Find yourself in the countryside, in the middle of a lagoon, on an island where prestigious agricultural products have led to it being named “the garden of Venice”.
After having visited the most famous places in Venice and wandering through the labyrinth of its “calli”, you will be in the need for some peace and quiet which can be found in some corners of the city.
Places a little off the beaten tourist tracks, not as easily accessible, but somewhere you can find a peaceful tranquillity of the past.
Take the number 13 vaporetto from the “Fondamente Nove” (there is one approximately every hour), in half an hour you arrive at the “Capannone”, the first of three stops on the Island of Sant’Erasmo.
The island is about four kilometres long, it can be walked or cycled on a round trip (even if you can end up running into locals on their motorbikes or in cars) crossing small streets and lanes among its fields of vegetables, fruit and vineyards accompanied by the chirping of cicadas and crickets in the summer. There are some roosters in the distance and mallards squawking and swimming in the internal channels, where Venice peeks out from afar, seeming to emerge from the waters of the lagoon with its rooves and bell towers.
Among the typical products from the island, without a doubt the most famous is the violet artichoke of Sant’Erasmo.
If you arrive during the month of May, do not miss the Artichoke Festival, where you can taste the homonymous vegetable and in particular the “castraure”, the first sprouts of the artichoke, which bloom and recede to help the “botoli” (the side artichokes, which can be prepared in various ways) flourish.
At the beginning of October however, it is an absolute must to take a look at the Sagra del Mosto. A wine that is not yet fermented, you can taste “torbolino”, a white that is slightly sparkling, lovable and a turbid white colour, hence the name.
Following the Via dei Forti setting off from Capannone you arrive at the opposite end, where you’ll find the Torre Massimiliana, an impressive unique defensive work of its own kind in the lagoon. Built by the French and completed by the Austrians in the 1800s, recently restored and used for exhibitions and festivals.
Continue a few metres further and you will arrive at a bar/restaurant where you can comfortably sit under the tents and the leaves of the trees, enjoying the view of the lagoon facing the beach of the “Bacan”, packed with Venetians who come to paddle and sunbathe with their boats during the summer weekends.
On the island, the only family-run hotel with a restaurant can accommodate visitors looking for peace and quiet after a day around Venice, A place to taste typical dishes prepared with local produce, at the Azienda Agricola i Sapori di Sant’Erasmo, you can even book a visit to the educational farm.