Chiesa dell'Isola di San Servolo, Venice

4.4
#111 of 196 in Historic Sites in Venice
San Michele in Isola is a Roman Catholic church in Venice, northern Italy, located on the Isola di San Michele which houses the cemetery of the city. It was rebuilt from 1469 onwards and is dedicated to Saint Michael, the holder of the scales on Judgement Day, a fit guardian of the sleep of the faithful dead.
The first church known to have been designed by the architect Mauro Codussi, this is a reconstruction of an older church, that was commissioned by the Camaldolese community on the island in 1469. The church is built entirely in salt-white Istrian stone which weathers to a pale gray. San Michele is the first example of Renaissance architecture in Venice, with a facade that already shows the influence of Leon Battista Alberti. The strongly delineated masonry courses of the ashlar facade are carried right across the Ionic pilasters, a strikingly unusual feature for which that R. Lieberman could only find an earlier parallel in Bernardo Rossellino's Palazzo Piccolomini, Pienza, also of the 1460s, and also produced in an Albertian milieu. The design was influential in Venice. When it was finished, a monk of the community wrote, "The facade, now complete and perfect, shiner of such a beauty so that it turns in itself the light of the eyes of all those who walk or sail by".
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Chiesa dell'Isola di San Servolo Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
9 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • We visited during the Venice Biennale to see the artworks exhibited on San Servolo and it made for a lovely morning strolling around in the sun. Great views and interesting history - the island...  more »
  • I went to San Servolo for a conference - what a great place! Quiet, beautiful garden, interesting museum & history (used to be an asylum) and even the bathrooms offer stunning views across the lagoon....  more »
Google
  • This is a nice and small church but I would not go out of the way to see it since there are much nicer churches in the main part of Venice. The main downsides are that it's small, not exactly well-maintained, and the artwork isn't anything spectacular. But if you have time or are in this island be sure to step in and take a quick look! There are paintings for each station of the cross inside. If you find the door closed, go up the stairs in the door to the left of the church entrance. Up there is the entrance to Museo Del Manicomio where the person there should have a key and may open the church for you to view if you ask. When I visited this is how I saw the church so I would give it a try if the church door is closed.
  • Peace and a green area where you can spend a relaxing afternoon, and splendid Museum of old asylum
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