Guided visit to the convent island of San Francesco del Deserto with boat round-trip from Burano

Duration: approx 1 hour and 30 minutes (boat transport included) 

Location: Venice


Why choose this experience?

1 Because you can visit San Francesco del Deserto and its monastery guided by the deep knowledge of one of the Franciscan friars who still live there today.
2 Because the island is not reachable by normal public transport and this is the the only return transport service that connects it to the nearby island of Burano
3 You will enjoy the peace and serene atmosphere of this ancient island which was chosen by St. Francis of Assisi as a place of spiritual retreat.

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This tour has been already booked by 179 people

Important information


From 1 April to 31 October 2021

Departure point:

Burano island, pier located 80 meters from the ACTV public transport stop 'A' and 20 meters from the bridge connecting Burano to Mazzorbo.

Departure time

From Tuesday to Sunday
2.30 pm

Languages available



Full: € 11.00

Children up to 10 years: € 6.00

approx 1 hour and 30 minutes (boat transport included)
  • Boat round-trip Burano - San Francesco del Deserto
  • Guided visit of the island with a Franciscan friar
  • What is not specified under "Inclusions"
Additional information:
  • COVID-19: to participate in the tour you are required to wear a face mask. Please don't forget it!
  • After the confirmation of your booking, you can download a voucher, which will also be sent to you via email. Please remember that you will be requested to show it, either a paper copy or on mobile devices. Make sure you have it with you!

  • We advise you to arrive at the meeting point at least 10 minutes before the departure time specified.

  • Please note that, due to the particular terrain of Venice’s islands and the logistic problems resulting from it, this tour is not recommended to people with limited mobility.

  • Departure from Burano is scheduled at 14.30 and arrival in San Francesco del Deserto at 14.48. On your return, the departure to Burano is at 15.50 and arrival at about 16.08.

  • Travelling time by boat from Burano to San Francesco del Deserto is about 15 minutes for both the outward and return journeys. The stop at the island of San Francesco del Deserto varies from 40 to 60 minutes. It is imperative to adhere to the times indicated by the staff.

  • This is a shared tour, which means there might be other participants going on the tour with you.

  • The tour will last approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes including boat transport to and from Burano.

  • The guided tour is kindly offered by the Franciscan friars of the monastery of San Francesco del Deserto. Those who wish can give a small contribution on site.

  • The guided tour is only in Italian language. Flyers in English, French and German will be available on site.

  • Unfortunately you cannot be refunded (neither totally nor partially) if you don’t show up at the meeting point at the time indicated on the voucher or if you leave before the end of the tour.Therefore we advise you to locate in advance the meeting point and how to get there in order to avoid being late or any inconveniences that would prevent you from being on time, especially in case of public transport strikes, great events or bad weather. If you need assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us at our emergency contacts indicated on this voucher.

In exceptional cases and/or reasons of force majeure (i.e. acts of nature, strikes, exceptional closures,serious unexpected events or health problems experienced by the person in charge with the service after which it is really impossible to find a substitute) the service you booked might be cancelled. If this should happen, you will be informed as soon as possible and, according to the type of service you booked, you will have the possibility to choose between postponing the service on the first date available or receiving a total refund of the price paid, if the cancellation policy of the service itself allows a refund.

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Full description

The Venice lagoon is awash with an abundance of beautiful jewellike small islands waiting for you to visit them... Murano, Burano and Torcello are the best known, but have you ever heard of the island of San Francesco del Deserto?

It is an oasis of peace, located between the islands of Burano and Sant'Erasmo, which houses an ancient convent, still inhabited, of Franciscan friars who day after day keep intact the beauty, history and spirituality of this unique place.

San Francesco del Deserto in Venice is a peaceful island where spirituality coexists with the beauty of nature and the surrounding landscape to offer you a unique experience, away from the classic tourist itineraries. Precisely to maintain this sacred aura of peace and recollection, the monastery of San Francesco del Deserto cannot be reached by public transport but only by private boats... don't you own one? No problem! We have put together for you this 'Guided tour of the covent-island of San Francesco del Deserto with boat round-trip from Burano' so that you can reach and visit San Francesco del Deserto in comfort, at a really convenient price.

In addition to offering breathtaking views, the island of San Francesco del Deserto boasts a history unique in the world: in the past, the island was called 'Isola delle Due Vigne' (lit. the island of the two vines) and was owned by the Venetian nobleman Jacopo Michiel. In 1220 St. Francis of Assisi arrived here and chose it as a place of spiritual retreat when he was returning from the Far East. In 1233 Jacopo Michiel donated the island to the Franciscan Order and it the island’s name was changed to 'Island of San Francesco'.

However, in the 15th century the island was abandoned, therefore 'deserted', due to its environment and widespread malaria that made it inhospitable. Hence the addition to the name of the island of the suffix 'del Deserto', 'Isola di San Francesco del Deserto'.

Now let's see how our guided tour of San Francesco del Deserto will take place:

At 14.30 a ferry will depart from the pier of the island of Burano to take you, over the tranquil waters of the lagoon, to the Island of the Desert. Once disembarked, a path that unwinds between lush trees and the landing channel will lead you to the entrance of the fifteenth-century church and the adjacent monastery. To welcome you there will be a Franciscan friar who will share his in-depth knowledge of this land with you, introducing you to its ancient historical roots and the monastic traditions that have been handed down over the centuries.

The visit lasts about 1 hour and you will have the honor of admiring two wonderful cloisters, one from the 13th century and one from the Renaissance, the place where St. Francis of Assisi prayed and the wonderful garden dominated by tall cypress trees and luxuriant vegetation in memory of the love of the Saint for the creation. The breathtaking view of the surrounding lagoon will make you linger a few more minutes before leaving.

At 15.50 the ferry will leave to take you back in just 15 minutes to the color-filled Burano where you can linger as long as you want or leave for Venice.

Do not miss the opportunity to visit the island of San Francesco del Deserto, a place of meditation where the past survives the present! With our ‘Guided visit to the convent island of San Francesco del Deserto with boat round trip from Burano’ everything has been planned out: a visit with a Franciscan friar and return transport by boat! All you need to do is reach the beautiful island of Burano: from Venice take line 12 of the ACTV public transport service from Fondamenta Nuove. If you need to buy the ticket for the ACTV vaporetto you can easily do it on our website by clicking here.

© Insidecom Tour Operator
(authorization no. 62027 dated 09/07/12 with determination no. 2052/2012)
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