Chiesa delle Zitelle

Church of Zitelle

Venezia, Giudecca 32 Fondamenta delle Zitelle Fermate vaporetto ACTV: Zitelle

The Church of Santa Maria della Presentazione, also known as "delle Zitelle" was constructed between 1581 and 1588. Several 17th-century sources suggest that Andrea Palladio was the architect of the project and, while we have no certain documentation, it would seem to be justified by stylistic affinities. The Zitelle is the third Venetian church by Palladio, after S. Giorgio and the Redentore, in the urban renewal project for the south side of the St. Mark's Basin. The original idea was probably inspired by a model of a votive church, with a central layout, later transformed during construction by Giacomo Bozzetto to respond to the need to close off the church at the wings of the house of the Zitelle and limited by the modest economic resources of the Institute. A charitable foundation was chartered in 1561 by Venetian noblewomen under the auspices of the Jesuit Benedetto Palmio to provide shelter to young ladies who by force of circumstance, to prostitute themselves for survival. Inside are paintings and masterpieces by L. Bassano, J. Palma the Younger, Aliense, P. Ricci, and sculptures by J. Sansovino and S. M. Morlaiter.