„We won’t benefit from it? Neither will you!” thought the Muranesi (citizens of Murano) when they walled the barrel inside the Santi Maria e Donato Church and asked the Buranelli (citizens of Burano) to come and get it.

Wait a minute. Why should they immure an empty cask?

Well, said barrel was the “botasso de Sant’Alban” (the barrel of Saint Alban) that constantly sputtered wine when placed next to the relics of the saint.

Let’s be honest, we’d all love to have a barrel that’s constantly sputtering wine at home and the Muranesi just couldn’t accept that their neighbours had such a treasure for their own. Thus, one night, they started a cloak-and-dagger operation and stole the beloved relic from the Buranelli.

The next morning, the first Buranelli arrived on the island of Murano. They were very angry and requested their treasure, but the barrel had already been walled in the church.

The Santi Maria and Donato Church

Today, you can still admire the precious relic: Once you entered the church, have a look at the breathtaking floor mosaic and then raise your sight to the arches to your left. You’ll see the lion of Saint Mark and just next to it the famous barrel.

The church itself is a masterpiece of Venetian architecture: The original structure dates back to the VIIth century (consecrated to the Virgin Mary). The church was completely rebuilt in the XIIth century when the relics of Saint Donato were brought to Venice from Greece.

Venezia: Santi Maria e Donato mosaico
Venezia: Santi Maria e Donato mosaico
Venezia - Murano: Santi Maria e Donato
Venezia – Murano: Santi Maria e Donato

Basilica dei Santi Maria e Donato

Free admission

Campo San Donato


Opening Hours

On weekdays (including Saturday) 09.00 am – 06.00 pm

Sundays and holidays 12.30 pm – 06.00 pm

Venezia: Santi Maria e Donato
Venezia: Santi Maria e Donato
Venezia: Santi Maria e Donato Campanile
Venezia: Santi Maria e Donato Campanile

  •   Beatrice was just wonderful! She made this tour fun for both adults and kids - and we learned so much! Definitely to be recommended!!

    thumb Tonja
    February 19, 2024
  •   Wer in Venedig einen Blick abseits des Tourismus bzw. den großen Plätzen werfen will, denen kann ich die Tour mit Beatrice wirklich ans Herz legen. Gerade vielleicht am Anfang... read more

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    February 10, 2024
  •   Wir hatten sehr kurzfristig und spontan eine Tour mit Beatrice buchen können und waren sehr happy über diesen “Glücksgriff”! Sie hat uns wirklich tolle Ecken gezeigt, sehr viel Interessantes erzählt... read more

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    August 28, 2023
  •   Vielen Dank für den wunderbaren Nachmittag-wunderbare versteckte Ecken in San Marco gesehen und reichlich Tipps für die nächsten Male bekommen wie Museen,Bars usw.

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    November 8, 2022
  •   We had a total blast at Beatrices tour. She showed us a lot of hidden corners in Venice and we moved off the beaten track. She was super knowledgable, provided... read more

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    October 30, 2022
  •   Beatrice hat uns Venedig auf wundervolle Weise ein Stück näher gebracht. Auch mein Sohn war sehr interessiert dabei. Absolut empfehlenswert!!

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    October 24, 2022
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    October 24, 2022
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    June 13, 2022
  •   Ich kann Beatrice herzlich empfehlen. Sie liebt Venedig, hat viel Wissen darüber und kann es bestens vermitteln, darüber hinaus in Ecken ohne Touristen.

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    June 8, 2022
  •   Es war eine sehr schöne Tour und Beatrix konnte wirklich auf jede Frage eine Antwort geben.

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    May 28, 2022
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