The Basilica of “Santa Maria della Salute” is a strong landmark of the Venice area where our apartments are found.
Located near the Punta della Dogana, in the Dorsoduro district of Venice, it is clearly visible in the foreground looking out from Piazza San Marco (Riva degli Schiavoni) toward the lagoon and the Canal Grande.
The Church of Santa Maria della Salute was built in Venetian baroque style, inspired by the architecture of Palladio, in thanksgiving for the end of a terrible epidemic of plague in 1630, that only in Venice, killed approximately 80,000 Venetians (including the Patriarch and Doge).
The Basilica was designed by Baldassare Longhena in a circular shape " in form of a crown to be dedicated to the Virgin" and its construction ended in year 1687.
Venice continues to celebrate the "Festa della Madonna della Salute" every year on November 21st; during this day, people cross a temporary floating bridge cast from San Marco to the Church to pray. Tradionally, during this day of celebration and prayer, Venetians eat a "castradina", a Venetian specialty made of mutton.
The front of the Church of Santa Maria della Salute is characterized by a prominent portal, protruding from the main building, with Corinthian columns and a high central opening, while the body of the Church is in the shape octagonal, topped by a large dome and flanked by six chapels.
Inside, in addition to the architectural space created by Longhena, you can admire numerous works of art. The sculpture of the altar depicts the Virgin Mary (la Salute translates to Health) that protects Venice from the plague.
In the chapels on the sides of the octagon you can admire paintings by famous painters such as Luca Giordano and Tiziano.
More Tiziano’s paintings adorn the sacristy (Cain and Abel, David and Goliath, The Sacrifice of Abraham and Isaac). Also in the sacristy, you can admire paintings by Tintoretto (The Marriage of Cana) and other renowned Italian painters.