San Giacomo da l'Orio may be a rather plain-looking church, at least on the outside. There is neither glitz nor glamour here, but the church has an austere beauty and contains some very important artwork.
It may not have made our list of the most beautiful churches and cathedrals in Italy, but it is still gorgeous in its simplicity and 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 glimpse of life in San Giacomo.
The first thing you notice when you step in the door is the very unusual ceiling, particularly once you know the story behind it. It was built of wood from the keel of a ship.
Yet it is not just the impressive ceiling that beckons your attention; the church houses a treasure trove of artistic wonders, drawing connoisseurs and admirers of Venetian Renaissance art from far and wide. Among the most renowned are the exquisite 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. It 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 Allegoria della Fede and I Dottori della Fede.
A visit to San Giacomo da l'Orio offers a glimpse into a bygone era, where art and architecture intertwine harmoniously to create a place of divine inspiration. It serves as a living testament to the boundless ingenuity and creativity of humanity, a beacon of artistic brilliance amidst the captivating beauty of Venice.
Make sure you include a visit to this splendid church, one of the most beautiful in Venice, Italy, as well as a few of the other little-known sights of Venice we feature here, on your next visit to Venice.
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.