Scuola Grande di San Rocco (Great School of San Rocco)
Tintoretto, one of Venice’s most important Renaissance artists, left his mark on a number of the city’s churches, as well as palaces of the confraternity known as the Great Schools (Scuole Grandi). The 15th-century Scuola Grande di San Rocco is one of these, home to some of the artist’s best-known works along with paintings by Titian.
The Scuola Grande di San Rocco is among the most important attractions in the San Polo district, which lies across the Grand Canal from St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco). Tintoretto worked on the project from 1564 to 1587, and the Sala dell'Albergo and Sala Superiore are covered with his sumptuous paintings depicting the biblical story from fall to redemption.
The best way to visit the Scuola Grande di San Rocco is by joining a San Polo walking tour that includes the adjacent Church of San Rocco and district highlights such as St. Jacob of Rialto (San Giacomo di Rialto), St. Mary of the Friars (Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari), and St. Paul’s Square (Campo San Polo), the largest public square in Venice after San Marco. Or pair a small-group or private tour with a gondola ride or a tour of Venice highlights, including St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica San Marco) and the Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale).
Things to Know Before You Go
- San Polo district tours that include a stop at the Scuola Grande di San Rocco require a fair bit of walking, so wear comfortable shoes and a sun hat.
- There is a bookshop and restrooms at the palazzo.
- Be sure to bring your camera, as San Polo is a particularly picturesque area of Venice. Photography without flash is allowed inside the Scuola Grande.
- There are a few steps at the entrance, but there is platform lift for wheelchair users to reach the upper floors. Contact the staff for assistance to enter.
How to Get There
To get to the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, cross the Rialto Bridge from the San Marco side of the Grand Canal (Canal Grande), or take the vaporetto to San Tomà.
When to Get There
The best times of year to visit Venice and its most famous sights are early spring and late fall, when the city is less crowded but the weather is mild. The Scuola Grande di San Rocco is open daily, except Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Venice’s “Great Schools”
The Scuola Grande di San Rocco, founded in 1478, was one of the many Scuole Grandi, or Great Schools, in Venice, typically established by a religious confraternity for charitable purposes. Unlike many organizations of the time, the Great Schools were open not just to nobility, but to Venetian citizens of all levels of society. San Rocco’s palazzo followed the design of other Great Schools, with a large meeting hall on the main floor and more-private meeting rooms on the upper floor.