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Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Campo S.S. Giovanni e Paolo, 6363, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy

Opening Hours

12:00 PM - 6:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

EUR 4

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expert
Ambra
Local tour guide
"Make sure to visit the Santi Giovanni e Paolo around late afternoon when the tour groups have dispersed; you'll enjoy the serene atmosphere and the play of the sunset light through the stained glass windows. Also, don't miss the chance to step into the adjacent Scuola Grande di San Marco – it's often overlooked by tourists, but the façade is a masterpiece of Venetian Renaissance architecture."

What is Santi Giovanni e Paolo

Santi Giovanni e Paolo, known affectionately to locals as San Zanipolo, stands as one of Venice's largest churches and a principal example of Italian Gothic architecture. Its grand stature and the rosiness of its brickwork are a feast for the eyes amidst the winding canals and narrow footpaths of Venice. Not just a place of worship, Santi Giovanni e Paolo serves as the final resting place for a number of Venice's doges, earning it the nickname 'The Pantheon of Venice.'

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Few structures in this floating city capture the grandeur of Venice's golden age as this basilica does, with its formidable façade overseeing the Campo San Giovanni e Paolo, one of the city's most noteworthy public squares. Inside, the church reveals an art collection that chronicles Venetian history and religion through a series of magnificent paintings, sculptures, and funerary monuments.

History of Santi Giovanni e Paolo

The erection of Santi Giovanni e Paolo started in the latter part of the 13th century and was finally consecrated in the early 15th century. It is said to have been built on the site of a former, smaller church dedicated to San Daniele. The basilica's history is tightly woven into the fabric of Venetian society, encompassing periods of wealth, conflict, and artistic flourishing.

Over the centuries, it became a symbolic depository of Venice's illustrious history – Doges, admirals, and other noblemen desired to be memorialized within its sacred walls. As you wander through, the elaborate tombs illustrate a sense of competition among the honored dead for the most elaborate and ornate final resting places. It's an unintentional gallery of the republic's once most powerful figures.

The impact of the Renaissance period is palpable within Santi Giovanni e Paolo, evident in the artwork and architectural modifications that reflect the period's aesthetic shifts. Yet, the basilica's Gothic roots remain paramount, visible in its arches, the characteristic patterned brickwork, and the glorious rose window that marks its façade.

Why is Santi Giovanni e Paolo Important?

Santi Giovanni e Paolo is important, not just as a monumental piece of religious architecture, but as a living museum of Venetian culture. Each chapel, painting, and sculpture narrates a unique part of the city's soul, showcasing the opulence and piety that defined the Republic of Venice at its peak.

The church also holds historical significance due to the decision, taken in the 15th century, to make it the designated burial place for Venetian doges. This turned Santi Giovanni e Paolo into a symbol of Venetian power and pride, and a sacred site that reflects the state's intertwined religious and political identity. Its importance is also captured in the many artworks by prominent artists that grace its interiors, including those by Veronese, Bellini, and Titian—a testament to its cultural and artistic influence.

Community life still revolves around the church to this day, with local events, processions, and celebrations often occurring within its vicinity. Its significance extends beyond its walls, fostering a sense of continuity and tradition within Venetian society. As Venetians, we hold San Zanipolo close to our hearts, knowing that within its sheltering shadow, the city's past leaders are resting, and the tales of yesteryears are preserved.

Things to Do & See at Santi Giovanni e Paolo

Exploring Santi Giovanni e Paolo provides a unique opportunity to immerse in Venice's storied past. You can marvel at the imposing funeral monuments, such as the elaborate Renaissance tomb of Doge Andrea Vendramin. Or perhaps, you will find yourself enthralled by the masterpiece of Giovanni Bellini, 'Madonna with Child and Saints,' which continues to captivate with its vivid colors and emotive expressions.

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Beyond the prominent artworks, consider seeking out the quieter corners of the basilica—the smaller chapels with their intimate artworks and the larger-than-life stories they encapsulate about the figures immortalized within. And do not miss the opportunity to climb up to the rooftop for a breathtaking view of Venice – it's a vantage point few visitors know about, but which reveals the intricate tapestry of rooftops, bell towers, and canals that make up the city.

For those interested in a true Venetian experience, time your visit to coincide with a local festival or a traditional mass. This is when you'll see Santi Giovanni e Paolo come alive with local color and pageantry. It's these moments when the intricate beauty of the church blends seamlessly with the vibrancy of Venetian culture, leaving an indelible mark on the memory of all who experience it.

Frequently asked questions

What is the significance of the Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Venice?

The Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, known in Venice as San Zanipolo, is one of the city's largest churches and has been the burial site for Venetian doges. It is a notable example of Italian Gothic architecture and holds significant artistic works.

Can you visit the Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo and what are the opening hours?

Yes, visitors can tour the Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo. Opening hours typically vary by season, so it is recommended to check the official website or contact the basilica directly for the most accurate information before planning a visit.

What artistic works can be found in the Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo?

The Basilica contains numerous works of art including paintings, sculptures, and monuments, most notably from Renaissance artists. It houses masterpieces by notable artists such as Bellini, Veronese, and Vivarini.

Is there an entrance fee to visit the Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo?

There may be an entrance fee to visit the Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo. It's best to check the official website or contact the basilica to get up-to-date information on admission costs.

Are there guided tours available for the Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo?

Guided tours are often available for the Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, providing deeper insights into its history and art. Visitors should inquire directly with the basilica or check online for available tour options and schedules.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Campo S.S. Giovanni e Paolo, 6363, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy

Opening Hours

12:00 PM - 6:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

EUR 4

Find it on google maps