sights / Religious

Zanipolo information

Venice , Italy
Campo Zanipolo
+390 41 523 59 13
Getting there
Ferry: Ospedale
More information
adult/reduced €2.50/1.25
Opening hours
9am-6pm Mon-Sat, noon-6pm Sun, tours in Eng 5.30pm Thu
Something wrong?
Submit a correction

When the Dominicans began building Zanipolo in 1333 to rival the Franciscans’ I Frari, the church stirred passions more common to Serie A football than architecture. Both structures feature red-brick facades with high-contrast detailing in white stone. But since Zanipolo’s facade remains unfinished, the Frari won a decisive early decision. Over the centuries, Zanipolo has at least tied the score with its pantheon of ducal funerary monuments and the variety of its masterpieces, including works by Bellini, Lorenzetti and Veronese.

Built in classic Italian Gothic style, the basilica could accommodate virtually the entire population of 14th-century Castello. And its 33m-high nave provides a fitting setting for 25 doges' tombs. From Pietro Lombardo’s three-tier monument celebrating the Ages of Man for Pietro Mocenigo (1406–76) to the Gothic tomb of Michele Morosini (1308–82) and Andrea Tirali's bombastic Tomba dei Valier (1708), they provide an overview of the stylistic development of Venetian art.

Rarest of all though is the surviving 15th-century stained glass in the south transept. Created on Murano, it richly illuminates designs by Bartolomeo Vivarini and Girolamo Mocetto.