Cannaregio    Castello    Dorsoduro    San Marco    San Polo    Santa Croce    Giudecca    The Islands
The List    The Lost Churches    The Scuole
The Veneto: Padua and Verona

 





 


 



 


This site grew out of my frustration that there wasn't a site like it, or indeed a comprehensive book devoted to Venice's churches available in English.

The churches are divided up by sestiere - the six 'boroughs' of Venice established by Doge Vitale Michiel in 1171. I've added an extra page for Giudecca, which is not a sestiere - it's actually part of Dorsoduro - but is a separate enough entity to deserve its own page, I think. There are also pages devoted to the islands and to demolished churches. Artists, architects and saints might get their own pages at some time in the future. I suppose I must point out that, contradictory (and maybe even contrary) as it may seem to some, this is a religion-free site. My interest is artistic, historical, and also impious. I am respectful of others' beliefs, usually, and expect them to be respectful of my personal convictions too.

Each church's history is told, followed by a description of its architecture, artistic highlights, unique features, the art it has lost and any interesting stories. The degree to which each topic is covered will vary, depending on the information available and what makes each church interesting and worth visiting, as will the amount of personal observation and opinion in each piece. The latter depends on my having visited the church, and how recently, and it's this aspect that will keep the site improving for a good long while, I think. My intention is to tell you what makes each church special, rather than to list all of its features and contents.  As I progress I'm finding that I'm becoming more interested in digging out the sparse facts about forgotten churches rather than writing about the churches that are well-enough covered elsewhere. Also I'm finding that on later visits experience and education is making me notice different things. Each entry also tells you the nearest vaporetto stop and a link to it's position on a special Google map. And then there's the opening times - I'll endeavour to keep these times as accurate as possible, but it's always a good idea to check before travelling, and to be prepared for disappointment.

The photos are mostly mine, except where noted.

There's also an alphabetical list of all the churches and a page revealing my sources


NEWS
October 2017
The Padua and the Verona pages had gathered some dust in the past year, but after a trip in September improvements (and additions) due to research and visits are in progress.
I'm also experimenting with making  the text in every other paragraph grey, to differentiate between them without using up space with blank lines. I tried red text at first, being inspired in the whole thing by illuminated manuscripts, but changed it to grey because I thought that it looked too much like I was highlighting that text as more important - which I'm not.


June 2017
Following March’s visit I have made a start on a page on Bologna’s churches, but planning a trip to Siena in October I realised that beginning Bologna should best wait until after necessary work on the still-incomplete pages devoted to Verona and Padua, as well as Siena. So I’m now planning a trip to Padua and Verona in (the otherwise somewhat empty of commitments month of) September.

Seasoned aficionados of this site will know that I have long left the exploration of the Basilica San Marco to others, due to my not being at all fond of queues, crowds and mosaics. But this situation changed recently, with my taking various courses devoted to the early medieval period and Byzantium, and my visit to Venice in January 2017. So to celebrate the 10th birthday of The Churches of Venice I'm making a start!
Basilica San Marco

March 2017
On a trip to Milan this month I spent an afternoon in the Brera Gallery, finding the paintings there that were once in churchVenice (and Padua and Verona). So I have now been
able to add some juicy details and dubious opinions to their mentions on this site.

January 2017, Part 2
The trip to Venice this month has indeed resulted in additions major and minor, fresh photos and factual updates, as well as updated entries on art from some closed churches found in the Sant’Apollonia Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art. Most exciting of all was finding the macabre painted crypt of San Simeon Piccolo suddenly shockingly surprisingly open. I went into the Basilica for the first time in decades too.

January 2017
 This year marks this site's 10th birthday. And still improving! Last year saw the addition of the Scuole page and I've even begun a Basilica San Marco page, as mentioned below, but am loath to upload it until I have freshly visited the place (which I've not been inside since the early 1990s) which I'm hoping to do on a suddenly-arranged trip to Venice later this month!

June 2016
The Scuole page has been added. Initially, as ever, this is the fruit of visits made, photos taken and guidebooks bought and read. As time passes a variety of books will get read and more specialist info will be added.

Next will be a page devoted to the Basilica San Marco. I've long, and defensively, ignored it but recent sessions in the Early Medieval course I've been taking devoted to Byzantine art have given me an appreciation of mosaic, enamels and spolia.

A NEW THING
The best churches now have a page to themselves.
Frari

Madonna dell’ Orto
San Francesco della Vigna
San Giorgio Maggiore
San Marco
San Pantalon
San Salvador
San Zaccaria

San Zanipolo
Santa Maria Formosa

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The Friends of Fictional Cities and the Churches of Venice & Florence
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Copyright © Jeff Cotton 2007-2017
A decade of steady improvement!
 




 



 


Cannaregio :: Castello :: Dorsoduro :: Giudecca :: San Marco :: San Polo :: Santa Croce :: The Islands :: Demolished

Padua :: Verona