Would you like to visit one of the most beautiful Venice churches? Chiesa di Santa Maria del Rosario is undoubtedly a place worthy of your time. Locals know it as I Gesuati because of its history, although today, it’s a wonderful 18th-century Dominican church. Enjoy the Giorgio Massari architecture and the artworks by Venice’s most notable 18th-century artists. The view of the Giudecca canal is yet another reason to explore the church.
Getting to the church
When checking the Venice map, you’ll notice the church is a part of the Dorsoduro sestiere. This elegant neighborhood is home to some exquisite churches and, in addition, some of the city’s best museums. Many people arrive here after seeing the best of Venice in the San Marco sestiere. It’s as simple as crossing the Accademia Bridge, 5 minutes from Santa Maria del Rosario. You can also come here with a vaporetto. The closest stop, Zattere, is like the doorstep of the church.
History & architecture
You might be surprised once you know that two churches are on site. The smaller one belonged to the Gesuati until 1669, when the Dominicans bought it. Initially, it was dedicated to St. Jerome and later to Santa Maria della Visitazione. The second church on site appeared later because the Dominicans needed a more spacious and impressive church. The construction began in 1725 and lasted thirty years.
The architect was Giorgio Massari, who decided to keep the old structure and build a new one beside it. He drew inspiration from Palladio, the mastermind behind the nearby Venice churches. The late Baroque facade consists of three parts, divided by Corinthian columns, and the interior has a shape of an ellipse. You can notice the four niches with four statues depicting the Four Cardinal Virtues. The windows of Santa Maria del Rosario are large and bright, shining light on the magnificent artworks found inside.
When you step inside, prepare for the marvelous works of art and lavish decorations. Look up at the ceiling, and stay in awe of the three incredible frescoes by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. He has also created a few oil paintings found throughout the church. Next to his creations are precious paintings by Sebastiano Ricci and Tintoretto. In addition, what the church doesn’t lack is sculptures. Check out the carved marble sculpture of angels by Giovanni Maria Morlaiter. It’s one of those Venice churches which looks like a religious art museum.
Things to do in the area
In the Dorsoduro neighborhood, the guests of Venice can enjoy exciting museums and splendid churches. If you hop on the vaporetto, just a few minutes from Santa Maria del Rosario is the Redentore. Or if you want to stay on land, dare to explore Chiesa di San Sebastiano. These are some of the most well-known Venice churches. And if you’d like to see some of the city’s best museums, they are a stone’s throw away. Check out the Peggy Guggenheim, the Accademia Gallery, or the Palazzo Cini. At veniceXplorer, we cover all the attractions with local insight in mind, so that’s why Venice visitors should follow our map.