Table of Contents Hide
- Islands of Venice
- How Venice Became Flooded
- Fun Facts About Venice and the Islands of Venice
- The Venetian Islands
- 1. Murano The Glass Island of Venice
- 2. Burano The Lace Island of Venice
- 3. Torcello The 1st Inhabited Island of Venice
- 4. San Michelle The Cemetery Island of Venice
- 5. Sant’Erasmo The Scenic Island of Venice
- 6. Lido The Beach Island of Venice
Islands of Venice
There’s something special about Venice; while all Italian cities are gorgeous, the islands of Venice are in a league of their own. A literally floating city, Venice has been a spot for romantic getaways and relaxation for a long time and it is becoming increasingly famous. After all, who wouldn’t want to spend their days in an idyllic setting on a boat that takes them to a dreamy world?
Venice is a marvelous place; the city has an impressive 118+ islands! Among these 118+ Venetian islands, some are extremely popular, to the point they’re now considered the “major” islands of Venice. Before we dive into these major islands in Venice, here is a bit about Venice:
How Venice Became Flooded
It’s almost a conundrum to think how such a huge city came to be flooded by water. Historically, the weight of the city always pushed out the water on which the foundations of the city were built. This led to the water never really receding as it should have and created what we call now “the Floating City.”
Fun Facts About Venice and the Islands of Venice
● Almost all of the city is built on wood underwater. Surprisingly, the wood doesn’t rot as it has almost no exposure to air, so you can find numerous buildings dating back several centuries.
● Gondoliers (people who steer thin Gondola boats) need almost 400-500 hours of training and have strict criteria to qualify. This means, if you see a gondolier, they have probably been through tough training to make it.
● The Venetian street Calletta Varisco is the world’s narrowest street-it barely has space for one person!
● Venice was founded by refugees out of fear. That’s right! If the first citizens hadn’t thought of fleeing to somewhere “unapproachable”, then the city built on water wouldn’t have even come to existence.
● Glassblowing is a popular and powerful business!
● Venice is a city of bridges; it has over 400 bridges! Check out the most important ones here.
The Venetian Islands
Now that you know a little bit about Venice, here is all you need to know about these major islands of Venice:
1. Murano The Glass Island of Venice
In northern Italy, approximately 1 mile to the north of Venice, lies Murano, one of the most popular islands of Venice. Interestingly, Murano isn’t one whole island; rather, it is a series of little islands, all of which are connected by bridges and shores. Honestly, we love the island of Murano it is one of the most beautiful ones in Venice, but what makes Murano shine goes beyond its touch of aquatic waters and golden sands; the island connects to one of the most fascinating arts “Glass Blowing, and the people are lovely, making it a prime spot to visit with kids.
Getting To One of The Best Islands of Venice
If you’re staying in Venice, then getting to Murano is no tough task. Most hotels will offer a free boat or Vaporetto (water taxi) service to the islands, so you can easily check in with your hotel. If you can’t manage to find one or feel like privatizing your travel, you can take a public or private water taxi. The Vaporetto takes only 10 minutes if you choose to sit from Fondamente Nove through Vaporetto line 4.1 or 4.2. It doesn’t even take more than $10!
Fun Facts About Murano
● Murano is famous worldwide for glassmaking; the art dates back to the 10th century, and glassmakers were counted among regal and elite members of the society
● In fact, glassblowing is so popular, Murano actually has walk-in glass-making factories and museums open for tourists.
Thomas Tip: You can tour the Island by yourself but if you really want to get the most for your money there is an amazing glass tour that we did and it made Murano unforgettable [AFFIL].
● Surprisingly, the art of glassmaking isn’t well-known: families invested in the art tend to pass down secret recipes only to family members, so no one really knows how a specific glass is made unless they are themselves a glassblower. They’re glassblowers that love their art and have a passion to create masterpieces!
2. Burano The Lace Island of Venice
This island of Venice, Italy, is located 7 km from the city of Venice and lies in the north of the Venetian Lagoon. This island is also littered with bridges, connecting it to the passing island of Mazzorbo, but what makes it really special is the vibrant environment. You’ll recognize Burano for its distinct and colorful ambiance; buildings all over the island are painted in various bright shades which complement the floating city. This gives it a change from the rest of the islands, which are colored in sober, subtle tones.
