Hidden treasures

The Festival of Saint Stefano in Venice

Local Traditions
San-Giorgio-Maggiore-

The Festival of Saint Stefano in Venice

In the past in Venice the Christmas festivities lasted until 26 December, Boxing Day. In fact, after listening to the evening Mass on December 25 at St Mark's Basilica, the Doge and his entourage crossed St Mark's basin through a tunnel, prepared for the occasion, to the nearby island of San Giorgio Maggiore, where there is a church of the same name.

The island of San Giorgio Maggiore is home to one of the oldest Benedictine monasteries in Venice, which was founded in the tenth century, and the church, dedicated to St. George, dates as far back as the eighth century. The building, which now houses the Giorgio Cini Foundation, was completely rebuilt in a Renaissance style by the famous architect Andrea Palladio during the second half of the 15th century.

In the church the Doge worshiped the relics of Saint Stefano, kept there since 1109. During the next day the Doge celebrated with his entourage in St Mark's Square whilst the local and noble people paraded the streets wearing masks. Boxing Day, in fact, marked the start of the Venice Carnival, a very long period since it ended on Ash Wednesday (March or April).

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Padua: Bartolomeo Cristofori: the Padua-born man who invented the piano

bartolomeo_cristofori
Did you know that...

Did you know that the inventor of the piano hailed from Padua? That’s true and his name was Bartolomeo Cristofori. Bartolomeo Cristof...

View

Venice: The gondolier: the warrior of the lagoon

gondoliere
Mysteries & Legends

Everybody knows who a gondolier is and what he does: he is the person who, with dedication and ability, propels the gondola, the tradit...

View

Venice: Why is it called Titian Red?

rosso_tiziano
Figures of speech

Do you recall the sensual ‘Venus of Urbino’ or the elegant ‘Woman in the mirror’ by Tiziano Vecellio? Now, just focus on the re...

View

Cortina D'ampezzo: A Museum in the Clouds in Cortina d’Ampezzo

Museo-delle-Nuvole-Monte-Rite-a-Cibiana
Mysteries & Legends

If you reach the summit of Mount Rite at 2181 meters near Cortina d'Ampezzo, it will come as a surprise to find among the barren dolomi...

View

Top posts

Venice: How much does a gondola ride cost?

gondola
Did you know that...

Have you decided to visit Venice and included a nice gondola ride on the list of things to do? How could we blame you! Is there anythin...

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

Treviso: The ghost of Bianca di Collalto

castello-collalto
Mysteries & Legends

On the night between October 31 and November 1, telling a scary ghost story is a must... We have one related to the castle of Collalto,...

View

Padua: Prato della Valle in Padua

prato-della-valle
Historical Curiosities

Probably only the inhabitants of Padua and a few other people know of a particular record their city is boasting about: having the larg...

View