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The Santa Croce district of Venice: what to see and the recommended itinerary

The Santa Croce district in Venice , although often crossed to reach Piazza San Marco , is a jewel rich in history, art and architecture. To see Venice in its entirety and discover its magic it is necessary to explore its churches and main attractions, so let's see a complete overview of this district and a recommended itinerary to follow.

The churches not to be missed in the Santa Croce district of Venice

Santa Croce, despite being the smallest district of Venice, is a concentration of artistic and spiritual riches, evidenced by its churches, often overlooked by visitors. Let's explore more deeply the churches not to be missed in this fascinating Venetian district.

Church of the Name of Jesus and church of San Simenon Piccolo

The Church of the Name of Jesus , located on the border of Santa Croce, is a hidden gem. Built in the 19th century, its simple aesthetic deceives the visitor until he finds himself in front of the altar. Here, once you cross the threshold, your gaze is captured by the majestic barrel vault that overlooks the altar area. This architectural element, although discreet, is a testimony to the grace and elegance of the building.

The Church of San Simeon Piccolo is another unmissable stop, often overlooked despite its prominent location near the Santa Lucia train station. This circular church, enlarged in the eighteenth century, reveals an underground treasure: the ancient crypt. Here, the low light adds an evocative atmosphere as you explore a space adorned with frescoes that narrate the Stations of the Cross and the Old Testament; before accessing the crypt you are provided with a candle which adds charm to the entire journey.

Church of San Simeon the Prophet

The Church of San Simeon Profeta , also known as San Simeon Grande, is a small masterpiece hidden in the streets of Santa Croce. Originally built in 967 from straw and wood, the stone building dating back to 1150 has undergone numerous changes over the centuries. The most important work of art inside is “ The Last Supper ” by Tintoretto, flanked by “ The Presentation in the Temple ” by Jacopo Palma the Younger. This church, although modest in size, proves to be a true gem of Venetian art.

Campo di San Giacomo dall'Orio and church of San Zan Degolà

The Campo di San Giacomo dall'Orio takes its name from the Church of San Giacomo dall'Orio , founded in the 9th century and rebuilt in 1200. Despite some temporal inconsistencies in the inscriptions, the church remains among the oldest in Venice. The interior is a fascinating mix of styles and periods, with paintings by masters such as Jacopo Palma the Younger, Lorenzo Lotto and Paolo Veronese. The peculiarity of the wooden ceiling, created like the interior of a boat, adds a unique touch to the experience.

The Church of San Zan Degolà , on the other hand, is dedicated to St. John the Baptist Beheaded and is a simple red brick building dating back to the eleventh century. Today it houses the Russian Orthodox Christian community and preserves some of the oldest frescoes in Venice, depicting figures such as Saint John, Saint Peter, Saint Thomas, Saint Mark and Saint Helena. Despite its sobriety, the church offers an immersion in the spirituality and art of ancient Venice.

These churches, rich in history and works of art, represent just a taste of the wonders that the Santa Croce district offers visitors. Their visit offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and spirituality of one of the most authentic and fascinating areas of Venice.

The museums and buildings of the Santa Croce district

Santa Croce, for those who want to explore it, is a district that contains a lot of history and has a thousand secrets for those who want to discover it. For example, Il Fondaco dei Turchi , dating back to the first half of the 1200s, majestically overlooks the Grand Canal. Initially a warehouse and accommodation, in 1932 it became the Natural History Museum of Venice . It houses pieces of national importance, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the fauna, flora and geology of the Venetian territory.

But the district still hides Palazzo Mocenigo , a Renaissance building located in a street of Santa Croce, which was the home of the Mocenigo family until the beginning of the twentieth century. Since 1945, the palace has become the Museum of Costume and Textiles . Its splendid rooms offer a unique opportunity to explore life in elegant Venetian homes. A path dedicated to perfume adds a sensorial touch to the experience, allowing visitors to smell spices, aromas and admire ancient tools.

Church of San Stae and the Ca' Pesaro palace

The Church of San Stae , dating back to the beginning of the eighteenth century, is an imposing building commissioned by Doge Alvise II Mocenigo, today buried inside it. The impressive facade welcomes visitors with ornate statues and bas-reliefs. Inside, baroque and neoclassical art merge, with works of art such as the “ Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew ” by Giambattista Tiepolo and “ St. Peter freed from prison ” by Sebastiano Ricci.

Ca ' Pesaro , on the other hand, is one of the most impressive buildings in Santa Croce, it stands on the Grand Canal. Built between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the palace became a museum after the death of the last owner, Duchess Felicita Bevilacqua La Masa. Inside, it houses the International Gallery of Modern Art , with works by artists such as Klimt, Chagall, Kandinsky, Klee, Matisse and De Chirico. The third floor is dedicated to the Museum of Oriental Art of Venice , with a valuable collection from the Japanese Edo period.

Venice: district after district

Discovering Venice and its districts is a wonderful undertaking, a joy for visitors and it is therefore important to extend your stay as much as possible. To save money, you can use the Venezia Card and take advantage of the possibility of enjoying wide freedom of maneuver and saving on your budget by booking an apartment online in a simple and secure way.


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