This sleepy church on the far-flung island of San Pietro served as Venice's cathedral from 1451 to 1807. An almost-but-not-quite Palladio design with a white bell tower of Istrian stone by Codussi, its expansive 54m dome rivals Michelangelo's at the Vatican in width (though not height). The most intriguing piece inside the church is St Peter’s Throne , which according to legend was used by the Apostle Peter in Antioch and once hid the Holy Grail.
While the story has all the makings of an Indiana Jones sequel, sadly there’s very little truth to it: the intricately carved stone back is in fact made from a scavenged Muslim tombstone that postdates the Apostle’s death by many centuries. Still, it seems a fitting tale for such a historic location, given that the island of San Pietro (originally known as Olivolo) was among the first to be inhabited in Venice, and the original church here was the seat of a bishopric as early as 775.