The campanile di San Marco is the tallest of them all, of course, at 315 feet (97 meters). Second place is a tie between the Frari and San Francesco della Vigna ; both of these towers rise to 224 feet (69 meters). The Venetian nickname for the San Marco tower is “el paron de casa” which means “master (or lord) of the house.”
Santa Maria della Salute has two towers (photo below), but only one of them has bells in it. You can listen to these beautiful bells on Trek Capri’s blog!
Most every church has some bells even if they no longer have a tower. Many churches have what’s called a “Roman-style” bell tower – not a free-standing campanile but visible bells in a little tower usually on the roof of the church. The bells in the photo below are from the Rialto church of San Giacometto, which used to have a free-standing tower that was destroyed in a 1514 fire.
The bells in the campanile of the church of Santo Stefano are British. In 1585, the tower was struck by lightning and collapsed, and its bells melted in the fire. The tower was rebuilt, and the new bells came from England where Catholic churches were being stripped and closed by Queen Elizabeth I. This is one of several "leaning towers" in Venice.
In 1595, the tower of the church of San Leonardo collapsed, destroying the church and ten adjacent houses, and killing ten people.
The church of Sant’Elena has the most modern tower, built in 1950-60 to replace the one destroyed in 1806 by the French.
Today many of the towers have electromechanical bell ringing systems but some of them still have manual bells. And a few of them have no bells at all, like the church of San Stae’s tower which is so unstable that it’s not safe to ring any bells.
The Geometry of Venice is a dense but interesting research study into the position of the Venetian bell towers with some intriquing discoveries about triangles~
“Actually…48 out of 50 belfries, adjacent to ancient churches built before the end of XI century, are connected by a huge network of 61 Pythagorean triangles.Evidently, a sound network of acoustic and visual guidelines could give a better sense of security to Serenissima Republic citizens.”