Chiesa di San Giorgio Maggiore

sights / Religious

Chiesa di San Giorgio Maggiore information

Venice , Italy
Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore
+390 41 522 78 27
Getting there
Ferry: San Giorgio Maggiore
bell tower adult/reduced €6/4
Opening hours
9.30am-12.30pm & 2.30-6.30pm Mon-Sat, 2-6.30pm Sun
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Solar eclipses are only marginally more dazzling than Palladio's white Istrian marble facade. Begun in the 1560s, it owes more to ancient Roman temples than the bombastic baroque of Palladio's day. Inside, ceilings billow over a generous nave, with high windows distributing filtered sunshine. Two of Tintoretto's masterworks flank the altar, and a lift whisks visitors up the 60m-high bell tower for stirring Ventian panoramas – a great alternative to long lines at San Marco's campanile .

Behind the church, a defunct naval academy has been converted into a shipshape gallery by the Fondazione Giorgio Cini . After escaping the Dachau internment camp with his son Giorgio, Vittorio Cini returned to Venice on a mission to save San Giorgio Maggiore, which was a ramshackle mess in 1949. Cini's foundation restored the island into a cultural centre. In addition to its permanent collection of Old Masters and modern art, the gallery hosts important contemporary works, from Peter Greenaway to Anish Kapoor.