The Venice lagoon, the largest in Italy, is an extremely rich environment. The islands of the north lagoon are simply unique.
The island of Torcello, once a great port city, is now a peaceful oasis, set amongst gardens, olive groves and sandbanks, where you can visit the cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and admire a splendid mosaic of the Last Judgment.
Burano the lacing and its colours
Burano is striking for its colours and history. An island of fishermen and women dedicated to the art of needle lacing, Burano has a remarkable pictorial tradition which can be admired in the island’s trattorias. And you shouldn’t miss Mazzorbo, with its ancient monastery of Santa Caterina, vineyards and vegetable gardens.
The Franciscan convent in the laggon
If you have a private boat, why not visit the island of San Francesco del Deserto? The island is home to a Franciscan convent surrounded by blooming rose gardens. If time permits, most certainly head to Sant’Erasmo, otherwise known as Venice’s vegetable gardens.
Famous since ancient times for the cultivation of vegetables and fruit, the island can be explored by bicycle and will surprise you with its artichokes. Finally, a visit to the island of Lazzaretto Nuovo will help to understand how Venice faced plague epidemics in the past, by applying quarantine and capillary checks on arrivals to the city to keep trade alive but avoid its dramatic consequences.
The southern lagoon provides many great emotions as well. The island of Pellestrina and the city of Chioggia are undoubtedly destinations that will enrich the knowledge of this unique environment, the Venetian lagoon.
If you’re interested in the environment, the Venice lagoon is quite simply an exceptional one. Known as one of the most important “wetlands” in the world, the lagoon is home to many rare and unexpected species of birds, such as herons, egrets, woodcocks, shelduck and also thousands of flamingos.
Fish species are also noteworthy. Depending on the season, you will find cuttlefish, sea bass, sea bream, eels, crabs (and the famous “moeche”, i.e. crabs in the moulting phase, when they lose their shells), goby fish and shrimps. Alongside an expert guide you can learn the ancient techniques of fishing and hunting and understand how man has constantly come to grips with this reality.
Today, the conservation and protection of this environment are part of a dynamic balance hard to achieve and which is essential for the future of Venice itself, and involves interventions on rivers, the construction of dams and the MOSE project for safeguarding against exceptional tides.