From the myth to the margins: The patriarch's piazza at San Pietro di Castello in Venice

Areli Marina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study analyzes the campo of San Pietro di Castello from its mythologized origins to the Renaissance, paying particular attention to the architectural and political forces that shaped it. Although San Pietro was Venice's cathedral from the ninth to the nineteenth centuries, civic leaders marginalized the site, which incarnated the contentious relationship between the Roman Church and the Venetian republic. The essay places the campo at the center of inquiry because the episcopal complex's significance is best discerned through diachronic analysis of the urban landscape. The building activities of its medieval and Quattrocento patrons generated a heterogeneous campo that incorporated morphological elements from two Venetian urbanistic types: the parish campo and the monastic island. Its sixteenth-century patriarchs created a new architectural vision of the campo, contesting its slippage from the center of Venetian life and forging a distinctive ensemble that differs markedly from the better-known piazzas at San Marco and Rialto.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-429
Number of pages77
JournalRenaissance Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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