The ground-floor hall of the Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni is one of the most beautiful rooms in Europe. Venice’s resident Slavs (Schiavoni), most of whom were traders, set up a scuola to look after their interests in 1451; the present building dates from the early sixteenth century, and the whole interior looks more or less as it would have then. Entering it, you step straight from the street into the lower hall, the walls of which are decorated with a superb cycle of pictures created by Vittore Carpaccio between 1502 and 1509. Outstanding among them is The Vision of St Augustine, depicting the moment that Augustine, while writing to St Jerome, had a vision of Jerome’s death.

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