Halfway between Venice and Murano, this is the island where tourists begin their lagoon visit. For many Venetians, however, it’s the last stop: San Michele is the city’s cemetery. Early in the morning, vaporetti are packed with locals coming over to lay owers. This is not a morbid spot, though: it is an elegant city of the dead, with more than one famous resident.
Before visiting the cemetery, take a look at the recently restored church of San Michele in Isola (open 7.30am-12.15pm, 3-4pm daily); turn left after entering the cemetery and pass through the fine cloisters. The view of the façade is particularly striking. Designed by Mauro Codussi in the 1460s, this white building of Istrian stone was Venice’s first Renaissance church.