As we made our way to the Grand Canal, we suddenly discovered that we were facing the Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia, Venice’s main train station and, in fact, the station by which we had arrived in the city. The station dates from 1860, and was named after the Convento and Chiesa di Santa Lucia, both of which were demolished to make room for it. The station was designed by the architects, Angiolo Mazzoni and Virgilio Vallot, with another architect, Paul Perilli, putting on finishing touches in 1952.
The Ponte degli Scalzi, which translates in English to the “Bridge of the Barefoot [Monks],” is named after the church that sits at one end of it. The bridge dates from 1934, and was designed by Eugenio Miozzi.
The Palazzo Foscari Contarini was built in the 16th century and, for a while, was home to the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena.
The Chiesa dei Santi Simeone e Giuda or, as it is simply known, San Simeone Piccolo, stands across from the train station, on the Grand Canal. Most people see this church as they enter the city, but very few take the time to venture inside. That is a shame! The church was built in 1718, by Giovanni Antonio Scalfarotto, and has the honor of being one of the last churches to be built in the city. As the name of the church suggests, it is dedicated to San Simeone, who was the martyred cousin of Christ. Once inside, for a small fee, it is possible to visit the crypt of the church. If you choose to do so, you will be given a small candle to carry with you, since there is no electrical lighting in the crypt. You will then proceed downstairs, into the area where the most illustrious members of the parish were buried. The stone walls of the crypt were embellished with a series of frescoes depicting stories from the Old and New Testaments, but unfortunately, these are badly damaged, and can barely be made out today. Still, I highly recommend paying the fee, and going down to the crypt, as the atmosphere, with the canal seeping in through the walls, and the very faded frescoes, makes for a highly memorable experience.
Across the Grand Canal, we could see the Palazzo della Regione Veneto.
The newest of the four bridges that cross the Grand Canal is the Ponte della Costituzione, designed by Santiago Calatrava, and put into place in 2008. Locals refer to this bridge as the Ponte di Calatrava.
The Chiesa di San Nicola da Tolentino, known to the locals as simply the Tolentini, dates from 1590, and was designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi. The portico, with its Corinthian columns, was designed by Andrea Tirali.
The entrance to the Venetian School of Architecture was designed by Carlo Scarpa.
Next up: We continue our exploration of Venice, including a visit to the Giardini Papadopoli!
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!