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Venice...The Islands!

Venice...The Islands!

Pedestrian, Other, 3 days

To escape the hustle and bustle of the crowds, nothing can beat a vaporetto trip to discover the lagoon and its radically differing islands and islets... Radically opposing atmospheres await, the serenity of the cemetery at San Michele and the cheerfulness of Burano and its colorful houses. This tour groups the islands into a single route but each, of course, could warrant a single visit on its own.

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1

Island of Saint Lazarus of the Armenians   Interesting

Isola S. - Lazzaro degli Armeni 30100 Venezia
Architecture, castles and historic districts

Very close to the Lido, this little island (once a leper camp) was given in the 18th C. to the Armenians, kicked out by the Turks, who founded a convent that was a central point of diffusion of Armenian culture. Unless you want to emulate Byron and swim to the island, you may take the vaporetto there, in which case you will be greeted by the monks, who will take you on a tour of their church, their refectory and the Archives Hall, containing 4 000 manuscripts.

2

Lido di Venezia   Interesting

Lido di venezia 30126 Venezia
Nature and gardens

For many, the Lido is strongly attached to a memory of Visconti's film, Death in Venice, filmed at the Hotel des Bains. A refined vacationing resort, the Lido is famous for its Film Festival, the Mostra, created in 1932. From the lagoon to the sea, a long avenue crosses the offshore bar. On the waterfront, the Lungomare Marconi leads to prestigious palaces, with their colorful cabins, to the Casino and to the Cinema Palace. Here and there, sumptuous villas are spread out in the greenery. Undergoing renovation in preparation for the 150th anniversary of Italian Unification in 2011, the Lido will be treated to a new "porta d'acqua", designed by Pierfrancesco Fugali and Luca Gasperini, and a new Palazzo del Cinema e dei Congressi, a Franco-Italian project by architects 5 + 1AA & Rudy Ricciotti.

3

Island of San Giorgio Maggiore   Worth a detour Worth a detour

Isola S. - Giorgio Maggiore 30124 Venezia
Architecture, castles and historic districts

Despite its church by Palladio, the island of San Giorgio Maggiore is not on the main tourist circuit and this is part of its charm. Here, a little distance from the hubbub of Piazza San Marco, visitors can contemplate the waterfront or, from the top of the campanile, a serene view of the palaces opposite.

4

Island of San Giorgio Maggiore   Worth a detour Worth a detour

Isola S. - Giorgio Maggiore 30124 Venezia
Architecture, castles and historic districts

Despite its church by Palladio, the island of San Giorgio Maggiore is not on the main tourist circuit and this is part of its charm. Here, a little distance from the hubbub of Piazza San Marco, visitors can contemplate the waterfront or, from the top of the campanile, a serene view of the palaces opposite.

5

Giudecca Island  

Isola della Giudecca 30133 Venezia
Architecture, castles and historic districts

An island? It's actually eight islets whose shape has earned them the nickname spinalonga, fish bone. This old resort for Venetian nobility, separate from the actual city by the canal with the same name, is a true haven for someone escaping the brouhaha at the Piazza San Marco by taking the vaporetto. A peaceful walk along the quays of this place of graceful simplicity, facing the sumptuous Venetian Republic, is truly appreciated.

Spend the evening on Giudecca and take an opportunity to taste Venetian cuisine in the one of the restaurants on the island.
6

Cemetery of San Michele  

Isola S. - Michele 30100 Venezia
Religious buildings

An extraordinary cemetery island. It was Napoleon who in 1807 decreed for public health reasons that San Michele should be Venice's cemetery. In this haven of peace rest Russian ballet impresario Serge Diaghilev and composer Igor Stravinsky (in the Orthodox section), Ezra Pound and Joseph Brodsky (in the Protestant section), plus musician Luigi Nono and comic actor Cesco Baseggio.

The view of Venice and its lagoon from the top of the bell tower is particularly stunning at sunset.
7

Church of saint Michael on the Island  

Isola S. - Michele 30100 Venezia
Religious buildings

As you land on the cemetery-island, this is the first building you will come to. Built with white stone from Istria by Mauro Codussi, this was the first Renaissance church built in Venice. It has a simple facade (its top is similar to that of the Church of Saint Zachary) masks an interior adorned with a sumptuous coffered ceiling.

8

Island of Burano   Worth a detour Worth a detour

Isola Burano 30013 Venezia
Architecture, castles and historic districts

A small island 45 minutes from Venice where, in spite of the canals, everything is quite different: not a single palace, but simple fishermen's homes with brightly colored facades along tiny streets and along the quays of the village, an upbeat atmosphere. In addition to its colors, Burano attracts visitors for its fine lacework that were at the origin of several European factories. Many shops and stalls will solicit your attention from the moment you step off the vaporetto !

9

Island of Torcello and its monumental complex   Worth a detour Worth a detour

Isola di Torcello 30012 Venezia
Architecture, castles and historic districts

In the middle of the lagoon, this island was once an important city and seat of a bishopric but was progressively abandoned from the 10C onwards due to it silting up and malaria. While Venice bloomed into full glory, Torcello returned to a wild state and today has no more than ten houses on it. It still draws visitors on account of its exceptional mosaics, the ideal excuse for a pleasant excursion to a place with its own melancholy charm.

10

Museo di Torcello  

Isola di Torcello 30012 Venezia
Museums and art

This museum recalls the history of the island of Torcello.

11

Church of Saint Fosca (Torcello)  

Isola di Torcello 30012 Venezia
Religious buildings

This little octagonal church, built in the 11th C., has a beautiful portico with raised archways in a Venetian Byzantine style. The sacred sobriety of the interior, the harmony of the portico, the rustic look of the whole, the impression that the place is abandoned, all of this gives it a charm that is very touching.

12

Island of Murano   Worth a detour Worth a detour

Isola di Murano 30141 Venezia
Architecture, castles and historic districts

In the late 13C, the Great Council, fearing a major fire, decided to relocate the glassmaking industry to Murano, ever since when this has been the island of glass. The ovens and insistent requests from vendors to visit shops and workshops should not obfuscate the very real spirit of artistry prevalent here, which may be savoured while strolling to Santa Maria e Donato.

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