Chiesa di San Lio – Enjoy Art and Music in this Venice Church:
If you love art and happen to be in the district of Castello, pop into the Chiesa di San Lio and you’ll be treated to works by some Venetian masters. Like many of the churches in Venice, Chiesa di San Lio (Church of St Leo) is home to several paintings and sculptures by Venetian artists and sculptors such as Tiepolo, Titian, Canaletto and Lombardo.
Church of St Leo
Chiesa di San Lio was dedicated to St Leo, or San Lio in the Venetian language, in honour of Pope Leo IX, a supporter of Venice during the patriarchal struggle for turf between the Patriarch of Grado and
the Patriarch of Aquileia. The original church was built in the 9th century by a Venetian patrician family and it was initially dedicated to St Catherine of Alexandria. The church underwent reconstruction in the 15th and 18th centuries and its three naves were transformed into the one large interior hall.
Art lovers will appreciate Tiepolo’s magnificent ceiling fresco, The Glory of the Cross and St Leon IX. To the left by the main door is Titian’s James the Apostle. But more importantly, Chiesa di San Lio is better known for its connection with Canaletto. This was Canaletto’s parish church and he was baptized and buried here.
Music in Venice
Apart from its famous artwork, Chiesa di San Lio has recently become a venue for Vivaldi concerts and sacred music. The organ in this church is from the 18th century.
Chiesa di San Lio
Campo San Lio, Sestiere di Castello
Map of Venice: