The campo in front of the Fenice is named after the plain and crumbling church of San Fantin, the rather obscure patron saint of Venice's scaleteri, or makers of sweets.
The original church, from the 12th century, was rebuilt after 1501, when Cardinal Giovanni Battista Zeno left 10,000 ducats in his will for its reconstruction. The design was by Scarpagnino, with an interior based on cubes; after his death in 1549, it was taken over by Sansovino, who added a perfect Renaissance dome over the sanctuary.
Most of the art inside has been moved elsewhere, but there is said to be a funerary monument to Vinciguerra Dandolo by Tullio Lombardo and a 15th-century Tuscan polychrome wood crucifix that was carried before condemned prisoners on their way to execution between the columns in the Piazzetta, accompanied by members of the Confraternity of the Good Death from nearby Scuola di Santa Maria e di San Girolamo, now the Ateneo Veneto.
Hours Closed for restoration at the time of writing
vaporetto Santa Maria del Giglio
Images by: Didier Descouens, Creative Commons License