Chiesa di San Martino

sights / Religious

Chiesa di San Martino information

Venice , Italy
Street Campo San Martino 2298
+390 41 523 04 87
Getting there
ferry Arsenale
Opening hours
8.45-11.45am & 4.30-7.30pm Mon-Sat, 8am-noon Sun
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Lonely Planet review

The neighbourhood church of San Martino is named after St Martin of Tours (AD 316–97), a Hungarian priest and the first Christian saint to die a natural death rather than suffer some irksome martyrdom. Inside, Sansovino’s Greek cross interior is lined with eight chapels and topped by a

trompe l'œil> ceiling by Domenico Bruni. Palma di Giovane’s canvases of Jesus being flogged and then marched towards Calvary are tucked out of sight in the choir stalls.

The church's other modest treasures include Tullio Lombardo’s marble altar effortlessly held aloft by two fervently praying angels and, over the side door, the tomb of Doge Francesco Erizzo, which cleverly mirrors the facade of his palazzo seen through the door.

To the right of the church is the former Scuola di San Martino , where secondhand sales are sometimes held. It was built by the Guild of Ship Caulkers in the 16th century and sports a relief above the door of St Martin offering to share his cloak with a beggar. On the saint’s feast day, 11 November, when children run through the streets banging cooking pots and hoping for sweets, you’ll see the same image reproduced in the shape of hundreds of sugar-coated cookies.