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San Michele, Venice

(4.5/5 based on 200+ reviews on the web)
San Michele is an island in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy. It is associated with the sestiere of Cannaregio, from which it lies a short distance northeast.HistoryAlong with neighbouring San Cristoforo della Pace, the island was a popular place for local travellers and fishermen to land. Mauro Codussi's Chiesa di San Michele in Isola of 1469, the first Renaissance church in Venice, and a monastery lie on the island, which also served for a time as a prison.San Cristoforo was selected to become a cemetery in 1807, designed by Gian Antonio Selva, when under French occupation it was decreed that burial on the mainland (or on the main Venetian islands) was unsanitary. The canal that separated the two islands was filled in during 1836, and subsequently the larger island became known as San Michele. Bodies were carried to the island on special funeral gondolas. Among those buried there are Igor Stravinsky, Joseph Brodsky, Jean Schlumberger, Christian Doppler, Frederick Rolfe, Horatio Brown, Sergei Diaghilev, Ezra Pound, Luigi Nono, Catherine Bagration, Franco Basaglia, Paolo Cadorin, Zoran Mušič, Helenio Herrera, Emilio Vedova, and Salvador de Iturbide y Marzán. The cemetery is still in use today.
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Reviews
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  • We were passing and so took a look in, as with so many of the amazingly beautiful churches in Venice they take your breath away.  more »
  • Returning from Murano, made a stop at San Michele and you take a walk in the alleys, the arcades and the covered parts: everywhere from the graves, walls of funerary urns, a veritable maze!
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  • The Venetian cemetery is worth a trip even if you hadn't planned on leaving the main island grouping of Venice. The church, the famous grave sites and the island itself are all lovely. I would recomme...  more »