Join A Secret Italy

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR FREE ezine & Get YOUR FREE PDF VINTAGE ITALIAN RECIPE BOOK. VALUED AT $11.95.

Venice Churches - Santa Maria Gloriosa

Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari was the first of two churches built by the Franciscan friars in Venice. Very simple, austere yet one of the most delightful of the Venice churches, this should be added to your must see list while in Venice Italy. The church, dating back to the 13th century, is in the San Polo district of Venice and facing onto Campo dei Frari.

Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

Brief History of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

I mentioned that the church dates back to the 13th century but this is not entirely true. The original church built by the Franciscan Friars in the 13th century was actually rebuilt in the 14th century and this is the church we see now.

Exterior

Outside the church does not appear particularly striking and is in fact rather austere which was in keeping with the Franciscan principles.

You won’t find any ostentation here but nonetheless there is a certain beauty and something special about this church.

Of all the Venice churches this is the least photogenic. When you see it you will understand that it looks far lovelier than it appears in photos - particularly photos taken by me!

The bell tower is important too in that it is the second highest in Venice – only that of San Marco is higher.

Perhaps it is just my upbringing and having attended a Franciscan church for most of my childhood that makes it seem special to me but I doubt it. Most of my friends and family have also found this to be a strangely moving place.

Interior

On entering the church the first impression is breathtaking. Twelve pillars, representing the apostles, divides the nave from the two aisles. The interior of the church contains some great artistic treasures ranging from the 12th to the 18th centuries.

Some of the highlights include:

• Titian’s work, The Assumption, which dominates the altar has to be the highlight. Overpowering and huge it is certainly impressive.

• Perhaps even more beautiful is Titian's other work, La Pala Pesaro, commemorating the victory of the Venetian fleet over the Turks.

• The Gothic wooden choir stalls which are still to be found in very few Venice churches.

• The tombs – particularly that of Antonio Canova which is said to only contain his heart.

• Donatello’s sculpture of John the Baptist dating from 1438.

Need a place to stay in Venice? I'd recommend these hotels.

Otherwise try the hotel search below...

Looking for another church in Venice? I'm sure you'll find it with our Venice Italy Search Engine.


  1. Home
  2. A Secret Venice
  3. Venice Churches



You'll Enjoy These...

  • The Italy! Mamma Mia! Blog

    The ItalyMammaMia Blog shares with you news, beautiful Italian places, recipes and travel advice. Then we've great videos and essential information for planning your next trip to Italy.

  • Summer in Italy... and Christmas too?

    Give the gift of love straight from Italy - the land of amore. Have you experienced a summer or Christmas in Italy? We've a way to bring that joy and happiness home with you...

  • Discovering the Best of Venice

    The best of Venice - 6 experiences you simply must have if you are visiting Venice. Here is the list...

  • Venice in July

    Great advice on how to avoid the crowds if you are visiting Venice in July and some wonderful ideas on things to do.

  • The Colorful World of Burano

    Discover a world of color. A place where every cottage is a different hue and where each and every color mixes and dances in the reflection off the canals. This is Burano!

  • St Marks Square - The Heart of Must See Venice Italy

    St Marks Square is the most beautiful piazza in the entire world - any Venetian will tell you so. Sparkling with light and vibrant with color. Join me, Maria, in discovering my Venice...

  • Venice Italy - The 6 Things you HAVE to See

    There's so much to see in Venice Italy that you can become overwhelmed. Before you despair, here is the list of the 6 sights you absolutely must see and everything you need to know about them.

  • Venice Tourism - Getting Away From the Crowds

    Venice is not only the Bridge of Sighs and St Marks Square. There is a whole lot more to this great city. Join me, Maria, exploring the Venetian wonders few ever discover.

  • Visiting Burano - Venice Colored Bright

    When the crowds of Venice start getting on your nerves and your mood turns grey that's when you need to color your life bright... with a little Burano.

  • The Rialto Bridge in Venice Italy

    The Rialto Bridge is the most beautiful bridge in Venice and perhaps the world. Here's everything you need to know about the bridge and plenty more on Venice too..

  • Why Visit Venice and the Veneto

    Why visit Venice and the Veneto? This is the Italy of the imagination...except it's real. This is the Italy you've seen in the movies....but you're the star. Organize your trip in 12 photos...

  • The Venice Italy Beach Guide

    Come summer I can only take so much history before I need a beach. That's what the Venice Italy Beach Guide is all about. Discovering the best beaches near Venice.

  • Inside Castello in Venice Italy

    Castello in Venice is a get away from the theme park feel of St. Marks Square. In some ways this is small town Italy, old ladies gossiping in the squares and kids playing in the lanes.

  • The Best Tours of Venice Italy

    The best tours of Venice Italy, selected by an insider. Walking tours, gondola trips, St. Mark’s Basilica and even a creepy ghost tour. We have it all!

  • Discoveries While Lost in Venice

    Getting lost in Venice is the best way to discover the amazing secrets and soul of this city. These amazing photos were all captured down the secret alleys and forgotten canals...

  • Gorgeous Pictures of Venice Italy and Verona

    Pictures of Venice Italy features some magnificent photos of Venice, capturing the timeless beauty of the greatest city on earth.

  • The Easter in Venice Guide

    Easter in Venice is wonderful, there's a special feeling in the air and Easter is still celebrated in the traditional way. Be a part of it - click for more.

  • Shopping in Venice - The Guide

    Shopping in Venice is wonderful but you can get lost in a maze of souvenir shops. You'll avoid that if you know where to go. Discover the best places to shop - from markets to designer stores.

  • Christmas in Italy? Everything You Need is Here!

    Planning a Christmas in Italy? I have everything you need - advice on Italian Christmas traditions, insider tips, weather, great value accommodation picks and a guide to the best restaurants.

  • 6 Places to See near Venice

    These 6 places to see near Venice are awesome. If you're visiting Venice don't miss out on seeing them.

Please Book with Us...

Maria here, if you enjoy my site and Facebook page I'd love your support.

Simply book your next trip anywhere (not only to Italy) with the search box below or with any of the hotel links on the website.

I promise you'll get the best deal on accommodation available and the income we receive from HotelsCombined helps us to:

  • Stay independent and to keep bringing you the best of Italy.
  • Never have to accept money from hotels directly; that way we can share only those we genuinely love.

Recent Articles

  1. DO NOT TRAVEL UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL!

    I had to laugh at the latest New Zealand travel campaign asking tourists NOT TO TRAVEL UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL. Rather asking them to focus on the experience, on enjoying the moment. Not on posi…

    Read More

  2. Summer in Italy... and Christmas too?

    Give the gift of love straight from Italy - the land of amore. Have you experienced a summer or Christmas in Italy? We've a way to bring that joy and happiness home with you...

    Read More

  3. Dolomites Holidays - The Guide to this Region of Italy

    Dolomites Holidays features some of the most beautiful parts of the Dolomites. From great places to stay to special places to visit...

    Read More

  4. Italy Is NOT all Chaos, Tourists and Noise. There IS another Italy.

    Looking to escape the tourist madness of cities like Venice and Rome? Longing to spend time in a quieter Italy? We have EXACTLY what you need!

    Read More

  5. Welcome to Burano

    Read More

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.