San Moisè


One of the churches in Venice that people love to hate is San Moise, with its Baroque façade. Completed in 1668, it is covered in grimy statues, swags and busts. John Ruskin, in a characteristic anti-Baroque diatribe, described it as the clumsiest church in Venice.

The interior has a mixed collection of paintings and sculpture from the 17th and 18th centuries. In the nave is the tombstone of John Law, a financier from Scotland who founded the Compagnie d’Occident to develop the Mississippi Valley. His shares collapsed in 1770 in the notorious South Sea Bubble, and he fled to Venice, surviving on his winnings at the Ridotto (gambling café, casino).