Run by the diocese of Venice, this museum in the handsome 12th-century Benedictine Cloister of Sant' Apollonia—a rare example of mainland Romanesque in the Lagoon city—was the idea of Patriarch Albino Luciani (1912-1978) and opened a few years before he was elected and served every so briefly as Pope John Paul I.
The cloister has a 12th-century well head in the centre, along with the stones of the Lapidario Marciano, discovered around the nearby Piazza San Marco; among thiese are pieces from the original 9th-century Basilica.
Inside, there's a large collection of liturgical silver, and paintings and sculptures from disused Venetian churches, including a San Donato from the eponymous church in Murano, attributed to Paolo Veneziano; Jesus Christ the Redeemer by Tintoretto; Massacre of the Innocents, by Luca Giordano; a Deposition, by Gregorio Lazzarini; San Lorenzo Giustiniani by Pordenone; the Allegoria della Congregazione della Morte by Gian Antonio Pellegrini, and a very peculiar Last Supper by Giambattista Pittoni, showing Jesus and the Apostles about to feast on a puppy dog (or did it slip into the scene and fall asleep on the platter? It's hard to tell).
The museum is also used for special exhibitions.
Fondamenta della Canonica
vaporetto: San Zaccaria
+39 041 522 9166
Images by: Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls