Known simply as “i Frari,” this immense 14th-century Gothic church is easily found around the corner from the Scuola Grande di San Rocco—make sure you visit both when you’re in this area. Built by the Franciscans (frari is a dialectal distortion of frati, or “brothers”), it is the largest church in Venice after San Marco. Since St. Francis and the order he founded emphasized prayer and poverty, it is not surprising that the church is austere both inside and out. Yet it houses a number of important works, including two Titian masterpieces. The more striking is his “Assumption of the Virgin” ★★ over the main altar, painted when the artist was only in his late 20s. His “Virgin of the Pesaro Family” is in the left nave; for this work commissioned by one of Venice’s most powerful families, Titian’s wife posed for the figure of Mary (and then died soon afterward in childbirth). Don’t miss Giovanni Bellini’s “Madonna & Child” ★★ over the altar in the sacristy; novelist Henry James was struck dumb by it, writing “it is as solemn as it is gorgeous.”
Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari (Church of the Frari)
Campo dei Frari 3072
Our Rating Hours Mon–Sat 9am–6pm; Sun 1–6pm Transportation Vaporetto: San Tomà (walk straight ahead on Calle del Traghetto and turn right and immediately left across Campo San Tomà; walk straight ahead, on Ramo Mandoler then Calle Larga Prima, and turn right when you reach beginning of Salizada San Rocco) Phone 041-2728611 Prices Admission 3€, audioguide 2€ Web site Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari (Church of the Frari)
MapCampo dei Frari 3072 Venice
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.