A Less Travelled Venice

Venice Walks 

Venice is raising the curtain now. It is not yet as busy as it used to be, but turists are back already. Many people wish that things be back to normal, yet whiteout the un-manageable crowds of Pre-COVID era (not sure what that means).

For my part, I can say that there are itineraries that are much less explored, and yet some have wonderful treasures to be seen. 

One of these is Sestiere Cannareggio. A walk in this area has many interesting sites to see along the way and  to make a glorious end at Campo dei Gesuiti for a visit to a magnificent church. 

From the Train Station as a starting point walking towards Campo San Geremia, crossing Ponte delle Guglie, entering the Ghetto which is always a nice spot to visit. 

Another short stop to admire Tintoretto’s House and the beautiful facade of the Church of Madonna dell ‘Orto

Eventually if one like a beautiful hotel right off the beaten path, the Hotel Heureka is just the one.  A beautiful boutique hotel with a lovely garden in the back. 

This area is on the Eastern side-end, near Fondamenta Nove Vaporetto stop. From here it is possible to admire Murano Island in the distance and St. Michele Cemetery. 

Crossing Ponte Chiodo-an old Venetian curiosity, since this particular bridge is without side protections (parapets). It is one of the oldest bridges, since for safety reasons since the 19th Century all bridge must have sides.

This one and the one in Torcello (Ponte del Diavolo), are the only two remaining bridges of this kind. Ponte Chiodo is private, it leads to a private property. You can cross it just for fun.

Along the way there is Palazzo Pesaro, and then our destination, Campo dei Gesuiti, with the imposing white facade of the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta dei Gesuiti

Oratorio dei Crociferi

The first stop is to see the Oratory of Crociferi, a real hidden gem.

The foundation of the Ospizio dei Crociferi was originally established to give shelter to the sick and the pilgrims who were making their way to-or-from the Holy Land in the times of Crusades.

Inside the Oratory (a really small space) there are stunning paintings by Palma the Younger. It is recommended the have tickets beforehand and a guide if possible. Although small it is rather overwhelming. 

Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta dei Gesuiti 

The entrance fee is just 1€ to be paid at the door. 

I do not think I have words to describe the magnificence of this church. At first it is difficult to make the choice to admire the green and white marbles of the walls, or the golden gilded ceiling, or the incredibly decorated altar. Or the frescoes…

The story of this church is long and starts from about 1100.

The ceiling is adorned withe frescoes by Dorigny. On the first Chapel there is a fresco by Titian; the Martyrdom of St. Lawrence (1588). It is so realistic that it is even hard to take.

I was most impressed by the pulpit which has a marble “curtain” drawn to the sides. The green floral motives–the same in all the walls–is obtained by engraving the designs on the marble and the filling with green stone.

The High Altar is a true masterpiece, with a tabernacle in Lapis lazuli. Such a work must have cost a fortune!

This is just a summary of what to see inside this magnificent church, I hope the enclosed photos help a little. I believe that visiting with a guide is perhaps a good idea.

Bar Combo

If you need a refreshment after all of the above I strongly suggest the adjacent Bar Combo, where you can have breakfast, brunch, lunch, aperitivo, dinner, street food, aka whatever, whenever, wherever. Or just relax in the sitting area of the cloister. An oasis of peace and tranquillity.

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I lived the most part of my life in Washington DC, now in Italy getting to know again my country. Plenty of surprises, for good and bad, and lots of nostalgia for DC.

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