San Giorgio Maggiore

Address: Isola di San Giorgio, Venice, Italy
Telephone: 041 5227827

- Free


Palladio's elegant church offers a spectacular view.

The church of San Giorgio Maggiore is one of the greatest creations of 16th-century architect Andrea Palladio – a masterpiece in itself, enhanced also by its superb position facing across the water from its island perch towards St Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco).

In the luminous interior are works by Tintoretto ('The Last Supper' and 'The Gathering of Manna' in the chancel, the master's last painting 'The Entombment' in the Morti chapel) and by Sebastiano Ricci and Jacopo Bassano.

But my favourite bit of this wonderful church is the campanile (bell tower).

There are few good places for a bird’s-eye view of La Serenissima: these include the campanile (open daily; €8, €4 concessions) and the Torre dell'Orologio (clock tower; +39 041 5209070;, open daily for guided tours, €12, €7 concessions) in St Mark’s Square. But the campanile attached to San Giorgio Maggiore has the advantages of being cheaper than both of these, at €3, and set slightly outside of the centre so giving you the impression you have the whole of Venice stretched out in front of you.

Value for money

Price advice

The bell tower (there's a lift) costs €3. The church is free.

Expert tips

If you're travelling with children, they'll enjoy being in the bell tower for the the noisy noon bell-ringing session.

Recommended for

  • Backpackers / Students
  • Culture vultures
  • Families with teenagers
  • First-time travellers
  • Seasoned travellers
  • Escaping the crowds
  • Great views / scenery
  • Romance
  • Art
  • Design and architecture