Antonio Vivaldi

VIVALDI'S VENICE, maps & paintings

  • Where he lived and worked _

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    Ospedale della Pietà – The original church and hospice where Antonio Vivaldi worked on and off all his life was located in what is now the Hotel Metropole on the Riva degli Schiavoni. Inside the hotel you can still see columns from the original church. Behind the church of the Pietà, on the Calle della Pietà, number 3701, is another part of the original building. It houses the Piccolo Museo della Pietà Antonio Vivaldi with documents on the foundlings taken in and a few of the musical instruments used by the girls.

    2. Antonio Vivaldi’s parents moved into a house on the present Campo Bandiera e Moro in 1676. The family lived there until 1705. Though the exact house is not known, it is thought to be between numbers 3805 and 3809 and it was here that he was born in 1678.

    3. Two months after his birth Antonio was baptised in the Chiesa di Bragora, located on the same campo as the family home. 

    4. The Vivaldis moved to Campo San Provolo number 4358 in 1705 and lived there until 1722.

    5. From 1722 to 1730 the family lived at the foot of the Ponte de Paradiso, Campo Santa Maria Formosa, numbers 5878 and 5879. Antonio's mother died here in 1728.

    6. The Teatro Sant’Angelo, where Antonio had most of his operas performed and where he acted as impressario for many seasons, no longer exists. It originally stood on the right hand side of the Sant'Angelo boat stop, facing the Grand Canal. The Hotel Manin which is now located there is a palazzo built in the early 19th century.

    7. Behind the Teatro Sant’Angelo is the Campiello del Teatro where Anna Girò, Antonio's protégé and prima donna, lived with her sister.

    8. From 1730 to 1740 the Vivaldis resided  at number 4644, Calle Bembo. Their apartment was on the mezzanine and looked out over the Grand Canal. Vivaldi’s father died here in 1736 and it was from this dwelling that the composer left for Vienna in 1740, never to return. 


    From the late seventeenth century until the last quarter of the eighteenth Venice was known for its carnival, opera theatres and for the fine music which could be heard in four Ospedale in particular. These institutions were established to take in beggars, orphans and the incurable (principally suffering from syphillis). The training of female pupils by these charitable institutions led to the custom of public concerts on weekends and holiday which brought in funds to help finance the ospedale.

    Three of the churches where these concerts took place are still visitable today and allow one to imagine the divine voices and excellent female orchestras performing behind the grilled choirs.

    9. Ospedale della Pietà (Hospital of Mercy), Riva degli Sciavone. This is the institution to which Vivaldi was affiliated on and off all of his life. Much of his music was written for the orchestra and choir of this institution. The church of the Pietà that stands here today was built after Vivaldi’s time (1745) but continued the tradition of public concerts.

    10. Ospedale des Mendicanti (Beggers’ Hospital), Fondamente Nuove. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was enthusiastic about the girl's choir which he heard here in 1744. 

    11. Ospedale dei Derelitti (Derelects) more commonly called Ospedaletto (Small Hospital), calle Barbaria de le Tole, number 6691. This is the best preserved of the three institutions. On an upper floor is a small, frescoed salon where concerts were held for priveledged guests.

    An 18th-century map of Venise See photo


  • Views of Vivaldi's Venice _

    Beginning in the 18th century paintings of Venice became a coveted collectors item and circulated among the upper classes of Europe serving as cherished souvenirs. A group of twelve such paintings were recently found in the basement of the Academia Albertina di Belle Arti in the city of Turin. Research revealed that they had been bequeathed to the Academia's collection in 1828. They have been carefully restored and were exhibited in Turin for the first time in December 2009.

    Scholars are divided on the author of these paintings and until more concrete evidence emerges they remain anonymous and carry the attribution “Master of the Vistas of the Accademai Albertina”. Painted in the mid-18th century, they give a realistic idea of the Venice that Vivaldi would have known.

    Our thanks to the Academia Albertina di Belle Arti di Torino which has kindly allowed us to reproduce these paintings here.

    Venice, view of the pier with the basin of San Marco and the Bucintoro on the Feast of the Ascension See photo
    Venice, view of the Grand Canal seen from Campo San Vio See photo
    Venice, view of the Grand Canal with the entrance to Cannaregio, Palazzo Labia and Palazzo Emo See photo
    Venice, view of the point of the Dogana and the Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore See photo
    Venice, view of the Giudecca Canal with the Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore See photo
    Venice, view of the Grand Canal with the Dogana, the Chiesa della Salute and the Chiesa di San Gregorio and to the left the Palazzo Pisani-Gritti See photo
    Venice, view of the pier with the library, the entrance of the Grand Canal and the Chiesa della Salute in the background See photo
    Venice, view of the Grand Canal with the Palazzo Moro Lin and the Palazzo Grassi See photo
    Venice, view of the Grand Canal with the Rialto bridge seen from the south See photo
    Venice, view of the Piazza San Marco from the side of the Palazzo Ducale See photo
    Venice, view of the Canal Grande with the Chiesa di San Simeone Piccolo See photo
    Venice, view from the Grand Canal with the churches of Santa Lucia and Santa Maria di Nazereth degli Scalzi See photo


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