5 Beautiful Islands in Venice (Italy) That Are Worth Visiting

Are you wondering what are the beautiful islands in Venice, Italy is worth visiting? I visited Venice, Italy with my husband and friends during our 2-week Interrail trip. I enjoyed our time in Venice even if it is one of the most expensive destinations in our itinerary. If you venture outside the main island of Venice, you will see a different side of the Venetian region. I would like to share with you these beautiful islands in Venice, Italy that is worth visiting.

I wrote another article about the Best Things to Do in Venice (Italy) that I can recommend for the first-time visitor. I encourage you to read it as well to help you plan ahead to maximise your time in this beautiful part of Italy.

Peggy Guggenheim, a well-known modern art collector who once resided in Venice, was quoted as saying, “It is always assumed that Venice is the ideal place for a honeymoon. This is a very serious mistake. It’s impossible not to fall in love with the city of Venice, whether you live there or just visit occasionally. You don’t have any more room in your heart for anyone else.

It is true that Venice is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. This city is known for its picturesque settings, historic architecture, and peaceful canals. A visit to the “sinking city,” also known as Venice, which was constructed on a lagoon in the Mediterranean, can be an exciting journey through the history of architecture and culture in Italy.

You can delve into the often-hidden corners that inspired some of the greatest artists of our time by wandering through the labyrinth of cobblestone streets that make up Venice. Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Mann, among other great artists, worked in Venice at one point or another.

Even though some of these Venetian islands are more well-known than others, visiting any one of them is like taking a deep breath of clean air and taking a significant detour from the typical tourist route when compared to activities such as crossing the Rialto Bridge.

In the event that you are in search of some personal motivation, the following is a list of less well-known Venetian islands that are located a significant distance from tourist traps.

Read more: 7 Beautiful Places To Visit In Italy For The First Time

Islands in Venice (Italy) Worth Visiting

1. Murano

Murano, also known as the island of glass, is still a major producer of the material. The island has been the site of its now-famous tradition of glassblowing since 1291. Despite the fact that it started on the mainland, Venetian glassblowers were exiled to Murano because the city’s heavy reliance on wooden construction made their glassworking studios a potential source of fire.

Murano Glassblower in Murano Island in Veneto Italy
Beautiful islands in Venice, Italy: Murano Glassblower in Murano Island

Venetians on the island of Murano were the only people in Europe who knew how to make glass mirrors, so they perfected their techniques to create enamel glass, multi-coloured glass, and milk glass, which is also known as lattimo glass.

Murano Glass jars
Beautiful islands in Venice, Italy: Murano Island — Murano Glass jars

It is common knowledge that mirrors and glassware, such as chandeliers and lampshades, are exported from Murano. However, if you find yourself there, you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to purchase stunning glass jewelry made from glass beads.

Murano jewellery made with murano glass beads
Beautiful islands in Venice, Italy: Murano Island — Murano jewellery made with Murano glass beads

The Murano Glass Museum, also known as the Museo del Vetro, is located in the late Venetian Gothic Palazzo Giustinian from the 15th century and provides an in-depth look into the history of glass production on the island. The collection of Murano glass begins with mosaic glass works from Venice, Venetian beads, and techniques that were developed to create masterpieces in the 15th century.

Making of Murano Glass in Murano Island
Beautiful island in Venice, Italy: Making of Murano Glass on Murano Island

There are many shops that sell glass creations and souvenirs, and some glass factories even allow visitors or tours of their facilities. In addition, there are sidewalk cafes, restaurants, and canals in Murano.

Murano glass shops in Murano island
Beautiful islands in Venice, Italy: Murano glass shops on Murano island

You are welcome to take tours of the glass factories, where skilled artisans are hard at work shaping their creations in high-temperature furnaces. Shop for one-of-a-kind items that are crafted in this recognizable aesthetic by perusing the dozens of boutiques that are located on this vibrant island.

Murano is comprised of a group of islands that are connected to one another by a series of bridges and features expansive pathways that are a joy to stroll through.

Since 1291, when the artisans were ordered to move their furnaces to Murano due to the increased risk of fire, the island has been producing glass. Their trade secrets were jealously guarded, and the Venetian secret police pursued any artisans who dared to leave the republic in an effort to bring them to justice.

Today, this handicrafting tradition that dates back seven hundred years is a popular destination for tourists, and Murano glass is sold all over the world.

