If you are tired of walking in the crowds of St. Mark’s Square and want to discover a peaceful corner in the heart of the city of the lagoon, go and visit this wonderful island, once a Benedictine monastery that hides more than one enchanting surprise.
You can start your visit by exploring the Basilica di San Giorgio Maggiore and the complex of the Monastery, whose foundation dates back pre- XI century. Do not miss the cloister and the refectory, remarkable works by Palladio. The impressive façade of the Basilica stands out against the bay of San Marco and the tower (around 75 m tall) offers a fantastic view on the lagoon.
Today the Benedictine monks still celebrate their service in the church and if you happen to be in Venice overnight between the 31st of December and the 1st of January, you could attend the Gregorian service. Always counting on the kindness of the Abbey friars, you could visit the Conclave Hall, recalling the only election of a Pope in Venice and the Chapel of the Deposition (open on Sundays for the 11 o’clock service) where you can see the last painting by Tintoretto, “The Christ Deposition”.
The complex of the monastery, after long years of neglect, has returned to its former splendour thanks to Giorgio Cini Foundation that transformed it into an important location for cultural and artistic events. The latest one, Le Stanze di Vetro (the Glass Rooms), a long- term project and a new permanent exhibition space dedicated to the XX century and contemporary art of glass. Free entrance.
To reach San Giorgio Island take public boat (line 2 from San Zaccaria or Zattere, every 10 minutes), stop San Giorgio.