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: Prospero Alpini and the discovery of coffee in Europe

prospero_alpini
Big Names

Everyone knows about coffee, the energizing and hearty drink consumed by millions of people every day! We Italians are great coffee dri...

View

Venice: The bridge of Fists in the Dorsoduro district

ponte-dei-pugni
Historical Curiosities

The Bridge of Fists, located in the Dorsoduro district, owes its name to an ancient tradition of Venice: the War of Fists. The inhabita...

View

Venice: The red stone of the 'Sotoportego de la peste'

sotoportego-de-la-peste
Mysteries & Legends

Walking around Venice along the narrow streets and across the squares, you could happen to notice strange slabs on the pavement... whic...

View

Treviso: Mr. Carnevale’s confetti factory in Paese

fabbrica-cordiandoli-carnevale
Local Traditions

We all know what confetti is! It is little pieces of colored paper that are thrown into the air during the course of carnival celebrati...

View

Top posts

Padua: The biodiversity garden in the Padua Botanical Garden

giardino-biodiversità
Unknown places & works

Founded in 1545, the Botanical Garden of Padua is the oldest botanical garden in the world to be still in its original location; it cov...

View

Vicenza: The Bissara Tower in Piazza dei Signori

torre-bissara-vicenza
Historical Curiosities

One of the most evocative places in Vicenza is certainly Piazza dei Signori, overlooked by the famous Basilica Palladiana, the work of ...

View

Venice: The relief of the man with the pipe at Palazzo Loredan on the Grand Canal

palazzo-loredan
Mysteries & Legends

One of the oldest buildings on the banks of the Grand Canal is Palazzo Loredan, built in the 13th century and currently seat of the Tow...

View

Verona: The equestrian monument at Cangrande della Scala in Verona

cangrande
Big Names

One of the most famous people in the history of Verona is surely Cangrande della Scala, Lord of Verona from 1308 to 1329, the year of h...

View