Venice is unique city in the world, but why is it?
If we observe better Venice is not an island, it is an archipelago formed by 117 little islands connected by more than 410 bridges. In the past every little island had its church but nowadays many of them are deconsecrated.
The peculiarity of the city is the absence of streets; they are called "calli" except "Strada Nuova" and "Via Garibaldi". People can visit Venice on foot or by boat, and the emotions people feel loosing through the "calli" is something everyone have to try.
In Venice there aren't districts too, the city is divided is "sestieri" (six districts): Cannaregio, Castello, Dorsoduro, San Polo, Santa Croce and San Marco. Geographically is divided in two parts by a 4 km water-snake from Piazzale Roma to the Saint Mark's basin: the Gran Canal. Along it people can look many of most beautiful palaces of Venice full of stories and curiosities.
A little Venice next to Venice. Murano is formed by 5 islands connected by many bridges and cuts in two parts from the Gran Canal of Murano. Exactly like Venice also in the Gran Canal of Murano face many ancient buildings like the XIII century gothic Palazzo da Mula.
The peculiarity of Murano is the blowing glass, which production was moved from Venice in 1292 decided by the Doge. Officially the motivation was to avoid the risk of fires, but the real one was to protect the art of the glass avoiding the glass-masters moving from Venice and export this profitable production.
In the past there were more than one church per island but today only two of these are working: the church of San Pietro Martire full of art masterpieces by Bellini, Veronese and Tintoretto; and the basilica dei Santi Maria e Donato.
Visiting the venetian lagoon is impossible not recognize Burano; the island with the colored houses and the leaning bell tower.
The legend says that the color of the houses was necessary for the boys coming back from the military service to recognize their house; and also for the mothers because their sons looked different in regard to how they looked when they left.
Burano is many more: the island bases their economy on fishing and the inimitable merletto (lace). This art is still hand down and in the central square (Piazza Galuppi) people can see the old Scuola del Merletto (Lace academy) and visit the lace museum.
Everyone can't leave Burano without tasting the traditional biscuits: the bussolà buranello with a "S" or "O" shape.
Torcello is also called the first Venice. It was the first settlement in the lagoon and in the past reached up to 5o.ooo citizens.
The story of this island is one of the oldest one, and the great number of churches and monasteries gave the size of the economic power Torcello had in the aerea.
The decline of the island starts with the birth of Venice and continues with the planting of the rivers that cause the malaria still make nowadays Torcello only a touristic destination.
Today people can visit the island's museum, the Cathedral, the church of Santa Fosca and some of the best restaurants in the lagoon.
In front of the Saint Mark's square there is the characteristic island of San Giorgio maggiore that was used for many aims so different among them.
From 982 the island was turned into a benedictine cloister becoming in the years a very important cultural center for the city until Napoleon in the XVIII century turned the island in a military station.
The most attractive thing of the island is for sure the facade of the church designed by Andrea Palladio, and the bell tower where, on the top of it, people can enjoy an amazing view of Venice.
San Francesco del deserto
From Burano people can see a prominently hidden island. It can be quickly recognized for its high cypresses that hide the beauty of this amazing island: San Francesco del deserto.
The island gave its name for the Saint of Assisi that stops here in 1200 coming back from the Holy Land due to a storm.
Nowadays the island is still inhabited by the Franciscan monks with many wide green spaces and a beautiful cloister.
When you are in the island of San Francesco the time stopped, you feel in another dimension. This island is like a time machine that let you relax yourself and reconnect you with the nature.
The island of San Servolo is located between the islands of San Giorgio and San Lazzaro and owes its name to the humerus of San Servilio (Servolo in dialect) brought by a nun in the cloister in the XIII century.
San Servolo is mainly known as an old asylum, in fact until 1978 the island hosts a psychiatric hospital first only for well-off people and then for every kind of social class.
In the following years it was abandoned. After a huge work of redevelopment nowadays the island belongs to the province of Venice and host the european center of artisans and restoration training. In San Servolo are still preserved: the pharmacy, the library and the hospital archive located in an amazing garden facing the lagoon of Venice.
San Lazzaro degli Armeni
During the centuries the island of San Lazzaro was a hospice for pilgrims and a leprosarium. The history of the island was made in 1717 when an Armenian monk established a cloister nowadays still existing.
In addition to the cloister the island presents a wonderful park with an exotic plants grove. People can visit the park in every moment of the day, but if you want to visit the cloister there is only one guided visit per day in the afternoon. The higher-profile thing is the cloister's library that counts 100.000 texts and 4.500 manuscripts.
Always considered the garden of Venice, Sant' Erasmo is still preserving his passion for agriculture. The uniqueness of the island is the violette artichoke of Sant' Erasmo exported all over Europe.
A 4km-long land make it a perfect destination for a ride having launch in the Vignole, the closest point to Venice famous for the quality of the restaurants.
Located between the sea and the lagoon Lio Piccolo is formed by many islets. The only way to arrive by land is a narrow and picturesque street surrounded by the barena.
The village is formed by a little church dedicated to the Santa Maria della Neve, some building around it and other scattered casoni close to the main square.
The call of Lio Piccolo is about agriculture and fishing, and also for this reason people visit the village mainly to have launch in the agriturismi reachable also by sea.