Join A Secret Italy

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR FREE EZINE 

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.




You'll Enjoy These...

  • Summer in Italy... All Year Round

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

  • 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.

  • A Virtual Journey through Venetian Life

    Real Venetian life is lived far from the tourist spots. Down the little canals and lanes is where you'll discover the real Venice.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • St Marks Basilica in Venice Italy - Truly Amazing

    St Marks Basilica is enchanting. Its Byzantine design seems more Istanbul than Venice, while inside the sense of heavenly light descending through the darkness below is...

  • Discover Venice in Summer

    Venice in Summer is a wonderful place to be. Colorful flower boxes add a splash of red while the gondolas ply their way up canals sparkling aquamarine in the summer sunshine.

  • 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...

  • 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..

  • Winter in Venice - A Magical Time

    They call it the secret season. A time when Venice returns to the mystical and magical city it has been for centuries. A time when there are more Venetians than tourists. This is winter in Venice.

  • 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...

  • Weather in Venice Italy

    The weather in Venice Italy - read our guide for everything you need to know about the Venice weather and some great advice on when to visit.

  • Visiting Venice Temptations

    Ever considered visiting Venice Italy? Here is the final temptation you need. Tell me you don't want to pack after seeing this!

  • 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.

  • Venice Treviso Airport & Getting to Venice

    Our guide to Venice Treviso Airport and all you need to know to find the cheapest flights to Venice.

  • Venice Tourist Attractions - The Island of San Giorgio Maggiore

    San Giorgio Maggiore is one of the loveliest Venice tourist attractions. Looking across from San Marco the island of San Giorgio is a splendid sight indeed.

  • 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.

  • The Veneto & Venice Itinerary

    Visiting Venice? Want to explore a little of the wonderful Veneto region in which Venice is located? Then our Veneto & Venice Itinerary is just what you need.

  • 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 Italy Vacation Rentals

    Venice vacation rentals, the best way to really live the city & feel like a local. I love going to the outdoor market, coming home laden with local produce & great wine to cook up a pasta dish.

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. Summer in Italy... All Year Round

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

    Read More

  2. Piemonte vs. Piedmont on Maps

    Occasionally I've seen maps of Italy which have everything in Italian except the Piemonte region will be shown as Piedmont. My understanding is that Piedmont

    Read More

  3. Make Italy Your Home

    Move to Italy

    Read More

  4. Moments in Italy

    Read More

  5. Cruise Ships in Venice

    Read More

New! Comments

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