Chiesa di San Francesco della Vigna
Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni
Venice's cosmopolitan nature is evident in Castello, where Turkish merchants, Armenian clerics and Balkan and Slavic labourers were...
This Ruskin-baiting baroque affair, which the celebrated art critic thought ‘the most monstrous example of the Grotesque Renaissance…in...
Museo delle Icone
Glowing colours and all-seeing eyes fill this treasure box of some 80 Greek icons made in 14th- to 17th-century Italy. Keep your own eye...
Laboratorio Occupato Morion
When not busy staging environmental protests or avant-garde performance art, this counterculture social centre throws one hell of a...
Trattoria Da Remigio
It's not often you find a restaurant that can post a sign in the window saying completo (full), but this place can. The secret:...
Chiesa di San Francesco della Vigna information
Lonely Planet review
Designed and built by Jacopo Sansovino with a facade by Palladio, this enchanting Franciscan church is one of Venice’s most underappreciated attractions. The Madonna positively glows in Bellini’s 1507 Madonna and Saints in the Cappella Santa , just off the flower-carpeted cloister , while swimming angels and strutting birds steal the scene in the delightful Virgin Enthroned, by Antonio da Negroponte (c 1460–70). Bring €0.20 to illuminate them.
Palladio and the Madonna are tough acts to follow, but father-son sculptors Pietro and Tullio Lombardo make their own mark with their 15th-century marble reliefs that recount the lives of Christ and an assortment of saints. Housed in the Cappella Giustiniani , just left of the altar, they are storytelling triumphs. Breezes seem to ripple through carved-marble trees, and lifelike lions seem prepared to pounce right off the wall. And keep your eye on the expressive reactions of minor figures in these biblical narratives. They provide a running commentary on the action, right down to the startled mule.
Out the back, the bell tower looks like the long-lost twin of the Campanile di San Marco and, facing north, a couple of steps leading to a portico of classical columns make the campo look like a proper ancient-Roman agora (market place). This makes a sociable setting for Venice’s best annual block party, the Festa di Francesco della Vigna , with wine and rustic fare served up in the stately shadow of Palladio; it's usually held the third week in June.