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Tiny, cypress-lined San Michele is home to the first church designed by Mauro Codussi and the first example of Renaissance architecture in Venice; the gracefully elegant structure shows the profound influence of Florentine architects Alberti and Rossellino that would come to full fruition in Codussi's palaces on the Canale Grande. The church's dedication to Saint Michael is singularly appropriate, since traditionally he holds the scales of the Last Judgement.

Next to the church is the somewhat later hexagonal Capella Emiliani (1528–1543), whose strangely shaped dome recalls those of Etruscan tombs.