Venice: Discovering the Frari

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Churches are many, so many. You can find hidden ones, camouflaged ones between houses and palaces, magnificent and grand, ready to dominate the zone in which they are erected. If you observe the skyline of Venice you will see many bell towers of every size and of different heights that appear everywhere, signaling the unequivocal presence of its church.

There are even plenty of Basilicas- although there are obviously fewer ones than churches. There is the San Marco Basilica, the most famous,  there is also the very popular Salute Basilica (where Venetians celebrate the Madonna della Salute Festival in November) and then there is the very important and just as grand –  Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari.

 

Located in the beautiful quarter of San Polo, the Frari Basilica was erected between 1250 and 1338 and is the work of Franciscan Friars. It was then reconstructed later in the XIV century in its grand gothic-Cistercian style, with three central naves and seven chapels. The church’s dimensions are noteworthy, you can tell by just walking its outside perimeters.  The few external decorations on the brick construction don’t give away the richness and magnificence inside. 

 

Upon entering (tickets cost 3 euros) you will be impressed by the grandeur and beauty of the Basilica. Its many masterpieces, including the beautiful alter dell’Assunta (1516-1518) and the famous Madonna di Ca’ Pesaro (1526) both important works by Tiziano.

 

Furthermore in the sacristy, the Trittico della Vergine and Saints by Giovanni Bellini (1488 Capella Pesaro) which is considered a 1400’s Venetian masterpiece. Close by is the Trittico of San Marco (1474) by Bartolomeo Vivarini in the elegant Capella Corner.

 

Even more marvelous is the wooden choir and the many sculptures that adorn the numerous monuments and tombs of illustrious Venetians.  Don’t forget to visit the beautiful cloister just adjacent to the Frari Basilica.

 

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