Itinerary 4 – The Lagoon Islands
This itinerary will lead you to the discovery of the beautiful Venice Lagoon and its islands, full of History, Art, Crafts and Excellent cooking!
For our Guests who stay at least a couple of days in Venice we warmly suggest a full day excursion to the famous Islands of the Venice Lagoon: Murano, Burano and Torcello.
Just a few steps from our Hotel Carlton on the Grand Canal you can catch the waterbus line 3 or 4.2 to Murano, an ancient island known throughout the world for the artistic production of glass.
Murano traces its origins to the first barbaric invasions, when the refugees from Altino found protection in the islands to escape the raids of the Barbarians. But the island enjoyed its maximum expansion starting from 1291 when the Doge decreed that the glass production had to move from Venice to Murano to reduce the risk from fire in the town. From that moment onwards, the art of Murano glass began to grow and flourish until it became an industry occupying thousands of people, known and appreciated worldwide for its products which are true works of art. Let us suggest that you visit one of the numerous glass factories on the island to admire the mastery and ability of the Glass Masters at work while they forge an object in the fire, a vase, a chalice or the famous rampant horse.
To crown this trip, you must visit the Murano Glass Museum in Palazzo Giustinian situated on the canal bank of the same name.
Leaving the Museum, alk along the canal bank for 50 metres to the adjacent Campo where you will find the splendid Basilica of Saints Maria and Donato dating back to the VII century, containing the remains of St. Donato. The apside facing onto the canal is imposing while inside you can admire the wonderful mosaics set into a golden background, together with the mosaic floorings.
Return along Giustinian canal bank as far as Ponte Lungo over the main canal of Murano, cross the bridge and after 20 metres you will find yourselves in front of the Church of St. Peter the Martyr, founded in 1348, decorated inside with works by Giovanni Bellini, which are worth a visit. On leaving, take a few photos of the characteristic Campo Santo Stefano, dominated by the crenellated Tower which contains an enormous glass comet.
Five minutes on foot from here you can reach the boat stop Faro and take the water bus line 12 to Burano, a trip of about 40 minutes taking you across the characteristic lagoon panorama with its mud banks, reed beds, islets and typical fauna. Even before disembarking, Burano will startle you with its lively, vivid colours of the houses. This fishermen’s island is world famous for the centuries-old craft of lace-making and its gastronomic traditions. Let us suggest you have lunch in one of the numerous, famous Restaurants on the island and to enjoy a delicious menu based on fresh fish. Don’t forget to buy the typical biscuits, “bussolai” or “esse”.
Re-embark on the water bus and get off at the next stop in the nearby island of Torcello, one of the most ancient and prosperous settlements of the lagoon where you can find the priceless archaeological heritage of the Church of Santa Fosca, Byzantine style, dating back to the XII century, the Cathedral of Maria Assunta whose western wall is covered with a Byzantine mosaic of huge dimensions representing the Last Judgement. Don’t forget to have your photo taken sitting on Attila’s Throne which legend says really was the throne used by Attila, King of the Huns; and then on the Devil’s Bridge without the parapet, the original form of all the bridges in Venice.
Close by Burano and Torcello, there is also the small island of San Francesco del Deserto, full of history and spirituality. It has been inhabited by Franciscan Monks since 1230 and according to tradition, St. Francis himself passed there in 1220. There are no public means of transport to San Francesco del Deserto, but you can contact Massimilliano 3479922959 previously for a private transfer. The island is open to tourists; it is a chance to experience a historic-spiritual itinerary but also to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the place. A Franciscan monk will guide your visit.
Return to the hotel following the itinerary backwards: from Burano, line 12 to Murano Faro, change lines to line 3 or 4.2 which will bring you directly to the Ferrovia water bus stop, near to the Hotel Carlton on the Grand Canal.