Merceria is the main shopping street of Venice. It begins near the Rialto Bridge as a small square - in the center is a statue commemorating the Italian dramatist Carlo Goldoni - and winds its way to St Mark's Square, emerging under the clock tower. The shops in this famous street offer a cosmopolitan range of goods, the emphasis being on textiles, particularly lace, leather goods (shoes and handbags) and glassware from Murano. The many small cafes and restaurants ("rosticceria", Tavola calda") offer many delicacies and local specialities.In the Campo San Bartolomeo, at the beginning of the Merceria, businessmen still meet to conduct their transactions around the statue of Goldoni.
Santi Giovanni et Paolo is a Late Gothic building sometimes called the "Pantheon of the Doges", where eleven Doges were buried.
The monument to Colleoni is a brilliant piece of work from the Venetian Renaissance. The model was made by Andrea Verocchil (1481-88) but it was cast in bronze by Alessandro Leopardi in 1496. The splendor of the plinth, with its marble reliefs, is taken up by the vigor of the equestrian figure, so that one balances the other in complete harmony. The figure itself bears no resemblance to the real Bartolomeo Colleoni (1400-75) but is an evocation of what the "condottier" should ideally look like - proud and conscious of his power.Colleoni had commanded the land forces of the Republic, thus managing to amass a huge fortune. On his deathbed he bequeathed all his possessions to the State on the condition that a monument to his memory be erected "in front of San Marco". As the State, which hitherto had never authorized a public memorial, did not want to lose the money, instructions were given for the monument to be erected in front of the Scuolo Grande di San Marco, the confraternity house of San Marco, which stands next to the Church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, since the dying man had failed to specify that his monument must be in front of the "Church" of San Marco!
Santa Maria dei Miracoli
Santa Maria dei Miracoli is a masterpiece of Early Renaissance architecture by Pietro Lombardo (1481-89) built to enshrine a miraculous picture of the Virgin. Instead of decorating the exterior with sculpture Lombardo used cleverly matched colored marble arranged to form rosettes, circles, octagons and crosses on the facade. The interior is embellished in the same way, with the golden domed ceiling achieving a much greater effect above the gray and coral marble walls as a result. Steps lead from the nave to the chancel which is partitioned off by an exquisite Early Renaissance balustrade decorated with figures. This interior is one of the most beautiful in all Venice.
The attractive palace houses the Querini-Stampalia art gallery and library which were bequeathed to the city, together with the palace, in 1868.Biblioteca Querini-StampaliaThe library is on the first floor and contains 1,100,000 Venetian volumes and 300 manuscripts.Pinacoteca Querini-StampaliaThe collection of 14th-18th century Venetian paintings is on the second floor. The pictures are still arranged according to the wishes of the founder of the collection Count Giovanni Querini-Stampalia. There are works by Donato Venaziano (Room 2), Sebastiano Bombelli (Room 3), Palma the Younger (Room 4), Andrea Schiavone (Room 5), Pietro Liberi, Matteo dei Pitocchi (Rooms 6-7), Giovanni Bellini, Lorenzo di Credit (Room 8), Palmer the Elder (Room 9), Pietro Longhi (Rooms 11-13), Alesandro Longhi, Giambattista Tiepolo (Room 18), and Bernard Strozzi (Room 19).Apart from the paintings the Venetian 18th century furniture is of special interest.
San Salvatore, a 7th century church was reconstructed between 1507 and 1534 by Tullio Lombardo and Sansovino, and given its present Baroque façade by Giuseppe Sardi between 1663 and 1700. There is reason to suppose that its creators intended that San Salvatore should rival the Basilica di San Marco in its size and splendor, but it has only three domes as compared with five of San Marco.The interior has retained its Renaissance style and houses several important works of art. The baldachins give the impression of great spaciousness.The most interesting of the monuments is the splendid memorial to Doge Francesco Venier, designed by Sansovino (1556-61; past the second altar on the left).The outstanding paintings are the two works by Titian: "The Annunciation" (third altar on the right, with a marble frame by Sansovino) and "The Transfiguration of Christ" (on the High Altar). Another interesting painting by Giovanni Bellini is on the wall of the left choir chapel.