Chiesa di San Pantalon is a hidden gem of Venice. It's one of those Venice churches that are easy to overlook but worth visiting. The church honors Saint Pantalon, a doctor and a Christian saint martyred in the 4th century. It is famous for the magnificent ceiling painting by Giovanni Antonio Fumiani. Travel there to see this masterpiece and learn about an intriguing legend.
Getting to the church
Chiesa di San Pantalon stands on Campo San Pantalon hidden in Dorsoduro. The church is close to Campo Santa Margherita, the center of the nightlife in Venice. You can always walk and enjoy the city streets, but the easiest way is to arrive by vaporetto. The closest stop, San Tomà, is less than 10 minutes away. Use our interactive Venice map to guide you through the city.
History & architecture
The original building of Chiesa di San Pantalon dates back to the 12th century. The first one to mention the church in 1161 was Pope Alexander III. Since then, it has undergone many renovations. The current look of Chiesa di San Pantalon is of the 17th century. Its appearance was in the hands of architect Francesco Comin. He rebuilt the church between 1668 and 1686. There is also a bell tower, built between 1704 and 1732 by Tommaso Scalfarotto. The exterior of the church is simple and has an unfinished facade. Yet, the interior entices many visitors, including cultural influencers.
There is also an exciting legend about the statue of Saint Pantalon. According to it, the building site of the church was a former cemetery. The construction workers saw ghosts and other paranormal activities. They built a statue of Saint Pantalon which miraculously made the hauntings disappear. This mystical statue still stands in the church today. Chiesa di San Pantalon is one of those Venice churches with an exciting and mysterious story behind them.
Inside the church - ceiling fresco by Giovanni Antonio Fumiani
The most impressive sight in the church is the ceiling. There is a breathtaking painting of the life of St. Pantalon by Giovanni Antonio Fumiani. With 44 canvases combined, it is the world's biggest art on canvas. It is also one of the most impressive Baroque art pieces in Venice. The BBC included it in the list of the ten most beautiful ceilings in the world. Few Venice churches can offer such an intricate work of art. It is truly impressive in its dimension and the visual illusion it creates.
Chiesa di San Pantalon has a single nave and six small chapels. Each chapel features great artworks, with over 80 valuable pieces in the whole church. Inside, you'll find incredible paintings by Alessandro Varotari, Antonio Vivarini, and Giovanni d'Alemagna. Besides, Veronese's last masterpiece, the 1587 painting Saint Pantaleone heals a Child, is in the Chapel of San Pantalon. The enormous, ornate organ was an 1803 work of the Venetian organ builder Gaetano Callido.
Things to do in the area
Dorsoduro is the artsy neighborhood on the Venice map, loved by locals and tourists. There are beautiful Venice churches and engaging Venice museums. The closest to San Pantalon is the gorgeous Scuola Grande di San Rocco. It is an important architectural site with an impressive collection of works by Tintoretto. You can also explore art and history in Ca Rezzonico and Leonardo da Vinci Museum. For a unique experience, explore Casa di Carlo Goldoni.
To experience the impressive Venetian art and architecture, visit the nearby Venice churches. The Gothic Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Santa Maria dei Carmini, or Saint Barnabas, one of the most recognized churches in Venice. The San Polo Church, located about 10 minutes from Chiesa di San Pantalon, is also a must-see Venice attraction.