Venice / AreasGallery
The most intimate side of Venice: islands of tradition and nature, places where the authentic spirit of life in the lagoon is still preserved. Venice islands are different and each one has its unique characteristics. And size has nothing to do with these scattered pieces of Venice. Minor islands does not mean in any way less beautiful or important...
Venice islands have all unique qualities on offer, something truly and deeply special. This is Venice too. Islands that are like museums, ancient villages and beautiful gardens. It would be a great shame to miss out on the atmosphere infused with tradition and history which reigns almost undisturbed in these places.
Lying halfway between San Marco and the Lido is San Servolo. Today home to the International University of Venice, in the past it has hosted one of the oldest monasteries in Venice, a hospital, and a mental asylum. The reappropriation of the island began in 1980 and now is destination for thousands of students, teachers and visitors.
West of the Lido lies San Lazzaro degli Armeni, which takes its name from its original function as a leper colony (lazzaretto), though from the beginning of the 18th it was given by the Venetian Republic to Armenian monks fleeing from Turkish persecution. They built a vast monastery complete with library and beautifully-preserved gardens. San Lazzaro degli Armeni also houses a collection of art and museum with the sarcophagous and mummy of Prince Nehmekhet which dates back over 3000 years. Visits to the islands are conducted by multilingual monks.
Lying a short distance away from San Giorgio Maggiore is San Clemente: hermitage, military depot, lunatic asylum and now luxurious health farm. Access to the island is restricted to the clients of this establishment, which pervades the whole island.
Sant’Erasmo is reknowned principally for its vegetable gardens which supply Venice. Its inhabitants are mostly occupied with agriculture and the cultivation of artichoke and asparagus, though a fine wine is also produced here – Festa del Mosto. The Habsburg Fort or Maximillian Tower provide historical interest.
At the end of the Lido we find Pellestrina, an 11 km long fine line which separates the sea from the lagoon, protected by the Murazzi, built by the Republic for the city’s defence. The island, bountiful in vegetables and gaily-painted houses, lives from fishing and agriculture. Dazzling sunsets and splendid countryside can be seen here, together with a still-preserved authentic Venetian lifestyle.
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