Venice is known for its fish-shaped but out of the border of this figure there is so much more to see, where it is possible to soak up the real essence of the City of Water.
Let’s get find out two beautiful hidden islands of the Venice Lagoon: Certosa and San Michele Island.
Don’t be idle, just five minutes by walk from the Best Western Premier Hotel Sant’Elena there is the waterbus stop. Take the number 4.1 and remember that the Certosa stop is upon request, so ask to the staff.
Once you arrive, you will not regret!
The Island of the Certosa
The Certosa is only 250 metres from the Venetian district of St Pietro di Castello, not much more than 500 metres from Lido and is closed to the Vignole Island and the military fort called Forte di Sant’Andrea.
The Certosa was for long time divided by a canal later covered in 1199 during the remediation work performed for the building of a monastery of Augustine. The monks stayed on the island until the early fifteenth century (1419) and then came the Carthusian Florentines monks who restored old buildings and build new ones, including a church that was enriched by works of art by masters operating in this period.
The monks remained on the island until 1806, when Napoleon’s edict sanctioned the closure of many religious congregations and Certosa became a military garrison losing in a few days the works of art housed.
It was abandoned for years, but thanks to a financial combined forces it has been redeveloped by an environmental and architectural restoration project. A park has been created and a nautical centre called Vento di Venice and the very newly established Institute of European Design.
The island has an area of 22 hectares and is characterized by a rich and varied vegetation. So you can spend a day relaxing yourself in this unique environment or, if you prefer something more adventurous, you can reach the island to experience a Kayak Tour. Venice Kayak offers a variety of kayaking tours in and around Venice, departing from Certosa, with skilled and experienced guides. You can experience the real Venice meandering the canals and the lagoon of the city!
And if you want to find out the dark side of Venice visit the Island of San Michele!
San Michele is a small island which stands between Venice and Murano and is famous since 1807 for being the islands of the dead, that is the Cemetery of Venice. Originally this island was used by the people of Murano to store their boats, during the middle ages it become a monastery, but with the arrival of Napoleon the monastery become a prison then later it became what it is still now, the city’s cemetery.
Many famous people are buried in this island and their bodies used to be carried to the island on special funeral gondolas, including Igor Stravinsky, Joseph Brodsky, Jean Schlumberger, Sergei Diaghilev, Ezra Pound, Luigi Nono and Zoran Mušič.
The cemetery is still used today. The island can be reached with water bus line 4.2 from Sant’Elena.