Murano glass ornaments
Beautiful islands in Venice: Murano glass ornaments

Visit the Glass Museum (Museo del Vetro) while you are in this city to learn about the history of this craft through the display of more than 4,000 unique objects, ranging from Phoenician flasks to a 330-kilogram chandelier to the flamboyant designs of the 1970s. I wrote another article about the Best Museums in Venice, and I included the Glass museum and other fantastic museums worth visiting in Venice.

You shouldn’t leave Murano island without seeing the Basilica di Santa Maria e San Donato, which is famous for the Byzantine mosaic pavement that dates back to the 12th century. In addition to that, the colossal skeleton of a dragon that Saint Donatus is said to have killed and buried there can be found here.

Last but not least, you might consider going to Campo San Stefano to view the Comet Glass Star sculpture that was created by the venerated Murano artist Simone Cenedese. It’s a fantastic piece of abstract art that looks like a starburst made out of blue glass.

2. Burano

Burano Island is known for its picturesque canals that are surrounded by brightly colored homes. There are a number of excellent restaurants in the area, many of which serve risotto and fish that is extremely fresh. This island is a dream; it is brimming with canals and summery, rainbow-colored homes that are painted in colours like yellow, red, and purple.

Burano Island in Venice Italy
Beautiful islands in Venice: the colourful houses of Burano Island

Burano is an archipelago made up of four islands that are connected to each other by bridges. It is famous for its handmade lace. You can find products made of lace in many of the shops (although you should make sure that they are handmade and not mass-produced), or you can go to the Lace Museum to learn more about the history of the lacemaking process. Even one of Burano’s churches has a tower that is tilted to one side.

Church tower in Burano island
Beautiful islands in Venice, Italy: Church tower on Burano island

It takes approximately forty minutes to reach your destination from the Fondamenta Nuove vaporetto stop. The historical palace of Podestà of Torcello in Piazza Galuppi, which was once known as the famous Burano lace school, is now home to the Venice Lace Museum (Museo del Merletto). This museum provides an in-depth look at the intricate history of lace.

Piazza Galuppi in Burano island
Beautiful islands in Venice, Italy: Piazza Galuppi on Burano island

In the year 1481, Leonardo da Vinci made a trip to the island in order to purchase cloth for the main altar of the masterpiece he was creating at the Cathedral of Milan. Even though Pisa is the city in Italy that is most famous for its leaning tower, the well-known Church of San Martino on the island of Murano is home to its very own leaning campanile. Explore the area around the Santa Caterina church, which dates back to the 13th century, and stop at some of the local restaurants, such as the Trattoria Al Gatto Nero, which serves homemade pasta and fresh seafood (just look for the blue building).

According to historians, the houses of Burano were painted bright colors so that fishermen could easily spot their way home through the murky lagoon. Others assert that the various colors guided the fishermen back to their homes after they had consumed too much alcohol.

Colourful Burano houses
Beautiful islands in Venice: Colourful Burano houses

Visit the Venice Lace Museum while you’re in town to learn about the history of lacemaking on this island. The museum is located in the heart of Venice. The exhibits trace the history of the craft all the way back to its beginnings in the 16th century and continue on to the Burano Lace School. In addition, you shouldn’t pass up the opportunities to eat at the local fish restaurants, which serve hearty dishes made with the fresh seafood caught in the area.

3. Torcello

Torcello is a tranquil and verdant island, with a significant portion of its land designated as a nature reserve. It is the oldest part of Venice, and it is possible to get to Torcello via Vaporetto in approximately one hour. In addition to the well-known Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, which dates back to the 12th century, and the Church of Santa Fosca, you can find a forest reserve by taking a stroll along the Ponte del Viavolo.

Torcello island in Veneto region italy
Beautiful islands in Venice, Italy: Torcello island from Venice lagoon

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta was established in 639 and is still standing today. It features vibrant mosaics that are beautiful to look into on bright days, including Byzantine artwork from the 11th and 12th centuries. It is one of the most beautiful churches in Venice.

Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta in Torcello island Veneto Italy
Beautiful islands in Venice, Italy: Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta in Torcello island

In 1948, Ernest Hemingway spent some time on the island of Torcello, and it was there at the Locanda Hotel that he wrote Across the River and Into the Trees. The Cipriani family, who originally opened the hotel in this location in 1934, continues to own it to this day, making it a frequent hangout for famous people. The Locanda Cipriani restaurant, which can be found not far away, is known for its authentic Venetian fare. In the 1930s, Giuseppe Cipriani came up with the recipe for the world-famous cocktail known as the Bellini, which consists of Prosecco and peach nectar.

