First post of the year for “Detourism: Venice newsletter”, the newsletter prepared by the Tourism Office of the Town of Venice, is sent free of charge to hundreds of subscribers every week, providing valuable food for thought and insights on the history, art and culture of Venice.
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 fill in the online form proposed by the Town of Venice to receive it directly in their email box every week.
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.
Let’s discover the very place which inspired the Culture Route of Su e Zo per i Ponti 2020/2021: the Island of San Francesco del Deserto, celebrating 800 years since the visit of Saint Francis of Assisi! Enjoy your reading!
San Francesco del Deserto is a small island inhabited by Friars Minor, right in the heart of the lagoon north of Venice. The hermitage celebrated 800 years of history this year; according to tradition, in the spring of 1220 the island hosted Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of Italy, on his return from the Holy Land. Having returned aboard a Venetian ship, Friar Francis probably reached Torcello, then an important historical centre as well as the Bishop’s seat. But Francis was looking for a quiet place to stop and pray and reflect.
Once he landed on a small nearby island, owned by the Venetian nobleman Jacopo Michiel, he was welcomed by a multitude of singing birds, as his biographer San Bonaventura da Bagnoregio tells us. In 1233 (just five years after Friar Francis of Assisi was canonised), Jacopo Michiel donated the island to the Friars Minor, stating that a small church had already been built on it, one of the first in the world to be dedicated to the Saint of Assisi. The name of the place dates back to the fifteenth century, when the island of San Francesco was abandoned – deserted – for a few years due to the lagoon’s unhealthy conditions. The island is now open to visitors seeking peace of mind and meditation, who wish to rewind by strolling in the park, or visiting the church and the cloister. The tour is guided by a Franciscan friar. Free donation. The island can be reached with Laguna Fla’s B line.
Find out more about on San Francesco del Deserto!
[source: La newsletter di Venezia, N° 37/2020 del 02.10.2020]
[picture by ildirettore / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0]
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