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San Francesco del Deserto - Venice Kayak

San Francesco del Deserto

The island of San Francesco del Deserto is in the northern lagoon, close to Burano and about 8km from our base on the Certosa island.

Its name and fame is closely related to St. Francis of Assisi who on his return from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land found passage on a Venetian ship bound for Torcello, then the main city of the lagoon. He was hosted for over a month on the island by the owner Jacopo Michiel, a wealthy patrician.

St. Francis was canonised in 1228, and in 1233 Jacopo Michiel donated the island to the Franciscan monks and a monastery was built, parts of which are still standing.

The monks accepts guests by appointment for guided visits to parts of the island and monastery. Visiting hours are from 3pm to 5pm, so the schedule of these tours is adjusted accordingly. Meeting time at the Certosa is at 12.15 so we’re on the island of San Francesco del Deserto in time for the visit at 3pm. Return to the Certosa island will be between 6pm and 7pm.

These tours are available from April to mid September, but not on Mondays and certain days related to the cult of St. Francis.

The guided visit to the monastery does not have a fixed price, but it is customary to leave a small donation to the monastery.

Paddling tours to San Francesco del Deserto are full day tours, covering a distance of 18-20km.

It is necessary to bring a packed lunch for these tours. The bar on the Certosa island will be happy to organise this before the start of the tour.

Planned Tours to San Francesco del Deserto

There’s a full list of all planned full day tours in the lagoon here.

Further information

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