Sestiere Santa Croce

This is an excerpt from the book “Venice and the Veneto

Photo © James Lawson
Photo © James Lawson

Church of San Nicolo’ di Tolentino

Designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi, finished by the Teatini monks, the church was consecrated in 1602. The main altar was created by Longhena in 1661 and has sculptures by Justo Le Court. The facade was designed by Andrea Tirali in 1714. A 16th century church based on a plan by V. Scamozzi, featuring an eight-columned Corinthian portico inspired by the Palladian style. Important paintings in the interior include works by J. Palma il Giovane and The Annunciation by L. Giordano.

The facade, a later addition, dates from the start of the 18th century.

Church of S.Simeone prophet or S. Simeone Grande

It was founded in 967 as a basilica with three naves and retains this layout today despite two renovations in the eighteenth century by Domenico Margutti and Giorgio Massari. The nave and two aisles plan dates back to the original construction.

In the interior are The Presentation in the Temple by J. Palma il Giovane (the Younger) and a Last Supper by J. Tintoretto.

Church of Santi Simeone and Giuda Apostoli S. Simeone Piccolo

This church was built in the eighteenth century with a central layout and an impressive cupola. It predates the classical style. Built in the 9th century through merit of the Aoldo and Vrioso families, the church underwent various restorations until 1718, when it was rebuilt on a plan by Giovanni Scalfarotto in imitation of the Pantheon in Rome. Plenary indulgences, were organized by Molin, the parish priest, who was known as “Mamera” (bashful).

Photo © James Lawson
Photo © James Lawson

Square and Church of S.Zuane Degolà

The church is dedicated to San Giovanni Decollato, which has become San Zuane Degol� in Venetian dialect. The church is very old. It was originally an oratory and then became a parish church in 1007. Despite the alterations in the eighteenth century it still maintains the appearance of a Venetian-Byzantine church.

Il Fondaco dei Turchi

This was originally built as a private residence by the Pesaro family in the thirteenth century. It was then bought in 1381 by the Venetian Republic , who donated it to Nicola d’Este. In 1621 the Venetian Republic rented it from the Pesaro family, who had reacquired the building and then handed it over to Turkish merchants who used it as a residence and for storing their merchamdise. In 1858 it was bought by the city of Venice, which radically restored it. Today it is the seat of the Natural History Museum

Church of S.Giacomo Dall’Orio

The name may well derive from the laurel that formerly grew around the church, but it is more likely to refer to the ‘luprio’ or empty marshland, from which the name Orio may derive. The church dates back to the ninth century and there are still traces of the Byzantine building from 1225. It is laid out in the shape of a Latin cross. The wooden Gothic ceiling is like the hull of a ship.

The church’s origins are ancient, dating back to the 9th century, and the present plan shows architectonic elements of various styles, ascribable to successive alterations – a 13th century reconstruction and alterations in 14th century.

Inside we can admire the wooden vaulted ship’s keel ceiling, besides other important paintings among which a valuable altarpiece by L. Lotto and works by J. Palma il Giovane and Veronese.
Beside the church stands the bell tower, a Veneto-Byzantine construction of the 12th – 13th century.

Mocenigo Palace at San Stae

This ancient patrician residence was donated to the city of Venice in 1954. It still contains old seventeenth century furnishings and today it houses a museum of textiles and clothing. It also boasts a rich specialist library. The residence of one of the oldest and most famous Venetian noble families, Palazzo Mocenigo boasts precious furnishings and 18th century paintings and is the premises of the Centre for the Study of the History of Fabrics and Costumes as well as a rich library specialising in the subject.

The palazzo was the residence from the 17th century of the San Stae branch of the Mocenigo family, one of the most important families of the Venetian patriciate, seven members of which became doges between 1414 and 1778. It is a large building of gothic origin extensively rebuilt at the beginning of the 17th century, when it attained its present appearance.

The collection is laid out in the rooms of the first piano nobile of the palazzo, with an ample selection of garments and accessories. As far as possible, the pieces are laid out in such a way as to illustrate changing tastes in both fashion and furnishings, underlining analogies in color, line and decorative motif between these two related areas of design. Mainly of Venetian origin, the garments and accessories are in “worked” fabrics which are often embellished with lace and embroidery. They are a fine illustration of the skill of those numerous artisans (weavers, tailors, lacemakers, embroiderers, etc.) who made such a contribution to that refined luxury and elegance for which the Venetians of the day were famous.

Photo © James Lawson
Photo © James Lawson

Church of S. Stae (S. Eustachio)

This church was rebuilt in the seventeenth century on pre-existing Byzantine structures and consists only of a central nave. It is the work of Giovanni Grassi. The altars have works by eighteenth-century artists such as Piazzetta and Tiepolo.

The façade was designed by Domenico Rossi with sculptures by early eighteenth -century artists such as Tarsia and Corradini. Here is a baroque church with a facade bearing precious and richly decorative marble work.

The paintings to be seen in the interior are significant examples of early 18th century Venetian painting. Among them are works by S. Ricci, G.B. Tiepolo, G.B. Piazzetta and G.B. Pittoni.

Ca’ Pesaro

This was built by the Pesaro family in 1628 by renovating and joining together existing buildings. The architect was Baldassarre Longhena. The building was given a sumptuous façade overlooking the Grand Canal in 1679. After Longhena died, the work was finished by Antonio Gaspari. A typical example of Venetian Baroque, today it houses the Museum of Modern Art It contains major nineteenth and twentieth century works. The second floor houses a collection of Oriental Art that once belonged to Enrico Bourbon-Parma.

Church by S.Maria Mater Domini

Thia was already a parish church in the eleventh century. It was renovated in the sixteenth century, and is still laid out in the form of a Greek cross although the façade is in Tuscan Renaissance style. Inside, there are works by Lorenzo Bregno and paintings by Catena and Tintoretto. The Church of the Holy Mother of Christ completed in the first half of the 16thC contains interesting examples of Renaissance art like The Martyrdom of St Christine a work by V. Catena, sculptures by L. Bregno and, in the transept, The Invention of the Cross by J. Tintoretto.

Corner della Regina Palace

Built in the eighteenth century to a design by Domenico Rossi. It was built on the site of property that already belonged to the Corner family. Caterina Corner was born there in 1454. In 1471 she became queen of Cyprus through marriage and the palazzo thus became known as ‘della Regina’. Today, it houses the archives of the Biennale. A noble 18th century building in a classical style, built from a design by Domenico Rossi.

The work was begun in 1724 on the site of the previous palace of the Cornaro family, whose branch was called “della Regina” because it descended from Caterina Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus, born here in 1454.

The last of the Corners, the priest Caterino, bequeathed the palace to Pope Pius VII (1800) who gave it to the Cavanis Fathers for their charity school and from whom it was bought by the town council for the premises of the Monte di Pieta’ (Public Pawn Office). The wooden model for the palace is still kept in the Correr Civic Museum.

Today it is the seat of the Biennale of Venice.

On the Grand Canal, this palace with an elegant and imposing facade was erected at the beginning of the 18thC on the site of the palace where Caterina Cornaro – the Queen of Cyprus – was born.

Where to stay in Venice

There are many hotels, apartments, B&Bs and guesthouses available in Venice, search and make reservations here.