SAN GIOVANNI E PAOLO
San Giovanni e Paolo is an important monumental area
in Venice, second only to that of S. Mark's.
San Giovanni e Paolo Square is one of the busiest in the city, because it lies in a
strategic position between the Fondamente Nove (and Murano) and the center
of Venice, between Barbaria delle Tole and the Cannaregio district. In
San Giovanni and Paolo Square there are some bars with tables outside with a
great view, among them the "Rosa Salva". In the nearby of the square are located
a few local taverns "osterie" where you can eat at affordable prices. There are three major
attractions in this area that the Venetians also called Zanipolo: the Church
of San Giovanni e Paolo, the Scuola di San Marco and the Colleoni Monument.
San Giovanni e Paolo church
This church was built alongside a convent of Dominicans
donated by the Doge Jacopo Tiepolo in 1234. It was built in the middle
of the 13th century and
the construction lasted for nearly 2 centuries until the year of the
consecration that took place in 1430. The architects
of this grand religious edifice were the Dominicans Nicola da Imola and Benvenuto
da Bologna. San Giovanni e Paolo church is built in Gothic style and it
was the real Venice "Pantheon", to the point that there are buried up to
25 doges. In ancient times there was also an obligation to celebrate inside
the funerary function of all the Doges.
The basilica's facade was not finished but you
can still watch the impressive portal built in the second half of the fifteenth
century and the turnout of some Doges including those of the same Doge Jacopo
Tiepolo and his son Lorenzo.
The interior of the church is majestic, the plant building was built on a
Latin cross with three naves and a cruise, supported by 5 massive columns on
The dimensions of the San Giovanni e Paolo church, (96 meters by 40), are
almost similar to that of the Frari, built simultaneously. The facade entrance wall
is almost completely occupied by the Monument
to Doge Mocenigo. The aisles have fine paintings, including
those of Giovanni Bellini, GB Piazzetta, Alvise and Bartolomeo Vivarini,
Jacopo Palma il Vecchio and il Giovane, Tintoretto, Titian, Paolo Veronese
to name just a few. There are many memorials in San Giovanni e Paolo church,
the most famous on the right aisle, is dedicated in honor of Marcantonio
Bragadin, and includes the bust of the greatest Venice's hero, along with
the urn containing his skin. Also
remarkable are the tombs of some noble families: Michiel, Loredan, Morosini,
Vendramin, Cavalli, Venier, Malipiero, Marcello, Soranzo, Contarini, Barbarigo
Dandolo. Inside of the church are buried also
Attilio and Emilio Bandiera and Domenico Moro, who were unlucky protagonists
of the Italian Risorgimento. Here are the times of Holy Mass in the Basilica of
San Giovanni e Paolo: festive 8.30, 10.30, 12.00 (no July-August) and
18.30 weekdays 8.30 and 18.30. The entrance to the Church of San Giovanni e Paolo
for tourists costs 2,50 euros, the admittance for residents is free.
Opening hours: daily 7.30-12.30 and 15.30-19.30 (telephone +39 041 5235913).
Scuola Grande di San Marco
It has a Renaissance facade located in Campo San Giovanni e Paolo and was built
on a sophisticated project of Pietro Lombardo and Mauro Codussi between 1487
and 1495. This was one of
the six Scuole Grandi in Venice. It existed since 1261 and was previously located in the
Church of Santa Croce. The interior is more
restrained even if inside is visible a great hall supported by columns.
Later you can enjoy the remarkable
cloisters. The school was established since the opening of Ospedale Civile in 1815,
that is currently the only hospital in Venice, after the closure of facilities such Giustinian,
the Fatebenefratelli Hospital or the Ospedale al Mare in Lido di Venezia.
Osterie in San Giovanni e Paolo
Osteria alla Staffa
Calle de l'Ospealeto 6398, Castello, a stone's throw from San Giovanni e Paolo.
Opening: 11,00am-3,00pm and 6,00pm-10,30pm. Specialties: liver alla veneziana,
bigoli in sauce. Phone: +39 041 5239160.
Osteria al Ponte
Calle Larga Giacinto Gallina 6378, Cannaregio.
6378 Calle Larga Giacinto Gallina, Cannaregio. Opposite of the
facade of San Giovanni e Paolo, just across the Ponte Cavallo. Open:
07,30-15,30 and 16,30-22,00, all week. Specialties: Cicchetti and
wines. Phone: +39 041 5286157.
Bartolomeo Colleoni (born in Solza, 1395 or 1400 - died in Malpaga, 2 November 1475)
was named Captain General of the Venetian Republic, and was probably the greatest
captain of the fifteenth century. He defended the domains of land in the Republic
of Venice with such a bravery that at his death, the Senate decided to dedicate to
his memory an equestrian monument (thanks to his bequest of one hundred
thousand gold ducats too).
The execution of the monument to Colleoni, in bronze, was then
entrusted to Andrea Verrocchio, who began carving in 1481 and was
opened in March 21, 1496. Colleoni wanted his statue was placed in Piazza
San Marco, but the Venetians, thanks to a subtle play on words, moved the location
of the statue in Campo San Giovanni e Paolo, exactly in front of the Scuola Grande di S. Marco.
Marco. The equestrian
monument to Colleoni is one of the masterpieces of the Renaissance and the most
beautiful work in bronze in the city.
How to get to San Giovanni e Paolo
In order to reach San Giovanni e Paolo from Piazzale Roma or the train station, take
vaporetto line 4.2 or 5.2 and get off at stop "Fondamente Nove" (journey time
approximately 23 minutes, fare 6,50 euro). From St. Mark's to get to San Giovanni
e Paolo take the way to Campo Santa Maria Formosa and then to Calle Lunga and
finally turn left and follow the directions. From Rialto to San Giovanni
e Paolo go through S. Bartolomeo, Ponte di S. Antonio, then Salizzada S. Lio,
Santa Maria Formosa, then as above.
From S. Zaccaria, by boat, take vaporetto line 4.1, 30-minute ride,
the pier "Fondamente Nove" is rather close to San Giovanni e Paolo. From airport Marco Polo to get to
San Giovanni e Paolo take the boats provided by the Blue Line Alilaguna (tickets
cost 15,00 euros) and get off at stop "Fondamente Nove". From the train station
or from Piazzale Roma to go to the Ospedale Civile (San Giovanni e Paolo) take
vaporetto line 5.2, and get off to the pier "Ospedale".
The big Hospital San Giovanni e Paolo, (phone +39 041 5294516), has
an excellent department of ophthalmology (phone +39 041
5294427), which is specialized in corneal transplantation, (Cornea Center,
ph. +39 041 5294591). For this reason it is frequented by patients from all over
Italy, waiting for operation or monitoring visits.
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