Where we are
Isola di San Giorgio > Monumental complex
Unique in its kind, the ex Benedictine Monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore is a historical site of great architectural and artistic prestige, thanks to the presence of works by the greatest 16th and 17th-century Italian Masters.
The monumental complex oldest section dates back to the beginning of 1500 and features the Manica Lunga, which used to be dormitory to the Benedictine monks, and the Cypress Cloister, both splendid examples of Renaissance architecture by Giovanni and Andrea Buora.
The second relevant intervention on the architecture of San Giorgio Maggiore was by Andrea Palladio, who worked on the Island from 1560 on, building the actual Church of San Giorgio, the Palladian Cloister, completed after his death, and the Palladian Cenacle where Paolo Veronese painted The Wedding at Cana, an artwork recently returned – in facsimile – to its original location.
Baldassarre Longhena completed the majestic monumental complex with two Baroque interventions: the grand staircase, which gave access to the abbots' lodging, completed in 1645, and the Library completed in 1671 and occupies the entire length of the upper wing shared by the two cloisters. Its magnificent wooden bookcases were designed by Franz Pauc.
San Giorgio Maggiore monumental complex has the largest private park in the city of Venice, where the Teatro Verde is located.
Isola di San Giorgio > Exhibitions Center
Located on the north-eastern side of the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, the new exhibition centre was created in 2008 thanks to a major restoration work carried out on the former warehouse building constructed at the turn of the 19th century for the free port on the island, later on used as boarding school. The overall exhibition area of over 1,000 square metres is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and is set in a very elegant architectural context, making these new rooms a showpiece on the Venice exhibition scene.
The facility is designed so that several shows can run at the same time, thanks to the special care taken over the layout: i.e. a central lobby acting as a centre of gravity for a system of large exhibition areas linked by smaller rooms, including one on the first floor.
The new exhibition rooms are ideally placed to be integrated with other major Venice
exhibition spaces, such as the forthcoming nearby new museum at the Punta della Dogana and the Giardini della Biennale. Only two minutes by vaporetto from Piazza San Marco, the Island of San Giorgio – and especially the northern quay with the exhibition rooms - enjoys a unique view, taking in the Bacino di San Marco, Riva degli Schiavoni, the Giardini, the Lido and the lagoon.
Isola di San Giorgio > ICCGOV
Sul lato nord-orientale dell’Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore è nato nel 2008 un grande centro espositivo, ricavato grazie a uno straordinario intervento di recupero del fabbricato dei magazzini ottocenteschi del porto franco, successivamente utilizzato come convitto.
Il nuovo centro, moderno e funzionale, ha una superficie espositiva complessiva di 1000 metri quadrati e si inserisce in un contesto architettonico di grande pregio. Il recupero della struttura è stato progettato per consentire al suo interno lo svolgimento di più esposizioni contemporaneamente, con un ingresso centrale che fa da baricentro a un sistema di sale di grandi dimensioni collegate tra loro mediante sale minori. Tutto questo senza alterare la pulizia e l’armonia degli spazi originali.
Le nuove sale si trovano in una posizione ottimale per potersi integrare idealmente con i principali spazi espositivi di Venezia, dal futuro museo di Punta della Dogana ai giardini della Biennale. A due minuti di traghetto da piazza San Marco, l’Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore gode di un panorama unico al mondo, tra il bacino di San Marco, la riva degli Schiavoni, i giardini, il Lido di Venezia e la laguna.
Isola di San Giorgio > The Borges Labyrinth
To mark the 25th anniversary of the death (14 June 1986 - 14 June 2011) of the celebrated writer Jorge Luis Borges, the Fundación Internacional Jorge Luis Borges and the Giorgio Cini Foundation will present to Venice, one of the Argentinean writer’s favourite cities, a reconstruction of the maze that the British architect Randoll Coate designed in the writer’s honour and originally donated to the Borges Foundation.
A permanent installation, the Borges Labyrinth will be open to the public in the form of guided visits.
During Saturdays and Sundays the monumental complex is open to visitors from 10.00 to 17.00, every hour
During weekdays, guided tours are for groups, upon reservation.
Further info or reservation at:
Civita Tre Venezie
The labyrinth will be constructed on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore in the area to the rear of the Palladian Cloister and the Cypress Cloister, so as to form a kind of “third cloister”. The aim of the project is to create a garden full of spiritual meanings in memory of Borges and so generate further public interest in his world.
