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Through barene and “the gardens of Venice”

Travel time (navigation only): 2.5 hrs (half-day trip)

Barene Lazzaretto nuovo Sant'Erasmo

The itinerary starts from Canale di Cannaregio, goes along Canale delle Sacche and points Murano, the island of glass and of the furnaces, with its imposing lighthouse, still working, and the famous San Michele cemetery with its numerous cypresses.

Right after Murano, on the right, there is a “green spot” in the middle of the lagoon: getting closer, you will discover a spectacular landscape made by the soil typical of this area, the barene, which are periodically submerged by tide and are crossed by small natural canals (in Venetian dialect ghebi). A peculiar vegetation grows in this area: glasswort and limonium, forming vast grasslands and colouring the lagoon in purple. In this area you can easily encounter little egrets, grey and purple herons, redshanks, black-winged stilt, and other birds which come here to nest, creating a breathtaking spectacle when they soar through the air. Here there are the island of Lazzaretto Nuovo, which was established to prevent infection during the pest and protect citizens and goods, and that of Sant’Erasmo, still inhabited, where the particular location together with the fertility of the soil determined an agrarian-lagoon area. Even now, Sant’Erasmo is still geared to agriculture (the small artichokes prematurely gathered called castraure are the local green spacialities) and it is considered the Garden of Venice. At the southernmost end of the island the Torre Massimiliana stands out, a nineteenth-century fortress built as a defence of the Bocca di Porto del Lido.

In front, you will see the characteristic small beach called Bacan, where Venetians go boating and swimming in the Summer. Nearby, there is a local trattoria where you can taste the delicious local vegetables.

The route goes on passing between Forte Sant’Andrea and the island of La Certosa, between a vast grass and a deep wood. Then you will coast the island of Le Vignole, known as “of the seven vines”, where you can enjoy a stop-over at the famous trattoria “Da Tony” to taste local specialities while resting in the garden below the pergola and maybe looking at a wonderful sunset. In this island there is also the nice church of Sant’Erosia with its small steeple. Finally, you will reach Venice nearby, coasting the Arsenale and Fondamenta Nuove.

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