Sant’ Angelo is a very spacious campo in the sestiere of San Marco, and one reason it’s so large is because there used to be a parish church here, San Michele Arcangelo (dedicated to Archangel Michael). The church is gone but you can still find an oratory and a very cool vera da pozzo (wellhead).
The carvings on the wellhead are connected to the name of the oratory (Oratorio dell’ Annunziata) or oratory of the Annunciation. Archangel Gabriel is on one side of the well holding his lily, and Mary is on the other side, receiving the good news.
Oratory of the Annunciation
The sweet little bell on the roof of the Oratory:
The church of Sant’ Angelo (or Sant’ Anzolo in Venetian dialect) was founded in 920, rebuilt several times, closed by the French in 1810, and then used as a warehouse for a couple of decades before finally being demolished by the Austrians in 1837.
The campanile (bell tower) of this church had quite an exciting history. It was one of many towers that fell on the same day during an earthquake in 1347 (legend has it that the bells of all these towers inexplicably rang of their own accord before they all collapsed). The Sant’ Angelo tower was rebuilt but began leaning dangerously - a tower-straightening expert from Bologna attempted to set it straight but right after he’d “fixed” it, the tower fell again, killing two monks in the adjacent monastery of Santo Stefano. It was rebuilt again and then twenty years later in 1487, it was stuck by lightning and partially destroyed. Rebuilt once more and survived for several more centuries until it was demolished at the same time as the church.
The little pink oratory is supposedly open occasionally, but it’s been closed every time I’ve walked by. UPDATE: I found it open in 2010. Photos here.
The church, campanile, and oratory are all visible in a couple of paintings. The first is by Canaletto.
The second is by Gabriele Bella and can be seen in Venice in the museum La Querini Stampalia along with many other charming scenes of Venice by the same artist.
This painting has a hair-raising title, Bear-Baiting in Campo Sant’ Angelo, and truly, I don’t want to know what bear-baiting is or even think about it. But it's cool to see the demolished church next to the little oratory.