Giorgio Cini Foundation Tours

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VeniceGiorgio Cini Foundation

Giorgio Cini Foundation | A Beacon of Culture, Arts, Music & History 

Established in 1951, the Giorgio Cini Foundation is a cultural institution, based in the monumental complex of the former Benedictine monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore. It promotes Italian art, history, and culture & serves as a center for academic research across various fields, such as musicology, literature, and social sciences.  

Why Visit Giorgio Cini Foundation?

Giorgio Cini Foundation
  • Artistic excellence: It is home to some of the finest collections of arts, books, and music. Its galleries and libraries are treasure troves that take visitors on a journey through centuries of artistic and intellectual creation.
  • Unique architecture: The foundation's buildings offer a unique blend of monastic architecture and Renaissance design, against the idyllic Venetian setting.
  • Music and performance: The foundation hosts the International Centre for the Study of the Sociology of Music, and its auditorium often serves as a platform for world-class concerts, lectures, and performances.
  • Historical significance: The foundation's long-term research projects delve into Venetian history and culture, including the influential Vivaldi Project. These initiatives make it a hub for intellectual discourse and historical exploration.
  • Gardens and labyrinths: The Borges Labyrinth and the Garden of Chapels embody a blend of art, nature, and spirituality, offering tranquil spaces for contemplation amid the hustle of Venice.

Explore the Giorgio Cini Foundation

The Garden with Vatican Chapels

The Garden with Vatican Chapels

Enter deep into the nearby woods to see the magnificent installation of the Vatican chapels. Nestled inside the forest, explore these thought-provoking, innovative, and marvelous structures created for the 2018’s Architecture Biennale. A 50-minute audio guide tour will take you through its inception complemented by an original soundtrack from Antonio Fresa.

Green Theatre

Green Theatre

This 1950s open-air theatre commissioned by Cini and built by Luigi Vietti and Angelo Scattolin can hold 1484 spectators. It is modeled on open-air garden theatres that decked Venetian villas of the 18th century. The structure is made from recycled material left over from restoration projects on the island. Use your smartphone to access a life-like video artwork exhibiting the theatre’s extraordinary vitality through real footage and an original score. 

What to See At Giorgio Cini Foundation?

The Palladian Cloister

The Palladian Cloister

The Palladian Cloister designed by Andrea Palladio is part of an overhaul of the monastery that Palladio designed back in 1560. He was appointed in 1579 to take charge of designing this magnificent structure. Discover how the architect studied and codified the orders of the columns, porticoes, and proportions; how the height, width, and numbers have all been carefully thought out. Witness how he uses twin ionic columns, rather than a single column, to create a sense of depth.

Borges Labyrinth

Borges Labyrinth

Explore the maze, Borges Labyrinth, built in 2011 as a tribute to Argentine writer, Jorge Luis Borges. Within this exquisite maze, 3,200 boxwood plants are artfully arranged following the visionary blueprint of architect Randoll Coate. Immerse yourself in the wonder of the Nuova Manica Lunga as you gaze upon the labyrinth from a bird's-eye view, and follow its winding paths, accompanied by an audio guide.

Nuova Manica Lunga Library

Nuova Manica Lunga Library

The Nuovo Manica Lunga library complex lies at the heart of the Giorgio Cini Foundation. Formerly, the dormitory of the Benedictine fathers, this exceptional space for research & study, was designed by Giovanni Buora. It holds literary resources and holds world-class international standards of library science. This architectural marvel was later redeveloped by the architect  Michele De Lucchi. The result is an open-plan, expanse creating an ideal atmosphere for hosting scholars, providing them with necessary infrastructure & research materials.  

Plan Your Visit to Giorgio Cini Foundation

Getting There

10 AM to 6 PM, Monday to Sunday 

Closed: Wednesday 

Best Time to Visit: During spring or fall when the weather is pleasant, the city is less crowded with tourists and the Cini Foundation hosts major exhibitions and events

Getting There by ferry

Address: Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore, 30133 Venezia VE, Italy

Find on Map 


  • By Ferry: Vaporetto  Line 2 
    Nearest Stop: S. Giorgio, 5 min walk 
    Take the ferry from San Zaccaria, which takes 3 min to reach S. Giorgio.  
  • Audio guides available with tickets 
  • Wheelchairs available for visitors with restricted mobility 
  • Informative plaques for visually-impaired visitors 
  • In-house cafe, a cozy place to unwind after sightseeing 
Giorgio Cini Foundation Interior

Luciano Baldessari (Architecture per la scena): It documents how Luciano Baldessari's scenic eye "exploded" in the Berlin season of the 1920s and became a new way of looking at the world, and at architecture for the rest of his life.