Torcello is a good place to go to get away from the crowds and enjoy a peaceful stroll or lunch. You can even spend the night in the renowned Locanda Cipriani if you want to. Check out the link in the sentence above for information on Cipriani and other restaurants.

4. Lido di Venezia

Lido is a 10-minute ride from San Eleni and is reachable by the majority of vaporetto boat lines. The Hotel Riviera is visible at the shore as you approach. This island, which has hot sand and a restaurant strip, is populated primarily by Venetians who moved there during the postwar real estate boom of the 1960s.

Lido di Venezia
Beautiful islands in Venice, Italy: Lido di Venezia

In actuality, 20,000 locals live on this 11-kilometre-long sandbar, making up one-third of the residential population of the Venetian core. It has a popular camping area, and — unusually for Venice — Bike Rental Lido allows you to rent bikes and ride them on the island.

The island has served as a haven for prominent European thinkers over the years, including German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, English poet Lord Byron, and French dramatist Alfred de Musset. Every year in September, the island hosts the Venice Film Festival. German author Thomas Mann is credited with drawing inspiration for his classic 1912 novel Death in Venice from the north, which is home to the Grand Hotel des Bains.

Previously a haven for writers and artists, Lido is now a crowded tourist destination during the summer. And it’s among the most well-liked summer vacation destinations in Northern Italy.

Lido di Venezia beaches
Beautiful islands in Venice: Lido di Venezia beaches

The lagoon’s well-known playground, Lido also features sand beaches, ice cream shops, and seaside resorts. Today, it is dotted with opulent villas, seaside resorts, bars, and cafes. There are also many private and hotel beaches where you can rent a cabana or a sunbed, including Hotel Excelsior.

When you are there, you can:

  • In Alberoni, a protected natural reserve on the island’s southern tip, you can rent a bike and tour the dunes and natural oasis there. Poets like Byron and Goethe have been inspired by its pine forests and natural beauty. Stay at the luxurious Hotel des Bains for a literary experience. It’s the setting of the masterpiece novella Death in Venice.
  • For the best lodging, dining, and shopping on the island, stroll down Gran Viale.
  • Visit the Armenian Catholic Monastery on the nearby island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni to see an exhibition about Lord Byron

5. Isola di San Michele

The cemetery island of San Michele is home to some notable graves and old churches.

Isola san Michele in Venice Italy
Beautiful islands in Venice: Steve and I in Venice — Isola san Michele in the background

San Michele, also known as The Island of the Dead, is the final resting place of numerous famous people. There are no stores or tourist attractions, and the majority of the island is one big cemetery.

The island was first established in 1807 when authorities decided it would be unhygienic to bury the dead on the Venetian mainland. Funeral gondolas were used to transport the deceased’s bodies to San Michele.

The cemetery is crammed with graves, and there aren’t many open spaces. It is surrounded by a high wall and lined with tall cypress trees. After a decade of decomposition, bodies are moved to smaller spaces.

The majority of Catholics are buried there, but there are also smaller Orthodox and Protestant cemeteries.

If you ever decide to go to San Michele, be sure to stop by the tombs of the poet Ezra Pound, the composer Igor Stravinsky, and the ballet master Sergei Diaghilev (whose tomb is decorated with point shoes left by admirers). You should also check out the Chiesa di San Michele, the first Renaissance church in Venice, which was built in the 15th century.

I hope that helped you in appreciating the beautiful islands in Venice, Italy. There are other islands in Venice that you can visit if you have the spare time to roam the Veneto region.

Beautiful Islands in Venice Italy That Are Worth Visiting
Beautiful Islands in Venice Italy That Are Worth Visiting

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Everything Zany Dual Citizen Travel Blog

Everything Zany

Travel Blog

Everything Zany Travel Blog exploring the UK and beyond. Sharing travel guides, tips, history, and culture. Our travel media brand is founded by travel and hotel industry expert – Ryazan Tristram, a Dual Citizen (British – Filipina) based in Birmingham, UK. Everything Zany is a reputable and award-winning travel blog. Our work and contributions have been featured in Huffington Post, CNBC, Discovery Channel, GMA, Readers Digest, and Lonely Planet. Our missions are to build a great travel community and resource of travel tips, visas, and travel guides for travelers. Join us as we travel around the UK and beyond with a mission to share the best of the world.

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