"Why is there entrance fee for churches?" Top 5 Page for this destination Churches Tip by Trekki

Churches, Venice: 34 reviews and 46 photos

  Damaged marble floor in a church
by Trekki
  • Damaged marble floor in a church - Venice
      Damaged marble floor in a church
    by Trekki
  • Not yet damaged church floor - Venice
      Not yet damaged church floor
    by Trekki
  • Marble floor of Santo Giovanni e Paolo - Venice
      Marble floor of Santo Giovanni e Paolo
    by Trekki

Favorite thing: It might be annoying to have to pay an entrance fee for most of Venezia?s churches, but there is a reason for this. If we try and understand why it is easier for us to plan our travels and, at the end, not complain about higher budgets. I was also grump yin the beginning of my trip, but then I understood and appreciated this. However, I hope that the money we spend on entry fees will at the end be used for renovation and care.

So remember why we all come to Venice? Because this unique city is built on artificial islands and has so many architectural and cultural gems more or less around every corner. But we should remember that Venice has to pay a price for this since the very beginning of the early settlements: acqua alta/high water, flooding, is occurring all the time after rain or specific weather conditions. This is all more frequent now, in modern times: increased lagoon traffic, cruise ships and deeper navigation channels.

What might be fun for us ? wading through the flooded streets - is horror to the buildings and the artwork inside. So after each serious flooding, a lot of restoration must to be done. Just imagine how much square metres of these magnificent very old marble floors are laid out in churches and palazzi. Marble is calcium carbonate. Think what will happen to our kitchen marble counter if vinegar (acid) is spilled: it would be damaged because the calcium carbonate is being slowly diluted by strong acids. Of course there are no strong acids in the lagoons? water, but enough diluted ones from acid rain and industrial waste to lead to slow damage of the floors (see photo 1, taken in chiesa SS Giovanni e Paolo).

Then there is the humidity, slowly making its way into the hundred years old walls. Eventually this leads to mildew. This would be manageable, if there wouldn?t be the countless invaluable paintings by the masters, Bellini, Tiepolo, Tintoretto and the others.

It costs a fortune to keep the buildings and the artwork restored in the beauty we want to see them. Since some years, the restoration work in Venezia was improved a lot. It is more of a long term conservation and restauration and no longer a quick limitation of damage. Restaurators have special trained skills for their work within the buildings and on the artwork.. This has its price.

But then the question: who pays this price? Shouldn't it be understandable that we, who come to the city just for this art, participate in the costs?

In the past, when the website "Chorus Venezia" was still existing (it is now part of Venezia Unica Card), they had a very good article about the ongoing restorations. But sadly this is no longer available. And as of now (June 2015) I didn't find a similar website specifically about church restoration and care in Venice. I'll keep looking.....

Ingrid D., July 2007 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.). Update June 2015: wording.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jun 17, 2015
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Comments (1)

  • german_eagle's Profile Photo
    Feb 7, 2016 at 3:27 AM

    Sounds logical. I hope not too many people read this, since with this reason you must pay entrance fee for anything anywhere.

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