The Church of San Giovanni in Bragora is located in Campiello del Piovan. Though it originally dates from the early 8th century, the church was rebuilt a few times, the latest being in 1475. Both, Pope Paul II and Antonio Vivaldi, were baptized in this church.
The small Ponte del Purgatorio crosses over a tiny canal, and leads directly to the entrance of the Biblioteca “Dante Alighieri” dell’Istituto di Studi Militari Marittimi, which was founded in 1905, and is housed in a palazzo dating from the 16th century.
A few steps further down the road, we came upon the Arsenale di Venezia, or the Venitian Arsenal. This complex of shipyards and armories was one of the earliest, large-scale industrial complexes in history. Dating from 1104, it was from this spot that Venice’s powerful naval fleet was built, and it was from here that the ships set sail. There is a museum attached to the Arsenal, but again, this was Easter Sunday, so we were not able to go in. We would have to save that for another visit to Venice. Instead, we spent a few minutes taking in the elaborate entrance-way to the complex, and then, we stopped for a light lunch at a nearby café.
On the gates of the Arsenal, you will see a bust of Dante Alighieri, who was a guest here in 1306, and again in 1321. The poet included the Arsenal in the 21st Canto of the Inferno. It was on his way home from Venice that the poet contracted malaria, the disease that would cause his death in September of 1321.
Next up: We continue our explorations of the Arsenal District of Venice!
Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations that may appear. If you have enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for more posts from Venice, as well as other Italian destinations. Grazie!