The church has a very simple façade and is partly hidden given its position along the Fondamenta dei Vetrai in the heart of the Murano of the master glassmakers. Despite its simplicity, remarkable works by Bellini, Veronese and a painting attributed to Tintoretto are found within

Tell me more

The church was built in the mid-14th century and dedicated to St. John the Baptist. It was built by Marco Michiel and consecrated on the 17th of September 1417. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by a disastrous fire in the 16th century and rebuilt in 1511 and dedicated to San Pietro Martire.

A few years after the fall of the Republic, the building was closed to worship and only reopened in 1813.

The place of worship has ‘exposed’ stone with a façade divided into three parts, completed with a characteristic 16th century Renaissance entrance portal; the latter is dominated by a large rose window. On the left side of the façade is a portico adorned with Renaissance arches and columns that are probably the remains of an ancient cloister. The belltower sticks out of the left side of the church in all its grandeur, dating to 1498 -1502.

The church consists of a basilica plan with three aisles separated by two sets of voluminous columns and a roof with exposed beams. The large presbytery with a barrel vault is flanked by two small chapels.

You can see the magnificent chapel of the Ballarin family on the right transept, dedicated to Saint Joseph and Mary, which Giorgio Ballarin, a well-known Muranese glassmaker, had built for his and his family's future remains, including his descendants. You can also see two other funeral monuments dedicated to two Grand Chancellors of the Republic of Venice, Giovanni Battista (died September 29, 1666) and his son Domenico (died November 2, 1698), both members of the Ballarin family. 

Inside you can admire works by Giovanni Bellini such as ‘Assumption of the Virgin and Eight saints’ and the ‘Barbarigo Altarpiece’, depicting the Virgin with Putto, two Angels playing music, Saint Augustine and Saint Mark who presents the Doge Agostino Barbarigo to the Madonna. You can also see the ‘Deposition from the cross’ by Giovanni Porta known as Salviati, ‘Saint Agatha in jail visited by St. Peter and an angel’ and ‘St. Jerome in the desert’,  by Paolo Veronese and ‘The wedding of Canaan’ and ‘The multiplication of bread and fish’ by Bartolomeo Letterini. Several scholars attribute the painting ‘Baptism of Christ’ to Tintoretto.

Read also