Hidden treasures

The miraculous barrel in the church of Santi Maria and Donato in Murano

Mysteries & Legends

The miraculous barrel in the church of Santi Maria and Donato in Murano

The basilica of Saint Maria and Donato in Murano in the Venetian Lagoon, built in the 10th century, contains many treasures but also unexpected details.

With your back to the door entrance and looking at the wall of the nave above the colonnade on the left, you will notice a lion of St. Mark, accompanied by two coats of arms and a bizarre object: a small barrel, also known as ‘El botasso de Sant `Alban'.

Legend has it that the barrel was a relic belonging to the inhabitants of the island of Burano, who guarded it jealously. This barrel, in fact, was miraculous because, according to legend, after being positioned beside the relics of Sant`Albano, brought to the lagoon in 1067, it has never stopped spilling wine. The inhabitants of Murano were very jealous of this blessing that had occurred in the neighbouring island and so one night some of them stole the famous barrel from Burano.

However, once landed in Murano, they immediately noticed that the small barrel did not have any intention to spill anymore whilst the inhabitants of Burano were already coming to the island to reclaim the stolen object. ‘We cannot enjoy it? You will not either!' This was the thought of the people of Murano, who, using a ladder, walled in the small barrel in the basilica, and then invited the people of Burano to fetch if they wanted it so much...

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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