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Discovering the smaller islands of the Venetian lagoon

Venice is that city that never tires and always hides new views to photograph, cultural places to learn from and places to try. What if they told you that there is an unusual way to see Venice? The Minor Islands of the lagoon are much less well-known places that allow you to have an unusual point of view of the city . Here you will find unique architectural structures to enjoy on much less touristy routes.

The smaller islands are a more than valid reason to stay a few more days in Venice and discover new, truly interesting ways of seeing the city. Here is an itinerary of the Minor Islands of the lagoon with everything there is to do and see.

What to see in the smaller islands of Venice

Exactly in front of Piazza San Marco stands the island of San Giorgio Maggiore , home to numerous art galleries and renowned for hosting the Basilica of the same name which was designed by Andrea Palladio. On the smaller island you will find Le Stanze del Vetro , a characteristic museum dedicated to glass art , including contemporary glass, but you can also walk in the park and in the open-air amphitheater known as Teatro Verdi. The island of San Giorgio Maggiore is often a stop included in the numerous tours of the smaller islands together with that of San Francesco del Deserto , that of Sant'Erasmo and the Lazzaretto Nuovo and Vecchio .

These are in fact the best known and unmissable, included in the historical and cultural heritage of Venice and each with unique characteristics. The island of San Francesco del Deserto is a true paradise that is home to a group of friars and their monastery with a wonderfully cared for garden. In Sant'Erasmo , however, you absolutely must taste the famous "castraure", i.e. artichokes and other delicious products from the lagoon. This island is a bit like the vegetable garden of Venice and in fact is full of trattorias and inns. The islands of Lazzaretto Nuovo and Vecchio are instead renowned for being a UNESCO heritage site and testify to the health function carried out over the centuries by the Serenissima.

The island of San Servolo and the asylum museum

Here too the architectural complex does not fail to amaze and it is possible to walk and relax in the beautiful park. But the heart of the island of San Servolo is undoubtedly the Asylum Museum inaugurated in 2006. At the museum you will find exhibits belonging to the psychiatric hospital that the island housed and you can take a truly evocative trip not suitable for a sensitive public. There are collections of medical records, photographic documents but also handcuffs, gags and artefacts belonging to patients and an itinerary dedicated to the eighteenth-century pharmacy with various scientific collections that attract a public interested in the macabre. The island is also home to the international university.

The island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni

By visiting this island you will discover many curiosities about the Armenian community that lived in Venice and carried out trade with the city. This island is therefore characterized by a Mekhitarist Armenian Congregation , one of the most important centers of Armenian culture in the world and which has been based here since 1717. What attracts visitors to the island is undoubtedly the monastery library which houses around 200,000 ancient books among manuscripts, artefacts and a curious mummy.

The lost islands of Venice

The lagoon is made up of many islands, both natural and artificial, and some of them have now disappeared due to decades of depopulation or have been submerged by the water. Even if you cannot visit them, the uninhabited or disappeared islands fuel curiosity towards the smaller islands of Venice and make the lagoon city even more captivating and mysterious.

Among the most famous is certainly the island of Salina which today is occupied by lagoon birds and periodically covered by the tide. Today you can admire the echo of this island lost or rather returned to nature. However, only a memory remains of the island of Costanziaca , named in honor of the emperor Constantine, which was once the imperial summer residence and whose extraordinary beauty is still told.

The Minor Islands and Venice: let's take stock

Seeing Venice and getting lost among its districts means travelling, meeting eras and art. In this city it is easy to lose track of time while discovering its wonders, starting from the Minor Islands up to the Jewish Ghetto ; so, what is the best choice for visiting the city? Book an apartment online easily to reduce your visit budget and stay in Venice for several days. It is advisable to perhaps use the Venezia Card to access public services and museums in a more practical and faster way.


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