The Chiesa di Sant'Alvise is located in Cannaregio sestieri in Venice which is one of the quitest area of Venice.
St Ludwig of Toulouse and the church
The parish church of Chiesa di Sant'Alvise is dedicated to St Ludwig of Toulouse, a Franciscan friar, bishop of Toulouse and former prince of the Angevin dynasty. He was proclaimed a saint in 1317. In Venice, the young Ludovic, or also known as Louis, was much loved for his renunciation of noble titles and wealth. It seems that the church was commissioned by the noblewoman Antonia Venier after the Saint appeared to her in a dream in 1383.
In 1383, therefore, Antonia Venier decided to have the church built. The church of Chiesa di Sant'Alvise was finished in 1388. The adjoining monastery was built by Augustinian nuns around 1411. The present church, however, is the result of a modernisation in the 17th century.
The church from the outside
The exterior of the parish church is simple and calm, and the basilica-like layout is immediately apparent. The façade is made of brick, as is the rest of the church. Worthy of attention is the Greek marble statue of the saint, presumably by Bartolomeo Bon. The entrance portal is in Istrian stone. From the Campo di Sant'Alvise one is impressed by the Gothic-style bell tower.
The beauty of the interior
The single-nave interior is striking for its frescoed ceiling created by Piero Antonio Torri and Pietro Ricchi in 1674. The fresco was later restored in 1991. The walls are adorned with statues, marble and altars. The Venetian hanging choir, supported by two columns, also known as the barco, makes the church a jewel of the sestiere. Near the hanging choir are tablets attributed to Lazzaro Bastiani depicting biblical events.
The church of Chiesa di Sant'Alvise boasts three works by Giambattista Tiepolo: Crowning with Thorns, Flagellation and Ascent of Mount Calvary. Another important work in the church is the Oration of Christ by Angelo Trevisani. Also worth mentioning is Pietro Damini with the painting dedicated to St Ludovico.
The convent and church activities
Next to the church is a convent that has housed Canossian nuns since 1847.
The church of Chiesa di Sant'Alvise is part of the Chorus Venezia association. On the church's website it is also possible to follow live mass. The church offers activities related to neighbourhood life.
If during your stay in Venice you happen to pass in front of the church, we recommend you go inside. If you are interested in this church, rely on our interactive map of Venice.