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Church of Santa Maria Formosa (Chiesa di Santa Maria Formosa) Tours

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Church of Santa Maria Formosa (Chiesa di Santa Maria Formosa)
Built in the late 15th century on the site of a 7th-century church, the Church of Santa Maria Formosa (Chiesa di Santa Maria Formosa) showcases Italian Renaissance architecture. The church is famed for its double façade, domed white marble roof, and bell tower. As for the name, legend says Saint Magnus saw a vision of a shapely (in Latin formosa) Mary, telling him to build a church.

The Basics
Be sure to view both of Santa Maria Formosa's faces. One façade—in the Renaissance style—leads onto Canal del Novo Mondo, while the other—baroque—faces Campo Santa Maria Formosa. The freestanding baroque bell tower was added in the 17th century. Join a walking tour of Venice, some with an included gondola ride, for a peek inside Santa Maria Formosa, simple in design with a notable polyptych Santa Barbara by Palma il Vecchio above the main altar.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Visitors must pay an entry fee to access the inside of the church.
  • The church houses paintings by artists Palma the Elder and Bartolomeo Vivarini.
  • Keep an eye out for the grotesque carved head at the base of the bell tower—it is said to ward away evil spirits.

How to Get There
The church of Santa Maria Formosa is on Campo Santa Maria Formosa in the Castello district of Venice. The closest Vaporetto stop is Rialto. Visitors can also arrange a water taxi to stop right at Campo Santa Maria Formosa, or head to the church on foot.

When to Get There
The church is open during the week and closed on Sundays except for mass. Its cool interior is a welcome break from the sun on hot days.

Walk Over the Rialto Bridge

A 5- to 10-minute walk from Santa Maria Formosa is the Rialto Bridge, an important landmark in Venice. The oldest of the four bridges that cross the Grand Canal, the Rialto has been a feature of the city since the 12th century (the current bridge dates from the early 16th century). The bridge, with its unique covered sides, is home to shops selling leather goods and Venetian souvenirs.
Address: Calle Seconda de la Fava, 5263, Venice, Veneto 30122, Italy
Admission: Varies
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17 Tours and Activities to Experience Church of Santa Maria Formosa (Chiesa di Santa Maria Formosa)

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Venice Highlights Treasure Hunt for Kids & FamiliesCity Packages

Venice Highlights Treasure Hunt for Kids & Families

Take this 2,5-hour scavenger hunt of you want to enjoy your first introduction about the city of Venice. You will share your family friendly guide with other children and parents (no more than 12 people in the group) so that the fun will double! Your kids will be 100% entertained with games, trivia and treasure hunts! You will not miss: Rialto Bridge, St. Mark's square and much more.
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Small Group Venice In a Day with Basilica San Marco and Doges Palace plus Gondola RideFull-day Tours

Small Group Venice In a Day with Basilica San Marco and Doges Palace plus Gondola Ride

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First time in Venice? Maximize your time in the city with a full-day itinerary that ticks off all the most memorable attractions. Stroll across the Rialto Bridge and browse the lively Rialto fish market, then hop aboard a traditional gondola for a romantic cruise along the Grand Canal. Next, access St. Mark’s Basilica and gaze down over the city from the cathedral’s rooftop terrace. Finally, enjoy skip-the-line entrance to the grandiose Doge’s Palace. This small-group tour is limited to 15 people ensuring a personalized experience.
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  • 7 hours 30 minutes
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Welcome to Venice Small Group Walking Tour with Basilica San Marco and Gondola RideCity Packages

Welcome to Venice Small Group Walking Tour with Basilica San Marco and Gondola Ride

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Experience quintessential Venice on this walking tour, including a memorable gondola ride. See iconic landmarks like the Rialto Bridge and the House of Marco Polo; get a taste of local life at the Rialto Fish Market and explore historic neighborhoods like Cannaregio. Then, admire the palatial architecture of St. Mark’s Square, enter the magnificent St. Mark’s Basilica and soak up the scenery on a romantic gondola cruise. This small-group tour is limited for a personalized experience.
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  • 2 hours
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Venice Guided Sightseeing Private Tour for Kids and FamiliesKid-Friendly

Venice Guided Sightseeing Private Tour for Kids and Families

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Learn about Venice's history and culture on this kid-friendly private tour. Over the course of the tour in the canal-filled city, avoid long lines and dry historical commentary. Walk over the Rialto Bridge, visit the Basilica di San Marco, and stroll through bustling local marketplaces. This private tour is totally customizable and ensures personalized attention for your family.
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  • 2 hours
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Venice Express Walking TourCity Packages

