Get off-the-beaten-path in the Venice lagoon and discover secret vineyards, colorful islands, and pristine beaches just a short boat ride away from St. Mark’s Square.
If we told you there was a way to experience an authentic side of Venice without the crowds, would you believe us? The secret lies in getting away from Piazza San Marco and venturing further out to explore smaller islands strewn throughout the marshy, magical Venice Lagoon. Few people realize that Venice is comprised of a number of different islands, each with their own unique histories and identities. Discover candy-colored fisherman homes, secret vineyards, pristine beaches, and picturesque cemeteries when you get off the beaten path and delve deeper into the world’s most famous lagoon.
Top Picks for You
San Francesco del Deserto
Surrounded by cypress trees and pines and dominated by a 13th-century Franciscan monastery, San Francesco del Deserto is an idyllic refuge in the Venice Lagoon. It is named for San Francesco d’Assisi, who spent time on the island in the year 1220, and is home to a handful of friars who reside in the monastery and offer tours of the grounds and two cloisters. The island is only accessible only by private transport, so it’s best to organize a boat excursion departing from nearby Burano.
Isola Santa Cristina
It may be hard to imagine a wild, eco-sustainable island thriving in the Venice Lagoon, but Isola Santa Cristina is just that. This private island hotel, only accessible to guests staying at the resort, offers an exclusive natural experience for those lucky enough to visit: the island boasts fishing ponds, orchards, vineyards, and wild animals such as peacocks, pheasants, and pink flamingos. The island retreat is owned by a family who have infused the property with their passion for sustainability, organic living.
INSIDER TIPIf you’re looking for a special place to organize or join a yoga retreat, Isola Santa Cristina is a great bet.