Santa Maria della Presentazione “Le Zitelle”
The Church of S. Maria della Presentazione, usually known as the Zitelle, was built between 1581 and 1588. The church is the third Palladian focus, after S. Giorgio and the Redentore, in the ambitious plan to enhance the view across the lagoon from St. Mark’s.
The design was probably based originally on that of a central plan votive temple, altered during construction by Giacomo Bozzetto because of the need to enclose the church within the two wings of the Zitelle Hospital, and because of financial constraints.
Founded by Venetian gentlewomen at the suggestion of the Jesuit Benedetto Palmio in 1561, the hospital gave shelter and instruction to young women whose attractive appearance placed them in danger of prostitution.
The Church offers a stunning view of San Marc Basin and Doge’s Palace as well as offers the possibility to use the attached gardens.