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Corte de Ca' Sarasina shrine

Castello 1194

sarasinashrinedetailThis is one of the largest and most elaborate shrines I found. It’s in Castello, not far from the church of Sant’ Isepo (San Guiseppe di Castello, dedicated to St. Joseph).

I can’t find any information about its history besides a brief mention in DK’s Eyewitness Venice Top Ten guidebook which says that it’s a memorial shrine dating back to the 1600’s.

Someone certainly is taking very good care of it. Fresh paint, lots of fresh flowers, amazingly clean lace curtains and altar cloths. I wonder who takes care of shrines like this – ladies from the local church, ladies in the neighborhood, anyone who feels inspired?

Another nice detail is the old framed photo hanging on the door that shows women from the past sitting in front of that very shrine sewing or making lace perhaps.

Castello 1194

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Comments (9)

trekcapri (Kathy):

Hi Annie, as always I'm really enjoying your blog. I had to smile when I read this entry because I also thought to myself when coming across a shrine with flowers who places them there and then wonder about their story. Looking forward to your next entry.

Hey, have you read Frances Mayes' little coffee table book on shrines? I really enjoyed it. I got it from Amazon.

I'm a very big shrine fan too. :)


It's amazing. I wonder how you maintain the continuity on such a thing?

The watches are really fun, and for that price...

I had to put new batteries in them after a year, but the back opened up easily, the batteries were $4 each, and they are all working perfectly.

Yes, I followed Frances' move a while back. Her daughter moved there and now she is closer to her and her grandson.

That reminds me... shrine posts...

Hi, Anne. I republished an article I wrote years ago about this Madonna on my blog, VENETIAN CAT - VENICE BLOG (http://venetiancat.blogspot.com), and used your photos. I gave the credit "Anne" and the name of your blog, CHURCHES IN VENICE, with the link. If that's not okay, or there's something you'd like to change, please let me know.

Cat Bauer

HI Cat, thanks for asking. I enjoyed reading your article and learning more about this beautiful shrine. Annie

Catherine Kovesi:


The women in the photograph aren't sewing or making lace. They are impiraresse - bead threaders. This was one of the most common occupations for women in this district. They would thread tiny conterie. The beads are in the wooden containers on their laps. They hold multiple long needles in their hands and scoop the beads up from the containers.

So maybe the impiraresse were intimately involved with the shrine somehow?

Best to you,


Thank you Catherine, I'm happy to know about the bead threaders. Cheers, Annie

hello, i was talking with a resident on the street today, who showed me the shrine and said that a french woman who lives above the shrine is the one who tends it.

Thank you for the info, Jeanne!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 8, 2008 3:09 PM.

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