Tuesday, July 12, 2016

San Giorgio Magiorre

We had been to Venice before, so this time we were determined to avoid the tourist hot spots and take in some of the lesser visited corners of the city.  The Church of San Giorgio Magiorre was one of those spots.  Virtually every tourist who visits Venice sees it, because it's straight across the water from St. Mark's Square, but very few find their way there.

This is the church, from St. Mark's Square.  Both the massive white facade and the bell tower make it hard to miss!  But there's a vaporetto ride to get there - thins out the crowd dramatically.

This bell tower has an elevator, and no line up!  A pretty good invitation.  The view back north to the main city shows St. Mark's square and bell tower on the left, and the very popular walk along the shoreline.

And this view shows the main islands extending to the east, down to that luxury super-yacht.  A marina of sailboats outside the church in the foreground.  We walked that shoreline several times.

A closer look at St. Mark's Square and bell tower also shows the Doge's Palace, the large building to the right, and the domes of St. Mark's Basilica behind.  We had a fascinating tour of the dungeons and secret passages of the palace, including the famous 'Bridge of Sighs' over that little canal on the right, where the prisoners 'sighed' as they caught their last glimpse of the outdoors on their way from judgement to their jail cell.

Looking out all four sides of the bell tower you get a great perspective on Venice, the outer islands, and the lagoon itself.  Here, looking across Venice in the foreground you see the island of Burano in the far distance, across the tidal flats, with another leaning church steeple.

Looking east you see the Lido, the nearby outer barrier island between the Venetian Lagoon and the Adriatic.  The part closet to Venice is quite built up.

 But looking south you can follow that outer island far far south, forming that barrier between the see and the lagoon.  San Giorgio Magiorre is not merely a big church, it's an active monastery.  And down below you can see a maze among its gardens.

We got as close as that sidewalk on the left, but the maze was fenced off.

Looking west you can follow the long curving island of Guidecca, separated from the main part of Venice by the Guidecca Channel, the favourite route of those big cruise ships.

And there in the distance is one of the big ones, locally referred to as the 'skyscrapers of the seas'.

We really enjoyed getting to this less visited corner of Venice, and getting the view from this bell tower.  That will be one of the memories of this trip, in spite of the fence separating us from that maxe just behind the hedge!


  1. We always like to take in some of the lesser known sites when we travel. If you' ve seen one castle...

    Loved the maze. Great photos!

  2. So tourists don't like taking the water taxis? It seems like part of the culture. You got some fantastic photos:)

  3. Wow, from high up this givers such a wonderful idea of the waterways, tall buildings and that amazing maze. The last few days, as I looked at updates on Cold Springs fire in Colorado near Nederland, I thought of your William so often, as I saw photos of slurry bombers, fixed wing aircraft and more as they all tried so hard to contain and put out the fire that started as a result of careless campers from another state. So many thanks have been given to all firefighters, on ground and above. William's legacy is always remembered with thanks and more.

  4. I believe you can visit the monastery but only on a Saturday. And we always visit Venice mid week. Haven't been for 4 years or so but it's an easy journey from the flat in Switzerland. Also I read somewhere there is a new glass museum opening on the island later this year. I must find out about that. It would be fun to visit.

  5. Such a beautiful city and too bad the waters are rising.

  6. That maze is fascinating. I would have loved to see the inside of it, too. But from above was cool, too! :-)

  7. how nice that you were able to take the road less traveled!! i love these distant views, the sailboats all lined up, more red roofs and the maze which is stunning!! skyscrapers of the sea, such a cool name, this looks like a massly populated area!!

  8. That cruise ship is insanely large!