San Giorgio Maggiore was one of the Venice tourist attractions that struck me the most on my very first visit to Venice nearly twenty years ago.
Looking across from
St Marks Square
the island of San Giorgio is a splendid sight indeed and yet relatively
few tourists ever seem to make the trip over to the island. I have never
understood why and it is a mistake not to go across if you have the
Built in the 16th century, San Giorgio Maggiore was designed by perhaps the greatest architect the Veneto has ever produced – Palladio. Finished only after his death; it was completed in accordance with his original design. Over the centuries it has inspired many of the greatest artists of the world. including Monet and many others - have a look at some of Monet's paintings of San Giorgio Maggiore here.
An impression of airy brightness pervades both the interior and exterior and the facade in splendid white is startling. On entering the impression of luminosity is even more profound.
The paintings include three important works by Tintoretto. These are the Last Supper and The Fall of Manna both of which are located behind the altar. To the right of the choir –in the Chapel of the Dead - you will find Tintoretto’s other work -Deposition. Of significance too is Sebastiano Ricci’s Madonna in throne with Saints.
Do take a trip up in the elevator to the top of the bell tower. The panorama across Venice from the top is spectacular - perhaps the best view from up high in all of Venice.
It is not difficult to get across to the island of San Giorgio. Take the water bus (Vaporetto) number 2 from Riva degli Schiavoni and get off at the San Giorgio Maggiore stop. The photo above was taken near the "bus stop" and, as you can see, you won't ever find a better spot to wait for a bus.
San Giorgio Maggiore should certainly be on your list of not to be missed Venice tourist attractions.
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