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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

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 churches in Venice (and Padua and Verona). So I have now been
able to add some juicy details and contentious 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 get read and more specialist info is 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.

May/June 2016
 Regular and eagle-eyed visitors to this site may have noticed that last year I experimented with a
different style of page layout. It was an attempt to solve a niggling problem and ring some changes,
but wasn't entirely successful. I'm now sort-of returning to the previous two-column scheme, but
with a narrower left-hand text column (for ease of reading) and wider right-hand column for photos,
 and retaining the wider page of last-year's scheme.

I've been doing this at the same time as adding the photos and knowledge from my May trip, so the Padua page is now miles better and the Venice content freshened up and added to. Now, the Scuole...

May 2016
I'm back from Padua and Venice with piles of photos, visit notes, leaflets and books to mine. Much-needed Padua content mostly, but scuole visits and photos and two churches in Venice I'd never been able to get into before - San Girolamo and San Bonaventura.

The best churches now have a page to themselves.
Done so far:
Madonna dell’ Orto
San Francesco della Vigna
San Giorgio Maggiore
San Pantalon
San Salvador
San Zaccaria

San Zanipolo
Santa Maria Formosa

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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