Hidden treasures

The library of the Church of San Francesco della Vigna in Venice

Historical Curiosities
biblioteca-s-francesco-venezia

The library of the Church of San Francesco della Vigna in Venice

Far from the usual sightseeing sites, in the popular Castello district in Venice, one can visit the beautiful church of San Francesco della Vigna

The complex was started in 1253 when the son Marco of the Doge Pietro Ziani gave a piece of land with a vineyard on it (hence the name of the church: Vigna or vineyard) to a group of Franciscan monks.

The monastery is also famous for its library, of which there are reliable accounts  already in 1437. Between the 16th and the 18th century it enjoyed a good reputation, both for the texts preserved and for the activities connected with it, such as public theology lectures and the meetings of the Academy for Church Studies.

Following the suppressions of the 19th century and the transformation of the convent into barracks, the assets of the library were largely dispersed, but with the return of the Franciscan community, after the second half of the 19th century, the library was restored thanks to bequests and donations of religious and lay people.

Since 1989, the monastery has been home to the San Bernardino Institute of Ecumenical Studies and in 2001 some old collections that belonged to two deceased monks and  few suppressed Franciscan monasteries were included in the library.

The current collection of books of the library consists of an ancient collection of about 30,000 volumes including chorals, manuscripts, incunabula, books from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, and a modern collection of about 80,000 works mostly on religious subjects.

The library can also be viewed with the aid of a guide. Please contact us by email for more information and to check the availability of our guides for a private guided tour of the church and the library of San Francesco della Vigna in Venice.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: Andrea Palladio’s Tablino at the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice

tablino-palladio
Big Names

More than simply the rooms where many masterpieces are exhibited, the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice are a work of art on their ow...

View

Venice: The 'Naval Battle' by Tintoretto at Doge’s Palace

Battaglia_Garda
Historical Curiosities

The ceiling of the Doge's Palace, in addition to being the largest wooden suspended ceiling in the world, is a real trove of painting m...

View

Venice: The origins of the Carnival in Venice

faliero-vitale
Local Traditions

When looking for information on the birth of the Venice Carnival, the first place to head for is St. Mark’s Basilica, the place where...

View

Verona: The Carnival in Verona

carnevale-verona
Local Traditions

When it comes to Carnival, everyone immediately thinks of Venice, but also the other cities of the Veneto region have ancient and charm...

View

Top posts

Venice: The tomb of Doge Andrea Gritti in the church of San Francesco della Vigna

Andrea_Gritti-tomba
Big Names

For the few daring visitors who decide to head to the Castello district, away from the crowds swarming around Piazza San Marco and the ...

View

Venice: Doge Pietro Tradonico and the Island of Poveglia in the Venice lagoon

poveglia-venezia
Historical Curiosities

The Island of Poveglia, in the Venice lagoon, is considered by paranormal experts as one of the world’s most haunted places, normally...

View

Padua: Donatello’s Altar in the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua

altare-donatello
Historical Curiosities

When visiting the city of Padua a not-to-be-missed monument is the magnificent Basilica dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, a Francisc...

View

Venice: The Secret Garden of Ca 'Morosini del Giardin in Cannaregio

ca-morosini-del-giardin
Unknown places & works

Venice is a magical city for many reasons, amongst them are its many hidden gardens that few are aware of! One of the most secret and f...

View