Venice: Campo Santo Stefano (Frontpage)  (Thumbnail Index(Venice Introduction) (What's New)
Map oriented to north 
(Jpg: Chiese di Venezia)

More Venetian Campi
Campo Santo Stefano 
Jpg: David W. Spracklen

View looking east. The compo to the north of the church S. Stefano and marked on this map as Compo S. Angelo. 


Campo Santo Stefano is the largest square in the sestiere after Piazza San Marco, and one of the most cheerful, with several pavement bars (including Paolin, renowned for its pistachio ice-cream). Until 1802, when part of the stand collapsed, this was where the corsa al toro bullfights took place. In the centre is a monument to the Risorgimento ideologue Nicolò Tommaseo, whose studious habits are suggested by a pile of books rising to the level of his frock coat. To Venetians he is known as `Cagalibri', the book-shitter. 

Santo Stefano is an Augustinian church, rebuilt in the fourteenth century and altered in the fifteenth. The façade has a magnificent portal in the florid Gothic style. The large interior, with its splendid ship's keel roof, is a multicoloured treat, with different marbles used for the columns, capitals, altars and intarsia, and diamond-patterned walls, as on the Palazzo Ducale. On the floor is a huge plaque to Doge Morosini (best known outside Venice for blowing up the Parthenon) and a more modest one to composer Giovanni Gabrielli. On the interior façade to the left of the door is a Renaissance monument to Giacomo Surian by Pietro Lombardo and his sons, decorated with skulls and festoons. 

In the Sacristy (open same hours as the church; admission L3,000) are two  tenebrous late works by Tintoretto: The Washing of the Feet and The Agony in the Garden (The Last Supper is by the great man's assistants) and three fanciful works by Gaspare Diziani (Adoration of the Magi, Flight into Egypt, Massacre of the Innocents). There is also a kitsch modern crib in glass by Seguso. 

If you take the calle out of the campo  towards St Mark's (next to Häagen-Daz),  you get a good view from the first bridge of the apse of Santo Stefano, with a canal passing underneath it. ( 


By:  Natasha Wallace
Copyright 1998-2005 all rights reserved
Created 11/3/2000