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San Zaccaria

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San Zaccaria
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Leandro Neumann CiuffoSan Zaccaria

Time Out says

Explore the 15th-century Church of San Zaccaria, once home to freewheeling nuns, with a famous altarpiece and an atmospheric flooded crypt.

There’s been a church on this pretty square since the 600s, though the present Church of San Zaccaria dates to the late 15th century. The bones of Saint Zacharias (Zaccaria), the father of John the Baptist, still lie in this church, which was once the site of convent where the nuns, many of them daughters of the wealthy doges of Venice, weren’t exactly known for their purity and humble lifestyles. The 1505 altarpiece by Giovanni Bellini, Madonna Enthroned with Child and Saints is considered his finest work and a seminal example of the Venetian Renaissance. Pay a couple of euro extra to go down to the beautiful vaulted crypt, which contains the tombs of several doges and is permanently flooded.

Time Out tip: Combine a trip to San Zaccaria with stops at several noteworthy churches in the same area, including the ornate, Greek Orthodox Chiesa San Giorgio dei Greci, Santa Maria della Pietà, where Vivaldi once gave music lessons, and San Giovanni in Bragora, to see altarpieces from Giambattista Cima.

Libreria Acqua Alta: For browsing the stacks in the “world’s most beautiful bookstore”
Dal Moro's Fresh Pasta To Go: For elevated carry-out pasta with made-to-order sauces
Magie di Carnevale: For handmade dolls, carnival masks and costumes

Written by
Elizabeth Heath


Campo S. Zaccaria 4693
Opening hours:
Daily 10-noon, 4-6pm
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