Where we come from and where we are leading to
This Centre was established in 1423 as a Jesuits' monastery, lay brothers who dedicate themselves to look after the sick, so-called because of their constant appeal to Jesus; at the end of the fifteenth century they also began the construction of the church of "St. Mary of the Visitation". In 1669, the convent and church were purchased by the Dominican Fathers, who erected the new church of "Santa Maria del Rosario" and began the extension of the monastery under the direction of the architect Giorgio Massari.
In 1810 Napoleon issued a decree for the dissolution of the religious order and confiscated the goods. From 1815 to 1850 the building was managed by the Municipality of Venice as an orphanage which, from 1851 to 1866, was entrusted to the Somaschi Fathers from San Girolamo but their congregation retired in 1866.
The orphanage was purchased in 1867 by the Congregation of Charity, a lay organization with an educational purpose which decided to sell the property in 1923. On the 4th of August 1923 Don Orione purchased the entire property, thus continuing its work of helping orphans and children with hard family conditions.
For decades, the boarding school with its professional schools and laboratories of mechanics, carpentry and typography was concerned with the education of hundreds of young people whose skills, once they graduated, were very appreciated in the world of business, hence the name "Artigianelli Institute".
In the early Eighties', the mission of the centre changed from child care to support to young University students, in order to face different tendencies and several requests to provide accommodations to students who, every day came from various, even far, places to attend the numerous University departments of the city.
With the start of the new millennium, new scenarios opened in Venice. Students no longer sought a place of quiet and peaceful residence, albeit subject to some simple rules of coexistence; on the other hand, the city has become a destination for thousands of people from all over the world also led by the incentive given by the big event of the Jubilee in the year 2000. For this reason the structure was converted into a Religious House of Hospitality and Conference Centre, recognizing the potential of this property as a favourite place for tourists by the "human face", which reveals the value of meeting one another.
The Centre is open to everybody: men and women of all ages and socio-cultural conditions, laymen and religious people, individuals and groups, believers and non believers who are open to listening and dialogue, able to stand comparison, landed or on the way, eager to communicate, attracted by the peace and serenity of the place as well as by the brotherly welcome.
The material purpose of the work carried out at this Centre is that to financially support the charity works led by Don Orione Institutes, which in Italy and in the world help nearly one million people; for this reason it is our duty to thank all those people who cooperate with us, who helped us and are still helping us, and all of you who choose our House for your stay in Venice, so that with our work and your presence we can help this world for better.