Walking around San Servolo and San Lazzaro degli Armeni

Walking through San Servolo and San Lazzaro degli Armeni

Two islands of pristine beauty, almost surreal, all located in the southern lagoon of Venice. Two islands of tranquility, steeped in history, where you can spend a day in full freedom, in contact with nature, and not only . The two islands have both a fascinating history. We recommend that you dedicate a whole day to visit them, going first to San Servolo and then to San Lazzaro degli Armeni, the island loved by the poet Lord Byron.

The movements you will be easy: the island of San Servolo arrive to line 20 from San Zaccaria (called docking Monument ), the travel time is only 10 minutes. After the visit to San Servolo resume the same line and get off at the next stop. Familiarize yourself on the timing of the vaporetto (www.actv.it ) because there are not many races , but with times to hand your trip in the lagoon will be perfect!


Ancient monastery and later psychiatric hospital, after the restoration of the Province of Venice, the island of San Servolo has been transformed into a center of excellence for conferences, training seminars and cultural events. It also houses a 300-seat accommodation for those who want to sleep in a place of absolute peace .

For more than 1,000 years, San Servolo has welcomed several monastic orders, in 1715 the former convent is used as a military hospital, and in the nineteenth century, hosted mentally ill people until 1978, when the reform of psychiatry has led to the closure hospital .

The park is beautiful and it has ancient trees and details: Canary palms , American agave plants, the plant of Japanese origin Chusan, Aleppo pine, a centuries-old olive trees and many other species. A walk is a must, because the park is full of sculptures and therefore appears to be an open-air museum. Also worth seeing is the church, rebuilt over the centuries but still very nice. You also have a pharmacy, made in 1700 by the monks who lived in the island, so given that in 1719 became the apothecary Journal of militias. The library is a place equally impressive, which preserves volumes especially in the field of psychiatry. Equally fascinating – even shocking – is the Insane Asylum Museu , which holds the artifacts belonged to the psychiatric hospital, medical and administrative documents, photos of alienated and instruments of restraint .

If you want you can book a guided tour by calling every day from 9.30am to 5pm ( Friday from 9.30am to 3.30pm ) at the phone number +39.041.5240119. The service includes a guided visit to the park, church, buildings and the Museum of the Insane Asylum . The cost is € 3 for adults (free for children up to 18 years). For more information: info@sanservolo.provincia.venezia.it .

San Lazzaro degli Armeni

The island was loved by Byron that here devoted much time to his studies and wrote the fourth part of the work Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage and now  San Lazzaro degli Armeni is occupied by a monastery of the Mekhitaristi. In 1717, in fact, the Senate of the Republic of Venice donated it to Armenian Fathers persecuted by the Turks who, little by little, after years of neglect and decay, projects reclaimed the island, reconstructing the church. Despite the edict of Napoleon, who wanted the suppression of religious orders, San Lazzaro degli Armeni was saved because he became to the ‘700 major printing for text in oriental languages ​​.

Used , in 1100 as a hospital for quarantine malaria, it is now one of the most important centers of Armenian culture in the world. Suffice it to say that in the beautiful library of the fathers are kept 170 thousand volumes of enormous value, of which 4,500 manuscripts. Browse around the new part of the library, built on two floors of circular shape in which the item is of course amplified with an echo effect upward. And then here are archaeological finds from all over the world , works of art by Palma il Giovane, the Ricci, Padovanino and Tiepolo and an Egyptian mummy of 900 BC

Visiting hour of the island is 3:25pm, every day , without reservation. We suggest you buy the delicious jam with rose petals damascene produced on-site by fathers.