Laatste update op 18 November 2017
The tower of San Giorgio Maggiore is usually seen by people from the piazzetta. They miss out on a great opportunity. Instead of waiting for ages in the queue for the campanile, one should better choose for a crossing to the isle with the vaporetto (line 2) to climb this tower instead (there is an elevator in both towers).
The first gift is the view from the vaporetto when you cross Bacino San Marco. Afterwards you can view the beautiful, serene church of San Giorgio from the inside, then you go up the tower by elevator. And from that tower on the small isle you have an exquisite view over the Bacino, the Canal Grande, Lido, Piazza San Marco with the Doge Palace and the campanile.
You can also see the swimming pool of Hotel Cipriani (and if you are lucky, you might just be able to secretly take a picture of a celebrity …). Click for an enhancement of the following pictures. If you look closely, you can spot an aeroplane on its way to the airport Marco Polo.
Through centuries, the monastry on the isle became one of the most important in Italy. The monks established their monastry in the year 982 at San Giorgio. In 1109 the monastry received relics of the saint Stefanus. After that lots of notables visited the church.
Pope chose in Venice in 1799
In 1799 the papal conclave for the election of the new pope as well as the pontifical celebration took place at the isle San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice. The reason can be found in the fact that Rome was still being occupied by French troops when Pope Pius VI died.
The current monastry and the church are the work of the famous architect Andrea Palladio. He started building the new monastry in 1559. The church followed in 1565. The campanile dates back to 1791; the former campanile from 1471 had been destructed by the end of the 18th century.