San Giacomo da l'Orio is a very plain looking church - at least on the outside. No glitz nor glamour here but the church has an austere beauty and contains some very important artworks.
It is actually a very significant church – both from an architectural and artistic point of view - but for some reason it is not yet on the tourist route.
The Piazza or Campo, home to the church, is lovely too - filled with real Venetians enjoying the latest gossip, kids playing and old folks discussing better days.
The video below is a nice little cameo of life in San Giacomo...
Built originally in the 9th century the facade was reworked in the 13th century however it is once you go inside that things become interesting.
First thing you notice when you go inside is the very unusual ceiling, particularly once you know the story behind it. It was built of wood from the keel of a ship.
The most famous aspects of the church are the paintings by Jacopo Palma il Giovane and a number of other artists of the Venetian renaissance. In fact this church has more important works from this period than nearly any other church in Venice or the Veneto.
Interesting too is the famous green marble column – which was about the only thing the British critic Ruskin liked. Just goes to show how little Ruskin knew about good art!
Other famous works within the church are those by Lorenzo Lotto, Tizianello and Andrea Schiavone. Perhaps most famous of all are the two chapel canvases by the artist Veronese - the two paintings are the Allegoria della Fede and I Dottori della Fede
Take the Waterbus Line number 1 and get off at the Riva di Biasio
stop. From here the church is a short walk away. If you have no idea
where anything is in Venice have a look at
our map page.
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