20 Great Things to do in Venice 9/20 – Tour the Lagoon

If you're spending more than a few days in Venice, take time to visit the islands of the Venetian Lagoon. Explore the famous islands of  - Murano, Burano and Torcello - on a half-day or full day excursion. You'll see  glass-blowing display on Murano, shop for lace on Burano, be lost in the wonderful colours of Burano and visit Venice's first church on the tranquil island of Torcello. This tour is a great introduction to the magical islands of the Venetian lagoon Burano Venice  Colours and lights of Burano...HOW TO LICENCE THIS PICTURE: please contact us via e-mail at sales@xianpix.com or call our offices in Milan at (+39) 02 400 47313 or London   +44 (0)207 1939846 for prices and terms of copyright. First Use Only ,Editorial Use Only, All repros payable, No Archiving.© MARCO SECCHI (Marco Secchi)

You'll reach the islands on water buses operated by ACTV, the Venice public-transportation company best place will be from Fte Nove. Allow a full day for the entire excursion, or half a day if you skip one of them.

ACTV's lagoon water buses can be crowded during peak season, on weekends, or if local groups of senior citizens or schoolchildren are travelling between the islands. If crowds bother you, or if you're unwilling to stand on a moving boat when seats aren't available, consider one of these alternatives:

  • Take an escorted tour of Murano, Burano, and Torcello. This half-day tour is more expensive than a tour by public transportation, but it's worth considering if your schedule is tighter than your budget. The trip is offered by Viator, our sightseeing-tour partner.
  • Hire a water taxi by the half-day or day, which could easily cost several hundred euros. If you want the services of a private guide, try a customized lagoon itinerary from WalksInsideVenice or the Venice Tourist Guides Association and let the guide arrange transportation.

Tips:

  • Organized tours don't give you much time on the islands, so we'd recommend traveling independently unless you're in a hurry or have limited mobility.
  • Instead of buying individual tickets for the boat trips between the islands, buy a 12-hour to 7-day  tourist card at any Hellovenezia or ACTV ticket booth. (See our Vaporetto Fares article.) Or order the tourist office's Venice Connected pass before you leave home, if you can figure out the byzantine pricing scheme.
  •  If you have access to the Internet during your trip, you can check boat schedules at the official ACTV Web site.

Sant' Ariano: The Island of Bones

Sant’Ariano island is located in the Northern Lagoon, between Torcello and La Cura islands, north of La Centrega marsh. In 1565 the island was surrounded by a wall to preserve the bones and ashes dug out of Venice cemetery (San Michele) when more room was needed on those grounds. Today, the island is disused and it is believed to plagued with snakes. Venice Laguna Nord Murano Burano Torcello, S Ariano San Francesco al Deserto..HOW TO LICENCE THIS PICTURE: please contact us via e-mail at sales@xianpix.com or call our offices in Milan at (+39) 02 400 47313 or London   +44 (0)207 1939846 for prices and terms of copyright. First Use Only ,Editorial Use Only, All repros payable, No Archiving.© MARCO SECCHI (Marco Secchi)

From the inside of S Ariano looking out toward the marsh

With my fellows partners we sailed to S Ariano and walked all around the perimeter wall, we tried in few places to reach the centre of the ossuary but  a deep ravine and thorny bushes prevented us. We would have needed a machete! The dead were defending themselves, sending away  the intruders. There were mice not sure about snakes  we just managed a brief glimps of some tombstones and bones but it was impossible to reach them.

"Go Back Home!" said the tenants of  Sant'Ariano.

 

Islandness

Venice Laguna Nord Murano Burano Torcello, S Ariano San Francesco al Deserto..HOW TO LICENCE THIS PICTURE: please contact us via e-mail at sales@xianpix.com or call our offices in Milan at (+39) 02 400 47313 or London   +44 (0)207 1939846 for prices and terms of copyright. First Use Only ,Editorial Use Only, All repros payable, No Archiving.© MARCO SECCHI (Marco Secchi) An island generally comes with a bit of mystery and fascination, probably for being so close between sea and land. You may have discovered it by pure coincidence. Sometime slowly slowly the island grows in you. As the time passes you feel closer, factors such as the island’s remoteness, boundedness, and insularity combine to create a state of “islandness” . Then suddenly one day, when you are not thinking, you discover a sense of belonging. That is where you want to spend the rest of your life.

You did not choose the island, the island finally had chosen you.

Flying above Venice

The Seawings tours are specifically designed to complement your cruise experience, Seawings  encourage you to relax as your guide whisks you away to the historic Island of San Clemente; explore the grounds of the luxurious San Clemente Palace Hotel & Resort and hop on board for memories that will last forever. Providing unparalleled and rarely seen aerial views of the Venetian Lagoon and the islands of San Servolo, San Giorgio Maggiore, Giudecca, Torcello and Lido, Seawings promises you all the excitement in a lot less time.

No other tour provides such a complete picture of the enitire empire of Venezia. Seawings guided sightseeing tour of Venice is truly a unique way to see Venice as never before.

VENICE, ITALY - JULY 07:    A general view of the Venice with Giudecca, San Giorgio Island and the Lagoon seen during the Seawing  tour above Venice on July 7, 2011 in Venice, Italy. Seawings has started a new tour of Venice by seaplane, offering aerial views of the Venetian Lagoon and its historic islands, continuing a long history of seaplanes in Venice.  (Marco Secchi)