Sightseeing of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice. Venice, capital of northern Italy's Veneto region, is built on more than 100 small islands in a marshy lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. Its stone palaces seemingly rise out of the water. There are no cars or roadways, just canals and boats. The Grand Canal snakes through the city, which is filled with innumerable narrow, mazelike alleys and small squares. San Giorgio Maggiore is a 16th-century Benedictine church on the island of the same name in Venice, northern Italy, designed by Andrea Palladio, and built between 1566 and 1610.