San Francesco della Vigna, situated in the Castello neighbourhood, in a square bearing the same name, is one of Venice’s most beautiful Renaissance churches.
Legend has it that Mark the Evangelist found refuge here, and was greeted by an angel with the words “Pax tibi Marce Evangelista meus,” or “Peace to you Mark, my Evangelist,” which became the motto of the Most Serene Republic.
Under the direction of Jacopo Sansovino, construction began in 1534, with the church taking 20 years to build. In 1564 Andrea Palladio built the magnificent facade.
The church houses important works of art, such as Dolfin’s Altarpiece, Giovanni Bellini’s Sacred Conversation, Palma the Younger’s Virgin and Child with Saint Francis and Tintoretto’s The Virgin with child answering St. Francis and St. Domenic’s prayers to free Venice from the plague and The Virgin pleading to Christ to free Venice from the Plague.
On either side of the church and convent are two cloisters, used for temporary exhibitions and concerts and as headquarters for theVenice Biennial.
San Francesco della Vigna
Sestiere Castello, 2786
30122 Venice – Italy
Tel. +39 041 5298711