Venice is a city known for its timeless beauty and iconic landmarks, that holds secrets beyond the well-trodden tourist paths. While Piazza San Marco and the Rialto Bridge are must-see destinations, there is a world of hidden gems that await discovery by the curious traveler. In this article, we invite you to venture off the beaten track and explore three lesser-known Venetian sights: Scala Contarini del Bovolo, Complesso dell’Ospedaletto, and Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Penitenti. These hidden treasures offer a glimpse into Venice’s rich history and artistic heritage, away from the crowds.
Located in a quiet corner of Venice, the Scala Contarini del Bovolo is a true architectural marvel. This spiral staircase, often referred to as the “snail’s shell” showcases a unique blend of Renaissance and Gothic styles. Commissioned by Pietro Contarini to enhance the prestige of the palace, as a symbol of power, it’s now a hidden gem waiting to be explored.The Scala Contarini del Bovolo, built in the 15th century, stands as a testament to Venice’s architectural uniqueness. As you ascend the staircase, each level reveals stunning views of the surrounding neighborhood. This gradual revelation provides a sense of anticipation and delight. Photographers and history enthusiasts will find the Scala Contarini del Bovolo a captivating subject, and the top offers a panoramic view of Venice’s rooftops and bell towers.
Tucked away from the tourist crowds, the Complesso dell’Ospedaletto is a complex of historical buildings with a rich past. Founded in the 14th century as a charitable institution, it served as an orphanage, a hospital, and a place of refuge for the needy. Today, it houses the Venice Music Project, a unique musical ensemble dedicated to reviving Baroque music.
The highlight of the Complesso dell’Ospedaletto is its church, the Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Derelitti. This unassuming facade conceals an interior adorned with intricate frescoes and a stunning organ. Visitors can attend concerts and events in the intimate setting of the church. The ambiance is a fusion of historical resonance and artistic vibrancy, offering a serene and culturally enriching experience.
Exploring this hidden gem provides not only a glimpse into Venice’s lesser-known history but also an opportunity to engage with its musical heritage. The Complesso dell’Ospedaletto is a place where the past and the present harmonize beautifully.
Hidden in the Cannaregio district, the Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Penitenti is a serene sanctuary of spirituality and artistry. This lesser-known church is often overlooked by tourists but is a true hidden gem for those seeking quiet reflection.
Inside, you’ll discover a stunning collection of artworks, including paintings by the renowned Venetian artist Giambattista Tiepolo. The church’s Baroque architecture and peaceful atmosphere provide a tranquil escape from the crowds, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the city’s spiritual and artistic heritage.
Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Penitenti is more than just a church; it’s a testament to the artistic prowess that Venice has nurtured over centuries. It’s a place where you can pause and contemplate the beauty and history that often lies hidden in plain sight.
There are very few crypts in Venice that can be visited, and one of them is located in the Church of San Zaccaria. Built between the 10th and 11th centuries, similar to the crypt of San Marco, it is still divided into three naves by two rows of columns topped with simple capitals that support cross vaults.
Due to the gradual rise in the average sea level, the crypt of the Church of San Zaccaria is almost constantly submerged and enveloped in a tranquil, almost suspended atmosphere. Its clear reflection on the transparent water offers visitors an unforgettable spectacle that leaves them in awe.
Venice’s hidden gems, such as the Scala Contarini del Bovolo, Complesso dell’Ospedaletto, Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Penitenti and the Crypt of the Church of San Zaccaria, offer a deeper connection to the city’s rich history and culture. Exploring these lesser-known treasures allows you to experience Venice beyond its famous landmarks and discover the hidden layers of this enchanting city.
As you plan your visit to Venice, consider venturing off the well-trodden paths and exploring these hidden gems that reveal the city’s lesser-known facets. And when you’re ready to relax after a day of exploration, Ninfea Boutique Hotel in Venice City Center is the ideal retreat, providing you with comfort and convenience in the heart of this extraordinary city. We look forward to welcoming you to Venice and helping you to create unforgettable memories in this marvelous city.
Contemporary design accommodation in the centre of Venice offering an unforgettable stay.
Ramo III dei Callegheri
San Marco 2593
30124 Venezia, Italy