Santa Maria della Pietà, Venice

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The church of Santa Maria della Pietà or della Visitazione is a prominent church in the sestiere of Castello in Venice, Italy. It is sited with its facade on the Riva degli Schiavoni facing the lagoon, a short promenade from the Doge's Palace. Historically, it is remembered as the church associated with Vivaldi and his young female musicians, orphans in the custody of the Ospedale della Pietà.

Facade (1906).


The present church was built from 1745-1760 adjacent to the site of an earlier church, and adjacent to the orphanage and hospital, the Ospedale della Pietà. The design was by Giorgio Massari,[1] but its facade remained incomplete, with marble facing only rising a third of the way up the columns. In 1906, when it was completed sans the originally projected three statues on the roof.[2] Only a single simple cross ornaments the center. Above the entrance is a large bas-relief representing Charity (1800) by Marsili.

The interior is oval. The ceilings were frescoed by Tiepolo depicting Strength and Peace and Triumph of Faith, flanked by angelic musicians, while the presbytery was painted by the same artist with the theological Virtues, (1745-1755). Tiepolo was aided by Jacopo Guarana, the pupil of Sebastiano Ricci who had originally made designs for the frescoes.

A chapel by Giovanni Maria Morlaiter with a precious tabernacle decorated with gilded bronze figures and, at the sides, the Archangels Gabriel and Michael. The altar-piece, representing the Visitation, was begun by Giambattista Piazzetta and, on his death, finished by his disciple, Giuseppe Angeli. In the choir above the main entrance door there is a painting depicting Jesus in Simon’s house (1544) by Alessandro Bonvicino, called the Moretto da Brescia. In the side altars there are paintings by Maggiotto, Giuseppe Angeli, and Angelo Marinetti.

Plaque in exterior, threatening malediction and excommunication to all those who abandon children for which they can provide.[3]

Concert in the Vivaldi's Church[edit]

The chamber orchestra group I Virtuosi Italiani, founded in 1989, is playing during the 2014 concert season in Vivaldi’s Church in Venice. Among their repertoire are the concertos of Vivaldi such as the The Four seasons, as well as other Italian baroque music.[4]


  1. ^ Official site of the church.
  2. ^ I Virtuosi Italiani Website
  3. ^ Companion Guide to Venice, (1997) by Hugh Honour, page 87-88
  4. ^ I virtuosi Italiani concerts at Santa Maria della Pieta in 2014.

Coordinates: 45°26′03″N 12°20′42″E / 45.43417°N 12.34500°E / 45.43417; 12.34500