Santa Maria della Grazia rose during the Middle Ages in the place where Venice’s rubble was discarded up. The island takes its name from a supposedly miraculous Madonna which was on display in its former church. In 1264 there was a home for pilgrims to the Holy Land; later it was transformed into a convent. During the Napoleonic period the convent was suppressed and changed to a powder-magazine, which in 1849 exploded destroying both the ex-convent and the church.
The island was the site of an infectious diseases hospital until the end of the twentieth century.