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Chiesa di San Simeon Piccolo

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Santa Croce, 698, 30135 Venezia VE, Italy

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Ambra
Local tour guide
"Make sure to visit San Simeone Piccolo during the late afternoon when the sun casts a golden hue on its impressive façade — it's a photographer's delight. Also, keen observers will notice the pyramid-shaped mausoleum adjacent to the church; it's an unusual sight in Venice that is often overlooked by casual visitors."

What is San Simeone Piccolo?

San Simeone Piccolo, known in full as Chiesa di San Simeone Piccolo, is a church of great charm that stands proudly on the banks of the Grand Canal in Venice, near the Santa Lucia Railway Station. Its facade, crowned by an impressive green copper dome, is one of the first sights to greet visitors upon their arrival in the city of canals. This church, less frequented than many of Venice's bigger-name attractions, offers a tranquil retreat filled with art and history, and is a testament to Venice's deep-rooted Christian heritage.

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History of San Simeone Piccolo

The origins of San Simeone Piccolo go back to the early days of Venice, with the first church on this site believed to have been consecrated as early as the 9th century. However, the current structure, which reflects the Neoclassical style, was built between 1718 and 1738. It was one of the last churches to be constructed before the fall of the Venetian Republic. Its designer, Giovanni Antonio Scalfarotto, drew his inspiration boldly from the Pantheon in Rome, signaling a departure from the dominant Byzantine and Gothic architectural styles so prevalent in Venice at the time.

Not many know this, but beneath the church rests an extensive crypt, which houses numerous graves including that of the church’s architect himself. This crypt, along with the artwork within the church, shares the stories of generations of Venetians, their faith, and their culture.

Why is San Simeone Piccolo Important?

San Simeone Piccolo is important not only for its architecture, which makes it stand out among the Venetian skyline, but also for its cultural and historical significance. The church's dedicatory saint, St. Simon, is quite unique as he is not as commonly venerated as some other saints in Venice. This gives the church a distinctive identity among the city's vast array of religious buildings.

Beyond its spiritual relevance, San Simeone Piccolo is a cultural marker of the transitions in architectural trends that occurred as Venice evolved. As you might sense while exploring the city, the Neoclassical elements of this church distinguish it from the Gothic and Byzantine edifices, hence chronicling a specific period in Venetian architectural history.

Moreover, it’s said to be one of the few churches in the city that celebrates the Traditional Latin Mass, maintaining continuity with ancient liturgical practice—a point of interest for those fascinated by religious traditions.

Things to Do & See at San Simeone Piccolo

When you cross the threshold of San Simeone Piccolo, you're embracing the opportunity to step away from the crowded pathways and tourist hubs of Venice. Inside, you can admire the artwork, including pieces by notable artists of the era. The church’s altar, with its detailed artwork and design, offers a quiet space for reflection, whether you are a person of faith or simply appreciate the rich tapestry of Venice's art history.

The impressive dome, viewed from within, reveals a stunning fresco that many visitors overlook amid the rush to more famous Venetian attractions. And, if your timing is right, participating in a mass here is nothing short of stepping back in time, with the liturgy performed in traditional Latin—a language that effortlessly carries the weight and beauty of centuries.

Take your time to visit the crypt, a less-visited treasure beneath the church; it's a profound encounter with Venice’s past. Remember, since San Simeone Piccolo isn't as well-known as say, Basilica di San Marco, you can take advantage of a more personalized and contemplative experience. Have you ever wondered what secrets and stories are held within the walls of such a historic structure? Here, you have the chance to discover them.

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Frequently asked questions

What is the San Simeone Piccolo?

San Simeone Piccolo is a historic church located in Venice, Italy, known for its distinctive, large green copper dome and classical architecture.

Where is San Simeone Piccolo situated in Venice?

San Simeone Piccolo is situated on the western end of the Grand Canal in Venice, directly opposite the Santa Lucia railway station.

Can visitors tour the interior of San Simeone Piccolo?

Yes, visitors can tour the interior of San Simeone Piccolo, although opening hours may vary, so it is advisable to check in advance.

What is unique about San Simeone Piccolo's architecture?

San Simeone Piccolo is unique for its neoclassical style, particularly its grand dome which is modeled after the Pantheon in Rome, making it stand out amongst Venice's predominantly Gothic and Byzantine architecture.

Are there any notable artworks inside San Simeone Piccolo?

Yes, the interior of San Simeone Piccolo houses several notable artworks, including paintings by notable Venetian artists of the 18th century.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Santa Croce, 698, 30135 Venezia VE, Italy

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps