Not just Venice, the Venetian Lagoon can offer plenty of beauties to admire, reachable in a short while and through which walking and admiring the splendors of the past is pleasant and relaxing.
This beautiful landscape is not far away from the historical city and the most beaten paths of the mass tourism, in a not less historical environment, and not less authentically Venetian. It’s the Venice of the lagoon and its islands, an wide expanse of semi-emerged lands where the landscapes of the silence change with the fluxes of the tides, the traditional lagoon boats obstinately resist to the noisily aggressiveness of the engines, the colours of water, sky and land mix together and with the brick-red of human buildings, and the sandbanks offer welcome to the typical local fauna: egrets, herons, gulls, hawks, kingfishers… It’s a Venice where the nature dominates, but where the signs of history tell also the origin of town, its ancient past.
Among the most famous and beautiful we must signal Murano, Burano e Torcello. Murano is famous in the world for the ancient craft of glass. Before the coming of Napoleon Bonaparte, in the island there have been in total 18 parishes, monasteries and convents. Today there are just three operating churches (Church of Santa Maria and Donato, Church of San Pietro Martire and Church of Santa Maria of the Angels), while some ruins of other churches are visible comparable to Santa Chiara, San Maffio and Santo Stefano.
Burano is famous, instead, for its typical vividly colored houses, but in addition for the secular craft manufacturing of laces and for its gastronomical traditions. The center of the town is Baldassarre Galuppi square, completely realized burying a channel, on which overlooks the church of San Martino.
Torcello is an islands located within the north of the venetian lagoon, it was some of the ancient and prosperous settlements of the lagoon, until the decline following the dominance of Venice and until the change of climatic conditions. To see, we cannot forget the Museum of the estuary and the wonderful religious buildings on the islands, such as the Church of Santa Fosca, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, but also the particular island landscape, made of hedges, of uncultivated and of small gardens besieged by water.
But additionally the opposite islands are noteworthy, such as Saint Erasmus Island, the Pellestrina Island, Treponti. That is an unusual walk, in an insular, marginal environment, lonely and scarred by abandonment. Saint Erasmus island doesn’t offer the vitality and confusion of colors and men or the austere regality of the opposite islands of the north lagoon. Of this island, what hits persons are the silences, the rarefied atmospheres, almost suspended in time, that the noisy development machine seems to have forgot to push inside these places.
Pellestrina is a 11 km slight barrier suspended between the sea and the lagoon and protected by impetuousness of water because of some of the powerful defenses within the sea that the Serenissima was able to understand to save the city: the Murazzi.
This is an artificial sea cliff, vertical to the Venice’s lagoon and toward the Adriatic Sea. It was built up with blocks of Istrian stone, carved in a coarse. This cliff is long about 20 km among those coasts which might be the natural defense of the artistic, cultural and economic heritage that has got its heart in Venice.
The island of Treponti, with the small church with the 2 characteristic bell towers, can offer an intimate walk, filled with panoramic views and colors, as for instance the historical rural court of the “Pra”, on which overlook an elegant rural villa and the ancient small church built up by the first inhabitants of the islands. Until to achieve Rio Piccolo, in the standard Venetian lagoon landscape, characterized by the fishing valley.