With the many tourist attractions that Venice harbours, you can be forgiven for overlooking some of the hidden treasures that this city holds. Here, Enrico Costantini introduces you to some of those treasures, the churches of Venezia.
In Venice, there are more than 100 churches, real works of art, not only for their architecture but also because their interiors feature frescos by the masters of art.
Whoever doesn’t live in Venice for sure knows about the Chiesa della Salute, Basilica di San Marco and the Redentore Church. But the city is dotted with othersmaller churches: walking around the narrow streets (called “calli”) you can find yourself in front of one of those.
During winter, the city changes a lot; if your here during the summer it is at its best surrounded by sun, but during winter, on rainy days, the churches are much more mystical in their majesty.
Seeing as I know this city, I have decided it's time to share some of these treasures with you.
The first Church is the romanic Church San Nicolo dei Mendicoli, one of three most ancient churches in Venice, traces back to the VII Century!
This Church is thought to have taken the name from the Island where it is located. In 1973 it was also the location of the movie “In Venice, a red shocking December”. Its interior has walls decorated with paintings depicting Jesus’s life, by alumni of famous Venetian painter Veronese.
Much more modest is the interior of the San Giacomo di Rialto, the most ancient of Venice, built in 421. Its peculiarity is the big clock right abvbe the market of Rialto, and the gothic portico (one of the most ancient of the city). Its history is linked to that of the Rialto market, on the wall there is a sentence that invites traders to be honest.
It is worth noting the history of Santa Maria dei Miracoli; built to pay homage to the miraculous painting representing the Virgin Mary that was hanging in the house of a Lombard merchant called Angelo Amadi. This church is one of the first examples of Renaissance arriving to Venice, with a beautiful façade in marble and an arch decorated with golden structures, with 50 scenes representing prophets. All of its walls are covered in pink and white marble.
San Barnaba and San Gregorio Church are two churches that are now deconsecrated, famous for being the “protagonist” of the movie “Indiana Jones and the last crusade”.
The external part of the Church has been used as an imaginary library, whereas the “campo” (the ventian square,) where it is located, has been used in the scene where the actor travels through the underground and then comes out of it in the middle of the square, the Campo di San Barnaba.
It has been quite hard to shoot photos in the interior of this Church as the roof is now in restoration, and all of the underground part has an interesting exhibit about Leonardo, with hundrends of inventions by him displayed there.