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Welcome to Ostello Santa Fosca: The Authentic Venetian Experience in the heart of Cannaregio

In the picturesque district of Cannaregio, Ostello Santa Fosca opens its doors to an authentic Venetian experience. We are located in the vibrant heart of Venice, where the city’s charm blends with the tranquility of a unique retreat. Ostello Santa Fosca welcomes you warmly, offering an authentic place to immerse yourself in the genuine atmosphere of Venice.

The History of Ostello Santa Fosca: A Journey That Began Over 700 Years Ago...

Ostello and the adjacent Casa Studentesca Santa Fosca are situated on the ruins of what was once the magnificent church of Santa Maria dei Servi and its convent, which hosted illustrious guests such as Galileo Galilei (“Eppur si muove”) and the historian Fra‘ Paolo Sarpi (statue in Campo Santa Fosca).

In 1314, the Servants of Mary, a mendicant order founded in the 13th century by seven Florentine laymen, arrived in Venice. They immediately began the construction of a church that could rival those of other religious orders, including the churches of SS. Giovanni e Paolo, the Dominicans, S. Stefano, the Augustinians, and the Basilica dei Frari, built by the Franciscans. The construction lasted for more than 150 years, and the church was inaugurated on November 7, 1491.

In 1769, a violent fire devastated the convent buildings, marking the beginning of the decline of the sacred complex. Between 1806 and 1810, after the Napoleonic edicts, the Servants’ convent, like many other Venetian religious institutions, was suppressed. This led to the demolition of the church and the convent, which became a quarry for building materials.

By 1821, the site was severely degraded. On April 27, 1859, the places that now house Ostello and Casa Studentesca were purchased by Abbot Daniele Canal, a Venetian priest involved in charitable works, and Anna Maria Marovich, of whom the abbot was the tutor. Their project was to create a building that would accommodate women leaving prison or in difficult circumstances.

New buildings were constructed on the few remaining structures. The Chapel of the Lucchesi, which had become a warehouse and was in an advanced state of decay over the years, was restored to its former glory.

Over the years, the Canal-Marovich Institute became very important for the city, assisting 250 girls at the beginning of the new century. In the 1980s, as the use of the buildings as a women’s re-education center declined, the spacious premises were suitable for new projects.

The history of Casa Studentesca Santa Fosca began on July 4, 1981, when the Patriarch (Bishop of the city) at the time decided to allocate some spaces in the Canal-Marovich Institute as a university residence. The student community, initially consisting of twenty girls, grew over the years.

Since then, Casa Studentesca has been hosting 110 young people from Italy and around the world every year who choose Venice to pursue their university careers.

Ostello Santa Fosca, on the other hand, welcomes approximately 15,000 tourists each year, and its proceeds support the Casa and the students who live here.

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