Campo Sant'Agnese, as happens for most of the Venetian fields, takes its name from the adjacent place of worship dedicated to the patron saint of young women and gardeners. The sixteenth-century well from the field is of considerable size, made up of six faces: in one of these appears Sant'Agnese with the palm of martyrdom and the representation of the lamb, presumed because of the similarity with the Latin word agnus (whose diminutive is agnĕllus) and which means, in fact, lamb.
The heart of the field is represented by the ancient Church of Sant'Agnese, whose construction date is uncertain: the first official document dates back to the year 1081. It suffered a fire in 1105 which completely destroyed it and then was completely rebuilt and consecrated June 15, 1321. He collected the relics of San Venerio Abate and, as evidenced by the canon of San Marco Stringa in 1604, he owned eleven altars and various fragments of the remains of Sant'Agnese. During the Napoleonic rule, it was completely stripped of the precious objects present inside, which seems to have been really many. It was then closed and turned into a warehouse for timber and coal.
Marco Antonio Sabellico, in his sixteenth-century guide of the site of Vinegia, said that at the church of Sant'Agnese there was a small place of female hermitage, from which it is said that the founder of the monastery of Santa Maria Maggiore also grew.
In the 14th century, the Sant'Agnese district also hosted a group of inhabitants of the island of Poveglia who, due to their warlike and disobedient behavior, were forced by the government to remain "in exile". Also here was the first case of a plague epidemic of 1630.
In the 16th century an artesian well was excavated in the area and the work received a commendation from the doge of the time Andrea Gritti; however, the construction of a new well, still artesian, in a garden in the same area of Sant'Agnese was not congenial. This time the excavation caused a gas leak that produced a 40-meter-high column of mud and sand, threateningly falling on the church and nearby houses.
The fate of the field is closely connected to the Cavanis family, dynasty of Bergamo origins, who moved to Venice in the sixteenth century and acquired the title of Counts from the Polish King John III Sobiesky for the services performed by Nicolò Cavanis. It was the brothers Antonio Angelo and Marcantonio, born in the Gothic palace to the left of the Church of the Gesuati as mentioned by a plaque, who went down in history for their decisive role in the social life of Sant'Agnese: they dedicated themselves to the education of the youth of their city, laying the foundations of a new religious congregation. They founded the Cavanis Institute, still active today, whose headquarters are in the historic Palazzo da Mosto, previously owned by Vettore da Mosto.
The Institute and the Church overlook Rio Terà Foscarini - also known under the name of Rio Terà degli Alberetti for the presence of numerous trees - built on what was Rio de Sant'Agnese until 1863, a river that connected from the north to the south the Grand Canal at the Zattere with a perfectly straight path (still appreciable today from the same visible demarcation of the rio terà). Today, in his testimony, a walled cavana is still visible along the side facade of the current church of the Gesuati.
On the opposite side of the church, before Rio di Sant'Agnese was buried, there was Palazzo Foscarini, owned by Cavaliere Antonio Foscarini.
At number 812 of the field lived the painter Gennaro Favai, where today a plaque commemorates him. Finally, two of the honorable courtesans of Venice who lived in Sant'Agnese are also mentioned: Bertolina Ruosa and Cornelia Del Stefani.