Chiesa di Santo Stefano is one of the most exciting Venice churches. It's Roman Catholic and the third-largest monastery in the city. It also has a superb location on the Venice map, close to the city's best attractions. Therefore, don't skip this splendid church with an impressive Renaissance art collection.
Getting to the church
You couldn't imagine a better location on the Venice map. Chiesa di San Stefano stands on Campo Santo Stefano in the San Marco neighborhood. It is the most popular among Venice neighborhoods, with the best sites the city has to offer. You can always walk here or arrive at the church by vaporetto. The closest stops are S. Samuele and S. Angelo, each less than 5 minutes away by foot. The church also has a unique feature. The boats coming along Rio de S. Anzolo can drive under a part of its building.
History & architecture of Chiesa di Santo Stefano
The church was founded in the 13th century by the monks of St. Augustine. In the 14th and 15th centuries, reconstructions took place. That's how the beautiful gothic doorway and the ship's keel-shaped roof appeared. The roof is the work of Venetian shipbuilders who constructed a ceiling resembling Noah's ark. The marble gothic portal, built in 1442, is the work of Bartolomeo Bono. The church's interior is also gothic, with three apses and a large central rose window. It lets in a lot of light, brightening the church and highlighting its beauty. From the outside, you can see the leaning campanile - another unusual feature of Chiesa di Santo Stefano.
Inside the church
From the outside, Chiesa di Santo Stefano looks rather plain due to its all-brick facade. Yet, inside it's a genuine architectural masterpiece. In Chiesa di Santo Stefano you will find exceptional art by famous Venetian painters like Paolo Veneziano or Bartolomeo Vivarini. But the church's most known for the impressive paintings by Tintoretto. They are the Last Supper, the Resurrection, Christ Washing the Disciples' Feet, and the Prayer in the Garden. Here you'll also find the Funeral Stele of Senatore Giovanni Falier by Antonio Canova. And remember to see the Baptism of Jesus by Pomponio Amalteo. As for relics, the church is home to Doge Morosini's tombstone.
Things to do in the area
You can spend days exploring the San Marco sestiere. This neighborhood is home to St Mark's Basilica, an absolute must in Venice. But on St Mark's Square are a few other noteworthy sites, like Museo Correr, the Doge's Palace, or the Bridge of Sighs. The well-known Museo Fortuny and the incredible Teatro La Fenice. There are a few other Venice churches worthy of your time - San Moise and Saint Barnabas. You can also walk in the opposite direction towards the Grand Canal. There you’ll stumble upon Ponte dell'Accademia. This bridge links San Marco and Dorsoduro, where you'll find the Accademia Gallery, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and Santa Maria della Salute. Don't forget to use our interactive Venice map to help you navigate this wonderful city.