After a 25 min ride on a public waterbus navigating the placid waters of the northern lagoon we’ll reach the long wooden dock of the Lazzaretto Nuovo our stop today. For about three centuries during epidemics of plague human travelers, animals and merchandise where housed here in separate areas for forty days before continuing the journey to Venice. Entering the main outside building will get in the large grassy area, a small park indeed crossed by a path flanked by mulberry trees where you’ll get a general introduction about the history of this quarantine station founded in 1468 up to its latest development

We’ll reach next the large warehouse where goods were kept during the compulsory sojourn in the past and a museum and exhibit area nowadays. A wide array of items are kept inside, archeological findings in the lagoon including old Roman amphorae and all what was dug out in the island mostly items of common usage. The display includes also fishing boats, fishing and farming pieces and one section dedicated to a particular Venetian document used to prevent a further spread of plague, the so-called ‘declarations of good health’. In the past the wall was used as a sort of blackboard where porters wrote all basic data related on each cargo and you’ll still see the signs still there as a testimony of a bustling activity with international scope.

Our tour in the island continues outdoor climbing one section of the wall to get a breathtaking panoramic view on the open lagoon meters away from the mudbanks where in season several migrating birds ramble all around. And we’ll continue later to pass by the most recent diggings where more items are found out of the ground and to see the sites where the old building once stood, like the captain’s place and the chapel.

Being outside any large inhabited center for safety reasons, the Lazzaretto Island still hosts two gunpowder depots not in use now so you can get close and see one used as a small exhibit and document center.

At the end of our tour you can either get back to Venice with your guide or spend a half hour walking all along the outside walls and following a naturalistic path very close to waterside where you can see in detail a large mudbank and the islands in the distance.

Read more here

photo gallery