The church, founded in the 8th century, is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, whose relics arrived in Venice from an unknown eastern region.


Historical Background

The earliest document attesting to its existence dates back to 1090. It is a donation deed in which the priest Andrea Martinaci appears as a notary, the parish priest of San Giovanni Battista in Bragora. A subsequent reconstruction of the building took place starting from 1178, when the parish priest, Pietro Da Molin, sold a piece of church property to cover the expenses of reconstruction.


Rebuilt and restored several times in the preceding centuries, the church assumed its current Late Gothic appearance in the last quarter of the 15th century. Fundraising for its reconstruction was increased during the pontificate of Pietro Barbo, who was born in the parish and served as Pope from 1464 to 1471.

The interior of the church has undergone profound modifications over the centuries, related to worship requirements and changes in taste. Remodeling carried out at different times between the late 16th and 18th centuries radically altered the liturgical space, mainly affecting the area of the presbytery, with the demolition of the choir and the altars that were attached to it, the isolated positioning of the main altar (remade in the late 17th century), the leveling of the floor, and the addition of a series of large canvases on the walls.

Despite the alterations, the presbytery, dominated by Giambattista Cima’s “Baptism of Christ,” one of the oldest altarpieces preserved in situ on the main altar of a Venetian church, is undoubtedly still the architectural focal point of the church. For this privileged space reserved for the clergy, a complex decorative apparatus was executed between 1486 and 1503, including the choir for the collegiate church (located in front of the altar and separated from the rest of the nave by an elaborate marble screen), the altarpiece for the main altar with its frame, and two small side altars with their respective paintings.

Musical Information

(Aldo Bova “Venezia i luoghi della musica“)

The organ, with two keyboards and eighteen registers, was built by Mascioni in 1946 and inserted into the richly decorated case of the ancient organ by Vincenzo Colonna from 1663.



Monday – Saturday | 10:30 AM – 1:30 PM and 2:30 PM – 5:00 PM

(ticket offices, bookshop, and last entry ten minutes before closing)


Festive (Sunday and holidays) 11:00 AM

Weekdays 9:30 AM