Santa Maria del Rosario

One of the youngest tourist attractions in Venice, merely dating back to the eighteenth century, Chiesa dei Gesuati o Santa Maria del Rosario was built under the watchful eye of some of the city's most famous artisans. As with most any of the Venice tourist attractions that involve paintings, the work of Jacopo Tintoretto is represented here - and though most of his masterpieces are confined to the Scuola di San Rocco and Church of Miracles, his rendition of the Crucifixion found in Santa Maria del Rosario is generally considered one of his finest, earning it a prominent spot amongst the church's three altars.

The cathedral also boasts the work of master architect Giogio Massari, who oversaw the erection of the current structure, which originally belonged to the Guild of Poveri Gesuati. Sculptor Morlaiter adds a few of his most notable works here, and the paintings and ceiling frescoes by Giambattista Tiepolo are another of the highlights of tourist attractions in Venice. The blithe and bright ceilings frescoes are separated into three parts, two representing the life of San Domenico and the other showing Mary introducing the rosary (hence the name of the church). The entire church is infused with a well-honed rococo elegance, thereby separating itself from the other Venetian churches that were erected in the city during earlier times, though it is still, obviously, a far cry from the work found in St. Mark's.

Another standout of the many Venice tourist attractions includes the paintings of another Giambattista - Giambattista Piazzetta. Well known for his elaborate (and somewhat dark) paintings, his contributions to the Santa Maria del Rosario consist of two of the three altar pieces - "St. Dominic" and "Dominicans," fitting nicely with the church's overriding theme. A third altar piece was created by one of Piazzetta's rivals, Sebastiano Ricci, who took a more colorful - though less critically acclaimed - approach to his "Pope Pius V and Saints."

Located in the Dorsoduro section of the city (which makes up much of the southern flank) it is surrounded by numerous other tourist attractions in Venice, such as a whole host of other churches dedicated to Mary, such as Santa Maria della Salute, and Santa Maria del Carmelo. If that is not enough cathedrals for you, the church of the archangel Raphael is also in Dorsoduro, as is Santi Gevasio e Protasio, and San Sebastiano. Like most Venice tourist attractions, this church is open 7 days a week, but is especially popular on Sundays, when it features mass at 8, 10, noon and 6:30 pm.

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