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The Great Schools (Scuole Grandi) of Venice

From 1261 the Great Schools, similar in many respects to medieval guilds in Britain, were established as secular brotherhoods that largely attracted middle-class citizens. Each was dedicated to a patron saint, and their purpose was primarily mutual aid between members and conducting charitable works.

On the annual feast of their patron they made a procession in honor of him, and on the feast of San Marco they went to the basilica, guided by their banners.

The schools were identified as Large (Large) or Minor (Small), and also included brotherhoods for arts and crafts, trades and for the various nationalities who settled in Venice.

The Great Schools, of which there were seven, had imposing buildings as centers richly decorated with paintings by great Venetian artists such as Jacopo Robusti (Tintoretto) or Vittore Carpaccio. During your visit we will spend some time in the Scuola di San Rocco and the Scuola di San Giovanni Evangelista.

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