Churches, Venice

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  • Tilting Bell Tower at San Giorgio dei Greci
    Tilting Bell Tower at San Giorgio dei...
    by zadunajska8
  • Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari
    Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari
    by zadunajska8
  • Madonna dell'Orto
    Madonna dell'Orto
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  • Trekki's Profile Photo

    If you like churches – get the Chorus pass

    by Trekki Updated Jun 25, 2007

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    Favorite thing: Again, depending on how long you will be in Venice and what you like to see, the Chorus Pass might be of interest for you. It costs only 8 Euro (as of May 2007) and allows you free entrance into 16 churches on Venice’s main islands (S.M. = Santa Maria):

    Cannaregio: S.M. dei Miracoli, Madonna dell’Orto, 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 a.m. churches, the pass pays off already. Single entry for all these 16 churches is 2,50 Euro.

    Fondest memory: However, if you intend to buy the Venice Card Orange (2 or 7 days), you won’t need the Chorus Pass, as these 16 churches are included in the Orange Card.
    Again, this is a simple price calculation and consideration of interests. Who won’t spend too much time in museums but likes to visit churches, lives cheaper when buying the Blue Card and the Chorus Pass.
    The Chorus Pass, by the way, is valid for 1 year. It can be purchased at every church with the red Chorus sign.

    Discounts or special deals:
    Students up to 29 (with ID card): 5 €;
    Family pass (2 adults and children up to age of 18): 16 €;

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

    Please see also their website:
    Associazione chiese di Venezia

    Chorus Pass - for 16 churches in Venezia
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  • Trekki's Profile Photo

    How do we behave in (Italian) churches ?

    by Trekki Updated Jun 30, 2007

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    Favorite thing: I was thinking back and forth if I should write about this, but have decided to do so, as maybe the one or the other visitor from google’s machines might end here and I still don’t give up the hope that the Eurodisney visitor does have one brain cell left that allows him/her to see things different and maybe change their strange behaviour.
    I am not a attending church services at home, as (as a good friend has put it recently), maybe god’s ground personnel, I have experienced was not that good. But here in Italy, well, Venezia, all was different, and I really felt the spirit of something I could not explain. That’s why I got very much annoyed about the behaviour of some tourists in the churches, and given the religiousness of the Italians, they must have even been more disturbed by the invaders into their places of worship.
    So let me start my ranting: no one is interested of what is customs in our home countries. This is Italy and here we are guests. Italians are very much religious and that means we have to shut up and don’t babble in the churches. No one wants to hear our opinion shrieked out loud. If we want to do it or want to aah-ing and ooh-ing, we should get out of the churches, where we can shriek and talk as much and as loud as we want. No one will mind. But not in the churches.
    I was really pi**ed when hearing so many of these = us tourists babbling in the churches all time long. Some even behaved quite rude to the employees who kindly asked them to slow down in voice. These are the times when I am very much ashamed to be a tourist.

    Fondest memory: Another thing is the dress code. It might look cute where we live back home to hop around in oversized shorts and open shirt to show off the hair (oh my am I bad) or in skirts that short they allow to see the necks. But it is the most inappropriate when visiting an Italian church. Well, this is inappropriate in any church or place of worship on our planet. So plan to pack clothes which are appropriate to visit churches: cover arms and legs and show as less flesh as possible (we can show our flesh in the nightclubs, haha).
    Also, tombs in the churches are often in the floors (well, below the floors of course, but the tombstone is laid in the floor). It should be pretty much obvious that these stones are tombstones and no decoration. And it is not only very much inappropriate to trample over these tombstones, but also a form of desecration. How would we feel if herds of people would trample over the graves of our beloved ???
    Oh, and in case, atheists read this here – they are welcome to visit the churches as well. But they should keep in mind to leave their aggressive or non-tolerating attitude to church and religion in front of the doors while visiting. Or simply refrain from going inside.

