An Island of Tranquillity

Cloister of Sant' Apollonia, Venice
Hidden away in one of the busiest parts of the city, the ancient Chiostro di Sant' Apollonia is an island of tranquillity in a sea of chaos. 

Although the cloister lies only a stone's throw from Piazza San Marco, the hordes never penetrate its space. 
Cloister of Sant' Apollonia, Venice
The 12th century cloister, the oldest in Venice, was once part of a Benedictine Abbey; it now houses the Museo Diocesano di Arte Sacra

The cloister's brick paving is a rare example of a style that was once common throughout Venice. In the garth the bricks are laid out in a herring-bone pattern, while in the alleys the bricks form a basket-weave pattern. 

The cloister and museum are open 10.00-17.30, Tuesday to Sunday (Entrance fee).