Venue: At the Manica Lunga, from 05 May 2023 - 26 Nov 2023

outside food not allowed
  • Please bring earphones with a jack cable for Android devices (it is an audio-guided tour)
  • Borges Labyrinth is not accessible by wheelchairs  
  • If you plan to explore the garden with Chapels in summer, pack mosquito repellent 
  • Carry a hat and pack sunscreen for parts of the museum that are not in the shade 
  • Outside food & drinks are not allowed 
  • If you plan to do multiple tours, consider reserving a table for lunch at the island’s only bar and restaurant, the Cini Café
  • Cini Café: The only cafe inside Cini Foundation, offers scenic views of St. Mark’s  Basilica, 4 min away 
  • TEN Restaurant: Classic Italian dishes such as pasta, wood-fired pizzas paired with cocktails, 1 min away 
  • I figli delle stelle: Known for Venetian seafood specialties such as Grilled Squid, Tuscan prawns, and sunset views, 12 min away 
  • Taverna Dei Dogi: Another seafood haven, an excellent choice of wine, 14 min away 
  • Sandro: A small eatery for cold cuts, sandwiches, and fruit juices, 13 min away 
  • Budget
    Generator Venice, 13 min away; Hotel Lux, 14 min away 
  • Mid-level
    Hotel Tiepolo, 15 min away; Hotel Mercurio Venice, 22 min away 
  • Luxury 
    Hotel Royal San Marco, 19 min away; Hotel San Moise, 22 min away 
Basilica di San Marco
  • Murano: World-famous Venetian glass-making workshops dating back to the 13th century, 4.1 km away 
  • Basilica di San Marco: The Central Cathedral and the episcopal seat of the Patriarch of Venice since 1807, 1.4 km away 
  • Palazzo Ducale: The palace residence of the Doge of Venice, one of the main landmarks of Venice built in 1340, 1.2 km away 
  • Gallerie dell’Accademia: An art museum housing pre-19th century art in Venice, 2.5 km away
  • Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute: A Roman Catholic Church and basilica, locally known as Salute, 1.9 km away 

Frequently Asked Questions About Giorgio Cini Foundation Tours

How much does Giorgio Cini Foundation tours cost?

The tours to Giorgio Cini Foundation start from €22. This includes a complete tour of the Giorgio Cini Foundation, Borges Labyrinth, Manica Lunga Library, and more.

How to book tours to the Giorgio Cini Foundation?

You can book tours to the Giorgio Cini Foundation online or at the venue. Online purchasing is easy and allows you to secure your slot on the day of your visit.

Why should I book Giorgio Cini Foundation tours online?

Visitors are recommended to book tours online as it offers guaranteed entry to all the highlights of the Giorgio Cini Foundation. Moreover, booking tours online reserve your entry, especially during the peak seasons when tickets get sold out fast. 

What do Giorgio Cini Foundation Tours include?

Tours include a visit to the Longhena Staircase, the Palladio Cloister, the Buora Cloister, the Last Supper with the Wedding at Cana, the New Manica Lunga library, Vatican Chapels's installation, and the Green Theater.

Is Borges Labyrinth and Manica Lunga Library included with Giorgio Cini Foundation Tours?

Yes, both attractions are included in the audio-guided tours of the Giorgio Cini Foundation. 

What is the cancelation policy for Giorgio Cini Foundation tours?

Visitors can cancel the tours up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.

Does Giorgio Cini Foundation tours have multi-lingual audio guides?

Yes, you can listen to audio guides that come in 5 languages.

What are the Giorgio Cini Foundation's opening hours?

The Giorgio Cini Foundation remains open from 10 AM to 6 PM, Monday to Sunday. Only closed on Wednesday. 

How long does it take to complete Giorgio Cini Foundation Tour?

A complete tour of the Giorgio Cini Foundation, Borges Labyrinth, and Manica Lunga Library takes about 2-2.5 hours, with approximately 40 min dedicated to each landmark.