The bells of the Carmini Church

Sounds, smells, sights … so evocative of a beloved place.



Filed under Venice

29 responses to “The bells of the Carmini Church

  1. Andrew

    Oh Esmarelda. The bells, the bells. Don’t you just love ’em.


  2. Michelle

    That takes me back to my Catholic school girl days.


  3. Michelle

    I also love the service that notifies me of new comments. That way we can keep up the conversations. I’m going to record lots of bells when I’m there.
    Every once in a while on a weekday morning if I go outside at 10am at my office (not often) and the wind is right I get the bells from the local Catholic chuch ringing the Angelus. It so reminds me of Venice in particular and Italy in general.


  4. PhilJ

    Jan Morris also cites the “Lourdes Hymn” as the source of the Carmini tune. I used to like being woken by the Carmini bells, and realising that – if the tune wasn’t playing – there was still a satisfying amount of time left before having to get up.


    • Other Yvonne

      Sorry to butt in Yvonne, but thanks to your new service I was notified of Caroline and Phil’s comments. I just have to say Phil, that must be the world’s best snooze button ever. Love your tales on your blog, Caroline, would have loved to have seen your 1st haircut!
      Yvonne, hope your day in the “swamp” is a good one. Train schedules for me today…heart is fluttering with excitement or is it the espresso??


      • Hi again OY, you may butt in any time you want to! I also enjoy the Jones saga, very much.

        Isn’t it wonderful, as an adult, to feel your heart leap with excitement?


    • And, hello to you, Phil. Now, I have to see if I can find the music of the ‘Lourdes Hymn’. Friends who stayed near the Carmini said one of the tunes reminded them of ‘Oranges and lemons’.


  5. Caroline

    I am very fond of the Carmini bells too. On a previous holiday and for the first 2 weeks after our arrival this year, we stayed in a flat quite near there and indeed we did not need an alarm clock. It was lovely to be woken by the 7am bells, make my cup of tea and then lie in for an hour or two longer while the bells marked the time passing. It seemed so much gentler and a more natural way of waking up – just the thing after getting up early for work for ?? years then the stress of the last couple of months before we moved!

    I’d hoped for a similar experience with the Santo Stefano bells here, but we can’t hear them that well from inside with everything shut – either better soundproofing or just the layout of the intervening buildings, I suppose. From the altana, though, just this last week we’ve noticed them playing quite a sweet tune at (usually) 6.15pm – no idea what it is!

    I think it’s the ‘Churches of Venice’ website which says the Carmini tune is the ‘Lourdes Hymn’, but I don’t know that.


    • That is sort of disappointing not to hear the bells from inside your apartment, Caroline. Thank goodness for your wonderful altana. So, still no camera? I don’t know how you can cope without it!


      • Caroline

        Well, we only had that camera because Phil’s parents bought us it unexpectedly, some time after I’d left our previous one in San Goirgio Maggiore! We keep thinking it must be somewhere & must turn up one day, but we really should bite the bullet & buy a new one – especially since my memory seems to be going now 🙂


        • Sure as heck, as soon as you buy a new one, the other one will turn up, Caroline. But then you can be a two camera family. I don’t know what you can do about that memory, though! 🙂


  6. Bert

    There is a story about the campanile of the Carmini that is quite interesting and that some of you might not have read. It was built early in the 17C and rapidly developed an alarming list. It was straightened by Giuseppe Sardi (1624-99) in 1688. Holes were bored in the brickwork about 70 ft up on three sides, not on the side it was leaning to. Wooden wedges were inserted into the holes, then more holes were bored to be filled with wood until there was a layer of wood all around on the three sides. A strong acid was then applied to the wood which was gradually consumed. The structure settled down upright and has remained so ever since. Sardi is buried in the church underneath a seat. The inscription is very worn, but appears to say that his son is also buried there.


    • Yes, I had read that fascinating story, thanks, Bert. And thank you for adding it here. I reckon there are more listing campanile in Venice (and the islands) than you can shake a wooden wedge at!


  7. So wonderful! I have recorded the bells from our apartment windows on several occasions. I play them often with eyes closed, trying to transport myself back to Venice!

    Thank you Yvonne!


  8. MaryK

    On my old phone I had a recording of a cacophony of bells pealing on Christmas morning. I must try and remember to record some more bells this year onto my new phone (perhaps I can figure out how to make them my ring tone!)

    (And I’ve just realised that is 6 months today until I arrive in Venice – although I think 184 days sounds better than 6 months which seems forever away!)


  9. Michelle

    194 days till I’m hearing them in person again. although I think I had the volume too loud as Lili flinched and couldn’t figure out where the sound was coming from. I’m sure the cats in Venice are used to it.
    And I love it when you can hear the bells of different churches too. I read somewhere that it was done on purpose in Italy in general so people would recognize the bells of their home church.


  10. Barb

    Not to worry…it’s a sweet homesick-ness! It is indeed wonderful to hear those bells last thing at night and first thing in the morning. They say “You’re back. You’re in Venice!”


  11. Barb

    The bells of Venice…….if I wasn’t “homesick” before, I surely am now!
    I always enjoy it when you hear several bells coming from different sources at the same time. They are never in synch but still charming.


  12. Hi, OY, I’ve been missing you! I wish those 5 months would zoom by for you. It’ll be a nice time of year to be there. 🙂


    • Other Yvonne

      I’m so excited this time I can hardly stand it, camping season will help the time pass quickly…I hope. Missed you all too!


  13. Other Yvonne

    Well there is no excuse for missing church living here!!
    Bet they don’t own alarm clocks either.
    But the bells are music to the ears…..5 months to go Yahooo!


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