San Giovanni Crisostomo is one of the smaller Venice churches. Yet, it is full of history and valuable art. The name of the church comes from St. Chrysostom, one of the four Greek Church Fathers.
Getting to the church
San Giovanni Crisostomo is one of the churches located in the Cannaregio neighborhood. It stands on a crowded square between the famous Rialto and Campo Santi Apostoli. You can walk here from San Marco (home to St Mark's Basilica) or San Polo by crossing the Rialto Bridge. Like in the case of many Venice churches, you can arrive here by vaporetto. The closest stop is Rialto, less than 5 minutes from the church. Remember that you can always use our interactive Venice map.
History & architecture
The current church, as seen today, stands on the site of an original building. It emerged in 1080, but the fire of 1475 destroyed it. The construction of the new church took place in 1479-1504 and was in the hands of Mauro Coducci. He also designed the well-known San Zaccaria, easily found on our Venice map. Sadly, Coducci died shortly before finishing the church, so his son, Domenico, took the matter into his hands. San Giovanni Crisostomo has a Greek-cross plan. Its bell tower dates to the late 16th century, rebuilt since the original campanile didn't survive the fire.
Inside the church
Inside San Giovanni Crisostomo, you'll find original furnishings, paintings, and relics of Saint Onuphrius. The most famous work is the painting of St. John Chrysostomos and the Six Saints by Sebastiano del Piombo. The Coronation of the Virgin, found right next to it, is the work of Tullio Lombardo. Look inside the chapel, and you'll find the painting by Giovanni Bellini, which was his last work in life. And if you look at the ceiling, there is a stunning fresco God the Father, by Giuseppe Diamantini. There is also a miraculous statue of Madonna delle Grazie. During the bombing in 1918, it fell but stayed whole, even though the facade of the church suffered immensely.
Things to do in the area
If you take a closer look at the Venice map, you'll see Cannaregio has a lot to offer. It is the neighborhood with some of the most significant Venice churches. Close to San Giovanni Crisostomo are three other popular sites. They are Santa Maria dei Miracoli, Santa Maria Formosa, and Santi Giovanni e Paolo. And if you prefer to dive into Venetian culture, explore Ca' d'Oro or the Malibran Theater. Those interested in Marco Polo's life should check out the two houses behind San Giovanni Crisostomo. Their names are Corte Prima and Corte Seconda del Milion, and they suggest the presence of the explorer's family in the neighborhood.