Hidden in a quiet corner of the residential section of Cannaregio northeast of the Rialto Bridge, the small and exceedingly attractive 15th-century Miracoli has one side of its precious polychrome-marbled facade running alongside a canal, creating colorful and shimmering reflections. It was built 1481 to 1489 by Pietro Lombardo, a local artisan whose background in monuments and tombs is obvious, and would go on to become one of the founding fathers of the Venetian Renaissance.
The less romantic are inclined to compare it to a large tomb with a dome, but the untold couples who have made this perfectly proportioned jewel-like church their choice for weddings will dispel such insensitivity. The small square in front is the perfect place for gondolas to drop off and pick up the newly betrothed. The inside is intricately decorated with early Renaissance marble reliefs, its pastel palette of pink, gray, and white marble making an elegant venue for all those weddings. The church was constructed for a venerated image of the Virgin Mary, credited with working miracles—including bringing back to life someone who’d spent half an hour at the bottom of the Giudecca Canal. The icon is now displayed over the main altar.