    These are graves - and NO, we do NOT step on them
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  • Trekki's Profile Photo

    Why is there entrance fee for churches?

    by Trekki Updated Jun 25, 2007

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    Favorite thing: It might be annoying in the beginning to have to pay entrance fee for most of Venezia’s churches, but there is a reason for this. If we all understand this, then there is no need for complaining; well, at least I hope (In the beginning of my Uzbekistan trip, I had a similar feeling, when I saw how much more I as foreigner had to pay compared to the locals, but then I understood).
    Again, remember why do we all invade and overrun Venezia ? Because this unique city is built on artificial islands and has a lot of architectural and cultural gems practically around each corner. Well, but we also know that Venice has to pay the price for this since the very beginning centuries ago – acqua alta, flooding, is occurring all the time after rain or specific weather conditions. And it is even more frequent now, since we have started to invade the city with all the consequences (increased lagoon traffic, cruise ships and deeper navigation channels).

    Fondest memory: What might be fun for some of us – wading through the flooded streets, is horror for the buildings and the artwork inside. So after each serious flooding, a lot of restoration has 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, and now think what will happen to your kitchen marble counter if vinegar (acid) is spilled – it would give bad damage, as 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, which slowly crawls into the hundred years old walls and results in mildew. This would be manageable, if there wouldn’t be the countless invaluable paintings my the masters, Bellini, Tiepolo, Tintoretto and the others.
    It costs a fortune to keep them restored and in the beauty we expect to see them. Since some years, the restoration work in Venezia has very much improved. It is more of a long term conservation and restauration and no longer a quick limitation of damage. Restaurators are specially trained in the work for the city, and of course this all costs quite a lot.
    And again: who are we to expect from the Venezianos that they fund this work out of their pockets alone ? If we come in herds to marvel at and in the churches, we have to participate with our donation to conservation.

    Associatione Chorus describes this work quite transparent on their homepage:
    Church restaurations

    Damaged marble floor in a church Not yet damaged - thanks god ! Marble floor of SS Giovanni e Paolo Marble floor in Torcello (from a postcard)
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  • Trekki's Profile Photo

    Light a candle, make a wish, attend service

    by Trekki Updated Jul 20, 2007

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    Favorite thing: As already described, I am not a church-goer at home in my country, but here in Venezia it was different. Maybe in whole Italy, I will find out. The churches, very much elaborately decorated, have a special atmosphere inside. I found myself sitting on a bench and lighting a candle and make a wish.
    Candles cost from 0,20 to 0,50 Euro, usually.

    Fondest memory: But the most marvellous experience (apart from seeing glassblowers at work; oh, what a contrast, yes) was the Sunday service, I attended in Basilica San Marco. I was sneaking around the Basilica several times, as she did fascinate me in any way, and I was thinking back and forth if and how I will visit her. I simply could not stand the thought to see this masterpiece’s inside surrounded by shrieking Eurodisney visitors. Maybe it would not have been so, maybe the guards would have used discipline to keep them at least a bit silent. But I surely did not want to find out. So I finally decided to attend a service in the Basilica, to visit her as what she was built for and what is still her main purpose. The church service starts at 10:30, entry is through the door at Piazetta Leonici (northern entrance). Of course, the guards will only allow visitors without huge bags and with proper dresses.
    Well, what can I say ? It was definitely the most moving service I ever attended. I felt extremely tiny in this majestic magnificent church, surrounded by these so old mosaics and often I was not even been able to follow the service. And as it was Sunday morning, the light fell onto the mosaics and let them look like god - just magic! It was held in Italian/Latin, but we could pick up leaflets with translations in most of the European languages. It had all the .. hm, yes, holy atmosphere I always thought, services should have (but the German ones of my past don’t). In this case, it is indeed “fondest memory”, as anytime after this, I only have to think of these mosaics and the ambience, and all worries or negative thoughts are vanished for a while :-)

    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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  • Goner's Profile Photo

    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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