Experience awe through the ages in this compact church with a 10th-century Byzantine layout, charmingly flawed maps of Venice territories c 1678 on the facade, and three intriguing masterpieces. Veronese’s Madonna with Child hides behind the altar, Tintoretto’s four evangelists flank the organ, and Peter Paul Rubens' Mary with St John in the Molin Chapel features a characteristically chubby baby Jesus.

Admiral Antonio Barbaro commissioned this reconstruction of the original 9th-century church by Giuseppe Sardi for the glory of the Virgin, Venice, and of course himself – his statue gets prime facade placement. This self-glorifying architectural audacity enraged 19th-century architectural critic John Ruskin, who called it a ‘manifestation of insolent atheism’.