Campo SS Giovanni e Paolo, Castello • Open 9am–6pm Mon–Sat, noon–6pm Sun • Adm • www.basilicasantigiovanniepaolo.it
The monumental tombs of 25 doges take pride of place in this Gothic giant, built by Dominican friars from the 13th to 15th centuries. Among them is the tribute to Pietro Mocenigo for his valorous struggle to defend Venice’s eastern colonies against the Turks (west wall). Inside are numerous works of art including splendid paintings by Veronese and a polyptych (1465) by Giovanni Bellini.
A favourite among Venetians for weddings, Pietro Lombardo’s showcase (1481–9) is resplendent again after restoration to deal with rising damp. The problem is not new – in Renaissance times marble slabs were affixed to the brick exterior with a cavity left for air flow. The ceiling gleams with gilt miniatures of holy figures (see Santa Maria dei Miracoli).
Campo S Zaccaria, Castello • Open 10am–noon, 4–6pm Mon–Sat, 4–6pm Sun & public hols • Adm (chapels & crypt)
An intricately decorated 15th-century façade by Coducci and, inside, Giovanni Bellini’s superb Madonna and Saints (1505) are highlights of this 9th-century church. The adjoining convent, now a police station, used to host puppet shows to entertain the nuns.
Isola di S Giorgio Maggiore • Open daily (times can vary) • Adm (bell tower)
Palladio’s harmoniously proportioned church (1566–1610), inspired by Greek temple design, stands across the water from Piazza San Marco. The interior is offset by two dynamic paintings by Tintoretto from 1594, The Last Supper and Gathering the Manna, on the chancel walls. The bell tower offers views over Venice. Don’t miss the monks’ Gregorian chants every Sunday at 11am.
Campo della Salute, Dorsoduro • Open 9:30am–noon, 3–5:30pm daily • Adm (sacristy)
A remarkable Baroque church dominating the southernmost entrance to the Grand Canal, Santa Maria della Salute’s silhouette has become one of Venice’s most well-known landmarks. Designed by architect Longhena in 1630, it has a spacious, light-filled interior, while the altar houses a precious Byzantine icon. Dramatic works by Titian and Tintoretto can be appreciated in the sacristy.
Renaissance painter Paolo Veronese (1528–88) spent a large proportion of his life joyously decorating the ceiling, walls, organ doors and altar of this unassuming 16th-century church (see Chiesa di San Sebastiano), and was buried among his colourful masterpieces.
Campo Madonna dell’Orto, Cannaregio • Open 10am–5pm Mon–Sat, noon–5pm Sun • Adm • www.madonnadellorto.org
Eleven huge canvases by devout parishioner Tintoretto enhance this graceful Gothic church. Two masterpieces flank the high altar – the gruesome The Last Judgment and the soaring grandeur of The Making of the Golden Calf, both thought to have been painted about 1563.
Campo S Pantalon, Dorsoduro • Open 10am–noon, 1–3pm Mon–Sat • www.sanpantalon.it
Two treasures lurk behind a ramshackle façade: a nail from the True Cross in a rich Gothic altar and the overwhelming ceiling (1680–1704) by Gian Antonio Fumiani, a labour of love that ended when he purportedly plunged from the scaffolding to his death.
Calle Larga, Cannaregio
This 1668 “wardrobe” is full of fresh flower offerings.
Sant’ Aponal, S Polo
Pope Alexander III took refuge here from Emperor Barbarossa in 1177.
Ponte della Paglia, S Marco
A 1583 Madonna greets boats approaching the bridge.
Painted images over a lace-trimmed mantlepiece.
Calle Zorzi, Castello
The Virgin’s protection has been implored here against plague and enemy attacks.
Carvings of laden boats seek protection for the ferries, which set out from here.
Shrine dating back to the 1600s in memory of the dead.
Campo S Giustina, Castello
A Neo-Classical bridge featuring gondola bas-reliefs.
S Tomà, S Polo
Madonna on a pole in the Grand Canal.
Tabernacle midway on the San Giuliano–Venice channel.