Itinerary to visit the islands of the Venetian Lagoon
Lido di Venezia, the lagoon of movie stars
A little island that is full of international celebrities and movie stars during the Film Festival, and then forgotten about for the rest of the year… Lido di Venezia is a thin strip of land that stretches for about 11 km between the Venetian lagoon and the Adriatic Sea, connected to the city and the mainland only by waterbuses and motor-rafts for transporting vehicles. It is one of the few islands in the Lagoon that features roads and it even has a small tourist airport. The island is a great place to cycle, especially along the tree-lined Santa Maria Elisabetta boulevard. It has numerous green parks and elegant Art Nouveau buildings.
Lido di Venezia is a special, unique, green island where you can discover the sea, the lagoon, canals, gardens, art and history in this established museum where silence and worldliness merge.
Giudecca and San Giorgio Maggiore Islands
Giudecca Island has a unique narrow and arched shape, extending to the south of the historic centre of Venice.
Formerly known as Spinalonga (long fishbone), the name Giudecca presumably came from the Venetian term zudegà (judged), a nickname reserved for the rebellious nobles exiled from the city in ancient times.
Giudecca is an island full of contrasts: there is a 5-star hotel at each end (the Belmond Hotel Cipriani and the Hilton Molino Stucky), while the middle of the island is a quiet residential neighbourhood. It boasts some famous residents, including celebrities such as Elton John who owns a house right next to the Cipriani hotel where he spent his honeymoon in 2006.
The Chiesa del Redentore, an example of Andrea Palladio's elegant and harmonious architecture, is one of the most important symbols of the island.
Opposite Giudecca lies San Giorgio Maggiore Island, where the Chiesa delle Zitelle also bears the signature of the famous Paduan architect. The San Giorgio Maggiore Basilica, with its adjoining bell tower, represents the most renowned image of San Giorgio Maggiore Island. The impressive Palladian church boasts one of the most charming locations in Venice, directly opposite Giudecca.
Murano and the art of glass
Situated to the north-east of the city, Murano is an island famous for the manufacture of glass. Venetian craftsmen have worked glass and crystal here since the 10th century. Their most prestigious works of art are preserved at the Glass Museum in Palazzo Giustinian. The glassmakers produce a highly diverse range of very detailed items, and visitors can find everything from the most elegant to the terribly kitsch!
Burano: visiting the colourful houses and lace shopping
Burano is an enchanting fishing village with a population of approximately 3000 people. The island is famous all over the world for the colourful pastel houses that line the streets and canals. It is said that the wives of the sailors used to paint the walls bright colours in order to show their husbands the way home.
However, it is lace that made this island famous throughout the world, and the Lace Museum, in the little Burano piazza, celebrates that ancient splendour.
Torcello, a source of inspiration for Hemingway
Finally Torcello, an island which once flourished and is now almost uninhabited.
It is an enchanting island, featuring a piazza that has now been taken over by plant life and a few buildings with a slightly neglected appearance, mostly ancient residences of the clergy and the governors of the island.
Artists and writers drew inspiration from Torcello in the past, among them Ernest Hemingway. While he was stationed on the Italian front during the First World War, it was here that he wrote the novel "Across the River and into the Trees" in which he describes his deep bond with Venice and the Veneto region.