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: 'Duri i banchi!': the meaning of a famous motto in Venice

duri-i-banchi
Figures of speech

The Venetians are a people of workers, proud and deeply attached to their city, and for these reasons, they never surrender to hardship...

View

Venice: Coronavirus is not (fortunately) Venice’s new plague

peste
Historical Curiosities

As recently as a month ago the Coronavirus or COVID-19 started to affect our lives causing much disruption. It appeared precisely in ou...

View

Venice: History of the Queen of Venice Carnival: Frittella!

Frittelle_di_carnevale
Local Traditions

It is Carnival time...and what could be better than biting into a soft and tasty Venetian frittella? Frittella, ‘fritoea or fritola...

View

Venice: The legend of Melusina and the stone heart of Sotoportego dei Preti

Melusina
Mysteries & Legends

February: the feast of lovers is approaching and you are thinking of relishing magical experiences together with your better half in Ve...

View

Top posts

Chioggia: The Valley of the Seven Dead Men

casone-millecampi-detto-casone-dei-sette-morti
Mysteries & Legends

Halloween is just around the corner: have you already got into the fascinating terrifying aura of the scariest party of the year? No ye...

View

Venice: The stone heart of St Mark’s Basilica

cuore-erizzo
Unknown places & works

If you are visiting St Mark’s Basilica and have just abandoned the wonderful vision of the Pala d'Oro (which is a must-see), just a f...

View

Venice: Map of Venice, what to know before you leave

mappa-venezia
Did you know that...

Did you know that Venice is not a single large island but rather a collection of 117 small islands linked together by over 400 bridges?...

View

Verona: The roman walls of Verona

porta-borsari
Historical Curiosities

Verona has always been considered a city of considerable importance from a military point of view: being at the mouth of the Adige Vall...

View