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Santa Maria Maddalena

A curious little neoclassical church

Santa Maria Maddalena

This peculiar small church was built as a mini Pantheon by architect Tommaso Temanza and finished by Gian Antonio Selva. A nephew of Scalfarotto of San Simone Piccolo fame, Temanza (d. 1789), who is buried inside, was also a scholar (he wrote a biography of Palladio). He was also apparently a dabbler in the same undercurrent of esoteric Free Masonry as George Washington, Mozart and others, judging by the ‘eye of God’ symbol and the Latin inscription attributed to Solomon over the door ("Wisdom has built a Home for itself").

The church’s hexagonal interior still has a Last Supper by Giandomencio Tiepolo, but you'd have to be lucky to see it, although the church is occasionally aired out to host a Biennale or other exhibit.

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Hours Rarely open

Campo della Maddalena

vaporetto San Marcuola

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls, Joanna Penn