Everyone knows that Venice is surrounded by islands, but few people know that there are about seventy of them, at least those whose names are known. Not all of these islands can be visited and not all of them are inhabited or particularly interesting to see, but in this article, we have thought of collecting those that, in our opinion, represent a real jewel of the lagoon and are worth visiting.
You will certainly have heard of Burano, Murano and Torcello, probably the three most famous islands of all… our virtual voyage to discover the Venetian islands starts here because you can’t come to Venice and not see at least one of them!
Burano, Murano and Torcello
Each of these three islands is famous for a different reason: Burano for its lace and brightly-coloured houses, Murano for its glass – it is here that the historic foundries are created and produce wonderful works of art, and Torcello for its basilica dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta, rich in Byzantine mosaics and the historic throne of Attila.
You can reach these islands easily thanks to line 12 that leaves from Fondamente Nuove, or you can take line 3 from the station and reach Murano.
Alternatively, you can visit the three islands on a private tour, there are several and if you don’t know which one to choose we will be happy to help you.
Read also: What to do in Torcello
Sant’Erasmo, the vegetable garden of Venice
Close to the three most famous islands is the island of Sant’Erasmo, which is less well known but in fact much larger than the others. This is where the vegetable gardens of Venice are located, and it is here that the so-called ‘castraure‘ are grown, together with many other types of vegetables.
The ‘castraure’ are none other than the island’s violet artichokes, a real delicacy available only at certain times of the year. In May, the island also hosts the Violet Artichoke Festival, a unique opportunity to mingle with the locals and enjoy castraure prepared in different ways.
St Francis of the Desert
If you have ever dreamed of spending a few hours in paradise, this is the place where your wish might come true. Not far from Murano, you will find this small island where there is a monastery inhabited by the Franciscan order.
The island is an island of prayer, where peace and tranquillity have found their ideal place and can be visited. The friars on the island are always available for a guided tour to discover its history.
Read also: Minor islands to visit in Venice
Famous because of the Venice International Film Festival, the Lido is the so-called ‘beach of Venice’, because it is here that Venetian families come to the beach for the day. However, Lido di Venezia is not only the Film Festival and the beach, but also the island where justice was administered in the days of the Serenissima.
We suggest you take a hire bike or bus to reach the Malamocco area, a small treasure trove of antiquities that can transport you back in time.
Opposite, you can also admire from afar, the famous island of Poveglia, known for the legend of ghosts that surrounds it.
Island of San Giorgio Maggiore
This island has the privilege of being located right in front of the Doge’s Palace, in St Mark’s basin. The island is small but worth visiting for the ancient library inside the monastery, the labyrinth and to admire the beauty of Venice from the top of its bell tower.
Want to know more? Read the article dedicated to the island of San Giorgio Maggiore.