Church of San Zaccaria (Chiesa di San Zaccaria)
Dedicated to St. Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, San Zaccaria is one of Venice’s great secrets and is tourist-free. Inside, the Antonio Gambello-designed ambulatory curves behind an altar with chapels radiating out—a remarkable architectural feature common in France, though rare in Italy and one-of-a-kind in Venice. A veritable museum of noteworthy art, the church boasts one of Giovanni Bellini's greatest works, La Sacra Conversazione altarpiece, and several paintings by other Italian greats like Tintoretto and Tiepolo.
Travelers may discover San Zaccaria as part of a half-day, full-day, group or private walking or canal cruise tour that makes visits to some of the city’s most spectacular attractions and may include tasting local gastronomy and wines.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Suitable for solo travelers, couples, and families.
- Tours may include guide, round trip hotel transport, but not food or drink. Check specific tours for details.
- The entrance is a non-descript door marked “please close door behind you” and is accessible via the Campo San Zaccaria; a docent should be there to assist.
- Admission to the church is free, while entrance to the chapels and the crypt is about US$1.
- To fully admire Bellini’s La Sacra Conversazione altarpiece, slip some change into the box and it will become illuminated.
How to Get There
Located in the Castello neighborhood of Venice, just off the waterfront to the southeast of Piazza San Marco, San Zaccaria is easily accessible by foot from central Venice. Take a water taxi to vaporetto stop San Zaccaria.
When to Get There
San Zaccaria is open Monday - Saturday, 10am - 12pm, and Sunday, 4pm - 6pm. Late spring and early summer are the best times to visit Venice in terms of weather, though crowds may be quite intense. And the prices are high. Avoid throngs of tourists while still enjoying lovely temperatures by visiting the city early spring or early to mid autumn.
The Chapels and the Crypt
Of the three chapels, the Cappella di San Tarasio is especially noteworthy with stunning late Gothic masterpieces—three golden polyptychs by Antonio Vivarini—as well as frescoes by Andrea del Castagno and Francesco da Faenza—the earliest examples of Renaissance painting in all of Venice. In the crypt are the funeral bodies of Venice’s doges from the 9th century, buried between columns and under vaulted ceilings, a vision enhanced by persistent flooding that creates a reflective pool.
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- St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco)
- Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale)
- Church of Santa Maria Formosa (Chiesa di Santa Maria Formosa)
- San Marco Chamber Orchestra (Virtuosi di Venezia)
- Campo Santa Maria Formosa
- Querini Stampalia Foundation (Fondazione Querini Stampalia)
- Bridge of Sighs
- Correr Museum (Museo Correr)
- Venice Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo
- St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco)
- St. Mark's Clock Tower (Torre dell'Orologio)
- Hard Rock Cafe Venice
- San Gallo Theater (Teatro San Gallo)
- Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli (Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Miracoli)