Hidden treasures

The island of Saint Francis of the Desert in the Venice lagoon

Unknown places & works
San-Francesco-del-Deserto

The island of Saint Francis of the Desert in the Venice lagoon

If you are looking for a place to meditate, away from clamour, St. Francis of the Desert is an island that is right up your street!

The island, near Burano, has been inhabited since the Roman times, as evidenced by the discovery of some buried finds, when it was called the Island of the Two Vines.

In 1220 St Francis of Assisi, returning from a trip to the Middle East, during which he had peacefully encountered the Sultan of Egypt Malek-el-Kamel, arrived on a small island owned by the Venetian noble Jacopo Michiel ... Francis was looking for a quiet place where he could rest in silence and pray and reflect. Here he was greeted with the songs of a multitude of birds, as narrated by his biographer St. Bonaventure da Bagnoregio. Could there be a better place for him to find shelter where he could pray and meditate in peace away from worldliness?

After his death in 1223, Michiel donated the island to the Friar Minors to build a convent. The name of the place dates back to the 1400s, when the island of St. Francis was left abandoned for some years due to the unhealthy environment of the lagoon. It was subsequently used as a gun powder storage area by the Austrians until 1858, when the land was donated to the patriarchate of Venice, who allowed the friars to re-establish the monastery, still active.

This charming island is included in one of our most fascinating tours: guided tour of Burano and monastery of St. Francis of the Desert. In Burano you will enjoy an interesting guided tour by a local guide, whilst at Saint Francis of the Desert the Franciscan friars themselves will accompany you in the discovery of the monastery.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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