CHURCH: Church of Sant’Alvise
LOCATION: Cannaregio, Campo Sant’Alvise
MATERIALS: brick, Istrian stone
The church of Sant’Alvise (San Ludovico da Tolosa) was built in 1383 at the behest of the noblewoman Antonia Venier.
According to tradition, the holy bishop appeared to the patrician several times in a dream, indicating the place where to build a church dedicated to him. Antonia Venier also had the adjoining convent built, to which she retired together with other pious women, embracing the rule of Saint Augustine. The facade of the church stands on the campo of the same name and is characterized by a rather massive configuration, very distant from the aspects of lightness and verticality of the Venetian ecclesiastical architecture of the period. The prospectus is divided by six slightly projecting pilasters which separate the two lateral wings with flat sloping sides, from the central area with a gabled roof, giving the complex a vague bell-shaped shape. A pair of pilasters underlines the central portion of the façade, where the beautiful Gothic portal is located with a prothyrum supported by twisted columns, flanked by two spiers and culminating in a fiorone; in the ogival lunette of the portal there is a statue of San Ludovico da Tolosa (1), a fifteenth-century work.
Above the portal there is a Gothic rose window which gives light to the interior, while the whole is crowned, along the eaves line, by a series of ogival hanging arches.