Chiesa di San Giorgio Maggiore

Top choice church in Giudecca, Lido & the Southern Islands

Solar eclipses are only marginally more dazzling than Palladio's white Istrian stone facade at this abbey church. Begun in 1565 and completed in 1610, 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 panoramas – a great alternative to queuing at San Marco's campanile.