Particularly the Vaporetto is the best way to travel to Burano; route 12 is preferred by locals and runs almost every half an hour during the day. It takes less than an hour to reach the island, so you get to sightsee on the way. If you’re looking for something private, you can always book your own Vaporetto or ask for one from your hotel, but the time’s pretty much the same.
Fun Facts About Burano
● Even though the island is actually quite small; it will only take you a day to explore all of it!
● It is famous for traditional lace-making; generations of residents of Burano spend their time bending over intricate lace works, creating one of the most delicate lace patchworks in the world.
● Burano actually has a lace museum; talk about dedication!
● The reason all houses are brightly colored is a bit funny: most houses looked the same, so the residents-who were mostly fishermen-colored them to a bright, shining paint so they could tell them apart from each other. An added bonus was being able to locate the houses in dense fog and mist.
3. Torcello The 1st Inhabited Island of Venice
Tiny and now sparsely populated, Torcello demonstrates majesty and grandeur by its rich history. Once the economic center of the Venetian Lagoon, this island of Venice is a visit worth every step. Located near Burano and lined with monasteries, palazzos, and churches, Torcello is still in the hearts of the Venetians, who frequent the island from time to time for spiritual and religious purposes. Historians and literature aficionados adore the place, which was starred in the works of Ernest Hemingway and Daphne Du Maurier. It’s truly an impressive place to go.
You can take the water bus line from Fondamenta Nuevo, which takes around 40-50 minutes to reach. If you’re in Burano, getting a Vaporetto will take 5, whereas, from Murano, a Vaporetto will take 20 minutes.
Fun Facts About Torcello
● Torcello was the first inhabited island in the Venetian Lagoon
● It is Venice’s most deserted island; you’ll only find around 20-30 people who are actually residents.
● Torcello is the only island of Venice assumed to pre-date the Romans
● A stone chair settled in Torcello is said to date back centuries; this old seat is believed to have been crafted for the throne of Atila the Hun, who brought an end to the Roman Empire
4. San Michelle The Cemetery Island of Venice
Isola di San Michelle or the Island of San Michelle, neighbors the sestiere of Cannaregio of Venice in the Venetian Lagoon. This almost cubic island is surprisingly expansive and dignified, with a much more important role in history than most of the islands of Venice, Italy. You’ll love San Michelle for its peaceful environment and short walks; like Burano, you can easily explore the island within a day.
The fastest route to San Michelle through a ferry takes only 5 minutes. You can even book a tour of the city which pairs with the island to take you there by walk.
Fun Facts About San Michelle
● This Island of Venice is known as Venice’s Cemetery Island as it holds a huge protestant cemetery with graves for sacred and famous people
● 7 graves of World War I are contained in this cemetery
● The first grave of Aspasia Monas, the wife of Alexander I, was in San Michelle before she was transferred to Tatoi Palace.
5. Sant’Erasmo The Scenic Island of Venice
Sant’Erasmo is situated in the east of Venice and is also known as Orto di Venezia (The Garden of Venice). Much greener than the rest of the islands and thriving under large trees and fields of vegetation, Sant’Erasmo is home to ruined forts and a gorgeous beach. It’s frequently visited by Venetians and tourists; the market gardening of the island makes it a favorite.
From the Fondamente Nove, the Vaporetto line number 13 sets off, traveling to this Venetian Island within the span of half an hour.
Fun Facts About Sant’Erasmo
● It is known as the “Green Island” because of its dedication to farming and vegetation
● Sant’Erasmo is as long as Venice but not as wide
● This Island of Venice houses the Fort of Maximilian, which was used by the Italian army during WWI
6. Lido The Beach Island of Venice
Lido is arguably one of the most popular islands of Venice, spanning an impressive 11 km in the north of Italy; this island of Venice is one of the only two barrier islands of Venice. You’ve probably heard of the island as it hosts the Venice Film Festival yearly, leaving no suspense as to why this Venetian island gained such a rise in tourism. It has a grand reputation for clean and cozy beaches and is probably the safest for kids and toddlers because of how shallow the water is. It’s an ideal place for families with kids.
If you take a ferry from Venice, it’ll take you approximately 15 minutes to get to Lido. Vaporettos can take a maximum of half an hour, and the waterbus via the Isola Nova del Tronchetto takes a maximum of 10 minutes.
Fun Facts About Lido
● This barrier island separates the Venetian Lagoon and the Adriatic Sea
● A protected natural reserve, the Oasis of Alberoni, is situated in Lido
● The Gran Viale street in Lido crosses the entire island, which means you can easily reach one end of the island to the beach