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San Bonaventura

San Bonaventura

This church and an adjacent monastery were founded in 1620 by the Franciscan order of the Riformati (which gave the name to the Fondamenta dei Riformati in front). These Franciscans friars relocated from the island monastery of San Francesco del Deserto and received funding from the wealthy Zen family to build this religious complex on reclaimed land in northern Cannaregio, not far from the church of Sant’ Alvise.

The church is dedicated to St. Bonaventure (1221-1274), an Italian theologian and early follower of St. Francis of Assisi.

After the fall of the Venetian Republic and the great suppression of churches, the church and monastery were closed. The place was used as a factory and for other secular purposes until 1859, when it was purchased by a Venetian countess who gave the complex to the Carmelite nuns of Santa Teresa. In the early 20th century, the nuns ran a children’s hospital here, and the church was the private chapel for the convent.

The nuns are still there today and Mass is celebrated daily at 6:30 in the morning according to the Patriarch of Venice website. I've never found it open and going to Mass might be the only way to visit it. The church was behind scaffolding a few years ago – not sure if the restoration is completed yet or not.

San Bonaventura

This Google Earth view shows the cloisters, gardens, and so many trees.

San Bonaventura

San Bonaventura

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Comments (4)

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Annie, this is a beautiful church. The exterior is lovely. I love how it was purchased and turned into a children's hospital ran by nuns. From your google map, it looks like a rather large area. I bet the mass held here is beautiful.

Thanks so much for sharing the history of this wonderful church.


What a lovely church. I'd love to see the inside...although that mass time is way too early for me! haha Isn't google earth wonderful? I so love being able to get those bird's eye views and street views. I google-walk around Florence on a regular basis! :)

Have a great week!


Thank you so much for all these detailes posts and images about Venice. It will make my next trip all the richer.

Great art and as always I love your shots from Venice. I also liked your recent flowers on flicker.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 23, 2014 11:49 AM.

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