Set against the magnificent backdrop of the Basin of St Mark, the Foundation was established in 1951 by Count Vittorio Cini to restore the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore and to create an international centre of cultural activities.
The Foundation is housed in the monumental complex of the former Benedictine Monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore, a place of inestimable architectural and artistic prestige, thanks to works by several of Italy’s greatest 16th and 17th-century masters. Enlarged in the 16th century by Andrea Palladio (if you like him, we suggest you a trip to the city of Vicenza, very near to Venice), who also designed its refectory, the church of San Giorgio Maggiore and the Cloister of Cypresses, in addition to numerous other treasures, the complex hosts an impressive collection of paintings by Jacopo Tintoretto, as well as several 16th and 17th century works of arts.
While in the area, a visit to the bell tower is must-try experience as it offers one of the most spectacular aerial views over Venice. Thanks to a special video-guided itinerary, visitors can also explore all the areas of the complex including the cloisters, the libraries, the picturesque labyrinth dedicated to Argentine writer Borges (see featured image), and the majestic refectory housing the ‘Wedding Feast at Cana’, one of Veronese’s best-known works of art. Although the original painting was looted by Napoleon’s troops, state-of-the-art technology has created a faithful reproduction that visitors can admire. The island also houses a small bistro where you can eat while watching sailboats bobbing on the waters of the small marina located nearby.
The Foundation also hosts Lo Squero, a unique space for concerts housed in a former boatyard overlooking the Lagoon, featuring a rich event programme all-year-long.