San Giorgio Maggiore

Coordinates: 45°25′41″N 12°20′39″E / 45.427950°N 12.344184°E / 45.427950; 12.344184
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San Giorgio Maggiore
View of San Giorgio Maggiore from the top of St Mark's Campanile
San Giorgio Maggiore is located in Venetian Lagoon
San Giorgio Maggiore
San Giorgio Maggiore
Coordinates45°25′41″N 12°20′39″E / 45.427950°N 12.344184°E / 45.427950; 12.344184
Adjacent toVenetian Lagoon
ProvinceProvince of Venice

San Giorgio Maggiore (Venetian: San Zorzi Mazor) is one of the islands of Venice, northern Italy, lying east of the Giudecca and south of the main island group. The island, or more specifically its Palladian church, is an important landmark. It has been much painted, featuring for example in a series by Monet.


The isle is surrounded by Canale della Grazia, Canale della Giudecca, Saint Mark Basin, Canale di San Marco and the southern lagoon. It forms part of the San Marco sestiere.


San Giorgio Maggiore was probably occupied in the Roman period; after the foundation of Venice it was called Insula Memmia after the Memmo family who owned it. By 829 it had a church consecrated to St George; thus it was designated as San Giorgio Maggiore to be distinguished from San Giorgio in Alga.

The San Giorgio Monastery was established in 982, when the Benedictine monk Giovanni Morosini[1] asked the doge Tribuno Memmo to donate the whole island for a monastery.[2] Morosini drained the island's marshes next to the church to get the ground for building, and founded the Monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore, and became its first abbot.

San Giorgio is now best known for the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, designed by Palladio and begun in 1566. The belltower has a ring of 9 bells in C#.

In the early 19th century, after the Republic fell, the monastery was almost suppressed and the island became a free port with a new harbour built in 1812. It became the home of Venice's artillery.


San Giorgio Maggiore is now the headquarters of the Cini Foundation arts centre, known for its library, and is also home to the Teatro Verde open-air theatre. In addition, it features two harbours managed by the Compagnia della Vela: Darsena Crose, facing north (see second image below) and Darsena Verde, facing south.[3]

Panorama of San Giorgio Maggiore viewed from the main island
View from the spire to the main island

In popular culture[edit]

The island and the church were featured in a pivotal showdown in the anime and manga JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Vento Aureo.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Giovanni Morosini, a member of an important noble family of Venice, after serving for 25 years as leader and guide of the Monastery, dies on February 5, 1012, (see: Alvise Zorzi, La Repubblica del Leone. Storia di Venezia, Bompiani, 2001
  2. ^ John Freely (2008): Strolling through Venice. Tauris Parke Paperbacks, ISBN 978 1 84511 578 4, p. 121
  3. ^ "Compagnia della Vela — Darsene".