The Church of Santa Maria di Nazareth is definitely not the most reputed of all places of worship in Venice. It remains, however, a sight to be visited while in Venice. The edifice is located close to the Santa Lucia Train Station, in Cannaregio, and thus easily accessible as soon as tourists set foot on the lagoon (in case they arrive here by train). It’s Italian name, Chiesa degli Scalzi (which means Church of the Discalced), comes from the order of Carmelite friars who commissioned its construction, friars who used to walk barefoot in accordance with the rules of their community.

The church dates back to the 17th century. The design was conceived by Baldassare Longhena (commissioned by the community of the Carmelite order friars who owed the land since the 1646), and the construction works took 10 years (between 1670 and 1680), resulting in a splendid Baroque building.

Consecrated no sooner than 1705, the church is at present worth visiting due to its artistic patrimony: numerous 18th century paintings, sculptures and, of course, the splendid frescoed ceiling (much of the inner patrimony of the church was moved to the Academy Galleries). The fresco was originally made by Tiepolo (with notable highlights like the scenes depicting the Glory of Santa Teresa and Christ praying in the garden of Gethsemane, the former adorning the second chapel, and the latter embellishing the third chapel), but the church was damaged during World War One, a blast destroying Tiepolo’s work. The present frescoes are the work of Ettore Tito, dating back to 1934.

The Church of Santa Maria di Nazareth is also the place where the ashes of the last Doge of Venice (Ludovico Manin) have been sheltered since the early 19th century (the doge died in 1802).

Church of Santa Maria di Nazareth (Church of the Discalced / Chiesa degli Scalzi)
Cannaregio, 30100, Venice, Italy
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