitely made me feel like i was in Venice. Despite popular belief that Venice is just about famous Grand Canal, im not saying that wasnt nice, beautiful at night.
    Venice is not as expensive as many belief it to be. Getting the 16 EUR 24 hr ticket was definitely worth it, since each ride on the water boat costs 6.50EUR. You can also plan for a 2 day or 3 days ticket.
    For those who want to save money, accomodation can be much cheaper outside Venice. I stayed a super cheap place for 13EUR. I mean in Venice it is considered cheap. It is a 30minutes bus ride away and buses run till quite late at night.
    I planned to take the last but got too tired by like 7pm as it got so dark and there was nothing much to see. Something i really havent got accustomed to is the shops closes so early! So the streets get so deserted.

    grand canal
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  • Aggeliki's Profile Photo

    The Gothic church of S. Giovanni e Paolo

    by Aggeliki Written Apr 15, 2007

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    Favorite thing: It 's the biggest Gothic church of Venezia, full of sculpted burial tombs of former rulers, the Doges.It situated in “the square of wonders” by Venetians, campo San Zanipolo, Venice’s most monumental square after S. Marco.

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  • Jerelis's Profile Photo

    The Chorus Pass.

    by Jerelis Updated Dec 20, 2006

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    Favorite thing: During our several hikes through the sestieres of Venice we ran into a lot of churches. When we arrived at the Chiesa di San Sebastiano we read that they charged an admission fee of €2.- to help them with their maintenance and restoration. Of course we wanted to pay, but the clerk was so nice to just point out to us the use of the Chorus Pass. We learned from him that it would save us money and avoid the hassle of buying individual tickets. It costed only €8.- and letted us visit Veniche churches that charged admission during a one year period.

    In the brochure we recieved we read about the foundation of the Chorus Pass. In 1997 a group of parish priests founded a nonprofit organization to raise money for maintenance and protection of 15 of Venice's finest churches. These 15 churches are now known of the Chorus churches and are open to visitors all days except the Sunday mornings.

    You can buy the Chorus Pass at any of the participating churches.

    Website:
    www.chorusvenezia.org.

    Phone:
    041.2750462

    The front side of our pass. The back side, look at the churches we visited!
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  • fishandchips's Profile Photo

    Wonderful Churches

    by fishandchips Written Aug 30, 2006

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    Favorite thing: Venice has some spectacular churches with a large number dedicated to saint Mary (Santa Maria) who is at the forfront of the Catholic faith. I enjoyed my visit to St Marks & a number of St Mary's including the one in this photo Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari. Also known as "i Frair" this Gothic church is not far from the Scuola Grande di San Rocco. It was built by the Franciscans and is second largest church in Venice after St Marks.

    'i Frari' is fairly stark on the outside but has some wonderful items to look at on the inside including two Titian masterpieces (including the Assumption of the Virgin over the main altar) and a Bellini triptych (the Madonna and Child displayed in the sacristy). This is unlike St Marks which is beautifully decorated both in and out.

    Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari
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  • CandS's Profile Photo

    St Marcos Church

    by CandS Updated Dec 17, 2005

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    Favorite thing: We visited St Marcos Church while we were in Venice...it looked like there was lots of gold on the church...it is a very beautiful building...

    The St Marcos Church was founded during the 9th century...but was changed a few times after that...the final version was finished in 1071.

    St Marcos Church
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  • sandysmith's Profile Photo

    Venetian Churches -Santa Maria della Salute

    by sandysmith Updated Oct 2, 2005

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    Fondest memory: There are so many Venetian Churches to explore - this one is the baroque church of Santa Maria della Salute in Dorsoduro and is a famous landmark of Venice. Admission to this one is free - many charge an entrance fee for but a 3 day pass for 6 churches of your choice is availbale. Its almost too big a church to get a decent photo - this first pic is taken as you pass under the Accademia bridge - love those colourful poles too! Have a good walk around it and see it from all the angles. Please see the other pics as this is such a beautiful church and has so much detail on it - I could stand for ages looking up at it, taking in all the detail - and right at the top you can see a figure on a ball.

    This church is a Votive temple built following a decree by the Senate of the Republic during the plague of 1630. Its festival takes place each year now on the 21st November when visiting ventians come with lighted candles. A fourth bridge is even errected to make access to the church easier.

    Santa Maria della Salute Santa Maria della Salute Santa Maria della Salute Santa Maria della Salute Santa Maria della Salute

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  • sim1's Profile Photo

    Looking up

    by sim1 Updated Jan 11, 2004

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    Favorite thing:
    And don't forget to look up in this city as well! There are so many things to see in this city, but you would miss a lot if you don't take your time to look up once in a while as well. On top of towers, churches and houses you can see many beautiful detailed ornaments.

    Looking up

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  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo

    Venice - Basillica di San Marcos, side entrance

    by Martin_S. Written Nov 6, 2003

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    Favorite thing: At the Basillica di San Marcos, is done in style. You can see fluted columns, friezes, statues of people and griffins, a pope, cherubs and a whole passle of other things, just get up close and personal to see it all.

    Oh almost forgot to mention, the entrance to Basillica di San Marcos is restricted by dress code, if you have shorts, sandals or short sleeved dress, you will not be allowed entrance...so come prepared.

    Basillica di San Marcos, Venice, Italy
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