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Highlights of this tour

Church of San Zaccaria
Church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo
Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli

From Gothic to Renaissance

This tour is educational and relaxing at the same time; not too far from St. Mark's Square, yet far enough from its crowds. A walk in history and art with a specific attention on the Venetian 15th century.

The itinerary focuses on a most intensely creative phase in Venice's artistic experience. San Zaccaria, designed by Antonio Gambello and Mauro Coducci, is the most accomplished example of how Gothic and Renaissance forms can be harmonized, and enshrines one of the greatest paintings by Giovanni Bellini (1505).

In San Giovanni e Paolo, one of the most architecturally imposing squares in Venice, the huge late Gothic brick façade of the church creates a pictorial contrast with the elegant white façade of Scuola Grande San Marco.

Inside the Gothic church a profusion of Gothic and Renaissance marble monuments celebrate the heroes and the powerful, while a magnificent 500 year-old stained-glass window glorifies the Dominican Order.
Outside, the fierce bronze equestrian statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni, by Andrea del Verrocchio, imbibes the atmosphere with the strong, virile personality of the famous military leader.

Not too far away, the Church of Miracles, Santa Maria dei Miracoli, by Pietro, Tullio and Antonio Lombardo, stands along a quiet canal as a well-proportioned, if small, structure of precious marble and stone embroideries. The tour will end at the foot of the Rialto Bridge.

Giovanni  Bellini's "Sacra Conversazione" at  S. Zaccaria  
Bartolomeo Colleoni equestrian statue by Andrea del Verrocchio  
The magnificent stained-glass window at St. Giovanni e Paolo  
The jewel-like Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli

More about this tour

In the mid-1400s, Venice was one of the wealthiest and most populated cities in Europe, its prosperity due to international trade. Many important buildings, both churches and private and public palaces, were built during this period.

Gothic forms had been introduced by mendicant orders, but had been blended with the traditional Veneto-Byzantine and oriental motifs, both part of the city’s cultural heritage.

The original Venetian Gothic style remained deeply ingrained until the end of the 15th century, when even Venice began to introduce the new Renaissance forms, which had begun in Florence and had already spread to many other Italian regions.

The Early Renaissance in Venice coincided with a very shocking event: in 1453 Constantinople fell to the Ottoman empire. Many outstanding Greek personalities relocated to Venice renewing traditional interest for Greek and Byzantine culture. Early Renaissance architecture in Venice speaks a Neo Byzantine rather than Neo Roman language. Many new churches were built in the shape of a Greek Cross, and both palaces and churches were lavishly decorated with ancient polychrome marbles.

The transitional period between late Gothic and Early Renaissance in Venice is therefore of extreme interest, with many buildings displaying a quintessentially “Venetian”  preciousness of materials and a rich variety of tracery and colors.
Cost of this tour
Cost of this tour This tour lasts three hours and costs 280 euros up to six people (not per person), only private parties. For larger parties send us an email!
Fees per person:
Church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo 3 euros
Church of Miracoli 3 euros
How to book Dress code and advice
Dress code and advice No shorts, no sleeveless shirts. Knee high skirts and short sleeves are ok!

Churches are not accessible to visits on Sunday mornings (religious services)