Tucked away at a charming canal crossing in a quiet corner northeast of the Rialto Bridge in Venice, the small 15th-century Santa Maria dei Miracoli is an early Renaissance church covered in polychrome marble. A canal runs along one side of the church, creating attractive reflections.
History of Santa Maria dei Miracoli
In 1470s Venice, an icon of the Virgin Mary was credited for a varieity of miracles, including bringing back to life someone who spent half an hour at the bottom of the Giudecca Canal. The reported miracles attracted many pilgrims, who eventually left enough donations to fund the building of the church.
Santa Maria dei Miracoli was built in the 1480s to a design by Pietro Lombardo (c.1435-1515), a local artisan whose background in monuments and tombs is obvious in his work. Lombardo would go on to become one of the founding fathers of the Venetian Renaissance.
The Miracoli (as it is commonly known) is once again open to the public after an extensive 10-year renovation.
What to See at Santa Maria dei Miracoli
Tiny yet perfectly proportioned, this early Renaissance gem has a picturesque location on a small square alongside a canal, making it a favorite venue for weddings. Gondolas drop off and pick up the newlyweds.
The exterior is covered in polychrome marble, extra pilasters and offset arcade windows, all of which create an illusion of greater size. The unique effect is admired by many, but some compare it less favorably to an oversized tomb with a dome.
The elegant interior of Santa Maria dei Miracoli is intricately decorated with pink, white and grey marble and early Renaissance marble reliefs. The miraculous image of the Virgin Mary, known as I Miracoli (The Miraculous), is still proudly displayed on the high altar.
Quick Facts on Santa Maria dei Miracoli
|Names:||Santa Maria dei Miracoli · SM dei Miracoli · The Marble Church · The Miracoli|
|Dedication:||Virgin Mary (of Miracles)|
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||45.439477° N, 12.339248° E|
|Address:||Campo Santa Maria Nova|
|Hours:||Mon-Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 3-5pm|
|Lodging:||View hotels near Santa Maria dei Miracoli|
- Chiesa Santa Maria dei Miracoli - Frommer's Northern Italy
- Fodor's Venice and the Venetian Arc
- Santa Maria dei Miracoli - Fodor's Italy
- Photos of Santa Maria dei Miracoli - here on Sacred Destinations
Map of Santa Maria dei Miracoli, Venice
Below is a location map and aerial view of Santa Maria dei Miracoli. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.