Cemetery Island San Michele Venice

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Insider tip:
Travel comfortably without queues, buy tickets online beforehand:


The cemetery on the island of San Michele is the big cemetery of Venice. Since Venice is an artificial island, built in the sea on wooden stakes, there is no possibility to bury people here. Under the city there is mainly water, no soil. So you have to bury the dead somewhere else. The cemetery island of San Michele is only a few hundred meters away from the old town island of Venice. Meanwhile the cemetery has become a big tourist attraction. You can reach the island of San Michele many times per hour simply by water bus (ferry). On this page you can find all the important island for visitors of the island cemetery.

Aerial photographs of Venice 2013, Anton Nossik, 031.jpg
Di Anton Nosik https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/zw3ClQOqUXowiPNa7JtsDNMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0CC BY 3.0Collegamento

The island has been a cemetery since about 1800, an idea of Napoleon. In the late middle ages there was a monastery on the island. The church of San Michele and the cloister date from that time and still stand today. The island has roughly the shape of a square with a diameter of about 400 meters. A high wall goes around the cemetery island of Venice. The area of the island is about 18 hectares. The Cemetery Island is also called "Island of the Dead".

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In Venice, the queues are often long, some sellers do not speak English. Ticket machines are difficult to use for foreigners. Therefore, we recommend to buy some tickets in advance on the Internet e.g. on the well-known website Getyourguide:

1. Tickets for the local ferries (water buses, vaporetto): daily tickets, weekly tickets, etc.: Click here

2. Tickets for the airport bus: Venice Marco Polo Airport: Click here    

3. Doge's Palace and St. Mark's church (the main sights): Click here

4. Great und cheap trip to 3 islands around Venice: Click here

The cemetery has been expanded several times in the last 200 years. The last time was around 1998 by the British star architect David Chipperfield. Now almost the whole island is cemetery. Nevertheless, there is not enough space. Many people only have their own gravesite for a few years.

In Catholic Italy, a larger part of the island cemetery of Venice is for Lutheran people. Since some time there are more and more modern urn graves (see picture below). These are in walls made of concrete.

In the Venice San Michele cemetery, some celebrities have also been buried. Among them are the composers Igor Stravinsky and Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari. Some visitors of the cemetery are looking for the graves of the celebrities, even if there is not so much going on here as with Mozart, Strauss and Beethoven at the Central Cemetery in Vienna.

The cemetery San Michele is designed in the shape of a Greek cross. We also liked the cemetery church and other buildings as well as the many trees, especially slender and tall cypresses. The cemetery of Venice is rightfully one of the most visited cemeteries in Europe by tourists. It is worth a detour. Most visitors stay 1-2 hours on the island.Anfahrt San Michele

The Inselfiredhof San Michele is located between the main island of Venice and the island of Murano. From the water bus station Fondamente Nove (also name: Fondamenta Nuove) on Venice it is only a few minutes by ferry to San Michele. To the island of Murano it is also only a few minutes drive.

In San Michele only the waterbus lines 4.1. and 4.2. stop, both of which circle the old town of Venice. The line 4.2. goes clockwise around Venice and the line 4.1. goes counterclockwise. If the waterbuses of these lines are in Fondamente Nove they make a detour to Murano and back. On the way to Murano Island the ferries (Italian vaporetti) stop at the cemetery island of San Michele. Likewise the ships on the way back from Murano to Venice stop at the cemetery. The stop on San Michele is called "Cimitero", simply translated "cemetery".

There is only one ferry stop on San Michele. So half of the water buses go from San Michele to Murano and the other half to Venice. The ones to Venice go then, depending on the number, left or right around the old town. The 4.2. clockwise on the left and the 4.1. to the train and bus station on the right. Both lines run approximately every 10 to 15 minutes

This way you can reach San Michele without changing from the train station and from Piazzale Roma (bus station). From Piazza San Marco, both lines 4.1. and 4.2. are almost exactly the same distance away, since San Marco and Piazza San Marco are on the other side of the island.

Many tourists visit San Michele on the same day as the island of Murano, because the cemetery island is on the way to Murano. In San Michele many tourists get off the bus. But there are also many locals go to the cemetery. Among them for example many grandmas who go to the grave of the deceased man. As a foreign visitor you should not forget that you are at a cemetery. So do not be loud etc.



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