The San Canciano Church in the sestiere Cannaregio in Venice is one of the city’s oldest churches. The first version dates back to the 9th century, but the church has been renovated numerous times. The main attraction is the San Massimo Chapel.
San Canciano Church Venice
Address, opening hours and entrance fee
Address: Campo San Canciano – 30121 Venezia. Phone: +39 041 5235293. Opening hours: From 07:15 to 12:00 and from 15:00 to 19:30. Entrance fee: Free. Alternative name: San Canziano (Note: Due to the Covid crisis, opening hours may differ from what is indicated here).
History and description
The San Canciano Church was probably built in the 9th century and dedicated to the four martyrs Canzio, Canzano, Canzianilla and their private tutor Proto.
A first reconstruction took place after a fire in 1105. It would not be the last one, as the church was also renovated in 1330, 1550 and in the 18th century.
The bell tower dates back to 1542. De Poli added the largest bells in the mid-19th century. The last bell was added in 1897.
The facade dates from 1707 and is the work of Antonio Gaspari, an architect about whose life very little is known. His main works in Venice were the Ca’ Zenobio degli Armeni and the Santa Maria della Fava Church.
The choir was added by Giorgio Massari in 1762.
Giovanni Contarini painted the “Saints Sanziano and Massimo” on the doors of the organ.
The bust above the main portal depicts Michele Tommasi, the man who financed the construction of the new facade, which set him back the sum of 2000 ducats.
The interior consists of three naves. There are six columns, two of which are of antique African granite.
What to see
The two pulpits date from the end of the 18th century and were made by Bernardino Maccaruzzi.
The four side altars date from 1730.
The altar piece is by Paolo Zoppo and depicts the “Saints Casciano and Massimo with the Eternal Father in the Glory”. Domenico Zanhi painted the canvases on either side , “Healing of the Lamb” and “Multiplication of the Bread and the Fish”.
The two chapels on either side of the rectory are called the Cappella della Santa Spina (on the right) and the San Massimo Chapel. The second is named after the saint buried there. Clemente Moli was responsible for the marble statue and urn of the saint, while Baldassare Longhena designed the chapel itself. In the first chapel, the head of Saint San Venerando Martire is kept. There is also a painting by Nicola Ranieri that depicts “San Filippo kneeling before Mary.”
The Baroque door to the sacristy is decorated with a bust. Painters whose work can be seen in the sacristy are Jacopo Marieschi (“San Romualdo,” 18th century) and Andrea Celesti (“Madonna and Child and Saints”).
There is also a modern “Via Crucis” by local painter Ernani Costantini from 1960.
The two tondos depicting the Madonna and Christ date from 1660.