The Chiesa degli Scalzi in Venice is officially called Church of Santa Maria di Nazareth. Its sumptuous ornamentation includes paintings by Tiepolo, Morlaiter and others. The architect was Baldassarre Longhena, who had also designed the Santa Maria della Salute Church. For visitors arriving by train it is the first church they will see, since it is right next to the main station.
Chiesa degli Scalzi Venice
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Cannaregio, 54 – Venice (tel. +39 041 715115). Opening hours: From 07.30 till 11.50 and from 16.00 till 19.00. Admission: Free. Public transport: Vaporetto 1, 2, 3, 41, 42, 51, 52, N, VA (halte Ferrovia).
History and description
The Chiesa degli Scalzi was built for the religious Order of Barefoot Carmelites. Its construction was financed by count Gerolamo Cavazza. The word scalzo means “barefoot”.
Baldassarre Longhena did not only build the church, but also , in 1649, the convent. He designed the church itself in 1654. Its construction took from 1656 till 1682.
The interior is decorated with marble of different colours. Its overall splendour may have been the result of an attempt to emulate the Roman and Spanish churches built for the order. Giuseppe Sardi, an architect of Swiss origin, completed the facade between 1672 and 1680. It is characterized by double columns and alcoves with statues of saints. The statues are attributed to Bernardo Falcone.
In 1915 the Austrians bombarded Venice. During the attack Tiepolo‘s “Transport of the Holy House of Loreto” was almost completely destroyed. The remaining fragments are on display in the Galleria dell’Accademia.