Along with Rome and Florence, Venice is the Italian city of art par excellence. Its peculiar morphology a cluster of small islands scattered all over a lagoon matched with its history have made it one of the world’s most popular destinations for tourists. Among the countless monuments and attractions that mark its landscape, churches are an important part of the city’s visual and urban culture. Basically, we can state that every church in Venice is a monument. But that’s not all: every church is like a casket full of marvelous pieces of art, many of which signed by the most important artists who resided in the lagoon starting from XIII Century.
Venice counts 148 churches and 170 bell towers. So, it’s easy to imagine how a guided tour through Venice’s places of worship offers a huge variety of options: among the most complete ones, we can indicate the tours organized by ItalyXP, an immersive experience not only in Venetian art, but also in its history and peculiar culture. Let’s imagine one of this tours, revolving around a small portion of the city, notably the central one, from the northern shore to the Giudecca island.
Our virtual tour starts with the Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, located near the Cannaregio area. This church is one of the most renowned Gothic buildings in the whole Venice. Nevertheless, it preserves a lot of classical or post-classical elements, that make this church a sort of bridge between two ways of conceiving the inner spaces.
The second stop of the tour corresponds to Venice’s most iconic church: the Basilica di San Marco, located in the homonym square, is a magnificent example of Byzantine architecture. This masterpiece of human creation is exactly what a tourist and/or an art lover are looking for. Only the façade would require a few hours to be explored in all its details (mosaics, cupolas, single or clustered columns). And the interiors are even richer.
Crossing the Canal Grande, we can reach the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, another example of Venetian-Gothic architecture. Built during the XIII century, it’s been enlarged multiple times. The current morphology dates back to XVI century. Due to its multiple extension building’s works, the church is the largest one in Venice’s territory.
The Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute is located in the Dorsoduro area, extreme south of Venice’s main island, right where the Canal Grande flows into the lagoon. Its gorgeous staircase seems to lean directly on the water, but the church stands out with all its magnificence, blending Classical-Byzantine style and Baroque: suffice it to say that its plant and global design are inspired by Saint Peter’s Basilica, in the Vatican. Inside the church, tourists can admire many works by artists like Titian and Tintoretto.
Our last stop is the only church located in the Giudecca island. The Chiesa del Santissimo Redentore is one of notorious architect Andrea Palladio’s masterpieces. Therefore, it could be included among the most prestigious examples of Neo-Classical architecture. Inside, besides a remarkable number of paintings (Tintoretto and Jacopo Palma il Giovane are the most famous artists featured), the main attraction is represented by the altarpiece depicting the Baptism of Christ by Paolo Veronese.