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Sant'Erasmo island
Sant'Erasmo is in the north lagoon not far from Venice and is by extension the largest island after Venice.

In ancient times the island directly overlooks the Adriatic Sea, which it can be concluded from its morphology that is typical of the beaches or barrier beach, but following the construction of the dam and the birth of Punta Sabbioni the island of St. Erasmus became a land of the Venetian lagoon.
"Fra le isole che fanno argine alla Laguna di Venezia, si communera quella si Sant'Erasmo con belle vigne e giardini, da' quali si somministra alla Metropoli quantità di erbaggi e frutti perfetti...."

Isolario dell'atlante Veneto di Coronelli (1696)
Because of its special characteristics and proximity to the islandswith a more important story Sant'Erasmo had in the past several names: Lido Mercede or Mancese because of the refugees of Altino, as reported by Martial, who found gold (reward/mercede) during the foundation works of a church; Lido Bromio for the sound of the waves of the sea; Lido Albo for the white sand that characterized it and finally Lido Murano or Torcello. During the government of Paoluccio Anafesto, first Doge of Venice (697-717), the island was also known as Pineta Major for its characteristic lush greenery.

Archeology has revealed the presence of man on the island since the Bronze Age but in the story is important the year 792 when people fleeing by Altino built a church dedicated to the martyrs Erasmus and Erme. Previously the island was already frequented by hermits as a place of spiritual retreat. The first written document dates back to 1015 and mentions the island as Vigna Murada which in medieval times was always property of the monks of San Giorgio Maggiore, who built a church dedicated to St. Bartholomew.


In 1380 S. Erasmus was occupied by the Genoese and the Slavs. Later became a port with a special connection to maritime activity of Murano. The island life proceeded normally until the sixteenth century when a plague decimated the population and led to the abandonment of the island until 1820, when it was begun a policy of restocking. From that moment Sant'Erasmo returned to be populated with small farms used mainly in agricultural activities that gave to Sant'Erasmo the current nickname Orto di Venezia.
In the nineteenth century, with the passage of Venice to the Austrians, the island was fortified and became a military garrison. In this context are included the architectures of the Tower Massimiliana and the fort placed in the northern part of the island. The first structure was built in the 30s of the XIX century and assumed a protective function of the channel of the Lido up to the Second World War. Today, restored and entrusted to private parties, it hosts occasional art exhibitions.

Of these structures remain today the so-called "ex ridotto" at the end of the island close to to Burano and, above all, the Tower Massimiliana.

To ge to Sant'Erasmo take the vaporetto No. 13 that leaves every hour from the stop of the Fondamente Nove of Venice.

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