San Polo Church, or Chiesa di San Polo, as Italians call it, is one of the most exciting churches in Venice. Located in Campo San Polo, one of Venice's largest and oldest squares, it's hard to miss. The church gives the name to the San Polo sestiere, one of the smallest but busiest parts of the city.
History and architecture
San Polo is a true landmark on the Venice map, full of history and incredible art. The current Catholic church dates back to the 15th century. Yet, the original was found in 837 by two Venetian doges. In 1804 a major restoration by Davide Rossi took place. The church now represented a neoclassical style with Gothic elements.
San Polo has a few unique design elements, like a beautiful south doorway by the Bon workshop or the ship's keel-styled roof. The church is dedicated to the apostle Paul, so there's a statue of him on the exterior.
The Campanile of San Polo
While visiting San Polo, you'll also see the Campanile, a 26-meter bell tower. Standing a few meters apart from San Polo, it dates back to 1362. The tower's doorway has two carved lions, representing significant events in Venice's history.
World-famous artwork inside
The church's interior is dark and mysterious and full of fascinating art. Take a stroll through the church and enjoy renowned art by the most notable Italian painters.
The most famous is the Last Supper by Jacopo Tintoretto. The other noteworthy piece is the Marriage of the Virgin by Paolo Veronese. There are also 14 Stations of the Cross by Giandomenico Tiepolo and his Glory of Angels and Resurrection on the ceiling.
Giandomenico's father, Giambattista Tiepolo, also left his imprint on the church. Inside you'll see his famous Virgin appearing to San Giovanni Nepomuk.
The art stroll doesn't end here. Enjoy the canvases by Paolo Piazza and Palma il Giovane and a frescoed dome by Gioacchino Pozzoli. Don't forget to check out two bronze statues by Alessandro Vittoria.
Mon-Fri: 10:30 - 16:30 Sat: 10:30 - 18:30 Sun: 11:00 - 12:30