San Giorgio Maggiore

This article is about the island. For the church, see Church of San Giorgio Maggiore. For the monastery, see San Giorgio Monastery.
San Giorgio Maggiore

View of San Giorgio Maggiore
San Giorgio Maggiore
Coordinates 45°25′41″N 12°20′37″E / 45.428056°N 12.343611°E / 45.428056; 12.343611Coordinates: 45°25′41″N 12°20′37″E / 45.428056°N 12.343611°E / 45.428056; 12.343611
Adjacent bodies of water Venetian Lagoon
Region Veneto
Province Province of Venice

San Giorgio Maggiore is one of the islands of Venice, northern Italy, lying east of the Giudecca and south of the main island group.


The isle is surrounded by Canale della Grazia, Canale della Giudecca, Saint Mark Basin, Canale di San Marco and the southern lagoon. It forms part of the San Marco sestiere.


San Giorgio Maggiore was probably occupied in the Roman period; after the foundation of Venice it was called Insula Memmia after the Memmo family who owned it. By 829 it had a church consecrated to St George; thus it was designated as San Giorgio Maggiore to be distinguished from San Giorgio in Alga.

The San Giorgio Monastery was established in 982, when the Benedictine monk, Giovanni Morosini,[1] asked the doge Tribuno Memmo to donate the whole island for a monastery.[2] Morosini drained the island's marshes next to the church to get the ground for building, and founded the Monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore, and became its first abbot.

San Giorgio is now best known for the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, designed by Palladio and begun in 1566. The belltower has a ring of 9 bells in C#.

In the early 19th century, after the Republic fell, the monastery was almost suppressed and the island became a free port with a new harbour built in 1812. It became the home of Venice's artillery.


San Giorgio Maggiore is now the headquarters of the Cini Foundation arts centre, known for its library and is also home to the Teatro Verde open-air theatre.

Panorama of San Giorgio Maggiore viewed from the main island
View from the spire to the main island

See also


Wikimedia Commons has media related to San Giorgio Maggiore.
  1. Giovanni Morosini, a member of an important noble family of Venice, after serving for 25 years as leader and guide of the Monastery, dies on February 5, 1012 , (see: Alvise Zorzi, La Repubblica del Leone. Storia di Venezia, Bompiani, 2001
  2. John Freely (2008): Strolling through Venice. Tauris Parke Paperbacks, ISBN 978 1 84511 578 4, p. 121
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