At 50 Meters from the Rialto Bridge in the San Polo discrict
The San Polo district takes its name from the church dedicated to St. Paul the Apostle erected on the field of the same name. The church is very ancient and probably dates back to the ninth century and has undergone several renovations over the centuries.
The present appearance does not have a uniform morphology or style attributable to a particular era. The church tower was built in 1362 on a stone base,
it is covered with terra-cotta bricks, ending with a conical spire “pine cone” resting on a high octagonal drum and is a typical example of a fourteenth-century Venetian bell tower.
Inside the church, the Oratory of the Crucifix, were placed the twelve stations of the Via Crucis painted by Giandomenico Tiepolo between 1747 and 1749. The father Giambattista is instead attributed the altarpiece The Virgin appears to Saint John the second Nepomucfeno altar while the Last Supper, on the back wall, is to be attributed to the workshop of Tintoretto.
In the left apse chapel you can admire the Marriage of the Virgin by Paolo Veronese while the presbytery there are many works by Jacopo Palma the Younger.
Continuing along the Salizada San Polo and penetrating into streets you reach the Church of San Toma. The church is dedicated to St. Thomas the Apostle, overlooking the field of the same name in the area between the Canal Grande and Frari Square.
Despite being a very old church foundation his appearance was completely changed by numerous transformations and reconstructions. The interior has a single nave with a vaulted ceiling with frescoes. Opposite the church, on the opposite side of the field, it is the headquarters of the School of Calegheri (shoemakers), a very rich and powerful corporation that, in its most flourishing periods, there were also fifteen hundred members. The school many years ago was the subject of an interesting architectural restoration and is now home to an active multipurpose center.
Just behind the church of the Friars, on the road which leads from San Polo to Piazzale Roma, a small field is framed by three majestic buildings: the right apse of the Church of the Frari, left the Scuola Grande di San Rocco and facing the church dedicated to the saint. The church of San Rocco was built in the late fifteenth century when the school officially assumed the title of Great School (1489) and was so determined than next to a church. In charge of the design was still young architect Bartolomeo Bon realized that the factory following the teachings of Codussi.
The result was a single-nave church with bi-apsidal chancel and two side chapels built in Corinthian style. In the first half of the eighteenth century the church underwent radical restoration work. Today the church has a nave with a flat ceiling, four altars to the walls and apse chapels. The interior decoration is of great importance. You can see eight paintings by Jacopo Tintoretto, paintings by Sebastiano Ricci and Francesco Solimena. From the great plague of 1576 the Venetian Government decided that the day of San Rocco, the patron of plague victims, was a feast. So every August 16th, the birthday of the saint, the Doge went in procession to the church to attend mass.