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Friday, February 3, 2017

Secrets places of Venice : Isola di San Francesco del Deserto

There are few places in my beautiful hometown and in the Venice lagoon that are spectacular and that most of the tourists are not even aware of.
One of them is for sure the Island of San Francesco del Deserto, the “Island of Saint Francis of The Desert”.

This little Island is nestled between Burano and Sant’Erasmo and houses a tranquil monastery, where only 4 monks live. The garden has 4,000 cypress trees, an idyllic monastery gardens and the medieval cloisters, that can be visited under the guide of a monk who shepherds visitors through the grounds and tells the story of St Francis’s arrival on the island in 1220.

The former owner of the island In the thirteenth century was Jacopo Michel, a Venetian nobleman. He had had built a church dedicated to St. Francis who was the he first in Northern Italy.
Legend has it that Saint, Francis returning from the East, had passed through here, making some miracles. He also planted his stick into the ground and it grew into a pine tree where the birds flocked in to sing to him.

In 1233 Jacopo Michel donated the whole island to the Franciscan friars.

The original name of this Island was “Isola delle due Vigne” “Island of two vineyards”. The name changed in Desert Island of St. Francis in 1400 when the island remained for a few years deserted because of the unhealthiness of the lagoon.

The Monk were also pushed to abandoned the Island between 1808 and 1858, when the French and then the Austrians turned it into a military fortress.

The serenity and beauty of this place when you visit it will leave a memory that will never leave your heart. I love this place.
The island's charm through the centuries has inspired artists and poets.
The island is open for tourists and offers opportunity for a historical-religious culture visit , but also to enjoy the peace and quiet that the place offers.

The monks also offer the possibilities to pray with them, in what they call the Orari della Fraternita’ and for those who want The Franciscan Fraternity offers also hospitality for a few days, upon request.
Opening hours: are 9:00 to 11:00 /15.00-17.00. Closed on Mondays. They are also  closed on the morning of September 17 (feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis) and on the morning of 4 October (Feast of St. Francis). The tour is led by a Franciscan and is a free offer.

From Venice With Love,


If you want to join me on the Giada Valenti “From Venice With Love” Cruise on the MSC Musica leaving from Venice on July 9, you can visit to register and more info. If you register before February 14th you can make the chance to win $1000 on a cabin for two and some other prizes.


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