Santo Stefano and Scala Contarini del Bovolo

The other side of the Canal Grande

Ponte dell'Accademia
photo other side: KAZ2.0

Campo Santo Stefano

 Campo Santo Stefano Venice
photo: Didier Descouens

Eduard van de Nül  ‘St. Stefan’ Freie auffassung’ 1845

At the edge of Campo Santo Stefano, one of the most cosy squares in Venice, we find the church by the same name. Art by famous Venetian artists decorate the church that had to be consecrated anew six times, as it was desecrated by murder and manslaughter. The church is devoted St. Stefano who was stoned.

Santo Stefano portal
photo: Didier Descouens

Santo Stefano          Choir

Santo Stefano Nave Venice
photos: Didier Descouens and zoom: Zairon

Santo Stefano vaults Venice
photo: Zairon


The martyrdom of Saint Stephen was depicted in the 17th century by Sante Peranda, but the painting was never completed. If you enter you have to look up, the ceiling is quite remarkable, at least for people of the terra firma. It’s based on the keel of a ship, something you see more often in this city that flourished on sea trade.

A. Canova ‘Stele funeraria di Giovanni Falier’ 1808     Zoom in

The most important artworks are found in the sacristy (to the east of the nave.  It shows two late artworks by Tintoretto from circa 1580, a Christ in the garden of Gethsemane and The Last Supper. Unfortunately, these paintings are rather dark, but using some coins we can switch on the lights to see it better. At the other side of the church, in the baptistery, Antonio Canova made a Greek pillar for his mecenas Giovanni Falier. Canova was an 18th/19th century sculptor who was very perfectionistic and sculpted in a traditional manner.

A. Canova 'Stele funeraria di Giovanni Falier' Santo Stefano

Campo Manin      The other side

Campo Manin Venice
photos: Dedier Derscouens and other side: Dimitris Kamaras
Calle sign direction: Scala Contarini del Bovolo
photo: Kanescue


We continue our way and walk along a calle that ends at the Campo Manin. At the end of this calle we find ourselves in front of a remarkable staircase known as the Bovolo or the snail steps.

The Scala Contarini del Bovolo       Scala zoom in

“The Scala Contarini del Bovolo (literally, “of the snail”). The palazzo is located in a small, less-travelled calle (street) near Campo Manin, about half-way between Campo San Bartolo, at the foot of the Rialto, and Campo Santo Stefano. The staircase leads to an arcade, providing an impressive view of the city roof-tops. This palazzo has been visitable since February 2016.” Cited from Wikipedia

Scala Contarini del Bovolo
photos: renagrisa and Giovanni Dall’Orto

Scala Contarini      Zoom

Scala Contarini del Bovolo
photos: Matthias Süßens; zoom Didier Descouens

View from the top of the scale      Looking down

Scala Contarini del Bovolo: View from the top
photo looking down: Wolgang Modorer

Continuation Venice day 6: Ca’Loredan and Ca’Farsetti