Touring around Venice is exhausting. Travelers become weary quickly with all the stairmaster like activity. Finding a park bench is no easy task as, honestly, they simply don’t exist. Much like missing trash receptacles, benches are one of the many items ignored by city council. The hectic hive of the islands over-crowded main streets call for a spot of relax. When in Dorsoduro, I say, head to the Salute steps!
The Salute Church is a highlight of the city’s Baroque architecture, open daily for prayer and visits. Famously visible from the Accademia bridge, this building blesses the Grand Canal with her swirly marble facade designed by Baldassare Longhena. Over the altar hangs a black madonna icon symbolizing the citizens’ thanks to the heavens for the end of one of the many plagues that hit the city.
Her grand terrace-like stairs offer a perfect spot to reflect and relax, the massive building providing her own shade. NO PICNICS please! I’m suggesting a regrouping, a meditative moment. A spot to check your Spotted by Locals app!
Since entrance to this church is free, the doors are closed for lunch and reopen in the afternoon. On occasion organ concerts are offered. The floor is a spectacular example of Venetian artistry – one written about by the late Tudy Sammartini in her book Pavimenti a Venezia.
Pause here, sit on these steps. Salute means health. It is something we say when we toast one another, “Salute!” to your health.