At the top of the Campanile, San Giorgio Maggiore Island, Venice, you will find fresh air, fabulous views and a peaceful retreat from the sweaty throngs of the mainland below.
The tiny island of San Giorgio is just a short hop on the vaporetto (water bus) from San Marco. In the 10th century the marshy land was drained and the island given over to a Benedictine monastery which became one of the most wealthy and influential monasteries in the world until it was flattened by an earthquake in 1223.
No matter. After a quick rebuild, it was business as usual until the Republic of Venice was dissolved and the monks were kicked out. It became a free port and the city’s artillery was later stored there. Now the monastery is back, together with an arts centre, open air theatre and a perpetual dribble of Venice-fatigued tourists in search of respite. Continue reading