VENICE CHURCHES

1. Basilica di San Marco

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See Basilica di San Marco.

2. Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

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See Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari.

3. Santi Giovanni e Paolo

prac_info Campo SS Giovanni e Paolo, Castello • Open 9am–6pm Mon–Sat, noon–6pm Sun • Adm • www.basilicasantigiovanniepaolo.it

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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.

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Santi Giovanni e Paolo

4. Santa Maria dei Miracoli

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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).

5. San Zaccaria

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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.

6. San Giorgio Maggiore

prac_info Isola di S Giorgio Maggiore • Open daily (times can vary) • Adm (bell tower)

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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.

7. Santa Maria della Salute

prac_info Campo della Salute, Dorsoduro • Open 9:30am–noon, 3–5:30pm daily • Adm (sacristy)

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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.

8. Chiesa di San Sebastiano

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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.

9. Madonna dell’Orto

prac_info Campo Madonna dell’Orto, Cannaregio • Open 10am–5pm Mon–Sat, noon–5pm Sun • Adm • www.madonnadellorto.org

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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.

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Madonna dell’Orto

10. San Pantalon

prac_info Campo S Pantalon, Dorsoduro • Open 10am–noon, 1–3pm Mon–Sat • www.sanpantalon.it

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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.

TOP 10 SHRINES AND TABERNACLES

1. St Anthony

prac_info Calle Larga, Cannaregio

This 1668 “wardrobe” is full of fresh flower offerings.

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Flowers at a shrine to St Anthony

2. Sottoportego de la Madonna

prac_info Sant’ Aponal, S Polo

Pope Alexander III took refuge here from Emperor Barbarossa in 1177.

3. Gondolier’s Shrine

prac_info Ponte della Paglia, S Marco

A 1583 Madonna greets boats approaching the bridge.

4. Corte Nova

prac_info Castello

Painted images over a lace-trimmed mantlepiece.

5. Covered Passageway

prac_info Calle Zorzi, Castello

The Virgin’s protection has been implored here against plague and enemy attacks.

6. Scuola Grande della Misericordia

prac_info Cannaregio

Carvings of laden boats seek protection for the ferries, which set out from here.

7. Corte de Ca’ Sarasina

prac_info Castello

Shrine dating back to the 1600s in memory of the dead.

8. Ponte del Fontego

prac_info Campo S Giustina, Castello

A Neo-Classical bridge featuring gondola bas-reliefs.

9. Gondola Traghetto Point

prac_info S Tomà, S Polo

Madonna on a pole in the Grand Canal.

10. Boatmen’s Pole

Tabernacle midway on the San Giuliano–Venice channel.

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