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Misericordia church and its Scuole

Also known as Santa Maria di Valverde

Santa Maria della Misericordia

Come here for a slice of concentrated Cannaregio: open, uncluttered, a hodgepodge of styles, a shadowy portico, a wide and straight canal, all a bit down at heel.

In its day the Misericordia church (or Santa Maria di Valverde—the original name of its island) and abbey was the parish of the youngest of the six scuole grandi; the now deconsecrated church, founded in the 10th century, was rebuilt in the 13th. During the Black Death in 1348, all the monks in the abbey died.

In 1651, it was given an inoffensive Baroque façade by Clemente Moli, a follower of Bernini, with a bust of the philosopher Gasparo Moro (who paid for it) over the door. It’s the kind of bland façade that would help people forget the murder that took place here in the 18th century, when a jealous priest slipped a poet a poisoned host after he caught him with his mistress.

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High Renaissance




Film Sets

Scuole: Guilds & Confraternities

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by Didier Descouens, Creative Commons License, Ethan Doyle White, Luigi Penello - Luigip58, Creative Commons License, Sailko