Dare to head on
less frequented islands
Some of the more hidden-away islands are well worth a visit. Isola di San Michele is Venice’s cemetery. You can see the tombs of some well-known people, such as the choreographer Diaghilev, whose tomb is always decorated with pink ballet slippers. Isola di Sant’Erasmo, where the famous purple artichokes are grown, has long been the city’s vegetable garden. There’s a good chance that you’ll spot one or two tractors there. A Frenchman, Michel Thoulouze, restored wine-grape production on the island after two centuries of neglect. He produces an excellent white wine called Orto di Venezia. Take a trip to Torcello to admire the outstanding mosaics at the Cathedral of Maria Assunta. The islands of San Francesco del Deserto and San Lazarro degli Armeni, which are harder to reach, are home to monasteries.