Church of Santa Maria Formosa

The Church of Santa Maria Formosa, built in 1492, is an architectural masterpiece by Mauro Codussi, and marks the introduction into Venice of the sculptural and spatial vision embodied in the Tuscan Renaissance.

It lies on the site of a former church dating from the 7th century, which, according to tradition, was one of the eight founded by San Magno, bishop of Oderzo.

The name “formosa” relates to an alleged appearance to the St. Magnus, Bishop of Oderzo of the Holy Virgin disguised as a voluptuous matron.

The Latin-cross layout, with central nave and two side aisles, respects the foundations of the original 7th century church.

Codussi built the church precisely over the existing foundations of the earlier 12th century Greek-cross plan and crowned it with a dome, creating a well-articulated space with a strong and suggestive central focus, in which the complex structure of vaults and domes seems to float above the steady light flowing through the deep windows of the bearing walls.

For more info (timetables, prices, reservation) here’s the link to the official website: