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San Michele

The Isola di San Michele has been Venice's main cemetery since early in the 19th Century, when French occupation authorities decided that disposing of corpses in the crowded, urban environment of Venice's centro storico was bad for public health.

We've already written about the island in our illustrated San Michele Cemetery article, so on this page, we'll just show you aerial photos and identify key details.

  • The first satellite image looks straight down on San Michele. To the south, you can see Venice's Fondamenta Nuove waterfront, with a vaporetto and airport boat station just below the words "Venezia - San Michele." On the north, the tip of Murano--an island known for its glass factories and workshops--juts into the frame.

  • The second photo is a close-up that shows about three-quarters of the island. At upper left, you'll see the Chiesa di San Michele in Isola and the cemetery headquarters. The Cimitero watebus stop is on the left edge of the island. The rest of San Michele is divided into sections with temporary and permanent graves, mausoleums for exhumed bones, and other facilities for the dead and their caretakers. (The island has been enlarged several times since the mid-1850s, and and the current expansion project was still underway when we last visited the cemetery.)


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