A short vaporetto ride from the Doge’s Palace, the island of San Giorgio Maggiore is not only a lovely landmark, but a setting for free major art shows, especially during the current Biennale
Across the water from the Doge’s Palace and Saint Mark’s Square, the island of San Giorgio is an integral part of the classic Venetian vista. The white facade and tall bell tower of Palladio’s majestic 16th-century church were immortalised in paintings by Canaletto, Monet and Turner. The church is one of the few in Venice that does not charge an entry fee, and inside there are paintings by Tintoretto – including his Last Supper, painted in 1592–94 – Jacopo Bassano and Palma Giovane.
But Palladio’s masterpiece is only one of many surprising free attractions here. San Giorgo is the headquarters of the Cini foundation, whose arts centre, next to the church, hosts regular, free, exhibitions.