The labyrinth will also be the backdrop for a long-term programme of varied cultural events (research projects, lectures, master classes, workshops, art shows, productions and performances of plays, videos, choreographies and concerts). These events – both educational and artistic – will be inspired by Borges’ work and the epistemological and his torical-cultural issues raised by his imaginary world, such as the relationship between narrative and the fi gurative and performing arts and that between narrative and natural sciences.
The initiative, realized with the contribution of TELECOM ITALIA
Isola di San Giorgio > Le Stanze del Vetro
LE STANZE DEL VETRO (Rooms for Glass) A long-term Fondazione Giorgio Cini project to study and develop the appreciation of Venice’s glassmaking art, in collaboration with Pentagram Stiftung The Fondazione Giorgio Cini has unveiled LE STANZE DEL VETRO (Rooms for Glass), a cultural project devoted to studying the Venetian art of glassmaking in the 20th and 21st centuries. Due to run for nine years, the project is being carried out in collaboration with Pentagram Stiftung, a private Swiss-based foundation whose statutory aim is to promote and support the art and culture of historic and contemporary glassmaking, especially in Venice. To this end, the Fondazione Cini has set up a special Study Centre in its Institute of Art History to promote: a) the gradual establishment of a General Archive of Venetian Glass, to be made available to the scholarly community and to be used in reviving and developing the art of glassmaking; b) the creation of a specialised library within the art history library; c) the organisation of seminars, conferences and workshops for scholars and artists interested in the history, technology and development of the art of glassmaking; d) the institution of scholarships specifically addressed to researchers interested in the topic; e) the periodic organisation of exhibitions on Venetian glass.
The building chosen for the Rooms for Glass exhibition is the left wing of the ex-Convitto (a former boarding school) on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore. With 650 square metres of exhibition space, the exhibition centre will not only host exhibitions but also conferences, workshops and other events dedicated to glass. The renovation of this long-unutilised building was designed by Selldorf Architects, a New York firm led by Annabelle Selldorf, that specialises in the design of museums, galleries and other art-related spaces. Previous projects by Selldorf Architects include: the Neue Galerie, New York; the David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea, New York; the Hauser & Wirth Gallery, London, New York and Zurich; and exhibition designs for the London and New York venues of the Gagosian Gallery and the Gladstone Gallery. This fall the firm is designing the new Frieze Masters Art Fair in London. For the Venice project the New York firm collaborated with architects Fabrizio Cattaruzza and Francesco Millosevich, who in 2008 had refurbished the other exhibition spaces of the ex-Convitto in the Cini Foundation. The design includes a series of galleries, with custom designed vitrines, pedestals and other forms of display, to create a logical visual continuity within the space and the various exhibition levels.
From the point of view of developing the art of glassmaking in general, the Rooms for Glass project also aims to organise events and initiatives in collaboration with major Venetian and international institutions, such as the Fondazione Musei Civici Venezia, the Murano Glass Museum and Ca’ Foscari University, Venice. The initiatives will be dedicated both to contemporary artists who have used glass as an original means of expression and medium in their poetics and also to highlighting and studying the leading producers and major collections of glass worldwide.
As part of the Rooms for Glass project, the Cini Foundation has set up a dedicated Study Centre in its Institute of Art History. In addition to the periodic organisation of exhibitions on Venetian glass, the Study Centre will promote: the gradual construction of a General Archive of Venetian Glass, to be made available to the scholarly community and for use in reviving and developing the art of glassmaking; the creation of a specialised library within the art history library; the organisation of seminars, conferences and workshops for scholars and artists interested in the history, technology and development of the art of glassmaking; and lastly, scholarships specifically addressed to researchers interested in the topic.
The activities in the Rooms for Glass project rely on a scientific committee made up of Giuseppe Pavanello, Director of the Giorgio Cini Foundation Institute of Art History and: Marino Barovier, Rosa Barovier Mentasti, David Landau, Laura de Santillana and Nico Stringa.
Isola di San Giorgio > Teatro Verde
The Giorgio Cini Foundation is located on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, across the Canal from St. Mark’s square and Palazzo Ducale.
To reach the Giorgio Cini Foundation, you can take vaporetto line n°2 and get off at “San Giorgio” stop.
n°2 vaporetto leaves from the main points in Venice:
San Zaccaria (trip lasting about 3 minutes)
Ferrovia (trip lasting about 45 minutes)
Piazzale Roma (trip lasting about 40 minutes)
Tronchetto (trip lasting about 35 minutes)
Starting 1 June, you can board the Vaporetto dell’Arte, the official new tour of the Grand Canal in Venice get off at “San Giorgio” stop.