Cannaregio     Castello     Dorsoduro     San Marco     San Polo     Santa Croce     Giudecca   
 The Islands     The List     The Lost Churches     The Scuole
The Veneto: Padua and Verona              
The Po Valley: Bologna and Ferrara







I created this site in 2007 because there wasn't a site like it, or indeed a comprehensive book of Venice's churches available in English. It's all my own work, including the photos, except where noted.

The churches are divided up by sestiere - the six 'boroughs' of Venice established by Doge Vitale Michiel in 1171. I've added an extra page for Giudecca, which is not a sestiere - it's actually part of Dorsoduro - but is a separate enough entity to deserve its own page, I think. There are also pages devoted to the lagoon islands and to demolished churches, and now to the churches of Padua and Verona, both Veneto cities which fell under Venetian rule at crucial times, and Bologna and Ferrara in Emilia-Romagna, which never did.

I suppose I should point out that, contradictory as it may seem to some, this is a religion-free site. My interest is artistic, historical, and unpious. I am respectful of others' beliefs, usually, and expect them to be respectful of my personal convictions too.

Each church's history is told, followed by a description of its architecture, artistic highlights, unique features, the art it has lost and any interesting stories. The degree to which each topic is covered will vary, depending on the information available and what makes each church interesting and worth visiting, as will the amount of personal observation and opinion in each piece. The latter depends on my having visited the church, and how recently, and it's this aspect that will keep the site improving for a good long while, I think. My intention is to tell you what makes each church special, rather than to list all of its features and contents.  As I progress I'm finding that I'm becoming more interested in digging out the sparse facts about forgotten churches rather than writing about the churches that are well-enough covered elsewhere. Also I'm finding that on later visits experience and education is making me notice different things. Each entry also tells you the nearest vaporetto stop and a link to it's position on a special Google map. And then there's the opening times - I'll endeavour to keep these times as accurate as possible, but it's always a good idea to check before travelling, and to be prepared for disappointment.

There's also an alphabetical list of all the churches and a page revealing my sources

To search just within this site using Google, enter your search terms
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The Friends of Fictional Cities and the Churches of Venice & Florence

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June 2024
Just back from Bologna and Ferrara with visits, photos, books and leaflets to be mined for material to add to those city's pages. Should keep me busy for a good few weeks.

6th April 2024

I was prepared for some late temptation amongst the list of satellite Biennale venues, but this year there seem to be absolutely no unusual church openings, and so this continues to look like a year when I won't visit Venice. Bologna and Ferrara are on my plate for May, though, and so those pages will get freshened up next month.

22nd February 2024

A couple of weeks ago a correspondent called Everett wrote to point out that there’s a church I've missed, accessible through the rectory of San Marco, called San Teodoro; and that the island church of San Severo, which I have listed, cannot be found on maps or in books. When checking I noticed that the latter's sole claim to history on my site, a work of lost art, seems oddly identical to a painting once in the church of San Severo in Castello. What can I say but ‘whoops’? Both errors will soon be corrected, and I also have to add info from reports of a dig in Piazza San Marco which has discovered traces of the lost church of San Geminiano.

1st January 2024
No trips in the second half of 2023 to add to these pages, jut a few new books mined, and information gleaned. But surely 2024 will see a visit or two to provide fresh content. Surely!
Happy New Year.

th July 2023
A book called Venice with Turner by Ian Warrell, bought reduced in the Tate Britain bookshop, has proven fruitful. As it stresses topography it generated many additions to The church in art info, most usefully in providing an image of the façade of the Pieta, still unfinished in 1840. A monograph on Piazzetta by George Knox is proving fruitful too, for information on 17th- and 18th- century artists - not my favourite period, but still...

10th April 2023
I'm back from my week in Verona and Venice with tons of new knowledge, photos, books and guide books. Those city's pages will be improving daily.

9th February 2023
The first opening and scaffolding bulletin from Venice this year comes courtesy of site-fan Tawny Sherrill. Her best news is that the scaffolding is off of San Salvador and San Trovaso. Even better news is that I've just booked a trip to Verona and Venice in late-March. Carpaccio exhibition here I come.

21st December 2022
As we reach year's end my greetings for the season and my favourite reads and listens of 2022 are HERE and there is lots to look forward to and much cake needing eating. For this site the big thing in 2022 was the addition of the Ferrara pages, begun during the Covid lockdowns. In addition to the usual organic process of updates to the main Venice pages this year a visit in May provided a photo-upgrade for some churches. For 2023 I'm not planning a new page, but Verona needs a revisit -
I've yet to explore the churches there which had just been gathered touristically into a Chorus-type organisation called Verona Minor Hierusalem, and there's the big Carpaccio show in Venice - a good combination methinks.

27th October 2022
A run through the new catalogue for the big Carpaccio exhibition upcoming at the NGA in Washington (November 20th 2022 – February 12th 2023) and at the Palazzo Ducale in Venice (March 18th–June 18th, 2023) has benefited the Scuole page here particularly. It's also encouraged some adding and sprucing up of some more obscure scuole, like the Calegheri, the Varoteri and, coming soon, Santissimo Crocifisso, if I can just find the photo I know I took of it one year.

19th May 2022
Just back from my trip to Ferrara and Venice, and boy was it hot - the upper 20s°C. But lots of photos were taken, churches visited, and gelati and pastries scoffed in both cities. I'm looking at plenty of work to get my Ferrara page presentable and, probably first, my good old Venice pages freshened up. So expect scaffolding updates, some revised descriptions and generally better photographs.

8th March 2022
Encouraged by the news that from the 1st of March entry to Italy no longer requires a pre-trip Covid test, only proof of vaccination and passenger locator form, I've just booked Ferrara and Venice in mid-May!

1st January 2022
Trepidation and carefulness are all well and good, but sometimes a chap just has to take a chance, and book a week in Florence in February. It's a guided tour, which I don't really need, but it's a favourite art historian and a couple of old tour friends are on it. It also means someone else is taking care of the tests and forms. But I'll be crossing my own fingers. For more trips in the year ahead also. March is full of postponed tours and a homecoming niece, but April and May are pretty empty and crying out for returns to Venice, Ferrara, Verona ... the list is long.

23rd October 2021
With only a couple of cold months left in 2021 I am becoming resigned to staying in my own country until next year. Travel to Europe  has become possible, but what with the talk of passenger locator forms, green passes, and the PCR/antigen tests business, not to mention the need to wear a mask, I am think that waiting for the Spring might make for a pleasanter experience. The first of my guided art trips postponed to 2022 is Toulouse in March - neatly exactly two years after my last (covid-cursed) trip abroad, to the Van Eyck exhibition in Ghent. Two years! Still I've kept busy and my churches pages have all been refreshed with book reading and updated with reports from more intrepid travellers, as well as sundry sprucings up and tidyings. Some memorable travel around my own country too. Onward!


Copyright © Jeff Cotton 2007-2024





Cannaregio :: Castello :: Dorsoduro :: Giudecca :: San Marco :: San Polo :: Santa Croce :: The Islands :: The Lost

Padua :: Verona:: Bologna :: Ferrara