After Piazza San Marco, this field is one of the most monumental in Venice: it gathers the solemn Basilica of Ss. Giovanni e Paolo, the nearby Scuola di S. Marco and the magnificent equestrian monument dedicated to Bartolomeo Colleoni. Coasting along the Civil Hospital, you can enjoy a magnificent view of the Island of San Michele.
Every last Sunday in June, the regatta of SS. Giovanni and Paolo, in which young people under 25 participate in the complex technique of rowing gondolas to a row.
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The area initially had sandbanks or swampy areas, so much so that the northern lagoon border was located about where the Scuola Grande di San Marco is located today.
In 1234, under the dogado of Jacopo Tiepolo, the land was granted to the Dominican friars, who took charge of the reclamation (the field was paved for the first time around 1682), which in the following centuries will come up to the current Fondamenta Nuove. As for the episode, legend has it that the Doge one night had dreamed of that area covered with flowers with a voice in the background telling him This is the place that I have chosen for my preachers; this episode is depicted in the funeral monuments of Tiepolo himself and his son Lorenzo.
A large crowd gathered in this field in 1782, when the then Pope Pius VI, visiting Venice, blessed the population from the loggia of the Scuola Grande di San Marco giving fifteen days of jubilee.
In front of the church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo there is the equestrian monument dedicated to Bartolomeo Colleoni inaugurated on March 21, 1496. The sculpture was made by Andrea di Francesco di Cione, better known as Verrocchio and above all as the master of Leonardo da Vinci; Colleoni, who was the leader of the lordship and fought several campaigns in the Lombard territory, as a last wish he expressed the desire to be buried
in front of San Marco with clear reference to the basilica. However, since it was considered an excessive request, it was opted as a stratagem to bury it and commemorate it near the School of San Marco.
The well well was placed inside the field in 1824 after being moved from Palazzo Corner to San Maurizio. The high relief carved around depicting eight cherubs holding up some festoons full of fruit is said to have been carved by Jacopo Sansovino.