Hidden treasures

The Music Room at the Venice Ospedaletto

Unknown places & works
ospedaletto-venezia

The Music Room at the Venice Ospedaletto

In the past, Venice had different institutions called Ospedali, which also served as shelters for the lonely, needy, elderly, orphans or children whose families could not look after them.

One of these institutions includes Santa Maria dei Derelitti, in the Castello district, called 'the Ospedaletto'. Due to its small size, it gave way to a very important tradition for the city: the chorus of maidens.

Since its founding in 1500s the orphans sang church hymns. It began as a way for them to learn the fundamentals of religion, but then they became so popular that an independent activity was started: with the donations collected during the concerts, in fact, a dowry for the girls was created allowing them to leave the institute and get married.

The girls also learned to play an instrument (wind or string), so that a real orchestra was founded with 40 instruments and they were followed by a master who often composed music especially for them.

To promote the concerts, a special room was created in 1776 that was called the 'Music Room', where the girls of the choir organized concerts. Let us not forget that Venice did not obey the papacy, which forbade women to perform.

In 1777 the great painter Jacopo Guarana was called to decorate the new room, and helped by the quadraturist Agostino Mengozzi Colonna, he created an incredible masterpiece. On the walls, the choir girls intent on playing or singing were represented, with incredible vivacity...

The hall is now part of a room for the care of older people but, on request, it can be visited.

If you would like to include this unusual place in your private tour of Venice, simply complete the form and tick the places you want to include in your visit in the ‘preferences for the tour' box!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: The Wheel of the Innocents in the Monastery of the Pietà in Venice

ruota-innocenti
Unknown places & works

The majestic neo-classical church of the Pietà stands next to St. Mark's Square in Venice, along Riva degli Schiavoni. Here, concerts ...

View

Padua: Villa Grimani Valmarana Calergi in Noventa Padovana

villa-grimani-calergi-valmarana
Unknown places & works

Veneto is undoubtedly the region of Villas, magnificent resorts and ancient places of idleness for Venetian nobles. Yet their origins a...

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

Padua: The collections of the Convent of St. John in Verdara in Padua

eremitani-padova
Unknown places & works

The most beautiful museum in Padua is undoubtedly the Eremitani museum, created in 1895 to house the city's collections. The original s...

View

Top posts

Venice: The graffiti of the ancient merchants on Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Venice

Fondaco_dei_Tedeschi
Historical Curiosities

Each building located along the Grand Canal has an amusing story or a mystery to tell... After having been the Post Office building for...

View

Padua: The Museum of the History of Medicine in Padua

Museo-di-storia-della-Medicina
Unknown places & works

If you are tired of the usual museums filled with paintings and sculptures, you might find the Museum of the History of Medicine in Pad...

View

Venice: The door of the Tolentini Convent in Venice designed by Carlo Scarpa

iuav-tolentini
Big Names

Near Piazzale Roma is the impressive Tolentini church, built by Vincenzo Scamozzi in the 16th century and finished with an elegant Gree...

View

Venice: The ghost of the Chinese wife of Marco Polo

corte-milion-venezia
Mysteries & Legends

Legend has it that, during his stay in China, the famous Venetian merchant Marco Polo was in love with one of the daughters of the Grea...

View