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San Michele island
In 1212 St. Michael became the seat of Camaldolesi monks who built a church and then turned into a hermitage monastery (1250) and finally in a abbey. It was a site of cultural importance during the Middle Ages having a famous scriptorium to produce thumbnails and codes both for the rich library of the monastery and for sale outside.
At the same time arose also a school with courses in humanities, theology and philosophy. Thanks to this incessant study and copy the library came to have 40,000 volumes at the time of its closure followed the political turmoil caused by the invasion of Napoleon Bonaparte in Italy. Many of the works inside were looted while the codes survivors found the path of Marciana, the Academy of Fine Arts and other schools and libraries in Italy.
In the fifteenth century along the western edge of the island was built the church of San Michele in Isola designed by Codussi (1469), first Renaissance church in Venice and islands.
After a brief period when the monastery became a political prison, in 1829 the library was reopened by the Friars Minor. The continuous acquisition during the nineteenth and twentieth century brought the library to count the 20,000 volumes today.
The cemetery of San Michele in addition, over two centuries became the final resting place of many international artists fallen in love with Venice and this is now a tourist attraction important in the lagoon.
To reach San Michele is sufficient to take the boat to Murano from the Fondamenta Nove stop. St. Michael is the first stop.
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