Church of the Pietà

Designed by Giorgio Massari in 1735, the Church of Santa Maria della Visitazione or the Pietà was built to support the work of the Ospedale della Pietà, a foundling shelter in Venice. Here, foundling girls expertly trained in music would perform for the public, raising donations for the Ospedale. Favored by the Venetian government, the construction of the church was funded by the proceeds of a state lottery, and included lavish fresco paintings in the middle of the church and the main chapel by Gian Battista Tiepolo. After the floods of 1966, the church had suffered from water penetration due to rising damp and roof leaks. In 1976, the Venice Committee of the International Fund for Monuments (now World Monuments Fund) embarked on a two year restoration project to repair the building envelope, conserve the Tiepolo frescoes, and eliminate alterations introduced in the nineteenth century. When completed, the restored Church continued to be a venue for music, hosting an exhibition and festival associated with the 300th anniversary of Antonio Vivaldi.

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