Even though we are used to thinking about Venice as a big single island, the truth is that it’s surrounded by many other islands, we are not just referring to the most famous ones like Burano, Murano, and Torcello. In fact, there are many minor Venice islands all over the lagoon that are worth a visit, especially for their history.
There are about 33 minor islands in Venice, but in this article, we would like to talk about those you can actually visit, and that will make your vacation even more special
Lazzaretto Nuovo became known among Venetians in the fifteenth century when it became Venice’s second quarantine island. As you may know, the Venice government was the first one to apply the quarantine procedure, in order to avoid any kind of epidemic in the city. Venice has always been a cosmopolitan city, frequented by merchants from all over the world, so it became necessary to make sure that all people and goods entering the city did not bring diseases with them.
Originally. the Lazzaretto Nuovo (New Lazzaretto) island was called Vigna Murada, but then in 1468 its name was changed according to an administrative order of the Venetian Republic, that needed a new island for the quarantine.
Despite what people might think, merchants and sailors were really important to Venice, which is why the building where they had to stay was equipped with everything, includingfires, cooking facilities and so on.
How to reach Lazzaretto Nuovo: from 7 April to 27 October 2019, on Saturday and Sunday you can reach the island by taking vaporetto line 13 from Fondamente Nuove between 9.25 am and 4.05 pm. You can only visit the island with a guide and it’s free, but you can leave an offer at the end of the tour to help the island be maintained.
It’s not by chance that this island, located in front of St. Mark’s basin, has a similar name to the previous one – in fact, the world “vecchio” means “old”, and indicates that this was the first quarantine island to be established. In fact, Lazzaretto Vecchio was the first island in the world that was entirely dedicated to isolating people affected by the plague back in 1423.
How to reach Lazzaretto Vecchio: unfortunately you can only reach the island with a private tour from Lido, only in certain periods of the year. We suggest visiting the official website to know more about it.
San Servolo island is another minor island near Venice you can visit. It’s located near San Giorgio Maggiore island, in front of St. Mark’s basin, and it usually hosts numerous exhibitions, festivals, and performances.
Originally, the island was inhabited by a group of nuns, but then it was used as a place to study and curate mental illness, becoming a real mental hospital.
The insane asylum museum of San Servolo houses items that belonged to the psychiatric hospital, illustrating the techniques that were used to cure mental illnesses – most of the time unsuccessfully
There’s also an old apothecary that is worth visiting.
How to reach San Servolo island: Take the vaporetto line 1 from San Marcuola stop, a few minutes walking from our hotel, or the direct line 20 from St. Mark’s Square.
So, now that you know the most important and famous minor islands near Venice, are you planning to visit at least one of them? If you need any help in organizing your trip, just let us know and we’ll be more than happy to help you.