Updated: Jul 17, 2021
Every year part of what the John Hall Venice course issues all students with is an object known as The Chorus Pass. This is a fantastic invention by the Venetian authorities to enable many of the city's churches to remain open and accessible all day. Before this happened, if one wanted to visit a church to admire an altarpiece by Giovanni Bellini, Titian, Lorenzo Lotto, Tiepolo and many other great artists you had to take a chance with opening hours, which were often pretty idiosyncratic, to say the least!
That's not to say that it's impossible to get into churches, but sometimes one has to pre-empt the hours that a verger or sacristans keeps, maybe a long lunch and a subsequent siesta will make a church inaccessible from 12 until 5 in the afternoon.
The Chorus Pass pays for someone to sit in the church and keep it open all day. We give them to our students so that they can visit some of these churches, often those that might be inaccessible. In a way to incentivise ('bribe'?!) the students I offer a prize of a cocktail at Harry's bar for the first person (or two person team) to clock off all of the churches on that list, often they are places in far-flung areas of Venice and this encourages them to explore the city too.
There are rules, one of them is that the team or person has to prove that they've actually been in every church...a self-portrait in each church is the easiest proof....
Here are the winners, congratulations to Sasha and Lucas!...and here's the reward!