“Detourism: La newsletter di Venezia”, the official Town of Venice Tourism Office Newsletter, takes us to discover the ancient Venetian lazarets! Enjoy your reading!
Towards the end of the 14th century, Venice instituted for the first time official public health measures such as quarantine and lazarets. To prevent the spread of infectious diseases, the Serenissima government forced all ships and their crews to stop for 40 days off the lagoon (hence the term “quarantine”, from the Italian “quaranta,” meaning 40).
The Lazzaretto Vecchio island (watch the video) is the world’s first lazaret. In 1423, the island was chosen by the Doge Francesco Foscari to establish a hospital for the treatment of plague-infected people. From the name of the island, dedicated to St. Mary of Nazareth, came the term Nazaretum and then Lazzaretto, which eventually gave rise to the modern word “lazaret.” Today the complex of the Lazzaretto Vecchio is one of the MIBACT — run state museums. It will host the National Archaeological Museum of the Venice Lagoon, which will educate visitors about the lives of the Lagoon’s former inhabitants through antiquities and multimedia devices.
The island of Lazzaretto Nuovo (watch the video) was used since 1468 as a place where ships, crew members and cargoes suspected of being infected with the plague, were detained before entering the city. The goods, housed in large sheds, were subjected to disinfection procedures: they used to fumigate aromatic herbs such as juniper and rosemary. In the last decades the Lazzaretto Nuovo has been restored after years of abandonment, and transformed into an eco-museum, with the aim to promote public access to its cultural heritage.
Visiting the island allows you to discover an exceptional historical heritage and immerse yourself in one of the best preserved natural environments of the Venice Lagoon. The Trail of the saltmarshes (watch the video) is a nature walk, set up in collaboration with the Natural History Museum of Venice, which explores the salt marshes, vegetated mud flats, rich in varieties of plants and aquatic birds, that are periodically submerged by high tides.
Find out more about Venetian Lazarets
[source: La newsletter di Venezia, n. 12/2020 del 20.04.2020]
[picture: Godromil, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons]
We are proud to publish some selected contents of such newsletter (see previous post: “Detourism for the Up and Down the Bridges“). On our website, in several episodes, we will only present some samples (see all posts in our archive page “Detourism Newsletter“), but the invitation addressed to all the friends of the Up and Down the Bridges is to subscribe to the newsletter directly.
Special thanks to the Councillor for Tourism for having enthusiastically welcomed this new important collaboration between TGS Eurogroup and the Tourism Office of the Town of Venice and for giving us the precious opportunity to publish on the pages of this blog some extracts from this newsletter, both in Italian and in English.
To receive the newsletter “Detourism” directly in your email box every fortnight fill in the online form proposed by the Town of Venice.
Discover all the itineraries of #Detourism to explore a different Venice, promoted as part of the #EnjoyRespectVenezia awareness campaign of the Town of Venice.
Adopt conscious and respectful behaviors of the cultural and natural heritage of Venice and its lagoon, a site protected by UNESCO.
Sustainable Tourism Service of the Town of Venice: