This is a preview of the content in our Venice Art & Culture app. Get the app to:
  • Read offline
  • Remove ads
  • Access all content
  • Use the in-app Map to find sites, and add custom locations (your hotel...)
  • Build a list of your own favourites
  • Search the contents with full-text search functionality
  • ... and more!
iOS App Store Google Play

La Pietà

Vivaldi's church and museum

Warning plaque on the wall of La Pietà

The Venetians call Santa Maria della Pietà (to give it its full name) ‘Vivaldi’s church’. Its predecessor was attached to a charitable hospital run by the state for orphan girls (founded in 1346) that over the centuries evolved into one of Europe's top conservatories, especially when Vivaldi was chorus-master and violin teacher between 1704–38, composing some of his greatest concerti for its pupils.

Most of these pupils were not strictly what we would call 'orphans': most were the illegitimate daughters of the nobility's mistresses. Generously funded by their fathers, the 'orphanage' was opulent, and the musical instruction was among the very best in Europe. Under Vivaldi's direction, the reputation and fame of La Pietà's Ospedale grew so much that the authorities had to put up the plaque still in place on the south wall, threatening lightning bolts and excommunication upon any parent who tried to palm their legitimate child off as a orphan.

Read the full content in the app
iOS App Store Google Play

Rococo and Neoclassical

Music and Musicians



Museums and Galleries

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, Creative Commons, This Photo was taken by Wolfgang Moroder.