CittÓ per tutti
itinerario: Former Church of Santa Marta, Ex Cotonificio, Church of San Sebastiano, Church of Angelo Raffaele, Former convent of the Sisters of Saint Theresa, Teatro Universitario G. Poli
The Santa Marta area is located in the westernmost tip of Venice where council housing and 19th
and 20th century buildings have replaced the antique settlements. It is home to several important
examples of industrial archaeology that played an important role in the life of the city: from the
gasometer to the aqueduct, from the huge hangars of the Cotonificio, the former cotton factory,
to the former Ligabue warehouses. Over the years, so many of these buildings have been converted
into university departments that the area has been transformed into a university quarter.
The area is also strategically placed near to the port which bustles with tourists on their way to
and from a host of tourist resorts (Croatia, Slovenia, Greece, etc.).
Take a No. 4.1 or 5.1 "motoscafo" - the small water-bus transporting only one wheelchair at a time -
from Piazzale Roma or Ferrovia stops or a No. 6 motoscafo from Piazzale Roma, and get off at
[ 2 ]
Once you have got off the landing-stage turn right and head for the former Church of Santa
Marta, a 14th century building that has been converted into a congress centre/exhibition space.
[ 3 ]
Continuing along the wharf of the commercial port you will reach the ex Cotonificio buildings
now housing various university departments (the IUAV institute of architecture and Ca' Foscari
University of Venice). Standing on the roof is a sculpture entitled "Ali", or Wings, a work symbolising
freedom made by the architect Massimo Scolari for the 1991 Biennale as a door for the Arsenale
and subsequently donated to the University.
Just a few yards from the former Cotton Factory are the ex Magazzini Ligabue, a group of preindustrial
red brick warehouses originally used as a free zone and recently refurbished and converted
into university lecture halls.
[ 4 ]
Continuing along the San Basilio bank you can admire the Giudecca island on your right with
the magnificent Mulino Stucky building, an important example of 19th century industrial archaeology
now housing a hotel and congress centre.
After going up the ramp alongside the hydrofoil terminal of the Stazione Marittima (the Cruise
Terminal), take the Calle dei Frati to the 15th century Church of San Sebastiano, one of Venice's
leading art venues thanks to its magnificent cycle of paintings by Paolo Veronese, who is buried
there. Worth a closer look are the painted organ doors and ceiling of the sacristy (accessible
after going up two steps) where you can admire the Coronation of the Virgin, the Four Evangelists,
the Virtues and Scenes from the Old Testament. Inside the main body of the church are various
works by Paris Bordone and Jacopo Sansovino as well as a St Nicolas by Titian.
Adjacent to the church is the ex-convent of San Sebastiano, which now houses the humanities
faculty of Ca' Foscari. The entrance hall is of particular architectural significance. Designed
by Carlo Scarpa in 1978 it acts as a dialectic link between buildings from different eras, combining
a range of contrasting surfaces: the entrance is distinguished by an L-shaped? cornice made
from Istrian limestone with stepped moulding cut away at the top to hold the antique statue of
[ 5 ]
After leaving the church go to Campazzo San Sebastiano; after passing Campo drio al Cimitero you will reach the Church of Angelo Raffaele which has a marble statue group including the Archangel Raphael decorating its impressive fašade. There are two entrances to the church: the
main entrance has two steps while the side entrance is accessible.
The church is open every day from 10.00 to 12.00 and from 15.00 to 17.30.
[ 6 ]
Returning to the wharf keep going until you reach the ex-cotton factory. If you cross the university
campus (during opening times) you can reach Fondamenta dei Bari overlooked, on the
other side of the canal, by the Church of San Nicol˛ dei Mendicoli, a 12th century church with a
Going along the embankment you will reach the former convent of the Sisters of Saint
Theresa built around a single large arched cloister (now a university faculty). The two wings of
the convent enclose the simple fašade of the Church of Santa Teresa which dates to the early
Leaving the convent complex, on the other side of the rio, you will see the "Casa dei 7 camini",
the House of 7 Chimneys, an interesting example of minor residential architecture: in 1996, the
building was raised 40 centimetres using an experimental engineering technique to protect it
from the high water.
[ 7 ]
Going along the Fondamenta Santa Marta which leads to the landing stage you will pass Teatro
Universitario "Giovanni Poli", a fully accessible theatre hosting shows linked to leading Venetian
For further information on accessibility and opening hours:
www.chorusvenezia.org ; www.unive.it ; www.iuav.it