The Island of San Michele 

If you are planning an alternative itinerary to discover Venice, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the charming Island of San Michele in Venice.

This island is famous for its monumental cemetery and picturesque tree-lined avenues. On the inside of the characteristic walls that surround the island, there is a variety of trees such as cypress trees, oak and rose bushes. All this adds additional charm and serenity to this place.

In recent times, a major renovation was also carried out by the British architect David Chipperfield. This concrete intervention has given a distinctly modern flavour to the island, making it even more atmospheric. The cemetery is home to famous people such as the painter Emilio Vedova, the composer Stravinsky, the poet Ezra Pound, the theatre impresario Sergei Diaghiliev and many others. 

With your houseboat as your home base, you will have the freedom to explore the island’s surrondings. San Michele, can be reached by vaporetto starting from Fondamenta Nuove or Murano. 

You can spend time strolling among ancient tombs and majestic monuments breathing in the serene and contemplative atmosphere of this unique place, and discover stories of many famous people.

Finally, be sure to visit the ancient Church of St. Michael to admire its unique cloister built in the late 1400s. During the Austrian rule, the church briefly became a prison: for a time even Silvio Pellico was forced to stay within its walls.

Some curiosities

On St Michael’s Island, there is a part reserved for the deceased of various religions, such as the Greek Orthodox and Evangelical enclosure: evidence of the capacity for integration of different religions and customs in Venice.

In the past, the transport of corpses took place by gondolas, some richly decorated to emphasise the importance of the deceased. Today, transport is by special boats.

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