Churches, Venice

34 Reviews

  • Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari
    Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari
    by zadunajska8
  • Madonna dell'Orto
    Madonna dell'Orto
    by zadunajska8
  • Santa Maria dei Miracoli
    Santa Maria dei Miracoli
    by zadunajska8

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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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    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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    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

    Light a candle, make a wish, attend service

    by Trekki Updated Jun 17, 2015

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    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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  • 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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  • 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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  • nicolettart's Profile Photo

    Chiesa dei Gesuati

    by nicolettart Written Oct 8, 2003

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    Fondest memory: This church was part of my everyday panorama in Venice. We stayed on Giudecca Island, where you could look across and see the church of Santa Maria della Salute and farther up, the campanile of St. Mark's Square. But right across the canal was this church, built by Dominican friars and richly decorated, including a ceiling painting by Tiepolo and a painting of the Crucifixion by Tintoretto.

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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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    Venice - the Basillica di San Marcos

    by Martin_S. Written Nov 6, 2003

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    Favorite thing: The Basillica di San Marcos, stands in San Marcos Square, and along with the tower there form two sides of the square. The ornate entrance is so over decorated it is almost gaudy. From the horses above to the painting on the ceiling, there are just too many details for you to take in. You need to let your eyes take a break and then look again to see the next thing.

    Basillica di San Marcos, Venice, Italy
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    See San Giorgio Maggiore

    by Goner Updated Mar 21, 2003

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    Favorite thing: This floating apparition is actually a small island where you will find an church and monastery completed in 1580 and considered one of Andrea Palladio's greatest architectural achievements. There are two fine paintings there, "The Last Supper" and "The Gathering of the Manna". The monastery is now a cultural center dedicated to international exhibitions.
    There is a great view from the campanile of the city and lagoon.

    San Giorgio Maggiore
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    Santa Maria della Salute

    by Goner Updated Mar 21, 2003

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    Favorite thing: You can’t miss this imposing structure at the mouth of the Grand Canal. Waterbus No. 1 takes you from S. Marco and stops in front of the majestic Salute Church. The name “Salute” means health and salvation, hence the name of the church that was built in thanks for delivering the city from the plague epidemic of 1630. The interior is as somber as this photo taken on a cloudy March day. Its grandest feature is the large domed chancel and the ornate high alter sculptures. The best paintings are in the sacristy to the left of the alter. There are also dramatic ceiling paintings of Cain and Abel, the Sacrifice of Abraham and Isaac, and David and Goliath.

    Salute

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    What's Your Rush?

    by mrclay2000 Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Favorite thing: Most people arriving in Venice (especially those off the trains) are in such a rush to hop a vaporetto and steam toward the east end of the Grand Canal that they miss some interesting structures near the station itself. The station bridge is no work of art, but the nearby churches (such as the pictured green dome) are generally worth a closer study.

    San Simeone Piccolo opposite train station
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    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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    Santa Maria Della Saluta

    by sim1 Updated Dec 14, 2002

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    Favorite thing:
    This is one of Venice's most historic churches, it was built by Longhena in the 17th century (work began in 1631) as an offering to the Virgin for delivering the city from the plague. Venice was devastated by a plague that exterminated 95.000 of the lagoon's population. In October 1630 the Senate decreed that a new church would be dedicated to Mary if the city were saved and the result was the Salute church (salute="salvation, health").

    Santa Maria Della Salute

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    Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore

    by sim1 Updated Dec 14, 2002

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    Favorite thing:

    There is a beautiful church on the little island of San Giorgio Maggiore, which was designed by the great Renaissance architect Palladio. Unfortunately I didn't see the church itself, but only this view from a distance. There is so much to see in Venice, that it is impossible to see it all.

    A nice thing to do is to take the elevator (for 2.50€) to the top of the belfry. The view from here must be great. You can see the greenery of the island itself, the lagoon, and the Doge's Palace across the way.

    Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore

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