Considering the number of churches in Venice, it’s hard to say which ones are the best to visit, but we thought we’d make a list of our favorite ones anyway!
Let’s say that almost every church in Venice is worth visiting, but those we collected in this article are the ones you absolutely can’t miss during your stay, especially if you are coming to Venice for the first time.
We won’t suggest visiting the St. Mark’s Basilica since it’s surely one of the things you must do in Venice, as we said in a previous article, but rather we would like to concentrate on those minor churches you might not know anything about.
Let’s start with a grand church in the Cannaregio district, not far from our hotel – the Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli, friendly called Church of Miracoli.
The Church of Miracoli is definitely one of the most beautiful churches in Venice, not only for its marvelous facade, made with marble different colors, but also for its interiors.
This church, included in our 3-days itinerary in Venice, is known for its grandiose staircase rising between two pulpits, which is quite rare, and it’s one of the few churches in Venice that seems to be designed and built by only one artist and his workshop, probably in one single stage.
As we said, the Church of Miracoli isn’t far from our hotel. In fact, following Strada Nova, you’ll get there in only 15 minutes on foot.
In Cannaregio district, there’s another church we’d love to tell you about – the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, mostly known as the Gesuiti Church.
This church was built in 1148, but less than ten years later (1154) it was turned into a hospital for the poor.
The facade is in two tiers – the lower part is composed of eight columns, which support the beautiful architrave and the tympanum.
Once inside, you’ll be surrounded by golden and white plaster and frescoes. It’s incredibly bright, you’ll see.
Not far from Rialto Bridge there’s also San Salvador Church, which is well-known by Venetians not only because of its architecture but for mainly because Caterina Cornaro, the queen of Cyprus, is buried here.
In fact, once you step inside the church, you’ll notice a sort of regal canopy on the right, where the Venetian queen rests.
The original church was consecrated in 1177, but the present one was built around 1508.
We couldn’t fail to include the Basilica of Madonna della Salute in our list of the best churches in Venice, Italy. This church was built for a specific reason: thanking the Virgin Mary for having saved Venice from a terrible plague epidemic, an event that is celebrated every year on November 21.
You can admire it from St. Mark’s Square, standing right next to the Doge’s Palace, on the other side of the basin. It’s huge and impressive in its shape, and if you go inside, it’s even more beautiful. For example, on the altar you’ll notice two beautiful statues, one of Venice and the other of the Plague (both personified) with the Virgin Mary in the middle.
Santa Maria del Giglio Church was built in the IX century, which means that it’s one of the oldest churches in Venice, and its facade is one of the most original expressions of Baroque Venetian art we have ever seen. In fact, it’s composed of five statues representing the five Barbaro brothers, and several carved maps of the places where Antonio Barbaro served the Venetian Republic.
This church is located on the way to St. Mark’s Square, coming from the Accademia Gallery, where we suggest spending some time during your stay.