The Church of Santa Maria del Carmelo (Carmini) was founded by the Carmelite friars in the penultimate decade of the 13th century. The construction started in 1286 and continued for a long time due to the size of the building, until its official consecration in 1348. Originally, it was lower than its current state, as evidenced by the small arches along its left side.
The facade, rebuilt in the late 15th century, features curved side pediments and a semicircular tympanum, following the Renaissance style introduced by Codussi in Venice, which can be seen in the facade of the Church of San Zaccaria and the bell tower of Santa Maria Formosa.
The interior has a basilica plan with three aisles, stone columns made of Istrian stone, and inverted basket-shaped capitals belonging to the early Gothic style.
Starting from 1507, significant restoration works and decoration interventions took place, which continued in subsequent eras and radically changed the original appearance of the church. These interventions mainly involved the construction of a new presbytery and the heightening of the central nave and partially the side aisles.
The insertion of the apsidal chapels was carried out in the new space of the elongated transept from the presbytery, corresponding to the main nave. These structures have Renaissance-style lines with multi-order pillars from which the large rounded arches of the transept depart.
However, these construction works were attributed, without documentation, to Giovanni di Antonio Buora, an architect and sculptor originally from Lugano, a follower of Pietro Lombardo, active in Venice until his death in 1513.
The altars were rebuilt in the 17th century and adorned with valuable altarpieces such as “The Adoration of the Magi” by Cima da Conegliano (1509), “St. Nicholas with Angels” by Lorenzo Lotto (1529), and “The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple” by Jacopo Tintoretto (1543).
(Aldo Bova “Venezia i luoghi della musica“)
The church houses a two-manual and eighteen-stop organ, built by Mascioni in 1946, and placed in the richly decorated case of the ancient organ by Vincenzo Colonna from 1663.
Monday – Saturday | 10:30 am – 5:00 pm
(ticket office, bookshop, and last admissions close ten minutes before closing time)
First festive (Saturdays and vigils) 6:00 pm / 9:00 pm in summer
Festive (Sunday and holidays) 10:30 am – 6:00 pm
Weekdays 6:00 pm