The purpose of this itinerary is to approach the Armenian culture and the historical presence in Venice, which became stable from the 12th century. The bond between the city and Armenians was based on diplomatic, commercial and cultural exchanges which reflect in monuments, buildings, churches, palaces, calli, campielli. The Armenian presence in the city is also confirmed by the names of some places. Afterward, with the assignment of the island of San Lazzaro (which was called "the Armenians’ island" in 1717) to the Mechitarists congregation, Venice became one of the main European centers of the Armenian culture.
An Armenian-Venetian guide will lead you to three of the most important places of Armenian memory in Venice. The itinerary will be carried out by an Armenian guide, while on the island you will be welcomed by a Mechitarist Father.
- Palazzo Ca’ Zenobio, in Dorsoduro district. The palace has been hosting the Armenian College Moorat Raphael for 200 years, a high-level international education center. Its diploma was recognized by both the Italian and French Council. The piano nobile with its famous hall of mirrors decorated with 18th-century frescoes, represents a typical Venetian monumental room. Walk through the 19th century garden of Palazzo Ca' Zenobio among reddish-brown bushes, laurels, cypresses, scented pittosporum and rows of robinias.
- Santa Croce degli Armeni Church, near San Zulian. Here lays the former Armenian district. This Venetian baroque church has three 18th century altars decorated with interesting paintings: among the subjects, San Gregorio Armeno, “the Illuminator”, the saint who converted Armenians to Christianity in 301 AD.
- San Lazzaro degli Armeni island, where a Mechitarist Father will take you to a really exclusive visit to the Monastery. The cultural and spiritual activity of Armenian monks changed the island's history from the first half of the 18th century. During the visit, you will have the opportunity to join a suggestive mass following the Armenian rite. The museums of this islands have extreme cultural relevance as they contain about 5,000 precious manuscripts in several languages, about 140,000 ancient and modern volumes, important paintings and unique precious furnishings and an authentic Egyptian mummy 2,700 years old.