Venice Express Walking Tour

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Short on time but want to learn about Venice? Take an express walking tour of the city and discover its highlights and hidden gems with a local guide. After starting with St. Mark’s Square and the basilica, you’ll hear tales of the Venetian Republic and Marco Polo as you stroll to the Doge’s Palace, Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Teatro Malibran, and Le Mercerie shops.
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Venice is home to many spectacular landmarks, but shortlisting them and planning an itinerary when traveling with kids can be challenging. Take the stress out of your trip planning, and benefit from the assistance of a child-friendly guide who provides treasure hunts, stories, and games. As it’s a private tour, the trip can be tailored to children’s ages and interests. Highlights include St. Mark’s Basilica, Rialto Bridge, the Grand Canal.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Venice Walking Tour and Gondola RideCity Packages

Venice Walking Tour and Gondola Ride

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Discover the best of Venice by and by water on a combo walking and gondola tour. Stroll through the charming squares and narrow backstreets of the historic city center with a guide, learning the fascinating history of the Venetian Republic along the way. Explore highlights of St. Mark's Square and other landmarks like Santa Maria Formosa church and the Mercerie, and then hop into a classic Venetian gondola for a 30-minute ride through the city's captivating canals.
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This 2.5-hour walking tour is tailored to families who want to discover Venice's highlights, hear as much as possible about the history of the city and have fun at the same time! This small-group tour is the perfect opportunity to explore the main attractions of such a wonderful city with an expert, local guide! On your itinerary, you will find famous places like Rialto Bridge, Campo San Bartolomeo, Marco Polo’s house and St. Mark's Square. With our kid-friendly guide, your children can become interested in the Venetian culture and, of course, they will have fun!
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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Venice is one of the world’s most visited destinations, but you’ll beat the crowds on this in-depth guided tour, which includes skip-the-line access to the Basilica of San Marco and Doge’s Palace. Listen to private commentary on the history and architecture of the fabled Renaissance city as you travel between sights with your own personal guide.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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Afternoon Private Gondola Ride in VeniceCity Packages

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If you visit Venice you cannot miss the beautiful ride with Gondola, Gondolas are one of the most iconic symbols of Venice,Sitting comfortably on the cushioned seats of your traditionally clad gondolas and passing under awe inspiring bridges flanked by architectural masterpieces and scintillating buildings is an all together paramount affair.
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If you visit Venice you cannot miss the beautiful ride with Gondola, passing through the small canals of Venice and admiring the city from another angle.
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  • 30 minutes
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Some guided tours can feel rushed and impersonal but you can explore Venice at your own pace with this self-guided tour. At a time of your choosing, download your audio tour and map and embark upon your tour, which takes you through the city’s atmospheric passageways and to such top attractions as St Mark's Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, and the Rialto Bridge.
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Venice City Pass: Free admission to Venice's top attractions & airport transfer!City Packages

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Sightseeing, especially in a city as famous as Venice, can quickly get expensive. Save money, and time, with the Venice City Pass, which gives you free, skip-the-line, admission to many of the city's most important attractions.
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Walking Tour of Venice: from Marks Square to Rialto BridgeFull-day Tours

Walking Tour of Venice: from Marks Square to Rialto Bridge

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Explore the best of Venice on this 1.5-hour walking tour from St. Mark's Square to the Rialto Bridge. See the canal city's top sights, including St. Mark's Basilica, the Doge's Palace and the church of Santa Maria Formosa. Get to know the city of Venice in a more in-depth way with a knowledgeable guide leading you.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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Skip the Line: Morning Venice Gondola Ride and Walking Tour with St Mark's BasilicaFull-day Tours

Skip the Line: Morning Venice Gondola Ride and Walking Tour with St Mark's Basilica

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Enjoy two of the best experiences in Venice with this combined 3.5-hour tour of a morning gondola ride and a walking tour including St. Mark's Basilica. Explore the highlights of Venice on foot during a fascinating walking tour. Relax on a gondola ride through Venice's canals. Marvel at the golden mosaics inside St. Mark's. Do it all with this one combination tour.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
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Venice private guided tour walking Hiking

Venice private guided tour walking

Come to Venice: during a four hours walking tour, I will tell you the history of the Republic of Venice about famous personalities: dodges, painters, travellers, the people who made Venice history. I will show you some picturesque places visited only by curious tourists. Cosy, narrow streets (calle in venetian). We will visit the most important sites, and I will tell you what food and drinks you can try in this unique and magic city in the world. This is a private guided tour for your group only or only for you if you are a single tourist.
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  • 4 hours
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$287.75 
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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What's the best way to experience Church of Santa Maria Formosa (Chiesa di Santa Maria Formosa)?