The islands of the Lagoon
Not just Venice. A journey experiencing the wonders of Italy's most famous lagoon.
A tour of the islands of the Venetian lagoon is the perfect choice for those looking for a quieter, less crowded alternative to Venice, option made all the easier thanks to the various companies renting boats and kayaks with which to reach the islands.
An excursion might easily commence on Lido of Venice, island which bursts to the brim with international movie stars during the annual Venice Film Festival, held here each September.
A great place to explore by bike, pedaling along the tree lined Viale Santa Maria Elisabetta, past the island's many parks and the elegant Liberty Style buildings of the San Nicolò Riviera, visitors soon come to the largest of the island's fortifications, the Ridotto del Lido, where to admire an ancient church dating back to the 16th century.
From the 18th century fortress of Murazzi, Alberoni, the Venetians beach, is just a quick bike ride away.
A tour of Giudecca, otherwise known as Spinalonga (long thorn) due to the island being shaped rather like a fish bone, provides evidence of the island's industrial past, of which the Stucky mill is an imposing reminder.
The elegant Church of the Redentore, realized by Andrea Palladio, is the most impressive of Giudecca's houses of worship, large enough so as to be clearly visible from St Mark's Square.
The island's smaller Church delle Zitelle is also work of the Padua born architect, as is the recently restored Basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore with adjacent bell tower, on San Giorgio Maggiore, island which lies directly opposite that of Giudecca.
Lying North East of the city of Venice, Murano is best known for the production of artistic glassware, a tradition which boasts a centuries old history.
The most beautiful of the works are conserved in the Glass Museum, situated in Palazzo Giustinian, and include the Barovier Cup, realized in blue glass and dating all the way back to the 15th century
High on the list of Murano's most significant buildings, we find the Basilica dei Santi Maria e Donato. A stroll along the little lanes of the town, introduces visitors to any number of artists studios and shops selling the island's famous creations in glass.
Burano, further North, is an island with an ancient fishing tradition. So as to indicate that the sailors were at home, their wives used to paint the houses in bright colors and today the village still offers a vibrant display of yellow, green, blue and red faced buildings.
The island is famous worldwide for its lace making, tradition which dates back to the 14th century.
In the Lace Museum in the Piazzetta, visitors learn about the history of the island's lace making tradition and have the opportunity to observe lace makers at work
From the bridge of Terranova a fabulous view of the 17th century Church of San Martino, complete with leaning tower, can be seen.
Although now almost completely uninhabited, Torcello was once a flourishing little island, as demonstrated by the presence of numerous important works of architecture, including the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, the Ponte del Diavolo (the devil's bridge) and the Trono di Attila, this latter an ancient stone throne standing in the courtyard just outside the Basilica.
This enchanting island has inspired artists and writers of international renown, such as Ernest Hemingway, who wrote his Across the River and Into the Trees here.
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