Santi Apostoli's bustling campo was one of the first of the Rialtine islets colonized in the Dark Ages, and this church went up soon after. According to legend it was founded by St Magnus, who saw 12 cranes that reminded him of the 12 Apostles. It has been rebuilt several times since (lastly in the 1570s, perhaps by Alessandro Vittoria) and was given a tall, landmark campanile in 1672.
The star attraction inside is on the right, the Renaissance Cappella Corner by Mauro Codussi, dedicated to the family of Caterina, Queen of Cyprus, who was buried here before her body was transferred to San Salvador. Giambattista Tiepolo’s beautiful Last Communion of Santa Lucia (1748) on the chapel’s altar, is among that artist’s most spiritual works; Tullio Lombardo is given credit for the tomb of Caterina’s father Marco (d. 1511), and for the marble relief of St Sebastian’s head (located among the detached 14th-century frescoes in the chapel to the right of the high altar).
In the chapel to the left of the altar is Francesco Maffei’s brightly coloured Guardian Angel, a popular subject during the terrors of the Counter-Reformation, when people really needed one, and a 15th-century Tuscan relief of the Madonna and Child.
Hours Mon-Sat 7.30-11.30am & 5-7pm
Campo SS. Apostoli
vaporetto Ca’ d’Oro
Images by: Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls, Didier Descouens, Creative Commons License