Santa Maria Formosa and Palazzo Querini Stampalia

The birth of a city: a square, a church, and a palace

Santa Maria Formosa

Venice began its history with various families living on the lagoon islands. As the city grew in size, the different communities developed their own urban structures with squares (the Venetian ‘campo’), churches, bell towers, piers, and wells. Palaces for the richest families and houses for the poorest were built in the same area.

We will visit the church of Santa Maria Formosa, one of the first eight churches founded in the 7th century by Bishop San Magno on the island that bears the same name. The famous architect Mauro Codussi completed its last reconstruction in the 15th century and famous painters such as Bartolomeo Vivarini and Jacopo Palma Il Vecchio decorated it with their works. Inside, there are the altars of the ‘casselleri’, who made dowry boxes, and of the greengrocers, fruit, herb and citrus merchants.

Not far from the church there is a beautiful palace, that belonged to the Querini Stampalia family. The last family member left the palace with a library full of old and new books, a museum-house filled with paintings from the 14th to the 20th centuries, furniture, sculptures, chandeliers, and porcelain.

Querini Stampalia Garden

The ground floor of the palace Querini Stampalia is also part of our tour. Here, between 1961 and 1963, the renowned architect Carlo Scarpa undertook a daring and experimental restoration project. He used traditional principles and added modern elements.

DURATION: 2 hours

TOUR PRICE: € 170.00

Church of Santa Maria Formosa: € 3.50 p.p.
Fondazione Querini Stampalia: adults € 14.00; reductions € 10.00

The tour price is for a party of 1 to 8 people, and doesn’t include admission fees. Should your party have more than 8 participants, please contact us for a quote.

Venice with a Guide