Santa Maria Dei Carmini, known as the Carmini, is a prominent Roman Catholic church. It dates back to the 14th century and is a noteworthy site among the churches of Venice. Next to it is the Scuola Grande di Santa Maria del Carmelo, an important historical institution and an exciting attraction. On the Venice map, you'll find them in the Dorsoduro sestiere, a few steps from Santa Margherita square.
Getting into the church
This beautiful Venice church is open daily in the afternoon, except Sunday. It takes about 5 minutes to walk here from Ca' Rezzonico, the nearest water bus stop. While walking to the church, you will cross a small but beautiful Ponte dei Pugni and reach Campo Santa Margherita. It's a few meters away from the church and the Scuola.
Scuola Grande di Santa Maria del Carmelo
Scuola dei Carmini is an essential part of Santa Maria Dei Carmini. This confraternity was founded in 1594 by Doge Pasquale Cicogna. It came from a charitable association Pinzochere dei Carmini. Originally the Scuola was part of the church building. Then it moved to the current building, designed by Francesco Caustello and Baldassare Longhena. This amazing Baroque-style Scuola is still active, performing various cultural activities. Its Chapel of Our Lady of Mount Carmel makes it much worth the visit.
History & architecture of the church
Santa Maria Dei Carmini is a beautiful mix of the Renaissance and Gothic styles. Its renaissance-style facade, made of brick and marble, is newer as it was rebuilt in 1500. On the exterior, you can spot sculpted lunettes by Giovanni Buora and a monument by Jacopo Foscarini. The bell tower of Santa Maria Dei Carmini is leaning and had to be straightened in the 1600s. The designer in charge was Giuseppe Sardi. On top of the tower is a 1982 statue of the Madonna del Carmine, which replaced the original, struck by lightning.
The interior of the church is an impressive example of the Gothic style. It features 12 white columns on each side of the central nave and 22 wooden statues above them. The walls above the columns feature lots of valuable paintings. The columns create a stunning corridor leading to the main altar under the dome. Some parts of the church, like the presbytery and the chapel, go back to the early 1500s.
Artworks of Santa Maria Dei Carmini
This church should undoubtedly be on any art enthusiast's list. There are many artworks to enjoy, but one of the most impressive ones is the Adoration of the Shepherds by Cima da Conegliano. There is also the Presentation of Christ in the Temple by Jacopo Tintoretto, which many visitors admire. Among other art, there are works by Pase Pace and Giovanni Fontana, Lorenzo Lotto, and Tommaso Rues. We, the veniceXplorere, will help you explore it the best way possible!
Things to do in the area
In Dorsoduro, you can find lots of art and elegance cherished by wealthy Venetians and foreigners. The art pearl of this sestiere is the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, an exciting modern art museum with over 200 pieces to explore. It also features many well-known Venice churches, including Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute. The other noteworthy churches nearby Carmini are Chiesa di San Polo, Santa Maria Gloriosa, and Saint Barnabas. If you get hungry during your visit, dare to try the exquisite cuisine of Ristorante Riviera. Then, head to Ca' Macana for a traditional Venetian mask. And don’t forget Ponte dell’Accademia.