San Michele Things to Do
As this is the island cemetery for Venetians, it is only to be expected that some of the graves will hold gondoliers.However, I was quite saddened to come across the tomb of a gondolier who was only a few years younger than me. As You can see from my photos, the graves of these gondoliers were well tended, both had the gondola Ferro insignia...more
This was the first area that I looked around on San Michele- row upon row of stone plaques, each with an inscription and a small vase, many of which contained flowers. Some had a glass framed photograph - most of these were black and white and were probably taken by a professional photographer in the days when most people didn't own a camera, but...more
Many visitors to the cemetery come to see this grave, either to pay their respects to the Russian born ballet impresario, who founded the Ballets Russe, with such world renowned dancers as Pavlova and Nijinsky(who was one of his lovers) or because it's one of the graves that's signposted!Apparently his burial was interrupted by one of his fans...more
I took a photo of this monument, noted that it was for victims of the civil war, then moved onto the next point of interest. It wasn't until I got home and was looking at my photos, ready to download onto VT, that I suddenly thought - What Civil War? Was this in Italy and when? - scrambling into my memories of History classes at school didn't come...more
The large catholic sections of the cemetery are well organised, regimented almost and well maintained. In contrast the Greek Orthodox and protestants graveyard sections are more overgrown with mosses and lichens on the tombs - more a forgotten, forlorn atmosphere here. A word of warning if you go looking for the famous graves - this area was live...more
A small chapel 0 S Christofor - is also found amongst the cemetery graveyards. Worth a quick look in here to see the lovely frescoes and mosaics adorning the hexagonal chapel. Amongst the extensive cemetery are other small capella - it was a shame to see some in various states of disrepair with broken windows and broken gravestones inside -...more
San Michele is mainly a catholic cemetery but there are also two mini-graveyards for other Christian sects: the Greci or Greek Orthodox cemetery, where Igor Stravisky and Sergei Diaghilev are buried; and the Protestant graveyard, whose most famous resident is Ezra Pound. (Jews have their own cemetery on the Lido, Venice's resort island.) In between...more
The cemetry island is quite large - in 1837 San Michele and its neighbour San Cristoforo della Pace were formed into one - now a large rectangular unit enclosed by the brick walls. The dead were formerly buried in the churches' courtyards but due to hygiene and space reasons in the 14th century San Michele and the islands nearby were assigned to be...more
Entry to the cemetry is via the gothic portal on the right hand side of the church - look up first though to see a nice bas-relief of St Micael fighting with a dragon. The colonnaded monks cloister (see other pics) is a very serene place - they do ask for visitors to be dressed respectfully. I was glad I had a scarf to cover my bare shoulders,...more
San Michele is home to one of Venice 's first Renaissance buildings the church of San Michele built in 1469 by Codussi. It is built of Istrian stone whilst the bell tower is brick and is typical venetian gothic. The Emilioni chapel on the left has a huge white dome built at the beginning of the 16th century. Travelling back to Murano and seeing the...more
San Michele Restaurants
Nearby Restaurants/ Cafes / Take Aways etc: No restaurants on San Michele
As far as I know, there is no where to purchase food or drinks on the island - It was San Stefano - Dec 26th, and the churches were closed at my visit.
So, make sure You bring bottled water etc with You.
There are places to eat along Fondamente Nuova, near the Vaporetto Station, before your departure or on your return, or if heading onto Murano, Torcello and Burano after visiting San Michele.
My favourite places are Algiubagio -At the foot of the brick bridge - My favourite Restaurant in Venice!- but for a drink while waiting for the vaporetto, the outside terrace is a pleasant place, with views to San Michelle and over the lagoon.
Algiubagio also has a pizzeria and gelateria a few metres away - past the vaporetto station. Here I enjoyed a slice of the tastiest fresh pizza, followed by a very chocolaty ice cream Mmmmm! A few seats inside and out.
Tortuga Pub is just across the bridge on the first street- Salizzada di Specchieri - which takes you to the Gesuiti church. I enjoyed a tasty spaghetti carbonara (7 euros) while waiting for the waterbus to Marco Polo Airport.
I've not eaten on Murano, but there are plenty of places to eat in or take away.
Please see my Venice Restaurant tips for more info on the above restaurants.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
- Food and Dining
San Michele Transportation
By Water to Cimitero - the Cemetery...
To reach San Michele, the quickest way from Venice is from the Fondamente Nuove in Cannaregio sestieri, by the circular 41 or 42 Vaporetto (water bus), or on the same service from Murano.
It is possible to get on the vaporetto in San Zaccaria, or many other places around Venice, but it can be a long trip, especially if You jump on the vaporetto and its going in the wrong direction. The No. 41 travels an anti clockwise route, while the No. 42 travels clockwise
The only vaporetto station on San Michele is Cimitero, which you can see in the photo.
Vaporettos run roughly every 20 minutes from Fondamente Nuova. There is a ticket office, to purchase tickets.
If you have just missed one, I'd recommend walking a few steps to enjoy a drink on the terrace of Algiubagio - the restaurant at the foot of the bridge (closed Tuesdays), or enjoy an ice cream or slice of fresh pizza, from the pizzeria/ gelateria further to the left, which is owned by the same people
Just off the Fondamente Nuova is the Gesuiti church, worth visiting for its theatrical architectureRelated to:
- Historical Travel
- Budget Travel
San Michele Off The Beaten Path
Anyone viewing my Torcello 'Off The Beaten Track' tip will have read about the toilets there. Strangely, my San Michele 'OTBT' tip is about the toilets too!
Well when You've got to go, You've got to go!
This was probably my spookiest experience on the cemetery island. No one else was in the toilets when I entered.
While I was in the cubicle, I felt something tap on my shoulder!!!!!
For a minute, my heart stopped, and the hairs on my head stood up. Then it happened again.
Luckily I realised what it was - before I ran out screaming !- Looking up, the toilet is open to the skies - and Trees above - what I'd felt was a twig and a leaf falling onto me - Pheeeew!!
The toilets are clean, apart from the leaves and twigs etc that fall through the open windows.
They are free to use too!!Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Budget Travel